Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi National Park
Bwindi alone is home to over half of the world’s remaining mountain gorillas. Finding these beasts in the dense forest is no easy task, and gorilla treks here can last 7 hours or more.
However, those who persevere are rewarded with an exceptional experience. Getting up close to these animals in the wild is arguable the most impressive wildlife encounter in the world.
Environmentalists estimate that in the 1980s there were only 254 mountain gorillas left in the world, but thanks to massive conservation efforts financed by gorilla trekking, their numbers have steadily increased.
The Gorilla Treks
Two tours run daily from the base camp, usually starting at 09:00 or 14:15 and are limited to groups of eight.
The limit on group size is to keep to gorillas safe from any airborne pathogens, but also to increase the chances of sightings, as larger groups often scare off these (surprisingly) timid animals.
From the onset, the imposing southwestern sloped hills and terraced volcanoes prove a formidable adversary. This is gorilla territory, and access requires hiking through the thick, triffid-like tangles of vegetation, up muddy hills and down into craggy valleys.
The high altitude and testing terrain make the journey tiresome, but the rewards all the more magical.
Once contact is made, there is usually a silent wait, deep within the dense foliage, as the gorilla’s edge closer.
When they do emerge, seeing the gorillas in their natural habitat, the verdant forest providing the perfect backdrop, is a truly breathtaking experience.
Any silence is soon broken by the rustling of leaves as the gorillas wander and play, and the calls, whistles, and whoops of thousands of animal species for miles around provides the perfect sound-track.
Once contact is made, you have up to one hour to spend with the gorillas. If you wanted to spend longer, you can take part in a gorilla habituation experience, and spend up to 4 hours with these gentle giants.
When to go gorilla trekking in Bwindi?
Gorillas can be tracked year-round, although the rainy season makes for more challenging treks. There are two rainy seasons in Uganda, one from March to May and another from October to November. There are benefits to visiting during the rainy seasons, but the rains do make for tougher treks.
All gorilla trekkers need to obtain a permit from the Uganda Wildlife Authority. These current rates for permits is $700 per person at time of writing, and while they used to be cheaper in the rainy season, this is no longer the case.
Gorilla trekking in Uganda remains significantly cheaper than in neighbouring Rwanda, where permits cost an eye-watering $1,500 year-round.
Gorilla Trekking in Uganda
Gorilla Trekking in Uganda
Uganda is home to half the world's Mountain Gorilla population. Seeing these animals up close in their natural habitat is one of the most impressive wildlife encounters in Africa. …
Gorilla Trekking Costs
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park have excellent gorilla populations, and gorilla permits here are much cheaper than in neighbouring …
Gorilla Habituation Experience
The Gorilla Habituation Experience gives you the chance to spend 4 hours in the company of the Mountain Gorillas in Uganda's Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
Best Time to Visit the Gorillas in Uganda
The best time to visit the gorillas in Uganda is from June to August, and again from December to February. These are the driest months in Uganda which makes trekking much easier, …
Uganda Gorilla Permits
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is home to an estimated 400 gorillas. To visit them, you’ll need to secure a permit, issued by the Uganda Wildlife Authority.
Bwindi Mountain Gorilla Families
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is home to 19 habituated gorilla families, and over half of the world's wild gorilla population.
Accommodation in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is the most popular travel destination in Uganda, and there are a number of great accommodation options in and around the park. Which …
How to get to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Bwindi Impenetrable National park in the southwest of Uganda is home to over half the world's Mountain Gorilla population. Previously the journey to Bwindi was long and difficult, …
When to visit Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
The best time to visit Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is between June and August, and then again December through to February. These are the driest months, with the best chance …
Activities in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
The physical variation, biodiversity, natural beauty and fascinating cultures found in and around Bwindi make it a wonderful place to visit. While the average stay is only two or …
Wildlife in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
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Bwindi Gorilla Tours
Most gorilla trekkers include the experience as part of a wider itinerary in Uganda, but it is possible to do standalone gorilla fly-in expeditions if you're short on time.
Popular Trips Including Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi
The tours below showcase just some of what is possible. Use these itineraries as starting points, or to draw inspiration. Then get in touch, and let our expert team help craft the perfect itinerary for you.
Combine chimp trekking in Kibale Forest with mountain gorilla treks in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. A well-paced highlights tour unlocking some of Uganda's most impressive experiences. Consider breaking up the journey from Kibale to Bwindi with a classic safari at…