All About Gorilla Trekking in Uganda

Gorilla trekking within Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in southwestern Uganda is the height of your Ugandan safari. The country and the park are recognized as very safe and secure places to be thus you will be in position to see gorillas in their peaceful environment.

Which company should I use to trek gorillas in Uganda?

There are many credible companies to book with for your gorilla safari in Uganda. We advise you to book your gorilla safari with a legitimate tour operators in Uganda.

When to go and see the mountain gorillas?

Mountain gorilla trekking can be carried out throughout the year though the best season is June to September as well as from December up to February.

Where can you stay when you trek gorillas?

To choose the best safari lodge, it will depend on how much you can afford some lodges and among best lodges to include Clouds Lodge, Buhoma Lodge, Gorilla forest Camp and Mahogany springs and Nshongi Gorilla Resort

How much does a good Gorilla safari Cost?

Different tour companies do give different quotes though the cheapest gorilla safari should have a price of $ 1000 while the super luxury should cost $ 1500 to $ 2000 per person however, based on the reviews of most tour operators in the country most tourists prefer the mid- range which affordable.

How can one get a gorilla trekking permit in Uganda

A gorilla permit goes for US $ 600 though you are highly encouraged to book your gorilla permit with a safari agent and also book according to type of gorilla family to avoid inconveniences in your accommodation. Booking with a tour operator, you will have to inform them about the dates for your tour, your preferred dates available for gorilla trekking and the tour operator will send you the bank details. An acknowledgement email will be for money transfer and you will have to remember to instruct your bank details in order to transfer money for the gorilla permits. A copy of the passport will be required to send a copy of your passport which also avails the details to be used and normally you need your full names, nationality and the passport number. Then after, your names will be registered and then you will acquire a gorilla permit.

Which clothings are required during a gorilla safari?

You require good quality walking boots, warm layers of cloth for the cold evenings and clothing for wet weather since it becomes cold and wet at this high altitude.

How do mountain gorillas look like?

The males which are the Silverbacks are two times the size of the females and they grow up to 6 feet tall and even weigh 350-500 pounds. They are referred to as silver backs because they mature the hair on their back turns somewhat silver thus the name Silverbacks. The strength of the males is ten times stronger compared to the strongest boxer. They do posses long plus darker hair which compared to their lowland counterparts since they stay in colder climates and higher altitudes and the most interesting fact is that Gorillas share 98 percent of their genetic composition.

Are mountain gorillas a dangerous species?

Mountain gorillas are very strong though shy animals and are very threatened and they do attack so as to protect their very own. When the different mountain gorilla groups meet, there is a fight between the leader Silverbacks to death.

How are the predators of mountain gorillas?

The main predators to mountain gorillas is human encroachment for settlement and there are additionally threatened by various diseases which are transmitted by human visitors.


Go Chimpanzee Tracking in Uganda

Uganda is the best country in East Africa for observing primates in the world. Though it is most known for hosting travelers looking for gorilla safaris, Uganda is the best known destination for visiting our closest relatives the chimpanzee – with just less than 5,000 Chimpanzees in various forests and National Park. Kibale Forest national park still remains the best chimpanzee home and primate capital in Uganda – you can either partake in;

  • Chimpanzee Trekking–where you view chimpanzees for one hour
  • Chimpanzee Habituation Experience where you spend the whole day with a guide in forest with Chimps
  • Getting involved in habituation process with researchers which take about two years

The Chimpanzee Habituation Experience can be done in Kibale Forest national park all year long and during off-season months at Budongo Forest which is a part of Murchison Falls National Park conservation area.

Poaching in Uganda has been the main hindrance to multiplication of Chimpanzees in the wild and several reports in the media have emerged that these human-like creatures are being hunted by Ugandans for food, something learned from people migrating or fleeing the Democratic Republic of the Congo since in Uganda chimpanzees were never hunted for food. Baby Chimpanzees are also hunted to be sold in the pet trade and in the process other chimpanzees also are harmed – hunting chimpanzees for the pet trade mostly takes place in Congo. Chimpanzees are also often caught in traps and snares meant for other animals such as antelopes. There used to be 10s of thousands of chimpanzees in Uganda – today there just less than 5000 chimpanzees remaining in Uganda’s protected areas.

