Uganda is one of the most popular destinations for Gorilla trekking. It is confirmed that half of the world’s mountain Gorillas are found in Bwindi impenetrable forest and Mgahinga National Parks in Uganda and the rest are found Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park and the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Virunga national Park.
Having more than ten mountain Gorilla families makes Uganda the best gorilla safari destination with Bwindi Impenetrable National Park as the major tracking centre with four tracking trails namely; Nkuringo Gorilla tracking tail, Buhoma trail, Rushaga trail and Ruhija trail – each centre with different gorilla groups exhibiting different characters. To that note therefore, visitors are advised to meet different gorilla families for comparative study.
Uganda gorilla permits are booked in advance due to their high demand through out the year- atleast 2 month advance booking prior to the tracking date is recommendable. Permits can be booked direct from the Uganda Wildlife Authority headquarter in Kamwokya – Kampala or order the local tour operators to book them on your behalf.
In high season, Uganda Gorilla Permits are sold at US$ 600 each and in low season, the permits are discounted to US$ 350 each and UGX 150000 for Ugandans. It is also advisable to book the gorilla group near your Lodge of residence. A maximum of eight people are allowed to visit each gorilla group to avoid upsetting the mountain Gorillas due to congestion.
It should also be noted that Uganda Mountain Gorillas are highly conserved and in case the gorilla group has a problem, the rangers can decode to reschedule the visit to another date or clients can be refunded their money.
Bwindi National park hosts a number of Gorilla families namely Mubare or M- group- this was the first habituated group in Bwindi National park, Habinyanja group – it was later split to form Rushegura group, Rushegura group- habituated in 2000 and started receiving tourists in 2002, Bitukura- one of the newest gorilla group in Bwindi national park, Mishaya Group – following a family dispute- the Mishaya Gorilla family Split from the then biggest Gorilla Group in Bwindi Forest – the Nshongi Gorilla Family – which two still live within the Rushaga region in Southern Bwindi Forest, Nshongi group – currently the largest habituated group in the park, Mishaya gorilla group which split from Nshongi group and Nkuringo Group found in Nkuringo section.
Not only Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Mgahinga National park also hosts one gorilla group known as Nyakagezi – the group is mobile since some times cross to Rwanda or Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) all in Virunga crescent. It should also be known that, Nyakagezi Gorilla group trekking is not guaranteed and in case it migrates from Uganda, a visitor who books their permits in advance are refunded their money or taken to track any group of their preference in Bwindi impenetrable national park.