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Gorilla Tracking in Uganda

Mountain Gorillas are undoubtedly one of Uganda`s key tourist attractions, where they’ve been habituated since April 1993. You track the Gorillas at 4 different locations in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park & 1 location in Mgahinga National Park each giving you a different experience.

To track the Gorillas you need a permit which can be booked at Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) Head Quarters in Kampala is the only repsoible. It’s advisable to book 6 months in advance to be sure the requested dates are available. Only 8 persons only can visit a given gorilla family per day. In Uganda, 12 families have been adapted in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, and so can host 96 persons tracking the mountain gorillas on any day.  Gorilla Tracking can be actually challenging, but equally a very rewarding experience.

Quick Facts about Mountain Gorillas

  • You can only track Mountain Gorillas in the in the wild in Uganda, Rwanda & DRC
  • There are about 750 Mountain Gorillas in the World half of which are found in Uganda
  • Gorillas are habituated for tourism activities for a period of 2~3 years

 

Gorilla Trekking Information Uganda & Rwanda

Description Uganda Rwanda
Gorilla Trekking Locations Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

  • Buhoma (24 Permits)
  • Ruhija (24 Permits)
  • Rushaga (40 Permits)
  • Nkuringo (8 Permits)
Volcanoes national Park

  • Kinigi
Total Gorilla Permits/Families
  1. Habinyanja
  2. Rushegura
  3. Mubare
  4. Butukura
  5. Oruzogo
  6. Kyaguriro
  7. Nshogi
  8. Kahungye
  9. Mishaya
  • Nkuringo
  • Busingye
  • Bweza

Total Permits = 96 Permits

  1. Susa
  2. Umubano
  3. Amahoro
  4. Sabyinyo
  5. Agasha
  6. Hirwa
  7. Kwitonda
  8. Karisimbi Group
  9. Ugenda Group
  10. Bwengye

Total Permits = 80 Permits

Gorilla Permit Fee $600 $1500
Gorilla Permit Booking Process
  • Booking Deposit $180
  • Balance payment of $420 by 30 Days to Trekking date
  • Booking Deposit $450
  • Balance payment of $1050 by 30 Days to Trekking date
Gorilla Trekking Experience
  • Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is UNESCO Natural Heritage Site
  • Tropical Green Forested Hills & Valleys
  • Volcanoes – stretch of Virunga mountains
  • Gorilla Trekking + Hiking Experience
Special Gorilla Activities

 

Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Gorilla Trekking in Buhoma

Buhoma is the busiest area of the park in terms of activities one can partake in, in terms of lodges where one can stay. There are more lodges available in Buhoma than the permits. Buhoma was the first area to be opened for Gorilla trekking in Bwindi impenetrable forest. Buhoma is an exhilarating place with 3 great Gorilla groups.

Mubare Gorilla Group:

The Mubare Gorilla Family was the first habituated gorilla group in 1998 with originally with 12 family members and their leader was called, the silverback Ruhondeza. When he died it left only 5 family members.  In 2013 four other gorillas joined the Mubare gorilla family and there are now nine family members as members of other groups have become part of the Mubare group lately.

The word Mubare refers to the area where the group was first discovered in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. It takes around 2~5 hours round-trip to track the group from the Buhoma area of Bwindi forest.

Habinyanja Gorilla Group:

The Habinyanja Gorilla Family was one of the earlier habituated groups in the Buhoma area of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and over the years has had thousands of visitors from around the world that have spent an hour with them in the ancient forest.

It usually takes a full day – 5 hours or more to track the Habinyanja Gorilla Group.  They daily move and roam over a wide range in the forest. Nevertheless there are harder groups to track that take a bit more energy.  It is a larger group of about 18 in size – but such figures change as gorilla babies arrive; old members die or move to another group and other factors. The group was first discovered near a swamp in Bwindi Impenetrable the name Habinyanja comes from the local name for water “Nyanja”The Rushegura family also found in the general Buhoma area split off some years back to form its own family.  Today these two families and the Mubare Gorilla Families cross each other’s paths and the meetings are mostly peaceful in nature. Buhoma entrance to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is the best place to start tracking the Habinyanja Gorilla Family.

