Your complete Gorilla Safari Planner for 2022 – 2023 in Uganda
Here is how to Plan your Gorilla Trekking Safari in Uganda – Step- by Step Advice
How to Plan your Gorilla Trekking Safari in Uganda – Step- by Step Advice: Planning your Gorilla Trekking Safari can be an overwhelming task. Many costly and time-consuming mistakes are often made, especially by those planning their Safari.
In designing a no-worries Gorilla Safari, you need someone who knows the ins and outs of Gorilla Tourism. It would be best if you had an Association of Uganda Tour Operators member, licensed and accredited by the Uganda Tourism Board, since most permits are allocated to such Tour Operators by the Uganda Wildlife Authority.
Planning a Gorilla Safari is like a puzzle; it has to be put together piece by piece, and you cannot force any work into place. Every component of the Safari must fit with other elements, such as permits on the correct dates, arrival and departure hotel, the drive, or flight to the park. Additionally, there is the matching of the Gorilla Lodge location with the Trekking Starting point.
Our Suggestion, based on over a decade as a Gorilla Tour Operator since 2008, is to your Gorilla Safari with a Tour Operator. Most often, it does not raise the price of a Safari, and usually, it lowers the cost of the Safari since a tour operator such as us will avoid costly pitfalls about which you are unaware.
We will work with you to adjust the Safari to fit your budget and liking. Hakuna Matata – No Worries, Gorilla Safari is what we do best. Allow us to plan with you.
How to Plan your Gorilla Trekking Safari in Uganda – Step- by Step Advice
Which Country is best for my Gorilla Safari?
There are three countries where you can track the Mountain Gorillas, Highend Rwanda, Insecure DR Congo, and safe and affordable Uganda. Uganda has become the Premier Gorilla Trekking Destination in Africa. Look at Uganda’s advantages of encountering the Gentle Giants of the Forest.
The Uganda Gorilla Trekking Advantage:
- $700 Gorilla Permit Price: A gorilla Safari in Uganda costs half the price it costs in neighboring Rwanda without compromising the quality of the experience.
- Gorilla Safaris at Half the Price or Less: A Gorilla Trekking Safari that includes midrange of Luxury Lodging will usually be half the price or less of what the same Safari would cost you in high-end Rwanda.
- More Gorilla Permits: Uganda has half of the endangered Mountain Gorillas. The country has more Habituated (used to Humans) Gorilla Families, which means that Uganda has the most available permits for Gorilla Trekking.
- Safe-Secure Guerrilla-Free Trekking: Uganda is the only Mountain Gorilla Destination with no guerrilla acuities in the last 20 years. Uganda is safe for Gorilla Trekkers.
- Spend More Time with the Gorillas: On a Gorilla Habituation Experience Safari, you spend up to four hours with a Gorilla Family, and there are only four participants. The Permit Cost is $1,500.
- Two Parks with different Habitats where you can Track Gorillas: You can choose to track Gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest or Mgahinga Gorilla Park. Many decide to follow the Gentle Giants in both Parks. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is made of ridges and valleys, while Mgahinga Gorilla Park trekking takes place on the sides of the Virunga Volcanoes.
- A more excellent Choice of Lodges: There is a broader variety of Gorilla Lodges to choose from in Uganda than in either Rwanda or Uganda.
- Beyond Gorilla Trekking Uganda offers more: Extend your Gorilla trekking Safari by adding on Chimpanzee Trekking, Wildlife and Game viewing, Rhino Trekking on Foot, and Golden Monkey Trekking. Volcano Climbing, Rwenzori Mountain Climbing, and the best White-Water Rafting on the Nile.
- Private Gorilla Trekking: You and your family or friends can embark on a private trek without any other participants but you, the rangers, and porters at a fraction of what it costs you in Rwanda.
When is the Best Time of Year for a Gorilla Trekking Safari?
Gorilla Tracking takes place in Uganda all year long. There are two rainy seasons where the trails become pretty muddy. One must realize that it does not rain all day long during the rainy seasons, and it will often rain during the night and early morning hours, and the sun will still come out on most days.
Month by Month – High Seasons are the Dry Seasons of the Year
The year’s busiest seasons for gorilla trekking are from Mid-June to September. October is the shoulder season’s transition month, moving toward the rainy season, and September and October have fewer tourists.
The other High-and Dry Season is from mid-December to March, and March is the transition or shoulder season month.
