Complete gorilla tracking guide for 2024 to 2026
Africa is the only place where one can see mountain gorillas, more than half of the mountain gorilla population lives in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park while others can be seen in Volcanoes National Park of Rwanda and Virunga National Pack in DR-Congo. Seeing mountain gorillas up close in their natural habitat is one of the most impressive wildlife encounters that is only found in East Africa that’s to say Uganda, Rwanda, and DR-Congo, each gorilla permit you purchase to trek gorillas directly supports conservation efforts, and its population growth.
Gorilla Tracking Permits Available 2024 to 2026 Seasons
For anyone to have access to see these great giants, there are limited gorilla trekking permits available for the 2024 to 2026 seasons, for those who are interested in seeing the Mountain Gorillas in Uganda or Rwanda, get in touch with our team to help you and start planning to travel to Africa, once you contact our team will reserve ad you’re your permits temporarily for a while, just send us the details of your trip we shall tailor it out for you, our team of experts are always at your disposal to help you with any question you may have about your to Uganda or Rwanda for gorilla tracking and other wildlife safaris.
Our most popular Uganda safaris starting from Kigali
You can get in touch with our team of experts by email: at firstname.lastname@example.org and by phone number +256785790925 also on WhatsApp, we would love to answer any question about gorilla tracking in Uganda or Rwanda or offer you different ideas for your trip to East Africa.
Is it possible to do Gorilla Fly-in Tours
for those with limited time but want to go gorilla tracking on your visit to Uganda or Rwanda, then we have you covered with the fly-in tours that can be booked through us where you can fly directly from Entebbe Airport to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. Check out below fly-in tour packages just some examples, but we can arrange it through many different routes, also we have different accommodation options that we use and our team of experts can help you understand and take you through different setups.
Travel to East Africa from 2024 to 2026 with Kisoro Tours Uganda
We design our tours according to the specifications of an individual to match your dream trip, budget, and timeline, so those who are interested in exploring the wonders of Uganda or Rwanda, please get in touch with our team of experts and start planning your East African trip today.?
Our team of experts has visited all the destinations that we sell to our clients. At Kisoro Tours we helped hundreds of different travelers from different parts of the world to explore Uganda and Rwanda each year.
The fact that our team has decades of native local knowledge and experience working in Uganda, and Rwanda with depth of experience, we can answer all of your questions you may have easier when planning.
We plan all our trips based on everyone’s interests, and travel preferences because there are different ways to explore Rwanda and Uganda, our team is very creative when designing tour packages and travel itineraries to match your East Africa safari dreams.
Kisoro Tours Uganda we are committed to the sustainability of tourism because what makes Uganda and Rwanda enthralling is its bio-diversity with its natural beauty that’s why Kisoro Tours values are rooted in sustainability tourism.
The reason why you should trek gorillas in Uganda for 2024 to 2026?
Uganda is home to more than half of the world’s population of mountain gorillas, Uganda also has two gorilla tracking destinations which is Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, this means Uganda has more gorilla permits available daily which has made Bwindi Forest very popular choice all over the world, you have a choice to their trek in Bwindi or Mgahinga, the park you visit will depend on your wider travel choose and plans, the time you have available and budget.
Both Bwindi forest and Mgahinga are located in southwestern Uganda near the Rwanda and DR-Congo border, there are few other safari destinations in the western part of Uganda which makes it easy to combine gorilla tracking and other wildlife safari in savannah parks in one single tour itinerary
About Bwindi Impenetrable National Park-Gorilla Tracking
As of December 2023, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park alone has 22 full-habituated gorilla families that are located in sectors of Bwindi forest, Rushaga sector with 8 families, Buhoma sector with 6 families, Ruhija sector with 4 families and Nkuringo sector with 4 families. Each gorilla family can be visited by 8 people daily which means Bwindi Forest alone has 176 gorilla permits available each day throughout the year making Uganda the main gorilla tracking destination in the world.
Tracking in any of the four gorilla tracking sectors in Bwindi forest, on the day of the trek you will join a group of other tourists/visitors (a maximum of 8 people each family), hiking through Bwindi forest in search of the habituated gorilla family that has been allocated to you, Uganda gorilla tracking is led by a well-experienced park ranger/guides from Uganda Wildlife Authority who will introduce to the rich ecology of Bwindi forest as you also enjoy the changing beautiful landscape of southwestern Uganda, while on trek lead ranger/guide is always communicating with the advance team of trackers who starts very early to allocate gorillas before you start trekking so the trackers keep directing your ranger/guide where the gorillas are.
Uganda Gorilla Habituation Experience Safari in Bwindi Forest
The maximum limit of 8 people to track each gorilla family is to keep to gorillas safe from diseases like airborne disease, and also the limit is put there to increase the chances of viewing them clearly, as many people may often scare off these great apes. When they finally do emerge, you be delighted to see the mountain gorillas in their natural habitat which is a truly breathtaking experience in Bwindi Forest.
The 4 gorilla tracking sectors of Bwindi Forest?
As we saw above, the habituated gorilla families are found in 4 sectors of Bwindi which are Rushaga, Buhoma, Ruhija, and Nkuringo, each sector has its difficulty levels and also different characteristics. Gorilla tracking can be quite challenging for some people so we recommend that you be prepared physically and mentally before traveling to Uganda for gorilla tracking in Bwindi Forest.
About Gorilla Tracking in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park-Uganda
As mentioned at the beginning of this article Uganda has two national parks where to see mountain gorillas in their natural habitat Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is the second park though it is not as popular as Bwindi Forest, Mgahinga Park is part of Virunga Massif which is shared between three countries, Uganda, Rwanda and DR-Congo.
