When looking for the best destination in the world to track the endangered gorillas, Bwindi impenetrable national park should be among the best destinations that you should not forget to include on your list. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is one of the few national parks in the world where the endangered mountain gorillas can be visited safely in their natural habitat.
This UNESCO world heritage site hosts almost a half of the world’s endangered mountain gorillas left in the whole world. The park is located in the South-western part of Uganda just a drive of about 7-9 hours traveling on a clear weather conditioned road, about 530 km from Kampala, Uganda’s capital. Most gorilla tours to Bwindi start from Kampala passing via Kabale, Kanungu – Buhoma.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Bwindi Impenetrable national park covers an area of about 331SqKm.
You will pass through very many interesting tourist attraction while on your way to the pay like the equator crossing, banana plantation, and beautiful scenery throughout. There only about 1060 mountain gorillas that are left in the world, but Bwindi Forest alone hosts over 480 gorillas that live in the tropical rain forest. The park has 18 habituated gorilla families and two gorilla groups are reserved for research purpose. This means that 144 people are allowed to track in Bwindi National Park every day since only eight people are allowed to track in each gorilla family guided by an armed ranger guide.
What are the chances of seeing the gorillas?
The chances of sighting these endangered apes are very high! Over 95% of the past travelers who traveled to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest saw the gorillas in a single trek. No one is allowed to track these giants without getting a gorilla permit. The permits are booked in advance and can be bought at the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) headquarters which are located in Kampala. International tourists buy gorilla permits at a fee of US$700 during the high season. At times, there are discounts for gorilla tracking during the low seasons on April, May and September. The gorilla permit fee include a ranger guide and the park entry fee.
To get a gorilla permits easy, it’s better to use your tour operator organizing your safari or a tour company as they have easy access to these permits than an individual. Uganda gorilla permits are sold on first come first served so the earlier the better at least 2-5 months prior to your safari to avoid inconveniences.
Gorilla tracking is regarded as the most interesting adventurous tourist attraction done on earth and obviously the most done activity at the park. Meeting our close relatives deep in the forest is known as a magnificent moment in life very difficult to forget.
Tracking in Bwindi begins very early in the morning and then drive to the park headquarters for a short briefings about the dos and don’ts while with apes from the park wardens, then after the briefing, you will follow the ranger guide into the forest to begin the activity, tracking time is unpredictable, it can go from a half to full day, so a reasonable degree of fitness is needed as well as tracking gears such as long sleeved shirts or blouses, study pair of walking shoes/boots, bottled water and sometimes packed lunch. Tracking may sometimes be difficult as it involves passing through difficulties like stinging plants and muddy slopes, but ounce you meet gorillas you will forget all the troubles you’ve gone through and utilize the one hour allowed to stay with them in the wild while observing their behaviors as well as taking photography. Bwindi impenetrable national park is one of the few parks in the world where you can see both gorillas and chimpanzee living in the same environment, however during the process of tracking you will be fortunate to see other forest dwellers like mammal species, plants, butterflies and bird species, the ranger guide will give you all the necessary information on all forest flora and fauna that live in the forest.