The following companies can take you for Chimpanzee trekking in Kibale, Gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable forest as well as other primate watching tours in Uganda and Rwanda. The list of the tour companies presented here is for only credible companies. There are various offers and tour packages that can combine more safari destinations in Uganda.Engabi Tours & TravelPearl Gorilla Tracking & ExpeditionsGorilla Holidays UgandaSafaris By JonTranquil SafarisMission Africa SafarisWild Gorilla SafarisKori SafarisKisoro Tours UgandaGorillaland SafarisLets Go ToursPrimate Safaris RwandaEncounter Africa SafarisBujo safarisInsight Safari HolidaysGorilla And Wildlife ToursGecko SafarisPamoja SafarisEpic Uganda VacationMagical Gorilla AdventuresPrime Uganda Safaris & ToursGorilla ExpeditionsGorillaland Safari HolidaysNative Africa ToursSilverback Gorilla SafarisChosen Expeditions and ToursEco Adventure SafarisAncient Africa SafarisAfrica Tours AdventureStandard Safaris LtdMasai Mara MigrationGorilla Safari ConsultantsUganda Gorillas SafariAfrica Runners CompanyTales Of Africa SafarisLionking SafarisExplore Africa SafarisWild Whispers Africa SafarisRwanda Safaris LtdOree SafarisAfrican Gorilla ToursMuAfrika AdventuresGorilla Trekking Safaris
Where are the mountain gorillas found in Uganda?
The mountain gorillas in Uganda can be viewed in two places in south-western Uganda, that’s to say Bwindi impenetrable Forest National park as well as Mgahinga National park.
Bwindi impenetrable National park also supports half of the world’s population of the mountain gorillas and is the most popular destination to track the gorillas in Uganda. The forest is a UNESCO World Heritage site and it’s between 1,1160m and 2,607m above sea level.
Buhoma which is in the northern side of the forest and is the most famous popular place for the tourists. In the southern side of Bwindi , there is Rushaga, Ruhija, as well as Nkuringo, and this gives you access to very many gorillas families.
Mgahinga Gorilla National park is known to be the smallest park that measures 34km. the park is a home to one of the gorilla family that keeps on moving between Uganda and Rwanda that makes it very difficult to trek this small gorilla population. It’s also part of the large Virunga Conservation Area that joins a total of 434km of the volcanic mountains that connect Uganda with Rwanda as well as DRC.
How many Gorilla families are found in Uganda?
There are also many gorilla families found in Uganda though a small number have been habituated for the tourist visits. By habituation, we mean the animals that have got used to human presence. This is also a process that takes many years. Uganda has got over nine gorilla families which means the country has a maximum of 8 permits per day.
There are 3 habituated families in Buhoma. These include; Habinyanja, Mubare, as well as Rushaga families that live in the thick tropical forest as well as the trekking that takes 3 to 10 hours. In case you have ever watched the videos of the humans meeting gorillas in the grounds of a lodge, then it’s most likely to be buhoma.
Both the Bitukura and Oruzogo families are found in Ruhija southern sector of Bwindi.
Within the southern part of bwindi , you will find the Nkuringo , Nshongi, Kahunje, Rushaga and Businge families.
In the recent days, it has also become too possible to track the Nyakagezi family, which is the only habituated family in Mgahinga National park. The gorillas move across the border and this makes viewing so unpredictable. UWA also states that the Nyakagezi family is one of the most amusing gorilla family to trek. It has also got a higher number of silverbacks within the group.
The things to be done after trekking mountain gorillas in Uganda
You might come to Uganda for gorilla trekking but you might end up taking up many other activities. Just take a deep breath, you will enjoy the eventual guide to mountain gorilla trekking.
Bwindi forest has got 120 mammal species and it includes 30 elephants, 360 bird species and over 200 butterfly species. More so, the African Bird club rated Bwindi as Africa’s number one destination for birders. Even though you don’t know a lot about the birds, I challenge you to travel to Uganda without liking them.
The dark forest is also not the easiest destination to spot the birds and the trained bird guide can trap them out of the forest by skilfully copying their songs. Bird watching is also one of the best thing to carry out after gorilla trekking.
There were 324 tree species that have been recorded in Bwindi including the giant fern trees, shrubs as well as the vines, there are also nature walks that help in viewing the orchids as well as monkeys, there are also the guided bird watching safaris that can be arranged. There is also a walk to view many of the three waterfalls that are inside the part and this is highly recommended. In case you have time, you can enjoy a day walk from one side of Bwindi forest to the other.
