Why You Should Visit Uganda Gorillas
Why You Should Visit Uganda Gorillas: Mountain gorillas only live in the thick forests of Uganda's Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park

Why You Should Visit Uganda Gorillas: Mountain gorillas only live in the thick forests of Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda, and Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Back in 1981, experts thought there were only 254 mountain gorillas left, but their numbers are slowly going up, thanks to lots of help from people around the world. Since these special animals cannot live in zoos, the only way to see them is by hiking up to where they live in the misty, cloudy forests.

Why You Should Visit Uganda Gorillas

Reasons for including visiting Gorillas on your Safari in Uganda

You will be where half the world’s mountain gorillas live

Uganda has two places where you can go to see gorillas: Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Half of the world’s mountain gorillas live in Bwindi alone.

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park got its nickname “The Place of Darkness” because of its thick trees that block out a lot of sunlight. It is an old forest covers about 128 square miles. This place is super special and were recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage site because it is full of different plants and animals that are in danger of disappearing.

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is smaller, about 13 square miles, but it is still a part of the bigger area called Virunga, which includes parts of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Inside this park, you can find three of the big Virunga Mountains: Mount Gahinga, Mount Muhabura, and Mount Sabyinyo.

You Can Fight Habitat Destruction by Supporting Community Enrichment

The biggest problem for mountain gorillas is that their homes are being destroyed. People live near the parks and have always used the land around them for farming or cutting down trees.

Tourism is now the most important business in Uganda, and most tourists come to see the mountain gorillas. When tourists visit, they are encouraged to help the local communities. One way is by hiring a porter, who is always from the area. The terrain in the parks is tough and unpredictable, so porters help tourists to cross-rivers and climb up steep, muddy hills. Another option is to take part in cultural activities led by the community. In Mgahinga, elders from the Batwa group show visitors around the forest on the Batwa Trail and teach them about how their society used to live in the forest and use plants for medicine.

You will Find More Affordable Trekking Permits

To keep the gorillas healthy and safe, strict rules are in place, starting with how permits for gorilla trekking are handled. Only a limited number of people can visit each gorilla group each day, so it is important for visitors to get permits in advance, especially in Uganda where the costs of permits can change depending on the time of year.

Most gorilla trekking happens in Bwindi, where there are many places to start and several gorilla families to find. Park rangers guide the visits, and groups of eight people are allowed to watch the gorillas for one hour, keeping quiet and staying a safe distance away.

You Can Take on Challenging Terrain

Looking at the green hills and volcanic slopes in southwestern Uganda, it is obvious that this part of the country is not easy to explore. With the high altitude and tough terrain, trekking to see gorillas in Uganda is definitely an exciting adventure.

Getting to the gorillas is tough. It involves going up and down steep slopes through thick tangles of vines, thorns, and roots. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, appropriately named, can only be reached on foot. There are no trails, signs, or clear directions—usually, there are not even open areas (that is why the park rangers carry machetes). However, the good news is the reward of seeing the gorillas is even sweeter after all the hard work.

Other Primates Will Inevitably Cross Your Path

Uganda is a great place for people who love primates. Besides mountain gorillas, Mgahinga also has another endangered species called golden monkeys. These funny, furry monkeys live in tall bamboo forests. Tracking them is similar to tracking gorillas, but not as tough.

In Bwindi, you can find L’hoest monkeys, gray-cheeked mangabeys, and blue monkeys. Kibale Forest National Park is famous for its chimpanzees. Murchison Falls National Park is home to Patas monkeys, while Queen Elizabeth National Park has blue monkeys and red-tailed monkeys, along with other animals like lions and elephants.


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