Chances of seeing gorillas because mountain gorillas are so closely monitored, and either researchers or trackers are in touch with them every day, guides know more or less where the different families are, and you probably have a 99% chance of seeing them. Of course, there are no guarantees with wild animals, and an overnight thunderstorm or an unexpected encounter with a predator may cause a troop to move unexpectedly in a completely different direction, but scouts will likely pick up their trail again soon.
It is very RARE that travelers don’t find the apes during a gorilla trekking expedition.
BEST TIME TO GO SEE GORILLAS / TREKKING IN UGANDA
The best time to go gorilla trekking in Uganda is during dry seasons, although a gorilla safari can be undertaken at any time of year. Uganda has two dry seasons, the first one runs from about the middle of December to the end of February and the second dry season is from early June to September.
These times of the year offer comfortable gorilla trekking adventures. However, conditions are still very humid and wet in the gorilla parks with plenty of mud, so don’t forget your gaiters! The ‘low rainfall season, which goes from June to September, and the ‘gentle rainfall season, which runs from December to February, are the best times to go gorilla trekking in Uganda. July and August are generally the least rainy and coolest months of the year.
IS GORILLA TREKKING IN UGANDA SAFE
Gorilla trekking in Uganda is safe. Regardless of their size, fearsome appearance, and unfair reputation, gorillas are not dangerous creatures. All Gorilla treks are done in the company of expert local ranger guides who spend most of their time with the mountain gorillas. Also, the gorilla families you are allowed to visit are those which have been habituated to the presence of a human, meaning they are used to having people near them and understand they are generally not a threat.
Mountain gorillas are typically shy and gentle, usually spending the majority of their time feeding and looking after their young. However, like any other wild animal, gorillas can show defensive behaviors if they feel threatened or uneasy, especially around their young ones.
Your expert ranger guide can recognize the signs; which may include mock charging, aggressive chest-beating, and grunting. You are advised to always follow your guide’s instructions, however, if faced with an aggressive gorilla, crouch down, look away and try to act relaxed. You will be advised by your guide further during the gorilla trekking briefing
WHICH COUNTRY IS THE BEST FOR SEEING GORILLAS
The best country to see the gorillas is of course a matter of personal taste. However, the answer for me is Uganda. The reason is that the DRC is the DRC and can be very unstable. It’s true that gorilla tourism is a significant revenue stream for the government and there are a lot of UN peacekeepers in Goma. But it’s still subject to domestic issues including war. On the other hand, Rwandas gorilla permits cost US$1500 more than twice the amount you pay for the experience in Uganda.
Also with gorilla trekking in Rwanda you may have to climb to extremely high altitudes of up to 13,000 feet and that takes a really long time and a very long days compared to Ugandas Bwindi Forest highest point of 8000-9000 feet.
TIPS FOR GORILLA TREKKING SAFARI IN UGANDA
- Wear good hiking shoes, preferably waterproof shoes with good tread
- Bring a pair of carpentry gloves-you’ll be grabbing onto branches & prickers
- Make sure your camera is fully charged and bring a backup
- Hire a porter to carry your bag and bring extra clothes
- You’re going to sweat-a lot…plan accordingly
- Use bug spray
- Bring a lot of water
- Be prepared for all weather because you never know and it changes quickly
- Tip your guides and porters-they’re amazing
OTHER ACTIVITIES YOU CAN DO BEFORE OR AFTER YOUR GORILLA TREK IN UGANDA
Other Uganda Wildlife Safari Experiences
Besides Mountain gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, this landlocked East African country features 8 other national parks, 12 wildlife game reserves, a variety of forest reserves and is a strong contender for one of the worlds best bird-watching destinations.
You can visit Kibale Forest National Park, a magnificent tropical rainforest that supports Africa’s highest diversity and density of primates including Africa’s biggest population of common chimpanzees. It is the best place in the world to track and see chimpanzees in their natural habitat and is also a haven for birders.
You can visit Murchison Falls National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kidepo Valley National Park, Lake Mburo National Park for classic big game viewing including, elephants, Cape buffalos, ground-dwelling lions, tree-climbing lions, leopards, giraffes, zebras, hippos, hyenas, Cheetahs, and numerous antelopes AND and Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary to see the Rhinos.
Uganda also features several fantastic mountain hiking/climbing destinations including the Rwenzori Mountains Africa’s highest mountain range rising to 5109 meters with snow-capped peaks. The country is also home to Lake Victoria Africa’s largest lake, and the source of the Nile River the world’s longest river. You can enjoy world-class white-water rafting and river cruises along the Nile as you view waterbirds, hippos, and crocodiles. Uganda is a wonderful destination for bird watchers and wildlife enthusiasts and a safari to Uganda can easily be combined with a safari to Kenya, Rwanda, Congo, or Tanzania for a memorable East African safari experience.
Are you ready to begin planning your gorilla trekking safari in Uganda?
Because Gorillas are endangered the treks are carefully regulated in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Rwandas Volcanoes Park and Congos Virunga National Park, and Kahuzi Biega National Park.
Gorilla permits are not easy to secure and are expensive and traveling to such a remote gorilla trekking destination and ensuring the best chances for a successful gorilla trekking tour needs the kind of direct experience and local knowledge that you get from an African safari planning expert.
Kindly get in touch with us to plan your Africa Gorilla safari in Uganda, Rwanda gorilla tours, or a gorilla trekking tour to the Democratic Republic of Congo