There is also a tour to the beautiful bwindi community hospital found in Buhoma and was funded by its nearness to the centre for the mountain gorilla tourism activity , and this is a great activity to carry out after trekking the gorillas. This is also a beautiful health facility in a remote and poor corner of the world
You will also get some time and meet the batwa which is the original forest owner tribe, who have also given up their traditional home in the national parks as a big result of the international pressure of protecting the mountain gorilla’s habitant. The batwa culture is also known to be unique and these have lived for hunting and seeing their homes in the trees, which gives a fantastic glimpse of an ancient way of life. The batwa people have also got many community projects in Mgahinga as well as Virungas.
Mgahinga gorilla national park is also one place in Uganda where the tourists can see the golden monkeys. I also think that this guided trekking adventure above the calderas and also inside the bamboo forest was so good and this means that you can buy permits when you get to Mgahinga.
Uganda as a country has got many activities to so and the attractions to see, so this means that you might regret rushing home. There are game safaris to view the lions, elephants, 100 bird species, chimpanzee trekking, the friendly people, the lake rides in the dugout canoes, white water rafting. White water rafting, village community projects visit, eating some Ugandan food, quad biking, fishing, African dance, boat cruises in order to view the beautiful waterfalls, the hippos, and the crocodiles. These are some of the attractions that are found in Rwanda.
The tips of buying a gorilla trekking permit in Uganda
In order to reserve the gorilla permits in Uganda, you will need to agree which gorilla family you would like to visit. The reservations office will also guide you on which family to trek, these will advise on your fitness level and the accommodation favourites. The gorilla families are also spread over a wide area and it’s so important that you book the accommodation which is within an hour’s drive and its a few minutes’ walk.
To buy the gorilla permits, you should visit Uganda wildlife Authority office, Kira road, Kampala or send an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The tips of buying gorilla permits in Rwanda
Here you don’t have to agree on a particular gorilla family when buying your gorilla permits in Rwanda. You will also be given a family to track on the day of your actual gorilla trek, and this will depend on your fitness level.
Rwanda gorilla trekking permits can be got through a local tour operator or at RDB tourism and conservation offices or you can send an email at reservation @Rwanda tourism.com.
Frequent questions asked about gorilla trekking
The permits are non-refundable but only for medical reasons, and you will need to provide a medical certificate.
Buying of the gorilla permit is not an assurance of seeing the mountain gorillas and you will have 95% chance of viewing them, this is a thanks to the rangers who do 24 hours of monitoring the gorillas. These gorilla families usually move out of range but this is rare.
What’s the best place to stay for gorilla trekking in Uganda?
Where to stay in Bwindi impenetrable National park
There are good and comfortable budget facilities just 2km from Buhoma entrance to the national park for the trekkers, the students as well as researchers. 100% of the gorilla conservation camp’s profits are put to conservation.
is also one of the two lovely lodges in Bwindi Park. This lodge is also a luxury eco lodge that is set on the hill with the best beautiful views of the rain forest.
Bwindi: Ruhija/Rushaga/ Nkuringo
There is Nkuringo gorilla camp that is set on the crest of the hill. This camp over looks Bwindi forest and on the other side, the guests can see the 8 volcanic peaks of the Virunga.
Traveller’s Rest Hotel
Located in Kisoro and has got simple and comfortable rooms and was known to be a frequest stop for the great primatologist Dian Fossey when she had travelled to Uganda , this is also an hour’s drive from Bwindi forest. More so, the budget accommodation can be arranged through the famous innovative gorilla highlands project.
Where to stay in Mgahinga National Park
Mount Gahinga Lodge is just 5 minutes’ walk from Mgahinga gorilla national park. It’s nuzzled underneath the volcanic peaks, it’s a four star eco- lodge and it has got nice food. Each and every stay includes a complementary message and many well developed community initiatives which is a real hit for the visitors.
Expectations on your gorilla trek – starting the trekking day in Uganda
Gorilla trekking registration as well as briefing takes place at Uganda wildlife Authority park offices from 7:45 am and trekking also begins at exactly 8:30 am. In Uganda, you will be given a specific gorilla family to trek at the time of buying the gorilla permit. Some of the gorilla permits are so easier to track than others; and this also depends on what altitude they range, or what exact distance they cover during the day. This trek usually takes 1 to 3 hours before finding the gorilla family. In case you are so fit, going through these dense forest of Bwindi , with the ranger riding through the occasional branch with his blade in front of you, can be a loving adventure.