Only 21 countries in Africa have chimpanzees in the wild and Uganda is the best place in East Africa for chimpanzee tracking in the rain forests of Kibale national park, Budongo game reserve and Kalinju forest reserve where chimps have been extensively habituated however human encroachment on chimpanzee habitats, hunting chimpanzees for meat in West and Central Africa will most likely cut the number of countries in Africa that have chimpanzees in the wild.

Track chimpanzees in Kibale Forest national park–5 hours drive from Kampala which makes it an affordable possibility for two days chimpanzee tracking tour. Enjoy Chimpanzee Tracking, a Forest Walk or Birding Walk at Bigodi swamp sanctuary, Lunch with 2 sodas or one beer and still be back in Kampala after tracking.

Get involved in the most electrifying activities at Ngamba Island chimpanzee sanctuary where feeding and viewing of beautiful chimps can be done concurrently or even make a stop over at Entebbe Zoo for chimpanzee great experiences. Whether you are interested in chimpanzees in captivity or in their natural habitat, Uganda does it all but there is nothing thrilling like tracking chimpanzees in the wild—You have a chance to see them foraging, building nests, attending to their young ones—an experience that cannot be replicated anywhere. Take a chimpanzee Safari to Kibale/Budongo/Kalinju – if you can add a few of your friends or your family to your group – the safari becomes most affordable.

Here is what is involved in a typical chimpanzee Safari to Kibale Forest;

  • Depart Kampala–your lodging at 7:00 am
  • Arrive at park headquarters before midday
  • Lunch at primate Lodge – bottled water in vehicle during drive times
  • Guided Nature or Birding Walk with a Guide.
  • Morning Chimpanzee Tracking with a small group of Participants and Guides 2 – 4 hours
  • Return to Kampala
  • Arrive in Kampala during early evening hours

Enjoy the best chimpanzee safari in Uganda with Africa adventure safaris!


Where to Go for Chimpanzee Habituation in Uganda

Uganda being a Wildlife & Apes Destination in Africa, Chimpanzee Tracking is among the top Safari activity to be enjoyed by travelers visiting Africa for a Uganda Safari. Primate Safaris Rwanda has designed the Complete destination guide for Chimpanzee Tracking adventures. Book a Uganda primate Safari with us to visit top Destinations in Uganda for Chimpanzee Habituation.

Habituation refers to the process of teaching and training the wild chimpanzees in the forests to be approachable by humans through various interactions like feeding, non verbal communication in which you will get to know about their ways and behavior etc. This takes place in various destinations around Africa especially in the East African countries of Uganda with many destinations i.e like Kibale Forest National Park, Ngamba Island, Kalinzu Forest, Budongo Forest in Murchison Falls National Park, and Kyambura Gorge at Queen Elizabeth national Park etc. Visit any of these destinations for a very exciting habituation experience.

Kibale Forest National Park

Travel to the beautiful Kibale Forest National Park to experience full-day Chimpanzee Habituation Experiences (CHEX) where you will be provided with an opportunity to spot these primates embrace their habitat/ forest through feeding, playing, hunting as well as resting in the branches. However, those that track the chimpanzee early in the morning will see the primates leave their nests from 6:00 to 6:30 am before hunting, conjugating, feeding, resting, breastfeeding, leading etc. These are always in groups with the dominant males leading the group called Alpha males followed by females who take care of the young ones. They are herbivores for they feed on leaves, roots, shoots, ants etc. Don’t miss out on this exciting unique experience and encounter for it is worthwhile for all that take part during holiday safari vacation in Uganda.

