Blessed with over half the remaining population of mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park which are readily available for trekking when you go on Uganda gorilla safaris, a tapestry of beautiful landscapes, the strongest waterfalls in the world, some of the last remaining tree climbing lions (a common sight in all Uganda safaris), the source of the longest river in the world, the third largest lake in the world and a whole lot more, Uganda is not only a top mountain gorilla trekking destination but is also a very diverse, friendly and inexpensive country when it comes to tourism and expeditions. Having your safaris in Uganda is ecstatic.
There are lots of activities to do in Uganda, ranging from gorilla tours, chimpanzee trekking, cultural encounters, wildlife holidays to many more Uganda safari activities. Uganda was named the pearl of Africa because of its beauty. Despite its size, its one of the most gifted countries when it comes to nature. Uganda is half country half amazing and so many have testified to this. Are you visiting to go gorilla trekking in Bwindi, trekking with chimps in any of its locations, seeing the big five animals in Murchison Falls National Park, raft on the Nile, explore the different culture or relax at leisure? We organize an array of safaris to Uganda with various activities. Send us an inquiry below.
Top Uganda Safaris
Ranked among the top 1000 places to visit before you pass on, so many tourists embark on safaris to Uganda each year and mainly because they want to trek all the way to the country's various mountain gorilla habitats and have an experience with these gently exciting apes creation. After trekking, they receive their respective gorilla trekking certificates to prove they have trekked gorillas and keep the memories alive when they return home. Over 80% of Uganda safari packages have at least 1 gorilla trekking encounter. However, some tourists have more than 1 iteration to have a much more diverse experience.
There are 5 gorilla trekking locations in Uganda; four in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and one in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Bwindi has four sectors and these include; Rushaga, Ruhija, Nkuringo and Buhoma. Buhoma is the oldest of all the sectors and is where Uganda's gorilla trekking started from. Each sector offers a unique experience. You need to visit all of them to complete the gorilla circuit. This 5 Days Bwindi Gorilla Circuit Package includes 4 gorilla treks in all the sectors of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. It will take you through the different terrains, scenery and mountain gorillas of each sector.
Why go on Uganda tours
The biggest attractions in the country are visiting the mountain gorillas and exploring the strongest waterfalls in the world in Murchison Falls National Park. Unlike other mountain gorilla trekking destinations, Uganda has 2 gorilla trekking locations. One is Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and the other is Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Mgahinga share the same Virunga Conservation Perimeter as Rwanda's Volcanoes National Park and Congo's Virunga National Park. Over half the remaining population of mountain gorillas reside in Bwindi, leaving Mgahinga with only 1 gorilla family. Mgahinga also has golden monkeys, a great activity that can diversity your gorilla trekking experience.
The thunderous Murchison Falls are found in Murchison Falls National Park. This park is the oldest and largest of all the national parks in Uganda. It spans over 3,893 kilometers squared with Paraa being its prime wildlife viewing area. This is the only park in Uganda with all the big five game animals. The rhinos however, are located a few kilometers from its outskirts. The parks main's attraction is the devil's cauldron; a sport where River Nile squeezes itself through a narrow gorge and plunges itself to the bottom of the falls. Boat trips are taken to both the top and bottom of the falls.
Getting a Visa to Uganda
Uganda is a very welcoming country that you can just walk into the airport and get a visa on arrival at a fee of $50. Those that want their visas applied for prior can apply through this online visa application portal and wait for 4 - 7 days to get them. Tourists are required to take shots of yellow fever vaccines and present its certificate at the same time of application. Without this certificate, you are unlikely to get your visa. Our agency can also help you apply for a visa at no extra charge. If you would like this kind of service, please get in touch with us.
When to book your Uganda safari
Depending on your time of travel, you should endeavor to book your safari in advance to avoid missing out on available permits. Safaris for high season months should be booked at least 5 months prior especially when you have a gorilla trekking activity in it. However, this should't discourage last minute travelers. You can still inquire and find out whether there is availability and in case there is, we can still manage to have everything in order for you. Booking prior is recommended but when you abrupt opportunities to go on a safari to Uganda, you can always inquire for availability.
Acquiring Gorilla trekking permits
Uganda gorilla trekking permits are cards issued by Uganda Wildlife Authority that authorize a tourist to trek gorillas in Uganda. These cards are usually presented at the park offices from where details are extracted from them before a tourist is allocated to a specific mountain gorilla family for the trek. Without a gorilla trekking permit, you cannot trek gorillas. Each gorilla trekking permit costs $600 all year round. In case of any cancellation, this money is not refunded as Uganda Wildlife Authority issues no refunds for cancelled gorilla permits. However, our agency can resell your permits to other tour operators or reschedule them for other clients and process your refund in full. That is the guarantee we always give our clients.
