Gorilla trekking in Bwindi
Gorilla trekking in Bwindi.
Bwindi impenetrable forest national park in one of the four national parks in the world which inhabits Mountain Gorillas. Gorilla trekking in Bwindi is life time experience that takes the highlight of Uganda safari. Bwindi impenetrable forest national park is the most visited national park in Uganda. The park is located in the South Western part of Uganda in bordering the Volcanoes national park of Rwanda. Its an extension of the volcanoes that run from Rwanda through Uganda to Democratic Republic of Congo. Bwindi is a home of almost half of the remaining rare mountain Gorillas.
Bwindi Impenetrable forest national park is located along the Virunga Conservation Area that is shared among the three countries that host Mountain Gorillas. The three countries include: Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic republic of Congo. The Virunga conservation area covers the four national parks that inhabits the rare mountain Gorillas, these national parks include Virunga national park of Democratic republic of Congo, Volcanoes national park of Rwanda and Bwindi impenetrable forest and Mgahinga national parks of Uganda. Safaris to Uganda without Gorilla trekking is incomplete that is why Gorilla trekking in Bwindi is almost a must done activity for the travelers who come to Uganda.
The main aim why Bwindi was gazette as a national park was to protect and conserve the rare animal species that are found in the forest. Bwindi is the only park where one can find both Chimpanzees and Gorillas alongside other primates in the same park. Gorilla trekking in Bwindi is done in four different sectors. The four different sectors where Gorilla trekking in Bwindi is done include Ruhinja sector, Buhoma sector, Nkuringo sector and Rushaga sector. Each of the sectors are located in different sections of the Bwindi. Ruhinja sector and Buhoma sector are found at the Northern sector of the park nearing each other. One can even book accommodation in Ruhinja and trek Gorillas in Buhoma since the distance is not much. Nkuringo sector and Rushaga sectors are found in the Southern part of Bwindi nearing each other.
Gorilla trekking in bwindi is done in 19 Gorilla habituated families that are found in all the four sectors of Bwindi Impenetrable forest national park. Out of the 9 families, two families in Rushaga are used for only research and Gorilla habituation. Gorilla trekking in Bwindi starts as early as 7:30am with registration and clearing of all the guests. Travelers must produce their original passports which will be used for verification of the age and record purposes. All guests are also supposed to show their Gorilla trekking permits which will be put in the system to a certain the validity and the date of the Gorilla trekking, the sector one is supposed to trek gorillas in Bwindi.
After the verification exercise is done, all qualified guests are briefed in general on the rules of Gorilla trekking in Bwindi, other expected activities which can be done enroute and other necessary information. When the briefing is done travelers are grouped in to groups of 8 members for Gorilla trekking and 4 members for Gorilla habituation groups. Each group is assigned the game ranger who will now brief his or her group members about the details of the Gorilla family they are going to trek. He gives details like how many are the Gorillas in the group, how many silverbacks, infants and others. When done with all the briefing you now start the journey in to the impenetrable forest with the lead of the game ranger. Depending on the distance the gorilla family your going to trek, some of the tourists can be driven to the nearest point where the gorillas are before they enter to the forest.
Gorilla trekking in Bwindi is one of the hard experience compared to all other national parks where the mountain Gorillas are found. The thick forest is dark and cold throughout the year with low temperature. The rain can rain at any time of the day hence requiring the trekkers to always have rainy jackets on stand by. Gorilla trekking in Bwindi takes between 1 hour to 8 hours depending on the sector, gorilla family and the movement of the Gorillas during the previous nights. Gorilla trekking in Bwindi is much tricky with hills which are slippery inside the thick forest. Its always good to have enough preparation before you head to Bwindi for gorilla trekking. It requires certain degree of fitness for some gorilla families while some are very easy. Gorilla movements are unstoppable and unpredictable but the chances of seeing Gorillas in Bwindi is almost 99%
In Uganda, if the guest fails to see gorillas during trekking under natural conditions of the forest not personal the guest will be given second chance to trek gorillas the next day at no extra cost. After Gorilla trekking in Bwindi all the guest are issued with Gorilla trekking certificates that shows that you successfully trekked gorillas in Bwindi. In order to do Gorilla trekking in Uganda one has to book the gorilla permit in advance from reputable operators or directly from Uganda wildlife Authority who is in charge of all national parks of Uganda. You will book your gorilla permit online through their website or from their headquarters in Kampala that are located in Kamwokya near the British High Commission. All Gorilla permits are booked more than a month early, no one should lie you that Gorilla permits can be obtained from Bwindi impenetrable forest park headquarters.
Gorilla trekking in Bwindi cam be done in three days Uganda Gorilla trekking safaris, five days Uganda safaris as you mix it with wildlife safaris like Queen Elizabeth national park or Kibale forest national park. Gorilla trekking in Bwindi can be started from Entebbe or Kigali in Rwanda. It takes 9 hours drive from Entebbe to Bwindi and 4 hours drive from Kigali to Bwindi hence making it easily accessible in any of the two countries. The park is also bordered by the airstrips Kihihi airstrip and Kisoro airstrip hence making it also much accessible with daily flights from Entebbe. You can also supplement your Gorilla trekking in Bwindi with local cultural entertainment. Are you great birder donot miss ruhinja or buhoma for great birding safaris.