Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (BINP) is best known for its Mountain Gorilla populations and gorilla tracking.
There are 4 locations for tracking gorillas in BINP these are Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga, and Nkuringo. The 4 locations have a total of about 18 families as of December 2018. Tracking permits must be bought before tracking by booking directly with the reservations office at the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) Headquarters or through a reputable tour agent. Permits can be paid for up to two years in advance.
Only 8 visitors are allowed to view the gorillas for one hour per day, participants must be aged 15 or over. and they will be accompanied by UWA guides while with the Gorillas.
Tracking the gorillas can last from a few hours to a whole day, depending on how far the group has moved since it was observed nesting up the previous evening.
GORILLA TRACKING IN MGAHINGA GORILLA NATIONAL PARK
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is located in southwestern Uganda on the border with Congo and Rwanda. Covering an area of about 33.7 sq kilometres, the park is a habitat for man’s closest, the mountain gorillas which roam about the whole forest in search of food.
This park is one of the few places in the world where the endangered mountain gorillas live and it attracts people from different countries to come to Uganda on a Gorilla Safari. There is no doubt that the Mgahinga Gorilla national park is one of the leading tourist sites in Uganda since it harbours these rare primates.
One may wonder why gorilla Safari should be done in Mgahinga and not other places but the secret behind it is that this park has a thick rain forest with a wide variety of tree species and gorillas are known to be vegetarians. There is enough food for them in the park and this is the reason why some even migrate from Congo and Rwanda to this place. Though not in large numbers, gorillas of Mgahinga are easily seen in their natural habitats and this makes tracking easier compared to other parks.
GORILLA TRACKING AT THE PARK
The moment you visit the park, the welcoming atmosphere is evidence of adventure filled with natural beauty. A day ‘trek through the forests of Mgahinga with a well-trained guide who explains the gorillas’ behaviours along the way is a lifetime experience.
Normally, Gorilla trekking Safari starts from Ntebeko Entrance gate t around 8:00amin the morning daily taking 2-4 hours. A visitor is expected to budget for his/her time well while with a gorilla family since the maximum time allowed to spend with them is one hour.
WHEN TO TRACK GORILLAS AT MGAHINGA GORILLA NATIONAL PARK
The best time to visit the place for tracking is during the two dry seasons when the park is easily accessed. It is during this time that the thick forests can be penetrated easily and when the paths are not as muddy as it is in the rainy season. The two dry Seasons best for Gorilla Safari are; mid-December to the end of February and June to October. However, gorilla tracking tourism is possible throughout the year.
HOW TO GET THERE
By road, one can access the park by use of a car from Kampala via Kabale to Kisoro. This journey takes about 8 hours.
By air, one can board a plane from Entebbe to Kisoro Airstrip which is near the park. This is the quickest mode of access and it takes about 1 hour. There are daily scheduled flights that must be booked long in advance with your local Uganda safari operator.
While at Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, one should not worry about accommodation because there are various lodges suitable for relaxation and overnight. These are found in Ntebeko, Kisoro and Lake Mutanda. In Ntebeko, the accommodations are; Volcanoes mount Gahinga Safari lodge and Amajambere Iwacu camp. The lodges in Mutanda include; Lake Mutanda Chameleon Hill Lodge. In Kisoro, the lodges where a visitor can stay are; Kisoro Traveler’s Rest Hotel and River Mucha Hotel