Gorilla trekking expedition
When you what to do gorilla trekking, you will understand that gorilla tracking is the most astonishing encounter in the world. When you come face to face with them, you will spend 1 hour with them as you will watch them play, feed or tease each other plus taking care of each other. You will as well take pictures and also expect lots fun as you watch them. It’s known that there are 0 habituated gorilla groups that live in volcanoes and these are distributed in all corners of the park and this means that you will be allocated a group which you will search for on a given day. These groups include; Amahoro, Agashya, or group 13, Kwitonda, the Hirwa, Umubano, Ugenda, Karisimbi, and the Bwenge family. Immediately after buying a gorilla permit, you will be assigned any of those groups.
The trek begins with a briefing from the headquarters and you will be informed about the dos and don’ts that you might need to notice while in the forest and then you will be put in the groups of 8 individuals at maximum. You will then be given rangers who will guide you through the forest which is full of sneaking plants as well as the steep slopes until you will find them. Its therefore very important to remember that gorilla tracking can be so active most especially to the physically unhealthy people since it includes hiking, walking for long hours which means spending long hours especially if your allocated group pondered off high in the mountains.
You will also find some comfort in the real fact that at the end, the adventure will be worthwhile to each and every one. In case you are planning to go for a gorilla safari, you will have to book the gorilla permits in advance since booking is only confirmed by paying for it. We shall also help you book the permit. Give you the necessary information about gorilla trekking in order to make sure that you have the best trip.
The gorilla permits have got different prices in the three countries. In Rwanda, a permit is at $1500 per person, in Uganda, it’s at $700 per person, and in DRC, and the permit is at $ 400 per person. These permits also help in limiting on the number of people that visit each and every group in a day. Its only 8 people who are allowed to visit each and every group and this is done to control the stress that can be caused to these primates since this might make them very violet.
Uganda Safari Companies FAQs
What should I ask about meal accommodations?
Don’t assume your diet will be accommodated on a Uganda safari. Explicitly inquire with the company about accommodating restrictions and allergies. Give ample notice if you require kosher, halal, vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free options. Safari lodges in remote locales may have limited ingredients on hand, so reconfirm special requests rather than expecting them at mealtimes. Companies sincerely invested in guest satisfaction will source suitable food substitutes if properly informed. Don’t risk offending by turning your nose up at unsuitable dishes you neglected to avoid pre-trip.
How remote should the safari lodging be situated?
For the best Uganda wildlife viewing opportunities, prioritize lodges deep within national park interiors rather than marginally past entry gates. Animals roam farther from humanity, so lodging in the thick of their territories allows unobtrusive observation. Far-flung locales also provide spectacular night skies unpolluted by artificial lights. Silence punctuated only by nature’s soundtrack creates a profoundly peaceful ambiance. While remote, reputable tour operators seamlessly transport you to/from lodges to meet your itinerary. Don’t squander immersive safari dreams on roadside motels.
What size safari group is optimal?
When comparing Uganda safari tour operators, favor ones capping groups at 8 people per vehicle. More than that feels uncomfortably crowded with participants jostling for views and photo ops. Large groups also disturb timid creatures not wanting hordes gaping at them. An intimate group of 6 allows camaraderie to bloom naturally rather than dealing with dozens of strangers. Guides can also provide more individualized attention to a smaller group. If operators cram in more bodies, keep looking for quality over quantity.
How can I identify the best tour operator?
Selecting a remarkable Uganda safari company requires diligent research. Search reviews on social media, forums, Google and TripAdvisor highlighting pros and cons of various providers. Strongly consider tour operators recommended by trusted travel agents familiar with their reputation and capabilities. Verify the company holds eco-certifications pledging sustainable practices supporting wildlife and local communities. Top providers exude authentic passion for delivering top-notch service and cultural connections. Never book purely on budget alone.
What qualifications should safari guides possess?
A guide profoundly influences your Uganda safari enjoyment. Seek guides boasting extensive expertise accrued from living and working amongst the very animals and environment you aim to experience. They should hold credentials from accredited training programs and pursue continuing education. Personable guides with outstanding storytelling skills enliven each day. Of course proper emergency response certifications, medical knowledge and safe driving skills remain mandatory prerequisites too. The ideal guide ignites contagious enthusiasm for conservation.
Should travel insurance be secured?
Buying travel insurance brings peace of mind when investing substantial sums into a Uganda safari. Policies generally refund the majority of trip costs if unanticipated injury, illness or emergencies preclude participation. Verify precisely which circumstances qualify for reimbursement and comply with claims paperwork time limits. For a once-in-a-lifetime adventure like this, insurance allows you to proceed worry-free, knowing you’re financially covered in the unlikely scenario of plans changing abruptly pre-trip. Don’t risk devastating financial losses; insurance is a smart safeguard.