Low Seasons – Rainy Seasons of the Year
April to Mid-June is part of the rainy season. Luxury Lodges lower their rates during those times, but dates vary lodge by lodge. The benefits for some are fewer people, and the Savannah parks begin to bloom afresh.
November into Mid-December is the other rainy season. Rainy Season in Uganda does not mean Monsoon like the weather. The most rain falls at night, and the sun still comes out, but the trails are muddy.
Gorilla Trekking and Chimpanzee Trekking take place in Rainforests. There it can rain anytime. However, most rain falls at night or during the early pre-dawn morning hours. Here, read more about the Best Time of the Year for a Gorilla Trekking Safari in Uganda.
What do you want to see and do on your Gorilla Safari?
Here are some of the Things to do and see in addition to Gorilla Trekking
- Chimpanzee Trekking: Kibale Forest, Kalinzu Forest, Kyambura Gorge in Queen Elizabeth Park, Semliki Park. The best park for Chimpanzee Trekking is in Kibale Forest, where 12 other primates reside.
- Nocturnal walk in Kibale Rainforest: An out-of-the-ordinary experience where you encounter the rainforest creatures of the night.
- Golden Monkey Trekking: The Golden Monkey is a beautiful, endangered monkey. They live in the Bamboo Forest of the Virunga Volcanoes in Mgahinga Gorilla Park.
- Savannah Wildlife: Kidepo Valley Park, Murchison Falls Park, Queen Elizabeth Park, Semliki Park, Kabwoya and Pan Upe Wildlife Reserves, Lake Mburo Park.
- Hot Air Balloon Safari: Take place at dawn in Murchison Falls Park, the largest and most popular Savannah Park in Uganda. A traditional Sparkling Wine Bush Breakfast follows the Hot Air Balloon Safari.
- Hiking – Climbing: Mgahinga Gorilla Park Volcanoes, Bwindi Impenetrable in and near Queen Elizabeth Forest, the Rwenzori Mountains of the Moon, including the Foothills, Mount Elgon, Kidepo Valley, Lake Mburo Park, Semliki Park, Kibale Forest.
- Off-the-Beaten-Path Locations in Uganda: Uganda without the Crowds
- Authentic Africa: You can still find it in Uganda, in places like Kidepo Valley Park, Africa, as it was 50 years ago.
- Nile Adrenaline Pumping Adventures in Jinja: White Water Rafting, Kayaking, mild to wild.
- Birding: Uganda is the best destination for birders in Africa.
- Cultural Encounters in Uganda include Time with the Batwa, Karimojong, and Ik Peoples.
- Relax and Chill out: At the end of the Safari, spend a couple of days on the Tropical Sandy beach Ssese Islands. Bulago Island’s Pineapple Beach resort is the perfect spot to relax and chill out.
How many Days will I need for my Gorilla Safari?
The number of days depends on the activities that you choose. A 3-day Gorilla Trekking Safari is like dipping your toes into a swimming pool and calling it swimming. Ten days or longer allow you to immerse yourself in Safari Life and give you various activities and places.
Below are some examples of Gorilla Safaris for you to consider. All safaris are changeable to your liking.
- 3-Day Gorilla trekking or Habituation Safari: Three days is the minimum Time for a Gorilla Trekking or Habituation Experience Safari.
- 5-DAy Gorilla Wildlife Safari: The Safari includes Gorilla Trekking and wildlife, including the Tree Climbing Lions of Ishasha.
- 5 Day Gorilla – Chimpanzee Trekking Safari: Trek Gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Chimpanzees in Kibale Forest.
- 8-Day Gorilla Trekking – Hiking – Dugout Canoeing – Volcano Climbing Safari: Trek Gorillas in the Buhoma region of Bwindi Forest. Hike through the forest to the southern area. There you trek gorillas again. Hike to Lake Mutanda. Climb a Volcano in Mgahinga Gorilla Park.
- 8-Day Gorilla Trekking – Wildlife – Chimpanzee Trekking Safari: Gorilla Trekking or Habituation Experience in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
- 12-Day Gorilla – Chimpanzee – Wildlife Safari: A safari includes Gorilla – Chimpanzee Trekking, Queen Elizabeth Park, Murchison Falls Park, and Rhino Trekking.
- 14-Day Gorilla – Chimpanzee Wildlife – White Water Rafting on the Nile: The Safari includes Gorilla – Chimpanzee Trekking, Queen Elizabeth Park, Murchison Falls Park, Rhino Trekking, and Jinja on the Nile with White Water Rafting.
