Mountain Gorilla tracking is one of the most fascinating activities you can undertake while on an African tourism safari.
It entails walking into the tropical bush in pursuit of these huge apes, and you can practically guarantee that you’ll get those close-up images of Uganda’s remaining gorillas.
While the activity is enjoyable, you must first ensure that you are physically healthy before embarking on any Uganda Gorilla Safaris.
This Gorilla guide was created to assist you in planning an amazing Gorilla Safari in Africa.
You’ll also find helpful information that can assist you in launching a successful gorilla-based tourism business in Africa.
The 10 Facts about Mountain Gorillas
- The name Gorilla is derived from a Greek word Gorillai meaning hairy women.
- Mountain Gorillas are only found in three countries in the world- Uganda, Rwanda and The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
- Mountain Gorillas are critically endangered species. There are only about 720 mountain gorillas left in the World.
- Over half the world’s mountain gorilla population is found in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda.
- Gorillas are the largest living primates.
- Like humans, mountain gorillas have individual finger prints.
- The DNA of gorillas is 98%-99% identical to that of humans, and they are the next closest living relatives to humans after the two chimpanzee species.
- Man is gorilla’s only enemy.
- A gorilla family is categorised in this way:
- Infant- 0 to 3 years
- Juvenile- 3 to 5 years
- Sub-adult- 5 to 9 years
- Adult female- 9+ years depending on when she starts her menses.
- Blackback- 9 to 12 years
- Silverback- 12+ years, depending on when the male develops a spray of silver on his back marking him as mature enough to head a family.
- Gorilla Tourism in Uganda brings money that is channelled back into mountain gorilla conservation and also benefits the communities that live near the mountain gorilla homing ranges. This goes a long way in preventing human-wildlife conflict.
Where to find Mountain Gorillas in Uganda
Uganda is the home to more than 380 endangered species of mountain gorillas.
The Gorillas are found in South Western part of the country in:
This year the United Nations declared it the year of the Gorilla! To increase awareness globally about the close cousins of mankind who have become endangered!
Therefore as the world marks 2009 the year of the Gorilla, Uganda promotes itself as a premium tourist destination with Bwindi Impenetrable National Park a world heritage site!
There are two main species of gorillas & four sub- species in Africa.
The two species are: The Western & Eastern Gorillas.
- The Western Gorillas are found in Nigeria, Cameroon, Gabon & Congo
- The Eastern Gorillas are found in Uganda, Rwanda & DR Congo.
Booking your Gorilla Safaris Permit
Currently there are five groups of Mountain Gorillas that have been habituated for tourists to view in Uganda.
The gorilla viewing permit will cost you about USD 500 (UGX 1 million) per tourist.
You can book your Mountain Gorilla permit through your Tour Operator who is registered with the Uganda Tour Operators Association.
Your tour operator will book the permit at the Uganda Wild Life Authority (UWA)Headquarters, located in Kampala, Uganda’s Capital.
The Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) allows long term bookings of as long as Two years for a 30% deposit of the gorilla permit fee, you then pay the balance 91 days before your Gorilla Tracking tour.
It is good to book your gorilla permit using a Uganda Tour operator because 80% of all the gorilla permits in each month are reserved for advance bookings forwarded by Uganda Tour Operators registered with the Association of Uganda Tour Operations (AUTO). Foreign tour operators usually book through the registered local tour operators.
A tour operator registered with the Association of Uganda Tour Operators (AUTO) can only book up to 20 permits for that particular month on the day the booking office opens, which is the first working day (Monday to Friday) of the month.
Mountain Gorilla Tracking sites
You can find habituated Uganda Gorillas in four Sites within Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, including:
- Rushegura &
You can also get a good view of these habituated Uganda Gorillas at Nyakagezi , which is the only Gorilla site within Mgahinga National Park.
A new group will soon be opened up to tourists in Rushaga- Kisoro after the habituation process.
Habituation is the process where the Gorillas are taught to be tolerant of people & their presence.
This is very important as Wild Gorillas can be violent even to Humans!
Usually eight people are permitted per group per day to Track these great Uganda Gorillas and a total of twenty four(24) people is taken in Bwindi, while eight (8) people are allowed for Mgahinga.
Gorilla tracking time is currently limited from 8:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and you will be expected back at the campground by 7:00 p.m.
A checklist of what to take?
- Solid walking shoes or boots
- Rain gear and hat
- Drinks and Snacks
You can also get a porter at a reasonable cost.
Uganda Mountain Gorilla Videos
The future of your Gorilla Based Tourism Business idea.
If you intend to base your Uganda tourism business on the presence of the Mountain Gorillas, you probably won’t go wrong.
The demand for Gorilla tourism is on the rise! & gorilla tourism plays a strong catalytic role to the growth of Uganda’s tourism industry.
In 2008 Uganda earned Ushs 488 Billion from gorilla tourism alone. This accounts for the 50.4% of revenue generated for the Wild life Authority.
Last year 842000 tourists visited the country mostly from Europe, USA & Asia and majority of them went for the Gorilla’s!
So if you are in the Pearl of Africa for business or pleasure take the opportunity to view these amazing beautiful endangered species who are close cousins of ours!
Mountain Gorilla News
Because our country is the habitat to over half the worlds gorilla population, we’re naturally able to bring you much of the latest Mountain Gorilla news updates, the much of which we’re part!
|Uganda Wildlife Authority in Gorilla Campaign Launch|
Uganda Wildlife Authority under the guidance of the Ministry of Tourism, Trade and Industry will next week launch an internet-based tourism campaign that will enhance marketing of Uganda as a premium tourism destination to local, regional and international markets.
The campaign, which will be anchored on mountain gorillas as Uganda’s flagship tourism attraction, is expected to raise about 100m US$ through the internet and other forms of sponsorships for wildlife conservation. The funds will help boost implementation of the various conservation programs of the Uganda Wildlife Authority.