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5% OFF our website gorilla trekking safaris in Uganda if you book before December 2017. See a different side of Africa.
Gorilla trekking can seem like just a dream to many wildlife lovers. They worry about the physicality of the trekking to see the Gorilla families, or the expensive cost of the gorilla permits. They have concerns about the safety of countries like Uganda and Rwanda or whether it is better to join a group or travel on a tailor-made or customised tour. As regular visitors to the region we would love to put your minds at rest and help you experience one of the most special wildlife encounters you can enjoy on our beautiful planet. There are lots of different styles of safaris available in Uganda and several different locations to go gorilla trekking, so if you are after some quick inspiration then scroll down to the images below this text and click on the type of Uganda safari which most appeals.
Best place to see Gorillas - Rwanda or Uganda?
Having visited both countries and photographed gorillas in Uganda and Rwanda the easiest way to distinguish between the two is simply opportunity to photograph gorilla families in 'more open' habitat. This is what you get when you go gorilla trekking in Rwanda and that is why so many wildlife photographers choose Parc de Volcans as their 'go to' national park for the best gorilla safari. That is not to say the gorilla trekking experience in Uganda is second rate - far from it - just to illustrate differenct gorilla safari experiences suit different visitors and that it is important to have visited to understand the subtle differences.
Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi impenetrable national park
This is the most famous place in Uganda for gorilla trekking and can easily be accessed by road or plane from Kampala or Entebbe; or alternatively by crossing the border from Rwanda and enjoying a long but scenic drive. It is extremely enjoyable to stay at a wildlife lodge in the vibrant community of Buhoma and there are a variety of other activities available here. Click on our expert guide about the gorilla families of Bwindi impenetrable national park
I only have a few days In Uganda, what is the best way to do a Gorilla Trek?
This is a common question from clients and one here at Wildlife Trails we are very careful to answer. We have spent 16 years encouraging wildlife enthusiasts and wildlife photographers to stay longer at locations and to not rush their wildlife tour and this ethical and sensible approach applies just as much to gorilla trekking in Uganda. However we recognize that many travellers are looking to add on a gorilla trekking extension to a savannah safari experience in countries such as Kenya and Tanzania and only have a few days to spare for their gorilla safari. In that case - and budget allowing - we would suggest a fly-in safari to Bwindi from Entebbe. We work with an excellent company who are able to offer a 3 night gorilla trekking tour, that includes return flights (weather permitting, you will have some spectacular views of the Rift Valley!), 2 nights at a quality mid-range lodge in Bwindi and of course 1 gorilla permit per person. If you are interested in this type of trip click on our 4 day Fly-in Gorilla Trekking experience.
I love road trips in Africa, but which parks should I visit in Uganda?
There is something very special about any road trip in Africa and for our own personal recce trips, the success of the safari has been fundamentally linked with the driver/naturalist we hand picked and who drove us around this beautiful country. They soon tune into the way you like to travel; whether it is frequent stops to marvel at the colours of the local markets, non-stop birding on the Royal Mile near Murchison or expert restaurant advice as you enjoy a well deserved break when travelling the rift valley route between Murchison and Kibale. Although many tour operators offering gorilla trekking in Uganda stick to a 'standard' circle approach, which involves stops at Queen Elizabeth and Lake Mburo, there are many other ways to drive around Uganda and we have compiled our Top 3 road trips in Uganda to provide a little inspiration
Why Uganda is so special for Gorilla Trekking?
It's hard to think of a more beautiful, wildlife rich and welcoming country in Eastern Africa. English is widely spoken and the standard of accommodation amd guiding is high. More and more Ugandan's have developed their own wildlife lodges close to the key wildlife destinations and we always try to support the local people by choosing such properties for our guests. In addition, the Uganda Wildlife Authority and Ugandan goverment encourage all wildlife lodges in the national parks to employ local people and source a high percentage of their food for their guests from local farmers. This ensures that international visitors drive through friendly warm villages enroute to their Ugandan wildlife lodges; who are directly benefiting from the increased wildlife tourism in the country. No where is this more clearly evident that the thriving community of Buhoma, next to Bwindi National Park. As the first park to offer gorilla trekking in Uganda this community (including the often neglected Batwa pygmies) has developed in the right way; with a balance of luxury, mid-range and backpacker type wildlife lodges benefiting many locals and various NGO's providing hospitals, schools and dental care for communities who do not have a direct stake in the fast growing gorilla trekking tourism model. Nothing is ever perfect, but in Uganda you see a more long term sustainable wildlife tourism industry as it has chosen a path to include local villagers and not just elite private lodge owners in its wildlife management model.
Best place to go Gorilla Trekking?
This is probably the most common question we receive and is really a question that needs to be turned back to the client to achieve a definite answer. So if they are coming from the angle of 'the difficulty of gorilla trekking' - this can apply to both the car journey involved to reach the gorilla trekking location, as well as how strenous the trek is - then we can talk from personal experience about location, altitude, length of trek and difficulty rating. If a keen wildlife photographer is asking this question, then they may want to know about weather conditions, humidity affecting their lenses and also how dense the forest is. Some gorilla families prefer the thick primary forest in Bwindi, which is incredibly atmospheric, great for birds and primates, but makes shots of groups of gorillas in the open more challenging. Generally Nkuringo in Uganda and gorilla trekking in Rwanda provides more open forest or plantations (yes, gorillas love to eat farmers crops!) where gorilla families can be photographed as an ensemble. Bespoke and tailor-made wildlife travel is what we do, so we will take our time to make sure you are properly informed about all the gorilla trekking options before making a decision about your choice of location for the gorilla trek.
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