Mountain gorilla trekking in Uganda from Kigali
Mountain gorilla trekking in Uganda from Kigali : As a country, Uganda is the most visited gorilla destination because it is a habitat to half of the remaining population of mountain gorillas. Found in two parks that Bwindi National Park and Mgahinga National Park, mountain gorillas attract thousands if not millions of visitors from all over the world. Of the two parks Bwindi National Park is a home to the highest number of gorillas with about 12 gorilla families found in four sectors; Nkuringo, Buhoma, Rushaga and Ruhinja sector. Mgahinga National Park is home to one family called Nyakagezi.
Mountain gorilla trekking in Uganda is done throughout the year though peak seasons attract more trekkers. Uganda provides trekkers an adventurous experience at in the diverse Bwindi impenetrable forest and in the mountainous mgahinga area. Mountain gorilla trekking in Uganda costs USD 700 per a trekker per a trek; and trekkers are always assured of sighting mountain gorillas because of the huge number of mountain gorillas that make their home in Uganda.
The downside of mountain gorilla trekking in Uganda, however is the long travel from the country’s capital Kampala, to these parks located in south western Uganda. The parks are about 10 hours from Kampala which is a whole day travel. However since these parks are located in south western Uganda they are close to Rwanda, which gives a trekker a short travel time of about 4 to 5 hours to either park; hence the option of trekking in Uganda from Rwanda.
The main benefit of trekking mountain gorillas in Uganda from Kigali is of course the reduced time of travel to the mountain gorilla parks on top of having an opportunity to tour Rwanda as well.
When trekking mountain gorillas in Uganda from Kigali, you will travel to Kigali by air most probably. You will arrive at Kigali International Airport and from there proceed to Kigali town. From Kigali town, you will connect to the Ugandan border at either Cyanika or Katuna located in Kisoro and Kabale respectively. From either borders you will proceed to the mountain gorilla parks; if you are at the border in Kisoro you will most likely connect to Mgahinga National Park and if you are at the Border in Kabale you will most likely connect to Bwindi National Park. From Kigali to the borders it takes you about 2 hours and from the borders to the parks is about 2 to 3 hours.
Even though you are trekking in Uganda from Kigali, you will need to arrive at the mountain gorilla trekking park, the day before to rest and be ready for the trekking experience the next day. You will also have to have booked your mountain gorilla trekking permit way in advance through the Uganda Wildlife Authority or a trusted tour operator.
The experience in Uganda, takes about 6 to 8 hours, with one hour spent in the presence of the mountain gorillas and the other hours spent trekking the mountain gorilla habitat.
On the day of the trek, you’ll wake up early then go for a briefing at 7am at the park headquarters before you enter the forest for your Gorilla trekking experience. During the briefing, you will learn more about the trekking guidelines and expectations on the trek. You will enter the forest guided by a ranger and you will search for the mountain gorillas until you find them. When you find the gorillas you will spend an hour with them and then you will exit the forest.
You should know follow all the guidelines even as you are in the presence of the gorillas, keep a 7m distance between you and them, don’t feed the gorillas, don’t use flash photography, don’t engage in anything that will harm the gorillas among other things.
After the trek you can choose to travel back to Kigali or stay and explore Uganda.