Gorilla permits should be booked way in advance to avoid missing out as they are sold on a first-come-first-serve basis. If you are travelling in the high season months (January, February, June - September) then you ought to book your safari at least 5 months before to have everything planned accordingly. The Uganda Tourism Industry has become so competitive and requires advance bookings. Are there free gorilla permits? Our agency gives out 1 free gorilla permit for 13 days - 20 days trips and 2 free gorilla permits for trips longer than 20 days.
Should you book luxury or budget safaris?
Budget gorilla trekking and luxury gorilla trekking all offer different kinds of experiences. Some tourists may prefer luxury and other might prefer budget depending on their choice and finances. Gorilla permit costs remains the same whether you are a luxury client and budget client. What usually changes is the means of transportation and level of accommodation that you are sleeping in. We have organized all these trips below and can still organize it for you. For budget travelers, we have made contracts with mid-range lodges that affords us their services at low discounted rates. These are the same rates that we offer you because you want you to feel the comfort you deserve.
The transportation means remain comfortable as well. All our vans are regularly serviced, well maintained in the interior and have air conditioning units. Most of our luxury trips come with free gorilla permits depending on the number of days that you are booking. In some scenarios, scheduled flights might be used to reduce on the travelling time. As per accommodation, you are guaranteed of sleeping in the finest lodges in the park. These lodges are very comfortable, have good service and sit on a good location. Most of them are located in Buhoma sector, the oldest of the gorilla trekking sectors in Uganda.
How long does gorilla trekking take
The actual gorilla gorilla trekking experience takes between two to eight hours in Uganda and about one to six hours in Rwanda. Mountain gorillas are mobile and are ever on the move each day as they search for food. They build new nests every day to accommodate them through the night. This implies that you can never find a gorilla family static in 1 place and your gorilla trekking time will depend on their previous day movements. If they have moved further to the hills, you are bound for a challenging trek but if they come close to the foothills, then you are likely to locate them in 2 hours.
When you locate the gorillas, you are give a full hour to be around them. This magical hour entitles you to free photos, videos, interaction with them and so much more. While doing all these, you have to maintain at least an eight meter distance and you should follow exactly what the park rangers tell you. These creatures can mean to be dangerous when threatened but if you follow instructions, you will have the best moments around them. When your hour elapses, you will return to the starting point, get your respective gorilla trekking certificates and drive back to your lodge.
Uganda gorilla trekking best time to go
I cannot say there is a particular best time to trek gorillas. Much as its easier for tourists to trek the trails during the dry season, its much easier to locate gorillas during the rainy season. During rainy seasons, vegetation is usually in plenty and gorillas do not have to move to higher elevations in search for food. This makes it easier for tourists to locate them. However, trekking the trails to the gorillas might be a challenge especially to those that do not have shoes with a strong grip. It might rain while you trek as well, which isn't good. So to avoid all this, book your gorilla trekking safari for the dry months of June through to September and December to February. These months are the driest in the year but of course do not expect total drought. Rain can still fall in these months but its much unlikely compared to low season months.
Discounted gorilla tracking safaris
We do offer heavily discounted gorilla trekking safaris in Uganda. If you book a safari that lasts for more than 13 days, we offer you 1 free gorilla permit worth $600. If your safari lasts more than 20 days, we offer you 2 free gorilla permits worth $1200 in total. These offers are available to everyone who intends to book a safari with us.
Why Choose Uganda for Gorilla Tours
Unlike other gorilla trekking destinations, Uganda offers the most variety with its numerous gorilla trekking sectors in Bwindi. It also offers a wide array of accommodation options ranging from budget to luxury both within and outside the gorilla parks. When it comes to supplementary activities, Uganda has more than Rwanda and Congo. Despite having the highest concentration of mountain gorillas, Uganda has the most affordable gorilla permits after Congo. Each costs $600 and can be bought for a region/sector of your choice.
When it comes to security, Uganda is a very secure country and you can be guaranteed of extreme safety while touring its attractions. The locals are so welcoming that the country was named the friendliest country in the world. If you are planning a lifetime gorilla trek, i'd advise booking it in Uganda. When permits are fully booked for your dates, you could consider Rwanda or Congo depending on your budget.