What types of safari activities are offered?
Beyond quintessential game drives, many Uganda tour operators now offer short guided walks, village visits, and researcher discussions for a multi-dimensional safari experience. Controlled treks into the bush allow thrilling yet safe proximity to wildlife and their behaviors. Visiting local schools and artisan markets spur cultural connections. Chatting with conservation scientists provides insights on challenges and victories protecting endangered species. Avoid one-dimensional companies only focused on animal sighting checklists. Seek operators elevating your understanding of this fragile ecosystem.
What measures ensure my children’s comfort?
Families booking Uganda safaris should carefully inquire how children’s needs will be accommodated. Caps on long bumpy game drives prevent restlessness. Kid-friendly snacks, games, and activity books help pass transit time. Lodges with reliable wifi keep them connected. Pools and play structures on site provide exercise. Ask if kid-focused educational talks are offered on wildlife and conservation. Don’t assume their routines will be intuitively handled. Reconfirm details so they also appreciate the once-in-a-lifetime adventure.
What wildlife photography equipment is available?
Boost safari photography potential by verifying what equipment your Uganda tour operator can provide. Carrying a bulky array of cameras, tripods, telephoto lenses, etc. from home proves burdensome. Top companies either rent professional gear or allow accessing it free with guides providing tutorials on usage. They strategically position vehicles for optimal wildlife capture against breathtaking backdrops. Photography fans deserve operators facilitating magazine-worthy images to astound friends back home. Don’t miss out; inquire about equipment access pre-trip.
Should I purchase travel insurance?
Given the immense financial outlay for a Uganda safari, travel insurance brings invaluable peace of mind. Policies generally reimburse the majority of your hefty trip investment should unavoidable injury, illness or family crises preclude participation. Carefully confirm which conditions qualify under the fine print and required documentation to activate coverage. For bucket-list adventures like African safaris, insurance lets you proceed worry-free, knowing your funds remain protected should plans unexpectedly change beforehand. Don’t risk major losses.
How can guides improve wildlife photography opportunities?
For optimal Uganda safari photos, ensure guides are well-versed in strategically positioning vehicles for best vantage points when creatures emerge. Photography fans deserve drivers fluent in properly adjusting exposure, zoom, depth of field and angles for prized shots. They predict animals’ movements to capture them in ideal lighting and richly contextualized backgrounds. Avoid guides inattentive behind the wheel as you contort trying to shoot. Photography-focused ones enhance skills and generate enviable results surpassing your wildest visions.
What responsibility does the tour operator have regarding sustainability?
A reputable Uganda tour provider adheres to strict environmental and social sustainability practices beyond just preserving wildlife. Supporting area schools, medical clinics and poverty reduction demonstrates commitment to local communities co-existing alongside nature. Sustainable operators mandate eco-friendly policies like recycling, carbon emission reduction, water conservation and hiring regional staff for most positions. Guests should be educated about their role protecting the delicate balance. Choose an operator elevating everyone, not exploiting for profit.
How accessible is veterinary care for wildlife if injured?
Responsible Uganda tour companies financially support trained veterinary teams available to rapidly respond if wildlife are reported injured within their operating regions. Few sights are sadder than suffering creatures, so funding emergency teams provides a compassionate safety net for nature’s unpredictable mishaps. Caring operators understand even subtle influences greatly impact fragile environments and populations. Prioritize companies proactively protecting the land, not just profiting from its exploitation during your visit.
What cancellation and refund policies are reasonable?
Review cancellation and refund policies before booking a Uganda safari to understand financial risks if plans change unexpectedly pre-trip. Most reputable companies offer full refunds if cancelling a reasonable time period in advance, while others issue partial credit towards future excursions. Know notification deadlines and required documentation like doctor’s notes. While you hope to avoid canceling a long-awaited adventure, life throws curveballs. Select an operator with policies protecting your substantial investment if circumstances force adjustments.
What should be included on game drives?
Delve into what’s included on scheduled Uganda safari game drives when comparing tour operators. Beyond expert guides, you deserve water, snacks, binoculars, rain ponchos, first aid supplies, sunscreen and an insulated picnic lunch. Bathroom breaks should be noted on the itinerary. Photographers require heavy duty suspension in vehicles to stabilize cameras plus tripod accessibility. Don’t presume provisions will be available in the bush. Reconfirm everything so excursions meet your needs and expectations.