Rules and Regulations for Gorilla trekking in Uganda : Gorilla trekking is a unique experience that many tourists all over the world travel to Uganda so that they can have a chance to spend quality time with the mountain gorillas in the national parks.
There are only three countries in the whole universe where tourists can be able trace the endangered mountain gorilla species and these counties are mentioned as follows; The Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, and Uganda the Pearl of Africa.
During the stay of tourists in Uganda, there are two specific national parks where mountain gorillas are based and these are; Malinga National park and Bwindi National Park, which are both located in the southern part in Uganda.
1: Gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
Bwindi Impenetrable national park is located in Kanungu district in the southern part of Uganda and it covers an area of 321 square kilometers and harbours 348 bird species, 220 butterfly species and 120 mammal species. Tourists in Bwindi National park should be aware that the park happens to be a home of about 400 gorillas and there are known to be 19 habituated Gorilla groups which can be tracked in 4 major sectors in the national park and these include; Buhoma sector, Ruhija sector, Rushanga sector and finally Nkuringo sector, Rules and Regulations for Gorilla trekking in Uganda .
This park is managed by Uganda Wildlife Authority and it boarders with Virunga National Park which is in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In 19991, Bwindi Impenetrable forest reserve was gazetted as a national park and named as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1994.
The four major sectors have a number of gorilla families in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
The Buhoma sector, it has 4 habituated gorilla families and these include; Habinyanja, Rushegura, Mubare and katwe gorilla families.
In Ruhija sector, it also has 4 habituated mountain gorilla families which include; Bitukura, kyaguriro, Oruzogo and the Mukiza family and this sector is located in the eastern part of the park.
The Nkuringo sector which is located in the southern part of the park has 3 habituated gorilla families which include; Bushaho, Nkuringo and Christmas families.
Furthermore, there is also the Rushanga sector which has 8 habituated gorilla families which are; Mishaya, Busingye, Kahunge, Bweza, Bikyingi, Mucunguzi and Rwigi.
Gorilla trekking in Bwindi National park takes about 4-8 hours and once one gorilla group has been allocated, trekkers are given only hour to explore in the amidst and they are allowed to take pictures and record videos but always endeavor to take note of the flashlight of their cameras and phones to be off during the presence of the gorillas. Gorilla trekking in Bwindi involves Hiking and taking nature walks through the thick forest vegetation and this emphasizes the fitness and good health status of the visitors, Rules and Regulations for Gorilla trekking in Uganda .
Where to stay during the visit in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
During the stay of tourists in Bwindi National park, there are a variety of different classes of accommodation facilities that are offered to them and these accommodations range from luxury, mid-range and budget depending on the preferences of each individuals. These facilities include; Bwindi Gorilla Resort, Bwindi Gorilla camp, Nkuringo gorilla camp, gorilla forest camp, Rushaga gorilla camp and Mantana camp.
Rules and Regulations of Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
There is a number of guidelines that tourists doing Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi national park should know, observe and follow. And these include the following;
- Gorilla trekking should be done by people who are 15 years and above.
- There should be a maximum of 8 members per group.
- Every tourist must have a gorilla trekking permit with them before entering the park.
- Tourists can only be allowed to interact with the gorillas for only one hour.
- No use of flashlights in phones and cameras while taking pictures and videos in the presence of the gorillas as this can disorient them.
- Tourists are advised to lower the tones of their voices when in or close to the gorilla forest.
- Do not eat, drink, or smoke in the presence of gorillas.
- Limit unnecessary movements when within the park and it is important to move in numbers.
- Do not litter the national park.
- Tourists should keep a distance of 7meters between them and the gorillas.
- It is advised that only tourists in a good health shape should involve in gorilla trekking to avoid the spread of diseases between the sick individuals and the gorillas.
- Gorilla Trekking in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.
Mgahinga National park is the smallest national park in the country covering a total surface area of 34 square kilometers and it is situated in the south western region of Uganda in Kisoro district. This parks name was got from a local word called Gahinga which means a pile of volcanic stones cleared for farmland at the foot of the volcanoes.
Mgahinga National park was gazette as a game Sanctuary in 1930 so that it can protect endangered primate species like golden monkeys and mountain gorilla. This park lies on the boarders of Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
This park is comprising three volcanic mountains which are known as; Mount Gahinga standing at 3474 meters and Mount Muhavura elevated in an altitude of 4127 meters, Mount Sabyinyo which stands at an altitude of 3,669meters and all these mountains fall under the range of Virunga mountain, Rules and Regulations for Gorilla trekking in Uganda
Mgahinga National park is seen as a home of only one habituated gorilla group which is well known as the Nyakagezi gorilla group where visitors can easily be able to track gorillas. The most unique aspect about this national park is that its gorillas are shared with Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
More so, gorilla trekking in Mgahinga national park begin at exactly 8am at the park headquarters in Ntebeko. Visitors doing gorilla trekking are always encouraged to keep time so that by 7am, they should have already arrived at the entrance gate of Ntebeko park.
The gorilla trekking in this park also involves hiking through the forest vegetation around the park by identifying various fresh gorilla droppings and this trekking takes about 4-6 hours given one hour of direct contact with the gorillas. It is much easier to locate gorillas in Mgahinga national park than in Bwindi national park.
Where to stay in Mgahinga national park.
There are accommodation facilities which are always offered to trekkers in Mgahinga national park which have a range of different classes such as; luxury, mid-range and budget and these lodges include; Mount Gahinga Safari lodge, Lake Mutanda Chameleon Hill lodge, Kisoro traveler’s hotel, River Mucha hotel and Amajambere lwacu camp, Rules and Regulations for Gorilla trekking in Uganda
Rules and Regulations of Gorilla Trekking in Mghahinga Gorilla National Park.
- Every tourist should have a gorilla trekking permit before visiting the national park.
- There is a maximum of 8 visitors per hour.
- All tourists doing gorilla trekking should be above 15years of age.
- Tourists only interact with gorillas for only one hour per group.
- Tourists should keep a distance of 7meters away from the gorillas.
- Only tourists with good health conditions are allowed to visit the gorillas reducing the chances of spread of diseases between the tourists and gorillas.
- Use of flash lights in cameras and phones while taking pictures and videos in the presence of gorillas prohibited.
- Eating, drinking, and smoking in the presence of gorillas is not allowed in the park.
- Tourists are encouraged to lower tones of their voices when near or within the gorilla park.
- Tourists are advised to avoid unnecessary movements within the park.
- Tourists are advised not to maintain a direct eye contact with the gorillas especially the silver backs.
What to wear when trekking gorillas in both Mgahinga and Bwindi Impenetrable National Parks.
Tourists doing gorilla trekking in both Bwindi and Mgahinga national parks should pack the following items because they are helpful; a good pair of hiking boots, sunscreen, a hat/ cap, a raincoat, mineral water for drinking, camera, packed snacks and food and an insect repellent.
Best time to do Gorilla trekking in Both Bwindi Impenetrable national park and Mgahinga national park.
Tourists in Bwindi Impenetrable National park and Mgahinga national park can do gorilla trekking throughout the whole year but the best time to do this activity can be between months of June- September and December to February when it is the dry seasons because during this time, it becomes so much easier for tourists to trek through the forests while locating the gorilla groups due to less rains that can lead to the slipperly land.
With no doubt, gorilla trekking in Mgahinga gorilla national park and Bwindi Impenetrable national park is an exciting and the best adventurous activity that all travelers should not miss out. Therefore, get in touch with us for more information with our trusted tour operators and for the best tour offers on gorilla trekking in Uganda.