How to organize a gorilla safari to Bwindi from Masaka town
How to organize a gorilla safari to Bwindi from Masaka town. If your point of commencement is to go for a gorilla tour in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Masaka town, you must secure a gorilla permit first. Uganda has two Bwindi gorilla safari activities you can choose from that is gorilla trekking and Gorilla habituation experience.
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Gorilla trekking allows tourists to have one hour with a fully habituated gorilla family. Gorilla habituation experience tourists follow a team of researchers and have four hours with a semi-habituated gorilla family.
At Encounter Africa safaris, we can help you plan the gorilla safari from Masaka town. Still, we need some of these details: The number of people traveling with and eligible to do the gorilla safari and the number of possible days on the gorilla safari. You may also state the additional activities you wish to combine with the gorilla safari.
Plans for accommodation to use during the gorilla safari in Bwindi are necessary, but consider the area where the gorilla trekking permit for Bwindi is booked.
When traveling to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, the means of transport must be considered, as you can use a road or charter.
What To Consider when Organising a Bwindi Gorilla Safari From Masaka Town
Book the Gorilla Permit
Whether you do gorilla trekking or gorilla habituation experience in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, you need a gorilla permit. A Gorilla permit card is an entry ticket allowing access to the attending gorilla trekking or habituation experience. Some of your personal information is embedded in the dark strip behind the Uganda Wildlife Authority card and retrieved on safari day when you present the card.
When you enquire from us about a gorilla safari, state the gorilla safari date and the number of people traveling with you. Then, our safari consultant checks availability.
Upon finding the gorilla permits, they get back to you, but we request that you purchase your gorilla permits as soon as possible. This is because they are limited in number, yet demand for them worldwide, especially in the busy tourism season, is high. This causes a scarcity of gorilla permits since most people secure them before the season, which is 6 months to a year in advance.
A gorilla permit is always reserved with payment, and a change in availability status happens in the blink of an eye, so act as soon as you find availability.
Gorilla trekking permits for Bwindi Impenetrable National Park are booked according to the areas: Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga, and Nkuringo. Before booking any support amenities for your gorilla safari, like accommodation, you must find out where the permit is secured.
Forward us personal details like your full name as presented on the passport, date of birth, nationality, and expiration date for identification.
Secure Accommodation To Use During Gorilla Safari In Bwindi
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park accommodations are categorized into Luxury, mid-range, and budget. These are distributed within the different areas of the park, so you need to know under which room your permit is booked to secure accommodation.
Spending your night before gorilla trekking or having a habituation experience in another area will necessitate you to drive early in the morning to catch up with briefings in another area. Along the way, you may encounter obstacles like slippery roads, logs falling across the road, poor visibility due to deep foggy situations, and so much more. Missing briefing before the gorilla safari may end in being disqualified from this adventure even if you possess a permit.
- Bwindi accommodations: Clouds Lodge, Rushaga Gorilla Safari Lodge, Nkuringo Gorilla Lodge, Engage Lodge, Gorilla Forest Camp, Silverback Lodge, Gorilla Resort, Bwindi View Bandas, Buhoma Lodge, Volcanoes Lodge, Ruhija Gorilla Lodge
Reserve Transport to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
- By Road
Road is The most accessible transport to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park from Masaka. It would help to have a 4×4 wheel drive vehicle in good condition and an experienced driver guide because roads get messy towards the countryside. Drive through the winding roads of the Kigezi area and look out for the stunning looks of different highlands resulting from volcanic action.
From Masaka town, pass via Mbarara city to Kabale. The distance to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is about 245 kilometers, driving for approximately 5 to 6 hours.
- By air
Charter flight services from Masaka town to Kihihi or Kisoro airstrip are available for more exclusive transportation, but booking is required to make all necessary arrangements in advance. At Encounter Africa Safaris, we can help you reserve charter flight services from Kajjansi or Entebbe Airport to any destination you choose as long as a landing point exists. You must hire a transfer vehicle to your lodge as Kihihi and Kisoro airstrips are about 2 hours from Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
Select Additional Uganda Safari Activities To Combine With Gorilla Safari
Besides gorilla safari in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, you may engage in safari activities within or out of this park. In Bwindi, you can go birding for keen birders, do a community visit, go for a forest walk, and do other activities.
Out of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, you may engage in chimpanzee trekking in Kibale National Park, game drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park, launch trips in Murchison Falls National Park and Queen Elizabeth National Park, mountaineering in Mgahinga National Park, to mention a few.
You can make a detour to Lake Mburo National Park on your way to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park for a game drive where you may spot impalas, elands, waterbucks, bushbucks, giraffes, cape buffaloes, herds of elephants, zebras, reedbucks, Uganda kobs and so many others.
All these activities can be added to your to-do Uganda safari activities when you have enough time to navigate these different parks.
Pack the proper gorilla safari gear.
While you organize the gorilla safari in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, pack the right gear. Gorilla safaris involve individual participation in finding the mountain gorillas. The wilderness has so much to see and go through. The trails in the forest may sometimes be slippery due to regular rains that fall, yet less sunlight is allowed through the dense forest canopy.
