Did you know that Uganda is one of the only three countries in the world that host the small living population of the mountain gorillas. Of the estimated total population of about 1000 mountain gorillas, Uganda hosts about 480 gorillas, almost half of the remnant population.
Uganda’s gorillas are found in two national parks; Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga National Park. Within these two national parks, gorilla trekking is the most popular adventure that is carried out within both parks.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Bwindi hosts the largest population of the mountain gorillas in any given national park. The park is home to more than 450 mountain gorillas. These great apes live in families though there are solitary ones that live and wander alone in the forest.
There are over 36 gorilla groups in Bwindi but only 11 are full habituated for tourism purposes. Gorilla habituation is a process that takes about 2 years for these apes to get used to human presence. There are four trailheads in Bwindi where gorilla trekking is conducted each of which has habituated gorilla family. They include Buhoma sector, Ruhija sector, Rushaga and Nkuringo sector.
Would you like to see the mountain gorillas?
For those who would like to see the mountain gorillas in the wild, Uganda is the ultimate destination to visit. Gorilla trekking is a captivation and unforgettable experience which more than repays the effort needed to reach Bwindi and to trek through the forest.
Bwindi has seven habituated gorilla groups that are tracked by tourists. Three of these are in the vicinity of Buhoma and one at Nkuringo Gorilla tracking is Uganda’s most sought after tourism activity. You should book well in advance to ensure that permits for your requested dates are available.
Gorilla tracking can be challenging and you need to be reasonably fit. Registration and briefing for gorilla trekking is done at the Buhoma park office, Ruhija, Rushaga and Nkuringo. Briefing commences at 0745 hours tracking states at 8:30am and can last from a few hours to the whole day depending on where the gorillas are in the forest.
Other Than the gorillas, What Else Lies in the Forest?
Just outside the forest there are several local communities including the ancient pygmy people of Batwa tribe who used to stay in the forest. On the Batwa Experience, you will learn about the culture, traditions and lifestyles of these people. The Batwa will show you the greatest level of hospitality that you won’t even hesitate not to tell your friends about.
The forest also hosts a diverse flora and fauna. There are different animals that you can see along the walk into the forest. These include forest elephants, monkeys, antelopes etc.