Bwindi Gorilla Trekking permit
Bwindi Gorilla Trekking Permit is one of the most important essentials one must possess before they embark on the gorilla trekking activity. Bwindi Impenetrable forest National park is one of the four mountain gorilla parks that harbor the last remaining mountain gorilla species. The mountain gorillas are estimated to be around 1000 left in the whole world. These stay in the mountainous regions thus their name. Bwindi Impenetrable forest national park is located in the southern part of Uganda and covers 4 sectors where you can visit the gorillas that are the Buhoma sector, the Rushaga sector, Ruhija sector, and Nkuringo gorilla sector. You can also visit the mountain gorillas of Uganda in the Nyakagezi sector of Mgahinga Gorilla National park in Kisoro. Uganda has almost half of the remaining mountain gorilla population then the other half can be visited in Rwanda and Congo.
A mountain gorilla permit in Uganda goes for 600 USD as of 2019 however effective from July 2020 the permit will go for 700 USD as decided and communicated by the Uganda Wildlife Authority along with the several tourism stakeholders like the association of tour operators, Uganda tourism board members that were in support of the motion. Uganda Wildlife Authority is the governing body that manages the ten national parks of Uganda with Bwindi and Mgahinga National park inclusive. They also regulate prices, rules, and regulations favoring conservation of the parks. The increment of 100 USD came so as to add on funds being offered to gorilla projects and also increase the pay of the park rangers, trackers, tourism police and the people who see to the conservation of the mountain gorillas as they have proved their efforts with the growing number of gorillas over the years. This increment is still much lower than the gorilla permit of Rwanda that is the luxury way to visit the gorillas whose gorilla permit is costed at 1500 USD per permit. The 20% revenue gotten from the sale of gorilla permits is always given back to the community to fund their projects that improve their standards of living.
Bwindi has 17 gorilla families with 1 gorilla family staying on the Mgahinga National park and only 8 people are allowed to visit a family per day meaning the gorilla permits are limited per day that is why it is advisable to book your permit at least 3 months in advance to avoid disappointment when you book your flights and there are no permits available for those dates. The Bwindi gorilla families have names and these are Bweza, Kutu, Mishaya, Busingye, Kahungye, Katwe, Christmas, Habinyanja, Mubare, Rushegura, Kyaguliro, Nkuringo, Nshongi, Oruzogo, Bitukura, Nyakagezi, and Kutu. There are 2 other families that are currently being habituated so as to increase the chances of visitors living their dream of seeing the gorillas. You can also opt to be part of the habituation process where you spend more time with the gorillas. You are allowed to spend 4 hours with the gorillas and this permit goes for 1,500 USD. These families all are named after something and all unique in relation to sociality, knowledge, habitat or even their structure. Visit one of these families and tell the gorilla trek story you way with your experience not just hearsay.
The best time to visit the Bwindi gorilla families is definitely in the drier months as it is easier to walk through the forest with less mud from heavy rains. The dry months of Bwindi are June to October then again December all the way to February. These dry months have previously seen heavy traffic so if you plan on visiting in any of these months, you will surely need to book your permit in advance through a trusted tour operator like Explore Rwanda Tours. Visiting during the wet months also has its perks like less crowds and great bargains on hotel rooms so it wouldn’t be such a bad decision too. However, please note Bwindi is a forest so rains are expected at any time of the year so ensure to dress appropriately.
Suitable wear for the gorilla trek would be waterproof jacket and pants, long sleeved tops and pants to avoid irritations from the plants you will be trekking through to get to the mountain gorillas. Ensure to pack good hiking shoes, those that you have used before and trusted so that you don’t get surprises along your hike. In your travel bag don’t forget warm clothes as it is chilly all year in Bwindi. Protective gear like hats, gloves, socks may also come in handy and finally don’t forget your camera with extra batteries to capture this once in a lifetime moment.
There are a few guidelines one should take note of when on their Bwindi gorilla trek is always listen to the ranger first so as to stay in good books with the gorillas as they might be habituated but are still wild animals and can get triggered at any time. Keep the sounds at the minimal, Flashes on all photography devices should be kept off, don’t get tempted to feed the animals, keep with the group and maintain a 7 meters distance from the gorillas. Also, you are advised to avoid looking directly into their eyes as this can trigger them to attack you. All these guidelines and more are given to you on the briefing done every before a trek and also while on the trek so take note.
Ready to go on this memorable experience in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, get in touch with us and tell us your interests and let us take it from there and deliver.