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Mountain gorilla trekking is an exceptional experience of its kind. The excitement that is built within this adventure is incredibly incomparable especially at moment of face to face encounter with the wild mountain gorillas. Visiting other destinations is usual thing whereas East Africa is another dramatic destination that one must pay a visit to! East Africa a hub for world’s rare mountain gorillas; talk about unique destinations and exclusively, Uganda and Rwanda come on top of the list as distinguished places for mountain gorilla safaris. Uganda and Rwanda are the best countries that have positioned the East African region on the world map as specifically for mountain gorilla adventures. Across the world, there are less than 900 mountain gorillas that are still living and Uganda is a home to about 480 individuals which also represents half of world’s mountain gorillas while Rwanda is composed of third of all the mountain gorillas in the Virunga Massif. Never miss great moments of your life in the deep jungles of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Volcanoes National Park. In Uganda, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park are UNSCO designated heritage sites where the mountain gorillas can be found. Most importantly, the earlier you plan for your mountain gorilla safari in East Africa, the better things will be positive on your side. Take note of the peak season specifically in the months of June-September and December-January! During these months, mountain gorilla destinations receive high number of tourists that is why it is necessary for you to contact “Maranatha Tours and Travel” to help you arrange your safari in East Africa as early as possible.

The cost of mountain gorilla trekking permits

Gorilla permit is an important tool when it comes to mountain gorilla trekking experiences. Like flight ticket, the gorilla permit is also a must for you to hold and it contains your details. Mountain gorilla permits facilitate you to go for the trek and once you have it then you get about 95% chances to visit the mountain gorilla family, let the remaining percentage be for other things like “Do’s” and “Don’ts.” Please note that, by simply holding gorilla permits doesn’t guarantee you 100% to see these impressive creatures in the wild! However, there are skilled personnel that will help to locate where the mountain gorillas can be found before a group is set off for the trek.

Uganda’s gorilla trekking permits cost $600 during the peak season while in the months of April, May and November-the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) offers discounted gorilla permits at $450 for foreign none residents, $400 for foreign residents and sh.150000 for East African nationals. There are 96 gorilla permits available in Uganda and this implies 88 gorilla permits for Bwindi and 8 are for Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. For Rwanda, the mountain gorilla trekking permits cost $1500.

Have you ever thought about the best country for mountain gorilla trekking? Find out it now!

If you have ever heard about the “pearl of Africa”, then you have no reason to doubt about Uganda’s safaris. Mountain gorilla safaris in Uganda never leave visitor with boredom because there are range of fantastic experiences right from chimpanzee tracking, Golden Monkey Tracking, Volcano hikes and climbs, birding, game viewing, romantic chill out at Lakes and then refresh the mind in the 5 (five) of the savannah national parks not excluding the most remote, isolated destination and less crowded national park in East African region “Kidepo National Park.” You have a variety to choose prior remarkable mountain gorilla adventures in South-Western side Uganda. Your safari can begin at Entebbe Uganda or start it from Kigali Rwanda and then sum it up in Uganda or Rwanda.

The best places for mountain gorilla trekking in Uganda

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is an interesting place for you to enjoy mountain gorilla trekking in Uganda. Bwindi is situated in South Western Uganda and it is one of the oldest forests that survived the massive plate tectonics that created the Western Rift Valley. The word “Bwindi” is locally known by Bakiga as a “dark”, difficult, fearful place, and hence an “Impenetrable” Forest. Some of Bwindi’s canopy is so dense that no light passes through. Deep inside the jungles, lies a swamp as well. Bwindi comprises of 12 habituated gorilla families with one set for research purposes. However, the mystical Bwindi Impenetrable Forest isn’t that impenetrable since visitors have access through and it is the perfect destination in Uganda for tourists. It is only in Bwindi Impenetrable forest in East and central Africa that mountain gorillas and chimpanzees are protected in the same environment. While at Bwindi, your expectations shouldn’t dwell on only the 400 rare mountain gorillas, but also tremendous biodiversity that are uncommonly seen in other destinations. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is a home to about 310 tree species, 100 luscious fems, 310 butterfly species, 346 bird species that exist in only Western Rift Valley. There are also forest elephants, duiker antelopes, bush pigs, leopards, civets, giant forest hogs, clawless otter, golden cats, genets, side striped jackals, bats and rare rodents. A combination of other primates are also inhabited in Bwindi and they include the rare L’Hoests monkeys, red tailed monkeys, blue monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, olive baboons, vervet monkeys and nocturnal prosimians like bush babies and pottos. In simple terms the impenetrable forest is an island of rare biodiversity which is also surrounded by the ocean of densely populated picturesque terraced farmlands! It is not matter of branding this dense forest but the fact is that the flora and fauna that exists in the place form major reasons why Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is the perfect destination for rare mountain gorilla trekking. No wonder why the CNN ranked Bwindi Impenetrable National Park among the five best national parks in Africa!