On the side of Rwanda is Volcanoes National Park, on the side of DR-Congo is Virunga National Park, and on the side of Uganda is Mgahinga National Park, Mgahinga is close to both Rwanda border via Cyanika border in Kisoro and Congo Border via Bungana border in Kisoro. This makes Mgahinga Park very popular for those who are tracking gorillas in Uganda via Rwanda. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is the first place in the world where you can see both mountain gorillas and golden Monkeys. Mgahinga has only one habituated gorilla family called the Nyakagazi family and 2 habituated golden monkey troops.
Another reason that makes Mgahinga is the hiking activities, Mgahinga National Park is home to three volcanoes, Mt Muhabura volcano 4127m, Mt Gahinga volcano 3474m and Mt Sabinyo volcano 3669m, among the three volcanoes Mt Sabinyo is the most popular one, hiking to the top mt Sabinyo you get a chance to stand in three countries Congo, Rwanda and Uganda. In Uganda Mgahinga only accounts for about 10% of all gorilla tracking, however, there are many more activities.
How to secure a gorilla permit and the best time to go for gorilla tracking from 2024 to 2o26 in Uganda?
Currently, gorilla permit price in Uganda is fixed at USD 700 per person per trek in either Bwindi Forest or in Mgahinga, permits can be booked directly from Uganda Wildlife Authority headquarters in Kampala or their office in Kisoro town. However, the easier way to secure gorilla permits is to book through local tour operators like Kisoro Tours.
Uganda has two main traveling seasons, the peak/high season is during the dry season in June, July, August, September, October, December, January, and February while the other season is known as the low season during the rainy season in March April, May, and November. During the peak season, gorilla permits can easily sell out a year in advance because this is the time when everyone wants to travel to Uganda being its main peak season now we all know that the number of gorilla permits issued daily is strictly limited to 8 permits per family, that’s why we advise all travelers planning gorilla safari to book they permit in advance to avoid disappointments.
Our Most Popular Tanzania Safaris combined with Uganda gorilla trek
The reason why gorilla permits in Uganda sell out so easily is that Uganda permits are more affordable compared to its neighbor Rwanda where a single gorilla permit costs $1500 per person which makes Uganda relatively cheaper hence directing the traffic of those who wish to see gorillas to come to Uganda because if you track gorillas instead of Rwanda you will be saving $800 on each permit.
In either of the countries standard gorilla tracking lasts for only one hour once you find the gorillas, however, Uganda introduced a new activity called gorilla habituation experience, this activity allows you to spend 4 hours once you have found them, and habituation permit costs $1500 per person, habituation is also only done in the southern part of Bwindi forest in Rushaga sector, gorilla habituation is good for those who wish to spend more time with gorilla-like photographer and those who are doing documentaries on mountain gorillas and research, check on this blog for more about gorilla habituation in Bwindi forest.
Complete gorilla tracking guide-is gorilla tracking in Uganda difficult?
The truth of the matter is that mountain gorilla tracking sometimes it can be challenging because it requires you to be prepared physically and mentally to walk/hike through steep ridges and valleys terrain as you follow mountain paths through the impenetrable forest for about 3 to 4 hours but sometimes you can find them after 45 minutes, depending on the luck of the day and the family you will be tracking but other times can take 6 hours and more.
Our Popular Kenya Safaris combined with the Uganda gorilla trek
What to bring for gorilla tracking from 2024 to 2025?
Mountain gorilla tracking through the dense thickets of Bwindi Forest and Mgahinga Park will require preparation for both rain and sun since you will be on the equator. Below are some of the things you may need to include on your packing list for gorilla tracking.
- Proper hiking boots (waterproof)
2. A pair of trousers (waterproof so that when you wash it can dry faster)
3. A pair of socks
4. A pair of waterproof Gaters
5. Rain jacket
6. Long sleeve T-shirts
7. A pair of garden gloves to protect you against thorns and also help you walk through the difficult parts and trails.
8. insect repellent.
9. Some energy-giving snacks
10. Malaria pills
Rules and regulations while on gorilla tracking?
It is very important to keep in mind there are some rules and regulations you must follow when you are on gorilla tracking, before the actual tracking, there is a brief from park rangers to take you through rules and regulations to follow throughout the time you’re in the forest. Please while on the briefing listen and respect all the rules and regulations as you are guided. Below is a list of some of the rules that you must follow while with gorillas.
Standard gorilla tracking allows you to spend one full hour once you find them, while if you go for gorilla habituation experience you are allowed to spend 4 hours once you find them
Keep a distance of at least 7 meters unless gorillas walk towards you.
At all-time when taking photos, no flash because it can turn off the gorillas
People with clinical diseases like flu will not be allowed to join the gorilla trek if they are unwell before the day of the trek.
Are seeing/sightings of gorillas in Uganda guaranteed?
I would say yes, gorilla sighting in Bwindi Forest or Mgahinga is guaranteed, however, gorilla tracking is unpredictable if one has not prepared physically and mentally in other words if one has a good level of fitness and you can walk in the forest for average about 3 to 4 hours seeing the gorillas is guaranteed.
Rwanda Gorilla Safaris
The continued increase in number of the mountain gorilla populations in Bwindi Forest also contributes a lot towards guaranteeing gorilla sightings in Uganda. As said above, seeing gorillas in their natural habitat you must be prepared to work for it because it takes a few hours hiking up and down before find a habituated family. However just in case it happens and you don’t see them by the end of the day Uganda Wildlife Authority will refund 50% of your permit money but for the 15 years I have been organizing gorilla tracking and other wildlife safaris in Uganda and Rwanda we’ve never had any client who failed to see the gorillas in either Uganda or Rwanda.