- 20-Day Gorilla – Chimpanzee- Wildlife – Jinja on the Nile – Mount Elgon-Sipi Falls – and the remote Kidepo Valley Park: This Safari takes most of Uganda.
The above suggested Safari types gave you the number of days required to incorporate various activities into your Safari. For more on Midrange Gorillas, go here; for Luxury Gorilla Safaris, click here.
The Activities and Parks you choose determine the number of Days you need for your Safari: You can also give us the number of days, and we will design a safari suitable for you. Additionally, the kind of accommodations you want further determines the cost of the safari. When you contact us, let us know if you like midrange, luxury, or exclusive Hotels and Lodges.
What Should I wear tracking Gorillas?
Here is practical advice about what to wear while Gorilla Trekking in Uganda. Often Trekkers are not dressed right for the occasion, which can spoil your day, and your focus might not be the Gorillas but personal discomfort and misery. Wearing suitable clothing and footwear is about protection.
Packing for your Gorilla Safari – including Gorilla Wear and Gear
- Daypack: Preferably a waterproof daypack, you can use it as a carry-on flying to Uganda. Pack all essentials inside of the daypack.
- Hiking Boots: Make sure that they have good treads on them. You will need ankle support, something boots give you and give you reactions on muddy trails. Have a good pair of merino wool socks.
- Long Trouser: They will protect you from nettles and thorns. Tuck the trousers into your socks for added protection from ants.
- Long-Sleeved Shirt: Neutral in color. Again, this is for your comfort and protection.
- Rain Jacket or Poncho: Pack into your daypack. You never know when it will train. You are in an Afro-montane Rainforest.
- Tough Gardening Gloves: This is to protect your hands from thorns, nettles, and sharp branches.
- Wide Brimmed Hat: It gives you protection from the Sun.
- Camera Equipment – Binoculars: Ensure extra batteries and storage devices. Put them into Ziploc bags. Binoculars are not needed if you are not a birder.
- Insect Repellent – Sun Lotion – Sunglasses: We recommend the effective Australian RID Insect Repellent. Good Sun blocker cream and sunglasses.
Read more about Gorilla Gear and Wear here. Read more about packing for a Gorilla Safari here that is more detailed. Here is more information about packing for your Safari that you might find helpful.
Go on your Gorilla Safari with a Local for the Best Experience:
Most Visitors and Tourists know little about Uganda and often much less about the fine art of organizing a Gorilla Safari.
Planning a Gorilla Safari is not something you throw together- the gorilla permits, and lodging takes thoughtful planning.
It would help if you planned for the distances, Drive Times, Road Conditions, vehicles, lodges, hotels, and a driver. By now, you might be ready for a one-stop planning experience and book your Safari with us instead.
We are not confused, and we know the Country quite well. We live and work here, and Safaris are our Business. While on Safari with us, you are going with a local, and your Ugandan driver-guide knows things you will never find researching on the Internet.
For an enriching Gorilla Safari Experience, go with a local tour operator. It will give you the lowest price and most information, and your driver guide will not need a GPS device. Read more about why you need a local, accredited Gorilla Safari Tour Operator. Here is how to choose the right Gorilla Safari Tour Operator.
Getting the Gorilla Permits for your Safari:
Gorilla Permits for Uganda are best booked through your Safari Tour Operator, such as us. That is the easiest and hassle-free way.
Permits in Uganda are booked through an AUTO – The Association of Uganda Tour Operators member who works with the Uganda Wildlife Authority to promote and sell tickets.
The bulk of the permits is allocated to and sold by tour operators who are members of the Association of Uganda Tour Operators and licensed by the Uganda Tourism Board.
A limited number of permits are sold to the public. However, having an accredited tour operator act on your behalf is much more convenient.
Permits cost $700 and are issued for a specific date and area. Tickets are not issued for specific Gorilla families.
Gorilla Habituation Experience Permits cost $1,500, and there are only four permits per day.
Choosing a Gorilla Lodge:
We recommend a mid-range or luxury lodge for a gorilla trekking safari rather than a budget or shoe-string Lodge. Let your focus be on the once-in-a-lifetime Gorilla Encounter Experience and not on a club that is not up to your expectations or standards.
You will need a tour operator such as Kabiza Wilderness Safaris to book you into the Lodge closest to where you will trek the gorillas. There are four trailheads in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
Mid-Range Lodges abound in and near Bwindi Forest around each trailhead. Luxury Lodges are concentrated in the Buhoma area, where gorilla trekking first took place in the 1990s.