Which are the best areas for mountain gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park?

Buhoma sector:

Buhoma sector is the only area with the lowest altitude in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and remarkably it is recommended for less breathtaking tracking experiences. This area has several lodging facilities right from budget to luxurious up market set ups with clear views of the thick tropical rainforest. The lodging facilities at Buhoma sector include the Buhoma Lodge, Gorilla forest camp, Silverback Lodge, Mahogany Springs Camp, Lake Kitandara, Buhoma Community Rest Camp, and Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp. In most cases, the lodging facilities facilitate visitor’s interest to visit the habituated gorilla families especially the Mubare gorilla family, Habinyanja gorilla family and Rushegura. There also several activities to be enjoyed in this area which includes village walks where a visitor get chance to interact with local community people, explore their culture and traditions, hikes into the Bwindi, mountain bike rides, village  bike rides  which are also guided. Truly, there are several reasons to regard Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park an interesting and perfect area for you to enjoy mountain gorilla trekking in Uganda.

To access Buhoma sector, tourists can take the Kampala-Ntungamo-Rukungiri-Kihihi-Buhoma or Kampala-Kabale-Kanungu-Buhoma; Kampala-Kabale-Ruhija-Buhoma. If you are in Queen Elizabeth National Park, you easily connect through Ishasha area via Kihihi to Buhoma.

Ruhija sector:

Ruhija sector is a diverse sector in Bwindi National Park especially if you are interested in tracking the habituated mountain gorilla groups like the Bitukura family or the newly created Oruzogo family. The most notable lodging facilities for you to stay in while in Ruhija include Cuckooland Tented lodge, Ruhija Gorilla Mist Camp, Ruhija Gorilla resort and Ruhija Gorilla Friends Resort and Campsite for budget tourists. You can connect to Ruhija through Kampala-Kabale-Ruhija; Kampala-Ntungamo-Rukungiri-Kihihi-Butogota-Ruhija.

Ruhija sector has 2350 meter elevation which 1000 meters higher that Buhoma sector. This sector has stood as birders haven for several years and currently there are two gorilla families that visitor go to track. Other activities include village walk, waterfalls and birding walks as well as guided walks to the Mubwindi swamp or the Bamboo trail with a lush of vegetation and most stunning view of Lake Bunyonyi.

Rushaga sector:

Rushaga sector is regarded as a “Capital city of rare mountain gorillas” just in the Southern part of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and it is a newly created area with up-market and rustic budget lodging choices for you to stay in. The Lodging facilities include Gorilla Safari Lodge, Nshongi camp and Gorilla Valley Lodge. The sector is composed of six (6) habituated gorilla families which include Bweza, Mishaya, Nshongi, Kahungye and Busingye. Rushanga sector also offers unique tourism products like Gorilla Habituation Experiences that you are not found in any of countries where mountain gorillas live. Bikingi and Bushaho gorilla families are the only two families that are designated for gorilla habituation experience in Rushaga and Nkuringo sector respectively.

Nkuringo sector:

This is one of the most scenic sectors of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest but also an area to give you a bit of breathless hikes during mountain gorilla trekking. The sector is blessed with prestigious and moderate lodging facilities which include the Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge, Nkuringo Safari Lodge, Chameleon Hill Camp and Nkuringo Gorilla Camp. There are also village walks where visitors can chance to taste locally brewed sorghum beer and local food and then interact with community members. As well, never miss the “top of world walk” for stunning panoramic view of the Virunga Volcano chain and where possible sight at the fiery and smoky volcano mountain in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

If you miss to track mountain gorillas in Bwindi, Uganda still offers you another opportunity in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park for ultimate mountain gorilla experiences. The park is a home to 80 mountain gorillas with only one habituated gorilla family set for tourism purposes. You can obtain your gorilla permit even on the last minute compared to Bwindi but it is not a must always. Book for your gorilla trekking permit in advance! The beauty that lies at the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is not centered within the mountain gorillas alone but also golden monkeys that you as well track or choose to do volcano climbing.