Some of the items you can add to your gorilla safari packing list include
Safari boots, long-sleeved shirts and trousers, safari foldable hats, warmers, insect repellant, foldable water bottles, and rainproof gear are just a few. Traveling with personal items saves you from getting hired or hurt in the jungle.
What is the age Limit For Gorilla safari In Uganda?
15 years and beyond is the age limit for gorilla trekking and gorilla habituation experience, as the way to the mountain gorillas may be challenging to a child below this age. Gorilla safaris require patience because you must figure out when to find the mountain gorillas, which may be challenging for a child under 15 years.
Some fitness level is necessary before the gorilla trek, which a child below 15 years may not have.
When Is the Best Time to Organize A Gorilla Safari to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park?
Going gorilla trekking or habituation experience adventure is open all year; however, the most booked time is the dry season. Although the Virunga area is known to receive unpredictable rain, the dry season generally has less rainfall.
The mountain gorillas and other primates freely move in the forest because the ground is drier and foliage easier to reach. This free movement allows tourists to spot mountain gorillas more easily. Moving along the trails in the forest is also quicker as there is less undergrowth protruding over.
Is Gorilla Safari in Bwindi Difficult?
The gorilla safaris in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park are tiresome because you may have to hike highlands. Generally, the topography of the Bwindi forest is volcanic, with remains of plateaus and ridges draped by overgrown foliage.
Sometimes mountain gorillas spend the day on the slopes of these highlands, so you need to find them. You may climb to the slopes or descend into the valley where they may be lounging. You need to have some fitness level or hire a sedan chair service before the trek in case you have some physical impairment.
How Long Is Gorilla Safaris In Bwindi Impenetrable National Park?
The time of finding the mountain gorillas is hard to determine as it depends on factors prevailing in the wilderness like the proximity of mountain gorilla feeding area, the mood of the mountain gorillas, in case of a fight with another mountain gorilla family, weather conditions prevailing in the day and so much more.
Tourists are requested to have some patience, be open-minded, and look out for other exciting features in the wilderness besides the mountain gorillas.
When you find the mountain gorillas, only an hour is allowed with them during gorilla trekking and four hours during gorilla habitation experience.
How safe is gorilla safari in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park?
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is safe for gorilla safaris as the Uganda Wildlife Authority rangers are in place to offer protection to the mountain gorillas, other forest occupants, the habitat, and visiting tourists.
Each gorilla safari is conducted by a professional ranger guide, one carrying a rifle and another carrying a machete to help trim the overgrown vines.
You must follow the gorilla safari rules, which help create harmony between humans and mountain gorillas. Before a gorilla family is opened to public booking, it first habituated to human presence for some time without altering their nature.
It would help if you minded your safety by staying closer to the people you are trekking with to avoid getting lost in the dense jungle. Only walk in the forest with an escorting ranger guide, or you may land in the space of an unhabituated wild animal and make a meal for it.
How much Is the Gorilla safari In Bwindi Impenetrable National Park?
The cost of gorilla safari to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park varies with your chosen package.
At Encounter Africa Safaris, we package our Gorilla safaris according to Luxury, midrange, and budget safaris. To make a safari package, we consider the number of days on safari, the number of people, additional activities to combine with the gorilla safari, the time of booking the safari, and others.
Amongst all gorilla safari packages, the gorilla permit cost stands out as it cuts across all budgets. The gorilla permit cost is: Gorilla trekking permit cost is currently $800 for foreign nonresidents, $700 for foreign residents, and 300000shs for East African residents.
The gorilla habituation experience permit cost is currently $1500 for foreign nonresidents, $1000 for foreign residents, and 750,000 for East African residents.
To confirm any Bwindi gorilla safari, you must possess a gorilla permit card from the Uganda Wildlife Authority.
What Are the Rules Of Gorilla Safari in Bwindi?
- Volunteer to stay behind in case you catch a cold, flu, covid-19 as mountain gorillas are susceptible to
- Keep a distance of about 8 meters from the mountain gorillas when you locate them to prevent exchanging infection.
- Spitting on vegetation is forbidden as you may pass germs to these highly endangered primates.
- Littering the forest changes the nature of the forest where mountain gorillas thrive.
- Mimicking or provoking the mountain gorillas may cause them to feel agitated and push them into hiding.
- One hour is allowed with the mountain gorilla during gorilla trekking and Four hours in company with the mountain gorillas during gorilla habituation experience.
- Keep your voice low or quiet while searching for the mountain gorillas.
- Only children aged 15 and beyond can do gorilla safaris in Uganda or Rwanda.
- Wear a mask and hand sanitize before searching for the mountain gorillas in the forest.
- Do not use flash photography, as you may push these gentle giants into hiding.
- If you wish to eat or smoke, do it away from the mountain gorillas at least 300 meters.
Get in touch with us to organize your gorilla safari to Bwindi From Masaka Town.