Uganda conducts daily gorilla safari treks in Bwindi Impenetrable National park and Mgahinga Gorilla national Park. Gorilla trekking starts early morning with briefing at around 7:30 and actual trek starts at 8am. Guests are grouped into eight people to meet each Gorilla family in the forests.
Gorilla trekking involves walking through the jungles to where gorillas are. But the exercise needs some level of fitness because it involves ascending and descending up lands and down slopes respectively. At the meeting with Gorillas, visitors are given a maximum of one hour to see, chat and take photos/ films of the amazing primate giants.
Thereafter, trekkers are expected to leave gorillas and return to the park headquarters to be given certificates of completion. After receiving your certificate, each guest is expected to return to his or her hotel/ Lodge or camp for lunch and relax.
Now the question is, what can the guest do in the afternoon after Gorilla trekking? There are a number of activities which visitors can do in the afternoon depending on how energetic he or she will be feeling.
- Cultural encounters – after Gorilla trekking, the guest can move to visit the Batwa pygmies, Bafumbira or the Bakiga entertainment groups for music, dance and drama. Cultural trips don’t require much hustle like Gorilla trekking because you can decide to sit and be entertained or participate if you still have some guts. During cultural tours, the visitors are expected to learn skills in preparing local food, music, dance and drama, how to collect firewood, how to make fire and many more.
- Nature tours – in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, the guests can walk to water fall sites while in Mgahinga the guests can do mountain climbing under the guidance of rangers.
- Relaxation – If you feel exhausted, you can decide to stay at your respective accommodation and relax instead. You can relax while listening to soft music, take soft or alcoholic drinks and sit under the tree (if any) and smoke.
- Community visits – interact with residents in the nearby areas, learn skills from their routine activities like fetching water, collect firewood, preparing local dish among other things. You can even spend the overnight with the local residents in their homes.
- Guided birding- you can do a guided birding exercise to discover more about bird species. Bwindi is sought to host about 350 different species of birds with 14 of these species not seen anywhere else in Uganda. The Albertine rift also has 23 unique bird type such as Neumann’s warbler and the blue-headed sun bird and note that this Albertine rift has 90% of all the Albertine rift endemics. Not much research has been done but Mgahing Gorilla National Park is still of great importance to bird watchers. Over 180 bird species have been recorded, and several are localized forest birds – 12 of which are considered endemic to the Albertine Rift.
- Bike riding – you can hire bicycles or come with one. The guide will lead you through the villages to tour while cycling. Cycling safari will enable you regain physical fitness lost during Gorilla trekking in the morning. On their other hand, the guest will discover new areas and see new attractions missed on their previous tours.
Points to note:
- Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is the top visited park in Uganda and famous for protecting Uganda’s top tourist attraction known as Mountain Gorillas.
- Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is another home for Mountain Gorilla with only Nyakagezi Gorilla Family. The park is situated in mountainous are with Mount Gahinga, Mount Muhabura and Mount Sabyinyo.
Apart from the popular gorilla treks, there are other tourists you can do in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga national park. Such activities include Golden Monkeys, Birding, Cultural trips, Community visits, birding and Nature walks among others.