Uganda is probably one of the most ironic places in the world to track the mighty mountain gorillas, any tourist on a Uganda safari should not miss out on the gorilla trekking tour. One of the most important reason why Uganda remains the best gorilla safari destination is that Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park protect more than half of the world’s remaining total population of mountain gorillas making two of the best locations to enjoy a lifetime experience. Since mountain gorillas cannot survive in captivity, visitors can only see them by trekking into their natural habitats.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla National Parks are found in southwestern Uganda and its where mountain gorilla safaris are done. The mountain gorillas also share 95% of their DNA with humans and a face to face experience with them in the wild is beyond compare. But in spite of that, the mountain gorillas are very susceptible to human distance and because of this, tourists are consistently advised to keep a distance of about 7 meters away from them.
Only one hour is allowed for you to watch and observe our cousins in the living room. With this, about 36 gorilla families are in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park but, only 11 are habituated for his lifetime experience. Another gorilla family is also available for you to trek the dramatic genital giants in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.
Daily gorilla treks begin at visitor at 08:00 am and they begin with a small briefing about the dos and don’ts about gorillas and forest. After the briefing, tourists are divided into groups of eight, an expert tracker, and two armed rangers. The trekking guides carry a fine-edged machete for clearing your path and a walkie-talkie to communicate with other rangers and trackers.
When you finally allocate the gorillas, you will wear your mask and observe them silently for one hour at a safe distance of about 7meters. Sitting in silence on the cold ground of a Ugandan forest for 60 minutes while observing these magnificent creatures in their natural environment is a thrilling moment and a privilege that few people can enjoy.
The driving distance from the capital Kampala or Entebbe to Bwindi or Mgahinga is very long hence discouraging some tourists. But, many prefer crossing to Uganda from Rwanda to avoid the long driving distance. The chances of seeing mountain gorillas in Uganda is very high over 99%. Gorilla permits in Uganda cost $700 and hence it is an excellent destination for budget gorilla trekking.
Uganda matches out as the only country where one can take part in the gorilla habituation Experience. This thrilling experience involves observing the primates for about 4 hours compared to the normal gorilla trekking for spending a maximum of one hour with a gorilla group.
If you are planning your gorilla safari in Uganda, please note that Bwindi and Mgahinga Gorilla National Parks are 9 to 10 hours’ drive from Kampala. But this turns out to be a memorable safari due to stopovers especially as you catch a glimpse to Uganda’s wildlife national parks on your to visit the mountain gorillas.
Uganda is also confounded with a greater variety of wildlife and activities which visitors can get involved in after or before seeing the mountain gorillas. Uganda is potentially the better destination for gorilla trekking but the government isn’t as aggressive in promoting the activity as Rwanda.
While on your Uganda gorilla safari, you can be able to visit Lake Mburo National Park. Lake Mburo’s billing as the last Ugandan stronghold for the impala, an abundant antelope elsewhere in southern Africa smacks slightly of desperation. The real appeal of the park, however, is how you see the wildlife rather than what you see because there are plenty of opportunities to get out of your 4×4. Most tempting are the horseback safaris, but there are also boat trips and bush walks. Night drives are allowed too.
But while, this low-key national park doesn’t really bear comparison to the likes of Queen Elizabeth and Murchison Falls further west it is the ideal place to break up the otherwise long drive from the capital Kampala to the key reserves of the western safari circuit. Queen Elizabeth National Park is being Uganda’s most well-known and regularly visited wildlife area, it is far from overcrowded.
Queen Elizabeth National Park boasts a spectacular array of habitats and landscapes for tourists to appreciate. Boat cruises along the game-rich Kazinga Channel are a perennial favourite with wildlife enthusiasts and birders alike. On a clear day you can see all the way to the Rwenzori Mountains, but there’s no need to travel that far because volcanic features dominate sections within the park.
Uganda’s Kibale Forest by contrast offers an enticing mixture of easy access and about a half-day drive from Kampala, excellent value accommodation in all price ranges, a wide array of other activities from seriously good birding in a neighboring area of marshland to long forest walks and numerous exciting community activities. All this stands it in good stead but then there’s the chimpanzee encounter itself.
And lastly Uganda’s largest national park features on most safari itineraries because of its mix of beauty and wildlife, Murchison Falls National Park. Four of the Big Five are here only rhinos are absent, but they can be seen at the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary on the drive from Kampala and lions and leopards sightings are pretty common in this park.