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Gazing into the intelligent eyes of a silverback gorilla, surrounded by the lush green Ugandan rainforest is an experience that stays with you forever. But before you can embark on this unforgettable adventure, meticulous planning is key. Here’s your guide to crafting your dream gorilla trekking safari in Uganda for 2024.

Securing Your Most Precious Ticket: The Gorilla Permit

Obtaining a gorilla trekking permit is the cornerstone of your trip. Permits are strictly limited to protect the gorillas. A total of 190 permits are issued daily in Uganda, each person uses one permit per day. So, booking well in advance – ideally one month or more – is crucial. Authorized tour operators like us can streamline this process for you.

Choosing Your Gorilla trekking destination: Bwindi or Mgahinga?

Uganda boasts two national parks where gorilla trekking is possible: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park: Home to roughly half the world’s mountain gorillas, Bwindi offers a diverse trekking experience with habituated gorilla families scattered across different regions. Bwindi has the vast majority of Gorillas in Uganda with more than 30 habituated Gorilla families. Chances of seeing gorillas in Bwindi are at 99%.

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park: This smaller park offers a more intimate encounter with one gorilla family. Here, you might also enjoy the opportunity to see the majestic Virunga volcanoes.

Building Your Dream Safari: Tours and Accommodation

Many tour operators offer gorilla trekking packages that can be customized to your preferences. Consider factors like:

Length of stay: Multi-day trips often combine gorilla trekking with other wildlife experiences like chimpanzee tracking or safaris.

Accommodation: Choose from luxurious lodges nestled amidst the rainforest to comfortable guesthouses in nearby towns.

Fitness level: Gorilla treks can be challenging, with hikes through uneven terrain. Be upfront with your tour operator about your fitness level to ensure a suitable trek.

Packing for the Perfect Encounter

  1. Hiking essentials: Sturdy hiking boots, long-sleeved shirts and pants, a rain jacket, and a waterproof backpack are a must.
  2. Porters: Consider hiring a porter to help carry your backpack during the trek.
  3. Essentials for observation: Pack binoculars, a camera with extra batteries, and a long lens to capture those unforgettable moments.

Responsible Trekking: Gorilla Etiquette

  1. Remember, you’re entering the gorillas’ habitat. Here’s how to be a responsible visitor:
    Maintain a safe distance (7 meters) from the gorillas.
  2. Avoid loud noises or sudden movements.
  3. If you cough or sneeze, turn away from the gorillas.
    Absolutely no littering.

Best time to go gorilla trekking – How to plan for gorilla trekking in 2024 -2025.

Gorilla trekking can be done all year; however, some seasons may be preferable compared to others.

Dry Season:
The dry season is the best time to go gorilla trekking as it offers better hiking conditions and lower chances of rainfall. In East Africa, including Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, the dry season usually occurs from June to September and December to February.

Wet Season:
The wet season on the other side may have more challenging trekking conditions due to rain and muddy trails, it also has its advantages. The wet season, which typically runs from March to May and October to November, is considered the low season for gorilla trekking. During this time, there are fewer tourists, and permits may be easier to obtain.

Additionally, the vegetation is usually lush and green, offering beautiful landscapes for photography.

With careful planning and a mindful approach, your gorilla trekking safari in Uganda will be a transformative experience, leaving you with a profound appreciation for these magnificent creatures and the lush rainforests they call home. Plan your dream African safari with us.

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