Gorilla Tracking Safaris in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
At an altitude of between 1,100 – 2,600 metres above sea-level, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is one of the oldest forests in Africa at approximately 25,000 years old! With an average rainfall of 1,500mm this is a traditional rainforest with high ridges and peaks and provides the ultimate habitat for the endangered mountain gorillas.
Gorilla Safaris in Bwindi, Uganda, nowadays concentrate on two main regions, one of these is known as Buhoma and the other Nkuringo. These two locations share half of the world’s remaining mountain gorillas at a population of roughly 320 gorillas living in 15 groups. Aside from gorillas, Bwindi also has healthy populations of other mammals including chimpanzees, red-tailed and blue monkeys, black and white colobus and a small herd of elephants to name a few. Bwindi is also one of the best birding regions of Uganda with 350 different species.
Top Gorilla Safaris in Bwindi Forest
3 Days Bwindi Gorilla Tour
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5 Days Bwindi Gorillas & Kibale Chimps Tour
5 Days Bwindi Gorillas & Queen Elizabeth Wildlife Safari
7 Days Uganda Gorillas, Chimps & Wildlife Safari
Habituated Gorilla Tracking Groups
Three gorilla groups are habituated to the visits of tourists in the Buhoma region of Bwindi Forest. The names of these gorilla groups are Mubare, Habinyanja A and Habinyanja B. Eight gorilla tracking permits are available for each group making a total of 24 gorilla tracking permits being available each day. At the time of writing, each gorilla tracking permit costs USD$500 per permit per tracking. At World Primate Safaris we recommend a minimum of two gorilla tracking permits per person in order to fully appreciate this once in a lifetime experience; these two permits can either both be in Bwindi or alternatively combined with tracking the gorillas in Parc National des Volcans, Rwanda. In Buhoma the best places to stay include Gorilla Forest Camp, Buhoma Lodge and Bwindi Lodge.
Nkuringo Gorilla Group – this is a recently habituated group of gorillas which has been opened to tourism in the last few years in the southern sector of Bwindi. Chances of seeing the gorillas are just as high as anywhere else however the terrain is steeper and harder work; for this reason, we recommend Nkuringo gorilla tracking for very fit clients only. The gorilla group at Nkuringo that has been habituated consists of 18 individuals with two silverbacks, four adult females, five juveniles, three infants, one sub-adult female and three black-backed males. This gorilla group is located in the Kashasha River Valley and they roam approximately a 10km patch of land that borders the river.
Gorilla Safety Rules
Gorilla Tracking has a minimum age of 15 in order that illnesses are not passed from humans to gorilla groups which can potentially destroy an entire gorilla family. Gorilla Tracking can also take from between 2 – 8 hrs depending on where the gorillas are when you track them; they are wild animals so they do roam a large area. Clients wishing to track mountain gorillas should be of a reasonable fitness as it is a strenuous excercise and if you are in good health you will benefit far more from the entire experience.
Proximity to the gorillas is limited to 7 metres at any one time. This is for both the safety of clients and also the gorillas themselves.