Uganda is regarded to be one of the few east African countries with a great number of mountain gorillas, Uganda is located in east Africa and it forms part of the five East African countries though it has got a unique distinction from the rest. It’s the best country for mountain gorilla tracking, tracking is done from her two national parks that are located in its south eastern part in the hilly places with a semi-humid area.
These parks include Mgahinga Mountain National Park and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, gorilla tracking permits in Uganda goes at USD 600 for foreign non-residents, and USD 500 for foreign residents and for the members of East African Community pays UGX250000. Permits can be booked through Nature Adventure Africa Safaris Limited since visitors needs a well planed package for their gorilla tours in Uganda. Uganda is the Pearl of Africa and it’s a land locked country without sea port, despite of this Uganda is mostly visited compared to other countries and gorilla tracking has attracted many visitors for several years.
Bwindi impenetrable national park covers a total land area of 321km² and its raised at an elevation of 1160m-2607m above the sea level, this park has got over 834 mountain gorillas hence being considered to have almost half of the world’s left endangered mountain gorillas.
The park has got four sectors with each sector having different gorilla groups. The sectors include, Ruhija, Nkuringo, Rushaga and the Buhoma sector with groups such as Ruhija, Oruzogo, Habinyanja, Mishaya, Nkuringo, Mubare, Nshongi and the Bitukura gorilla group. Mgahinga national park is also located in Kisoro and it’s a 7hours drive from Kampala and its 3hours driver from Bwindi national park.
The only gorilla group in the park is the Nyakagezi gorilla group hence totaling to fifteen gorilla groups that are habituated in Uganda from the two unique national parks. This is the smallest national park in all the ten national parks Uganda has got though its mostly liked by the many due to its golden monkeys and the silver back mountain gorillas.
Some of the most outstanding activities that can be done while with gorillas in these two national parks include,
Gorilla tracking and habituation, this is the mostly done activity by the visitors who are on budget safaris and those on luxury plus mid range safaris, gorilla trekking usually starts at exactly 8am and they are required to reach at the park headquarters at around7:30am for briefing purposes.
Trails are followed under the guidance of the park rangers who always provide relevant information to the trekkers and security. Trekkers who go for only trekking spend only one hour with the gorillas and double gorilla tracking can be allowed at a different fee from all the gorilla groups but for two days.
Whereas gorilla habituation costs USD 1500 and here visitors enjoy being with the gorillas for a full day, visitors also participate in feeding the gorillas and also having an experience from the silver backs on how they lead their families, look for feeds and all the moral authority possessed by the male silver backs in the entire group
Gorilla filming and photography, this is another activity that can be performed from these two national parks and commercial filming costs USD 4000 per hour and these rates excludes gorilla tracking permits. For general filming and photography visitors in a group of 1-5 people pays USD 600 per day and those more than five pay USD 150 per extra person per day.
Though for those visitors who wish to do gorilla photography pays a gorilla tracking permit at USD 600 and USD 150 per person per day. Visitors are encouraged to move with their cameras and all tracking gadgets, in this process filming and photography rules and procedures have to be followed.
Accommodation in these two national parks
Around the Buhoma sector, Buhoma Lodge, Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp, Buhoma Community Rest Camp and Silver back Loge. Around Ruhija, visitors can sleep at Ruhija Gorilla Safari Lodge, Trekkers’ Tavern Cottages, and Gift of Nature Lodge, Ruhija Gorilla Resort and Ruhija Community Rest Camp. In the Rushaga sector, accommodation is obtained at Gorilla Safari Lodge all these being found at Bwindi impenetrable national park.
Whereas for those wishing to track from Mgahinga national park can reside Amajambere Iwacu camp at Ntebeko, Mount Gahinga Safari Lodge, Bird Nest and Bunyonyi Overland Resort both at Lake Bunyonyi and the camping sites within the park.