Rushegura Gorilla Group:

The Rushegura Gorilla Group in the Buhoma area of the park and is one of the largest groups (16) in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. This group at times ventures out of the park. Tracking time for this group is shorter in current times, since they stay around the park headquarters area. To those who want a shorter Gorilla trek, this is a large group that can be tracked in less than 5 hours but it’s not a guarantee as they can decide to move off. The Rushegura Gorilla Group is another splinter group from the Habinyanja Gorilla Group.

Gorilla Trekking in Ruhija

Ruhija in the last two years has had more lodges become available from budget to up-market and it does make it easier if a visitor to do gorilla in the Ruhija area. The gorilla groups in Ruhija area include;

Bitukura Gorilla Group: 

The Bitukura Gorilla group family was ready for visitors after 15 months of habituation training. The group has 14 members and a new born arrived recently. It originally consisted of 24 gorillas however other groups recruit when there are feuds in the family and some gorillas leave instead of fighting.

The Bitukura Gorilla Group gets along with one another. In order for one to track this group, it’s better for them to stay in the Ruhija area of the park.

Oruzogo Gorilla Group:

The Oruzogo Gorilla Family can be tracked from the Ruhija area of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. It is a larger group of 22 gorillas. The Oruzogo group has become popular with tourists not just because of the size of the group, but because the playful energy exhibited by the juveniles and toddlers in the group that keep visitors entertained.

Book a lodge in the Ruhija area to get more sleep and do less driving. The Oruzogo Gorilla Family started receiving visitors in 2011. You need endurance while tracking this group.

Bweza Gorilla Group

The Bweza Gorilla Family is an example of another family feud that led to the new gorilla family in Rushaga area of Bwindi. The group has 7 strong members and two infants. The group broke away from the Nshongi Family group because of feuds withing group at the end of 2013.

Gorilla Trekking in Rushaga

Rushagalocated in the southern part of Bwindi with 5 different gorilla families out of Rushaga.  One can also stay in the Nkuringo area and take a relative short drive to track gorillas in the Rushaga area.

Nshongi Gorilla Group

The Nshongi Gorilla Family is one of the larger habituated Gorilla groups in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest after the recent split with where Mweza group was formed there are about 18 gorillas in the family.  The Nshongi Gorilla Group was introduced in 2009. Named after the Nshongi River where they were first discovered years ago. The area is a large forested area where other primates, butterflies, bird and the thick rainforest in Bwindi can be seen.

Mishaya Gorilla Group

The Mishaya Gorilla Family is another one of those Gorilla groups putting the Rushaga area of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest on the map since it gives the area an ever increasing number of gorilla families.  Currently it is about 7 gorilla members but in the world of gorilla families again like in our human families and friendship groups that number can change.
The leader of the Mishaya gorilla group is Mishaya and he is quite a fighter – not too long ago the gorilla family was in a battle with another un-habituated gorilla group and some members of the group were treated for injuries.

Kahungye Gorilla Group

The Kahungye Gorilla Group is another Rushaga are gorilla family sizeable in number even after a recent split in the Family creating the new Busingye Gorilla Group.  This group was opened for visitors in 2011. Kahungye name came from a hill in the Rushaga area where Gorilla’s were revealed.

Busingye Gorilla Group

The Busingye Gorilla Family is a group that fell apart from the Kahungye Gorilla Group – an event that happened in August of 2012.  Last time check the group had 9 members with sub-adults in the family.

Kyaguriro Gorilla Group

The Kyaguriro Gorilla Family is a group that fell apart from the Kahungye Gorilla Group – an event that happened in August of 2012.  Last time check the group had 9 members with sub-adults in the family.

Gorilla Trekking in Nkuringo

Nkuringo Gorilla Group

This is most likely the toughest trek in Uganda. Tracking the Nkuringo Gorilla Group takes a bit more energy and resilience.  The Nkuringo Group is a large group in the southern, scenic area of Nkuringo, a not to be forgotten experience.

SEE YOU IN UGANDA

For a Memorable Gorilla Trekking Experience

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Briefing and actual Trekking Gorillas

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2 Nights 3 Days Gorilla Trekking Experience
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