Mountain Gorilla National Parks in Uganda – Bwindi and Mgahinga
Mountain Gorilla National Parks in Uganda are only two and include Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park both found in south western Uganda. Of the two parks, Bwindi forest has the biggest number of mountain gorillas, that are also constitute half the total of these primate species in the whole world. There are 19 gorilla groups in Bwindi whereas Mgahinga has only one gorilla family, the Nyakagezi group. Bwindi forest is divided into 4 gorilla trekking sectors under visitors are able to see gorillas. The gorilla trekking regions in Bwindi include Buhoma sector in the north of the park and Ruhija sector in the eastern side of the forest. Nkuringo region and Rushaga Sector are both found in the south of the park. Each sector has gorilla families where each groups is allocated 8 visitors per day for trekking. In total, Bwindi National Park has 19 gorilla families which convert to 152 gorilla permits available for visitors. Besides gorilla trekking in Bwindi, tourists do enjoy nature walks and community tours among others. With several gorilla groups, the park is also characterised by dozens of safari lodges in categories of budget, midrange and luxury facilities where travellers can comfortable stay prior to and after the gorilla trekking tours. Bwindi National Park offer two options for visiting mountain gorillas in Uganda. The park offers gorilla trekking and gorilla habituation experience. A permit for trekking gorillas is at USD 700 whereas that for gorilla habituation experience is at USD 1500 and visitors are granted 4 hours to be with the primates.
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is the second destination for gorilla trekking in Uganda. Among the things to do in Mgahinga besides seeing gorillas include golden monkey trekking, hiking, nature walks and community tours. Mgahinga, which is an extension of the Virunga massif is the only place in Uganda for golden monkey tracking.
Access to the Gorilla Parks
Both Bwindi and Mgahinga National Park can be reached by road of flying from Entebbe, Kampala or Kigali in Rwanda. Going through Entebbe, one is able to transfer to any of the park by road which take almost 9 to 10 hours on the way. Nevertheless, Uganda gorilla tours from Entebbe are the most tiresome but rewarding in terms of sights and sounds of the country’s countryside. Similarly, it takes about 3 hours to transfer from Kigali to Uganda the gorilla parks in Uganda. Therefore, gorilla trekking in Uganda from Kigali is the most prefered option for seeing these endangered primates. The third transfer option to the parks is by flying from Entebbe to Kihihi airstrip near Bwindi forest or Kisoro Airstrip near Kisoro town where you get an easy access transfer to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. To visit the parks, travellers usually take 3 days gorilla safaris from Kigali to Uganda or Kampala, Entebbe to Bwindi for gorilla tracking. Due to fact that gorilla permits in Rwanda are at USD 1500 each, Bwindi and Mgahinga offer the cheapest ways for gorilla safaris in Uganda.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a mountainous forest and a biodiverse region in southwest Uganda. Covering 331 square kilometres, the thick forest is a home to half of the world’s remaining endangered mountain gorillas. The gorillas feed on leaves, roots and fruits from the forest’s several trees and undergrowth species. Gorilla Tourism is the major activity at the park. Read More.
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is also found in southwestern Uganda in Kisoro district. The park with one gorilla family covers a suface area of 33.9 square kilometres. Set up in 1991, the park has gorilla tracking as the major tourist activity. On top of gorilla tourism, visitors to the park are also able to do golden monkey trekking, nature walks as well mountain hiking. Read More.