Kalinzu Forest

Kalinzu Forest is found in the western part of Uganda near the magnificent Queen Elizabeth National Park. Tracking the rare species of Chimpanzee is availed through the Mweya area of Queen Elizabeth National Park and only requires one 2 hours to drive to this place. Children of 12 and above years old are accepted to track these primates. Chimpanzee tracking in Kalinzu Forest is better than that of the Kyambura Gorge due to the fact that spotting chimpanzees in Kyambura Gorge is a 50-50 chance and requires being extremely fit to track them. One can take on a full day tracking these primates in the forest through hiking/ following various trails from one point to another in search for the primates. In order for one to track successfully with out any inconveniences, they should pack and carry their food for lunch especially those engaging in the whole day package.

Ngamba Island

Being one of the Koome group of Islands i.e Nsazi, Kiimi, Koome, Bulago & Damba islands in the magnificent Lake Victoria, Ngamba Island is situated in about 23 km south east of Entebbe occupying an area of about 100 acres of which 95% is forested and detached from the human camp with an electric fence. There biggest portion of the island is forested with gaps of grassland occupying about 10% of the island and there is an acre reserved as camp quarters for staff and researchers maintaining the space between the forest and the out looking podium for feeding the chimpanzees during day. The Island also inhabits other wildlife species like the fish eagles, otters, spiders, fruit bats as well as monitor lizards. The Island and chimpanzee sanctuary are managed by the Chimpanzee trust which is a non-profit organization ready to manage its activities without necessarily depending on donations from individuals/ sponsors worldwide. Today, the number of chimpanzees has increased from 42-49 which has increased management and development costs. Most of the chimpanzees were victims poaching for bush meat and illegal trade on the black market to countries abroad. However, due to the existence of Ngamba Island Chimpanzee sanctuary, many have got refuge and a home to survive till 60 years of age.

How to Get to Ngamba

When traveling to Ngamba Island, one should consider their budget so as to get appropriate transportation from the shores into the lake. There are various transportation means that can be booked according to your specific budget for example, if you travel by air, you will take about 20 minutes to reach, customary motorized canoe about 90 minutes and a speed boat 45-50 minutes. Reservations and bookings are done through Ngamba Island Reservations Office or an authorized tour operator agency that will ensure you travel safely. However, one can prepare their own transport to travel.

Budongo Forest

Budongo Forest occupies an area of 793 sq kms and is found in the tremendous Murchison Falls National Park. 53% of the reserve is covered with forests and the rest grassland. The forest is filled with mahogany trees that inhabit extraordinary biodiversity including 24 different species of candid animals of which 9 are primates, 130 are species of moths, 289 species of butterflies and 359 bird species. Due to the exceptional features it has, two eco tourism sites have been established and reserved for tourism activities and these include Kaniyo Pabidi and Busingiro sites. These include habituated chimpanzees that are nurtured on how to interact with humans and whoever gets to see them should expect an encounter that is exceptional. Seeing these primates is not 100% due to the constantly changing seasons of the year i.e there is a 90% to spot them in the months of May, June, July & August where as in the months of February, March, April & September the % decreases to 70 and in October, November, December and January it is only 50% that lead to their continuous movement from one place to another. About 6 chimpanzee groups that are habituated in the Kaniyo Pabidi site although tracking them is more appropriate in the Busingiro site due to existence of a grid trail in which a 200m grid system enhances easy navigation through the thick forest. The tracking process starts at 7:00 am in groups of 6 people and children of 7 years and above are accepted to track the primates.

Kyambura Gorge Queen Elizabeth

Kyambura (or Chambura) Gorge alternatively referred to as the “Valley of Apes” is filled by River Kayambura and is about 1 km diagonal at its expansive point and 100 meters deep. The Gorge is situated in the remote corner of the magnificent Queen Elizabeth National Park in the south western part of Uganda with very exceptional wildlife biodiversity consisting of primates, wildlife as well as birds of the air. According to the records, about 16 chimpanzees are found in the valley today. Hiking or searching for these primates is quite challenging due to the fact that it requires some physical fitness so as to spot the chimpanzees. It is no guarantee that one will spot the rare species in their habitat but in case they meet them, the experience and encounter is very exciting. While searching for the chimps, you will have opportunities to spot some other wildlife species like the monkeys, olive baboons as well as the birds of the air.