Luxury lodges and exclusive Lodges are more limited in the Rushaga and Nkuringo in South Bwindi Forest. Mgahinga Gorilla Park has the luxury Mount Gahinga Lodge just at the park entrance. Midrange Lodges are located on Lake Mutanda.
All lodges have on-site security. No security breaches have been reported at lodges in Mgahinga Gorilla Park and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
Must read: Our Practical and Complete Guide to Mountain Gorilla Tracking
You will find Useful and Practical Gorilla Trekking Information -Tips – Advice. This is the perfect page for those that would like to track the Gentle Giants of the Forest, the Mountain Gorillas.
We provide you with an online guide filled with Gorilla Trekking Tips, Advice information, and information that will make planning a safari easier. It gives you info for Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla Park. Uganda is the only Country with two distinctly different gorilla habitats, another reason Trekkers have chosen Uganda as their favorite Primate Destination.
There are three countries with four Parks where you can track Mountain Gorillas. Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, where permits are $1,500. Virunga National Park in DR Congo, where tickets are $400, but you are dealing with ongoing Safety and Security Issues. Then there is Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla Park in Uganda with $700 permits.
Uganda has proven to be the affordable and safe Premier Mountain Gorilla Trekking Destination. A Gorilla Trekking Safari will cost half the price of a similar safari in Rwanda without compromising the quality of the Experience and lodges.
Your Gorilla Trek becomes a better experience if you know about Gorilla Trekking before you go. We will give you an idea of what to expect before and on the Trek. Here is what one of our clients wrote. “I chose Kabiza Wilderness Safaris because I came across their beneficial pages on gorilla trekking and found them to be straightforward and incredibly helpful. Even if you choose to go with someone else- read some of Kabiza’s content, and you’ll have a better trip.”-Ananda G.
Please read our Practical Guide to Gorilla Tracking – it gives you further and more in-depth information.
Booking your Gorilla Safari:
The Gorilla Safari Booking Process with Kabiza Wilderness Safaris
Contact us and tell us what you would like to include in you Gorilla-Chimpanzee-Wildlife Safari. Let us know whether you would like a midrange or luxury Safari
Planning your Safari
With your input we create the private, luxury or midrange Safari Itinerary that fits you. Permits are bought, Lodges are booked.
On the date of your choice - your African Dream Safari in Uganda begins
Advice on Booking your Flight to Uganda for your Gorilla Safari:
Try to resist the temptation to book a flight deal to Uganda before you have a good idea of your gorilla safari plans. First, having your safari plans and booking flights is always better, giving you more freedom to pick a gorilla safari that suits you and your budget. Also, having set travel dates (due to flights ) limits your choices, and you could miss fantastic travel deals.
Inflation Busting Discounts on our Midrange Value+ and Luxury Safaris:
Private Midrange Value+ Safari Discounts:
- 5% discount on a Safari of four to nine days in length: This includes quality midrange, quality, above average lodges who have agreed to work with us to be able this one-of-kind unprecedented discount to you. Arrival and departure days are included.
- 10% on 10-days or longer Safaris: Save an incredible 10% on your Safari in Uganda. 10% has never been offered by tour operators in Uganda, aside from times when gorilla permits were on special and time-limited discount by Uganda Wildlife Authority. Our discount is not limited to a short time; our offer is for all 2022 and 2023. However, the Safari must be booked by December 31. 220
Read more about Midrange Safaris here. When contacting us, include in your text “Inflation Discount.”
Private Luxury Safari Discounts:
10% discount on a Safari of four days or longer: This includes our Fly-In Safaris with Aerolink Safari Airline. We use the best Luxury Lodges available with whom we have working relationships. Most luxury lodges we use have seasonal discounts during the off-and-shoulder seasons of the Year. The dates of such seasonal discounts vary from lodge to club. We will automatically include such discounts and inform you of them.
Please Note: Gorilla Trekking, Gorilla Habituation Experience, Chimpanzee Trekking, and Chimpanzee Trekking, Golden Monkey Trekking, or Golden Monkey Permits are not discounted since they are set at a fixed price unless Uganda Wildlife Authority offers a temporary discount, then that discount will be reflected in the cost of the Safari. It should also be mentioned that our discounted Safaris are not a stripped-down version of what we usually offer. This offer is not retroactive, covering previously booked safaris.
Contact us about a Gorilla Safari.
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