Is Bwindi Impenetrable Forest SAFE to Visit?
A Question Frequently Asked Question: Is it safe to visit Bwindi Impenetrable Forest?
Is it safe to visit Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda for Gorilla Trekking?
A question often asked by those interested in trekking Gorillas in the Park.
There is a lot of misinformation that you can stumble across, such as the erroneous, outdated Uganda Travel Advice found on the Australian Government Travel Advice. Thank goodness most Australian Gorilla Trekkers have ignored it. You see no such incorrect advice from the US or the UK.
We live here, work here, and are a Gorilla Tour Operator that gives you the no-spin current conditions in the Park and the surrounding area. We base our information on our Driver reports, our Clients’ input, and the latest Uganda Wildlife Authority updates and Security conditions from the Ugandan Police and Military.
When it comes to safety and security, a Safari outcome is more important than the income gained.
Is it safe to visit Bwindi Impenetrable Forest?
We would not offer Gorilla Trekking Safaris if Bwindi Impenetrable Forest were unsafe. During the past 20 years, Uganda has provided secure Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. It has been so without Fail or Security Lapses. The Cost of a permit not only covers Gorilla Conservation but Safety and Security Measures. Security Plans are continually reviewed and improved to give Gorilla Trekkers, Birders, Hikers a safe and secure experience.
Tourism is Uganda’s Number income earner for the country. Gorilla Trekking brings in more dollars than any other tourist activity. Money used for Gorilla Conservation, for local Community support, plus the indirect and direct jobs that Gorilla Tourism provides. It is only logical to assume that Uganda would make Tourism Safety and Security a number one priority.
Without a Safe and Secure Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, there would be no Gorilla Tourism, no Gorilla Conservation, no Community Support, and a loss of thousands of jobs that directly or indirectly depend on Gorilla Tourism. It is only logical that Uganda, the communities around Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, those involved in Gorilla Tourism make safety and security the Number One priority.
Is it SAFE to visit Bwindi Impenetrable Forest?
Here is the reality, Uganda is the Premier Mountain Gorilla Destination in Africa, no matter what you may read online, in newspapers, travel brochures, or hear from some travel agent in London, New York, or Sydney. They will not tell you Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is home to half of the remaining Mountain Gorillas in the World. Uganda has twice the number of Habituated Gorilla Families that Rwanda has. That Uganda has twice the permits that Uganda has and that at 900 USD savings (800 USD after July 1, 2020) since permits in Rwanda cost 1,500 USD. That same 1,500 USD will get you 4-Hours with a Gorilla Family on a Gorilla Habituation Experience Trek.
Uganda has received thousands of Gorilla Trekkers from around the World. They found a safe and secure Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, no guerrillas, only Gorillas with which they had the most memorable encounters that for most are the experience of a lifetime.
Uganda is the only Mountain Gorilla Destination that is Guerrilla-Free. Neither Rwanda, at the time of this writing, nor DR Congo, can claim that.
Is it safe to visit Bwindi Impenetrable Forest? -Beyond the Park itself, you find safe and secure lodges to fit various price ranges. Still, all have 24/7 Lodge Security, supplemented by elite rapid response Military Teams, Police, plus Tourism Police.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is a natural Fort Knox where both Gorillas and Visitors are safe and secure. Preventive Measures are taken at every level, whether you are Birder, Hikers, or Gorilla Trekker, or Biker. Whether you are inside the Park, or on a Cultural Village Walk, or the Batwa Experience, your Safety, and Security are of concern to everyone.
COVID-19 has changed how you visit Bwindi Impenetrable Forest:
COVID-19 has changed how we live, travel, and go on a Safari in Uganda that includes Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Safety includes your health and the health of our close cousins, the mountain gorillas.
The Uganda Wildlife Authority, its veterinary staff, and the Ministry of Health have instituted COVID-19 Protocols that will protect tourists, the local population, UWA Rangers, and, importantly, the endangered mountain gorillas.
Visitors to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest that want to trek the gorillas must now follow the COVID-19 Standard Operating Rules for gorilla trekking.
Handwashing, the use of sanitizer, masks are now mandatory. The distance rule from the gorillas has been extended from seven to now ten meters.
One other notable change has a porter to assist you on the trek. Porters are not allowed to reduce the number of people visiting the gorillas. Exceptions to the rule are trekkers with a disability. For further reading, we suggest the Gorilla Protocol page and the porter page.
Our Take as a Gorilla Tour Operator: Is it SAFE to visit Bwindi Impenetrable Forest?
We Think and know from personal experience that the safest place to be in Uganda is on a Safari. We would further add that Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is one of the safest parks in all of East Africa, and that is based on a decade-plus experience bringing Trekkers to the Park without one incident.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. CNN has picked as one of the best Parks in Uganda, National Geographic Traveller – UK, put Bwindi Impenetrable Forest on its 2019 Cool Places List. None of that would have happened if Bwindi Impenetrable Forest was dangerous presently.
President Museveni has been leading the country since 1986. One of the most important things he has done was to create a stable, secure, safe state for both Ugandans and Visitors from afar.
If you are concerned about safety and security, we ask you to look at some of the other Security pages.