Best 5 National Parks to Visit in Uganda

Known to the world as the Pearl of Africa, Uganda is a home to interesting natural features including tropical rain forests, lakes, wildlife, birds, primates, landscape, and culture. The country offers much more to its visitors who continously take safari adventures every day. Discover the best national parks in Uganda full of life giving treasures, joy and fun on every vacation holiday be it sole, private or family safari. Expect excellent wilderness experience all through from tour adventures to your Uganda safari lodge of resident. Conservation is one of the used weapons for maintaining the natural treasures as well as adding value to the existing bio diversities. The best 5 National parks not to miss on a Uganda safari circuit include Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park and Kidepo Valley National Park.

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

The mountain gorilla home, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is truly one of the most impressive in the world with only life time memorable adventures like gorilla trekking, hiking, cultural tours, birding, nature walk, sanctuary retreats among others. When you head out to explore this amazing beautiful park, the Uganda Equator, Igongo cultural Museum are just appetizers for the scenic ride from Kampala Uganda capital to the park. Tourists explore the beautiful jungle forest in search of the rare mountain gorillas before transferring to other Uganda interesting attractions of their interest. Since it is one of the fine gorilla trekking destination in Africa, chances of seeing mountain gorillas is 99% and no tourists has ever been disappointed. The park four sectors have enough habituated gorilla families ready for trackers every day as long as one has the main gate pass-the gorilla permit that cost $600 and even lower when the country markets its tourism products to the world. You may find yourself face to face with the silver back at your lodge of residence or forest so in such circumstances, remember to follow and respect the park gorilla trekking rules and regulations.

Queen Elizabeth National Park

A park of variety and superb tour adventures Queen Elizabeth found close to Bwindi forest and has famed to the world as the best place for viewing tree climbing lions. It’s one of the most visited and common in many Uganda safari tour itineraries to different locations especially those for wildlife, nature and primate trekking. It combines wildlife; chimpanzee and boat cruise experience with amazing birding captures at the kazinga channel an amazing afternoon ride that takes you to the school of hippos and crocodiles together with other park wildlife. Access this park by road or plain and a visit demand less than what you can imagine for any kind of trip –budget or luxury. The most amazing thing is that you can’t miss out of the park famous exciting tour adventures as long as you book early enough. Every day the park is a favorite destination for many visitors to Uganda and it will if you consider visiting Uganda on a wildlife safari and give it a choice. Tour companies help you to explore the park to your fullest in a private safari vehicle easily unlike on your own.

Kidepo Valley National Park

With the Rocky landscape, and green hilly vegetations that fills the park dramatic untamed, wildlife reserve surrounded by impressive sky views make Kidepo one Uganda’s best wildlife park to explore for those interested in seeing the big five and other park habitants. The karamajong culture is an added advantage to whoever visits the park and it’s something you shouldn’t miss on your visit to Uganda. The water spring attracts various wildlife when it gets hot giving tourist a chance to spot even those they had missed out during the morning and evening game drives. Of the many national parks scattered in different parts of Uganda, Kidepo Valley is simply the best when it comes to amazing Uganda wildlife experience. The more you see wildlife and other park habitants is the more you will come to appreciate these parks’ magic and the more you will want to discover and even extent your stay if not a tight travel program.

Murchison Falls National Park

This is the best place to see giraffes in Uganda. Located in North western Uganda, the Murchison Falls National Park is a great place to enjoy willdife safaris in Uganda. This is also one of the most scenic places – with the Murchison falls, being the biggest spectacle.

Kibale Forest National Park

Kibale is the last colony of chimpanzees! This park is located in Western Uganda and it is the best place to see wild chimpanzees in their natural habitat. Thousands of chimpanzees colonised this tropical rain forest as well as other primates.

Other great national parks to visit and explore during your Uganda safari include

  • Lake Mburo National Park,
  • Mgahinga National Park
  • Mount Rwenzori National Park
  • Semuliki National Park
  • Mount Elgon National Park