The Best Gorilla Safaris in Uganda

Uganda is famous for The Mountain Gorillas of Bwindi and The Chimpanzees of Kibale no other country has two of the 3 great apes within their borders. The Source of the Nile in Jinja, Tree Climbing Lions in Ishasha, Murchison Falls, Hippos in the Kazinga Channel, the remote beauty of Kidepo and Lake Victoria itself all culminate to make Uganda an incredible place to visit. However, we are sure that despite all those breathtaking attractions it is the People of Uganda that make this country the wonderful destination that it is.

On This short gorilla trip, we'll be taking you 1,160 meters above sea level to one of Africa's oldest and richest tropical forest to meet our great ape cousin, the mountain gorilla. This is a breathtaking hiking journey. Prepare your boots and jackets and get ready to head into the misty jungle. You'll always cherish your experience in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Talk to us now.


4 DAYS Private or Group Safari leaves anyday

On This short gorilla trip, we'll be taking you 1,160 meters above sea level to one of Africa's oldest and richest tropical forest to meet our great ape cousin, the mountain gorilla. This is a breathtaking hiking journey. Prepare your boots and jackets and get ready to head into the misty jungle. You'll always cherish your experience in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Talk to us now.


Day One: Kampala- Lake Bunyonyi

Pick up from your Hotel in Kampala/Entebbe and drive south westwards with a stop at the equator for photographs and souvenirs. Drive through the scenic highlands and terraced farms (usually referred to as the little Switzerland of Africa.) on to Lake Bunyonyi popularly referred to as ‘a place of many birds’.

Overnight stay at Bird Nest Resort. L, D.
Drive time: 7 to 8 hours

Bird Nest Resort Adjacent to Lake Bunyonyi, the facility gives spectacular views over the Lake and its surrounding hills and mountains. All rooms have got a private balcony with views over the lake with self-contained facilities (Toilet and bathroom).

Day Two: Lake Bunyonyi – Bwindi,

Enjoy swimming, bird watching or island hopping in the morning. After lunch we depart for Bwindi Impenetrable National Park., home of half of the world’s mountain Gorillas.

Dinner and overnight at Buhoma Community rest Camp. B, L, D.
Drive time: 3 to 4 hours

Buhoma Community Rest Camp – It has clean well maintained bandas, each having solar electric lighting. 5 bandas have shared washing/toilet facilities and 1 is self-contained. The showers are heated by firewood. Levelled tent sites, some under tea-shades, are also available. There is a picnic banda in which to sit, socialise, relax and eat; as well as a reception building, which houses a bar and dining room. A variety of local foods are available, as well as refreshments.

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is situated in south western Uganda, on the edge of the Western Rift Valley (Albertine rift) and is shared by Kanungu, Kabale and Kisoro districts. It is 331 sq km in size and on an altitude range of 1,160 metres (Ishasha gorge) to 2,607 metres (Rwamanyonyi Peak). The annual average temperature range is 7°C - 20°C with the coldest period being June and July. Of the local people neighbouring the park, the majority are Bakiga and Bafumbira, constituting the most dense settlements in Uganda (350 people/sq km). A few Batwa are also found.

Species Diversity: Bwindi is home to 326 gorillas, almost a half of the world’s population of mountain gorillas. There are also 346 species of birds and over 200 species of butterflies. This afromontane forest has dense under storey of fern, vines and shrubs. About 324 tree species have been recorded here, 10 of which occur nowhere else in Uganda.

Bird Watching: Bwindi is the bird watchers haven! It holds 346 species of birds and contains 90% of all Albertine rift endemics, difficult or impossible to see in any other part of East Africa and seven IUCN red data listed species. An experienced bird watcher can identify up to 100 species in a day! Visit Ruhija and Buhoma for this dream. Indicate your interest to the Park Management so that appropriate early morning departures can be arranged.

Day Three: Bwindi - Gorilla tracking

Enter the forest at dawn and enjoy the beauty and freshness of the forest, home to more than half of the world’s mountain gorillas. After a short briefing by the guides, proceed through the dense bush to trek for these endangered animals depending on where they built their nest the previous night. For conservation purposes, time allowed with the Gorillas is 1 hour. Observe the gentle giants as they feed and play. If we have a free afternoon, we shall go for an optional 3 hour village walk. Take note of the livelihoods of the local communities, visit a traditional herbalist, black smith and a local brewery to see how beer is brewed using local methods. Enjoy the traditional dances offered by the community. IF we have time, we can visit Bwindi hospital and see how we can help the local community.

Overnight stay at Buhoma community rest camp. B, L, D

Gorilla Tracking: This is the major activity in Bwindi, with Ten Gorilla groups currently available daily for tourists. Mubare group (5 gorillas, 1 silverback) was opened for tourism in 1993, Habinyanja group (18 gorillas, 2 silverback) opened in July 1999, Rushegura group (20 gorillas, 1 silverback) was opened in July 2002, while Nkuringo group (20 gorillas, 3 silverbacks) was opened for tourism in April 2004. Bitukura group (14 members with Silverbacks) was opened up for tourism in 2008. Nshongi group was opened for tourism in 2009 and is believed to be the largest Gorilla family in the world with 25 gorilla members with 4 Silverbacks. Mishaya group with 9 members and 1 Silverback was opened up for Tourism in 2011, Oruzogo group with 23 gorilla members with 2 silverbacks was opened for tourism in June 2011 and Kahungye with 13 members including 3 silverbacks. The latest groups to be opened for tourism include Busingye which was opened at the beginning of the year 2013.

You need to book for your Gorilla Safari at least 6 months (but not more than two years) in advance to ensure that requested dates are available.

Gorilla tracking in Bwindi can be challenging, therefore ensure fitness. The tracking experience starts at 8.30 am local time and can last from a few hours to a whole day! Registration at the gate commences at 7.45 am.

What to bring:

• Wear jungle shoes suitable for steep muddy slopes and carry a rain jacket because the park is often wet.
• Put on ear plugs for those who feel uncomfortable with jungle sounds.
• Carry rain gear, sunscreen lotion, a hat (as the weather is unpredictable) and insect repellent.
• Carry a packed lunch.

For conservation reasons, visits to the gorillas are tightly controlled. The following rules apply and must be strictly adhered to:

• No one with a communicable disease (e.g. flu, diarrhea) is allowed to enter the park.
• Stay together in a tight group while with the gorillas, don’t surround them.
• Don’t get closer than 7 metres (21 feet) to the gorillas.
• Don’t eat or smoke when with the gorillas or within a distance of 200 metres from the gorillas.
• Turn away from the gorillas if you have to sneeze or cough. Cover your nose and mouth in the process.
• Burry all human feaces a minimum of one foot deep and ensure that the hole is properly covered.
• Don’t leave litter. All litter must be carried out of the park and disposed off properly.
• No person under 15 years is allowed to track gorillas.
• Don’t spit on vegetation or soil when in the park; use your hankie or other garment.
• Your group must not be more than 8 tourists and must all be over 15 years old.

Day Four – Bwindi – Kampala- Drive time: 10 to 11 hours

Depart Bwindi after breakfast to Kampala, arrive late afternoon. Lunch en route in Mbarara.

Included in the price:

Transfers and transportation in a 4x4 Safari Vehicle with an English-speaking driver guide ( Land cruiser)
1 x Gorilla Trekking Bwindi Forest (USD 600 per person)
Accommodation as stated above or similar depending on availability at the time of booking Meals as stated above
1 liter of drinking water per person per day in the vehicle.

Not included:

Optional activities and activities not mentioned in above
Personal expenses
International Airfare
Visas to Uganda
Travel insurance