Gorilla Trekking

The Mountain Gorilla Trekking Experience

Mountain gorillas are wild animals and, as such, sightings cannot be guaranteed. However viewing success rates are over 90%. Once sighted, visitors are allowed an hour with the gorillas. Overnighting in Bwindi is required the night before tracking due to your early morning start. As tracking can sometimes take a full day, a second nights accommodation is also highly recommended. Ideally 2 to 3 nights are suggested to enjoy this region.

Gorilla tracking timings and conditions vary tremendously as the gorillas move continuously through the rain forest. It is good to be prepared and remember the weather can change with very little warning. The terrain is often steep and through areas where there are no marked paths.

It can be VERY strenuous – it may be just a couple of hours but it can also be for a full day of up to 8 hours or more of hiking in hot, high altitude conditions – please be prepared for this by being as fit as possible and discuss any doubts regarding your ability to cope with the trek before arriving in Uganda so we can make the best individual arrangement for you!

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The most ideally placed lodge for gorilla trekking

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Video Tour

Important Information

You will be guided through the forest on your gorilla tracking by a Uganda Wildlife Authority guide whom you will meet at the departure point in the morning of your trek. Your guide can help you book a porter (or two!) so that you can track without having to carry the few essential items listed below in a day pack which you should bring with you. The porters are from the local community and very used to the local conditions and can assist in pushing, pulling and supporting you during your trek to the gorillas. They are usually an additional fee, over and above your safari cost, and you should budget on approximately USD15-20 per porter per day as a fee with additional tipping being optional.

As the porters do not have tracking permits they will be stopped a short distance from the point you will be viewing the mountain Gorillas. Please remember to take whatever you may need from your bag to view the gorillas and rather leave valuables at the lodge/camp.

You will be allowed up to one hour for viewing of the gorillas / chimps from when they are sighted by your group. This is to ensure that the wild animals are not over exposed to human presence. Whilst in their presence you will also be required to keep minimum distances from them – generally between 5-7 metres and your guides will ensure this is enforced.

• Plenty of water – 1-2 litres per person
• High energy snacks in addition to your packed lunch provided by the lodge / camp
• Spare film and batteries for videos and cameras
• Gloves (gardening type are good) and Gaiters for moving through the undergrowth
• Waterproof bag to protect photographic equipment
• A hat, sunscreen, mosquito repellent and band aids might be useful
• A lightweight water proof jacket / poncho
• Walking sticks are made available at the start of the trek for some of the steeper and more slippery tracks and may prove to be very handy.

There is no charge for personal filming of gorillas and other scenes with personal video, digital or SLR cameras in Uganda

Professional photographers, film makers or media should advise us at the time of booking as special procedures are required as well as costs to be incurred for photographing and filming.

The minimum age limit for gorilla tracking, is 15 years and the authorities are very strict on this!

Mountain gorillas and Chimpanzees are highly susceptible to human diseases including flu and colds.  If you are participating in a gorilla trek then you need to be free of any visibly contagious diseases and this is checked at the start of the trek by the park officials – Uganda Wildlife Authority. If they are in any doubt of your condition, they reserve the right to prevent you from continuing on the trek.  Our advice is that if you feel you are worried about this aspect, you please inform your safari guide as soon as possible, and he will seek advice as to the best way to manage the situation.

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest may be visited throughout the year. The rainy seasons are generally April/May and November through to early December, but as Bwindi is a rain forest in an equatorial area, showers can occur at any time throughout the year.  Should you plan to go gorilla trekking, it is important to ensure that you pre-purchase your permits well in advance, and for the gorilla families residing in the Buhoma area, to avoid disappointment. Other activities in the area can generally be organised on arrival.

Uganda has a temperate climate all year round, 25–30 °C during the day and 5–10 °C at night. Evenings at Bwindi can be chilly primarily due to the altitude, just over 1,160m above sea level at the lodge with the highest point in the park being 2,607m above sea level.