The jungles of Bwindi impenetrable in southwestern Uganda are homes to the most endangered primate species – the mountain gorillas. These incredible wild animals usually attract a number of animals to go on quests to encounter them in their natural environments. The mountain gorillas live in the forested mountains and some times go to higher attitudes of these mountains. This however has never discouraged the tourists to go for mountain gorilla safaris and every time the tourist number just increases.
Mountain gorillas are estimated at 900 remaining on earth. Their number was more than this however due to civil wars and poaching, many gorillas were killed which drastically reduced their population. In order to ensure conservation and sustainability of these wild animals and mountain gorilla tourism, the government adopted conservation methods and as a result the number of mountain gorillas started increasing again.
Today, Bwindi impenetrable forest national park has over 450 mountain gorillas with 11 habituated mountain gorilla families that are open for tourist visitation. A group of 8 tourists is tracks one of the mountain gorilla families, which they spend with an hour observing them as they take photographs and learn more about them.
Mountain gorilla safaris in Bwindi impenetrable forest offer once in a lifetime experiences as tourists encounter the mountain gorillas in their most preferred habitats. On the day of gorilla tracking, tourists are expected to go at the national park headquarters early enough from where they are briefed, allocated to their guides and then led to the jungle in search for the mountain gorillas. Tourists are expected to follow the guides instructions especially while in the forest for their own safety. On encountering the mountain gorillas, tourists are expected to keep a reasonable distance a way from the mountain gorillas and take photographs without using flashlight.
Mountain gorillas in Bwindi can be tracked at any time of the year however most people prefer tracking during the dry season when there are minimal chances of rainfall.
Essentials For Mountain Gorilla Tracking
A Mountain Gorilla Permit
Mountain gorilla permits are sold by Uganda wildlife authority and can therefore be purchased at the head office along Kiira road. Alternatively, they can be obtained through a trusted tour operator especially those affiliated to the Association of Uganda Tour Operators (AUTO). Mountain gorilla permits for Uganda are sold at $600 during the peak (high) tourist season and $400 during the low tourist season.
Since mountain gorilla tracking is among the most preferred wildlife activities, tourists interested in taking part are advised to make booking for the permits early enough to avoid missing out.
Raincoat And Waterproof Jacket
Bwindi impenetrable forest is a tropical rain forest, which receives rain through out the year. Rainfall is very unpredictable and therefore to be a safe side it’s recommended for tourists to go with raincoats or waterproof pants to avoid getting wet while in the middle of the jungle especially during the wet seasons from around march to may and September to November.
When preparing to go for mountain gorilla tracking, tourists should also ensure to improve their level of fitness by working out because mountain gorilla tracking is done in the forested mountains of Bwindi and some times the gorillas go a little higher along the slopes and getting to them may be a little hectic for some one who is not physically fit.
One can also hire a porter to help carry the backpack or even help him/her move easily through the challenging parts of the forest. Porters are hired at only $15 and hiring them gives them a chance to earn directly, which enables them to easily sustain their families.