Bwindi from A to Z: My Gorilla Safari Experience

Author: Michael Theys

April 7, 2011

Author Has 206 Post(s)

 

1. En Route to Nkuringo Gorilla Campsite

- The Nkuringo Gorilla Campsite is less than 80 km away from Lake Bunyonyi Overland Resort, yet it takes at least 2-2,5 hours to get there as the road is extremely sinuous/part of it is in pretty bad shape.

- Despite the long drive though, you will most definitely enjoy the ride as the area is of immense beauty!

2. Nkuringo Gorilla Camp & Surroundings

- When the sky is clear and the mountains are visible, the spot is highly picturesque (you can see as far as Rwanda and the DRC).

- Local villagers are very friendly and most tourists end up being surrounded by children who love to play and laugh with “mzungus” (white people).

- Hike to the “Top of the World”, a wonderful viewpoint from which one can take breathtaking pictures.

3. Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge – 5 Star Accommodation Venue

- If you can bear the price (US$470-500 pppn), you will most definitely be enchanted by your stay there.

- If not, you can still drop by for drinks and benefit from the dead-gorgeous view of the valley from the terrace.

4. Gorilla Dance – Nkuringo Youth Initiative Group, Bwindi

- The gorilla dance is presented by the Nkuringo Youth Initiative Group.

- Aged from 2-20 +, they perform songs and dances that will make you fall in love with the area.

- The chief aim of the initiative is to encourage the youth to work for money instead of begging.

- The money collected from visitors is used for community projects and development programs.

5. Penetrating the “Impenetrable” – Bwindi Impenetrable National Park – Mountain Gorilla Encounter

Mountain Gorilla Trek: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How many mountain gorillas are there in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park?

There are approximately 345 mountain gorillas alone inside Bwindi, which represents about half of the world’s mountain gorilla population.

How much does it cost for a gorilla permit?

Gorilla permits are very volatile in pricing and usually vary from country to country. For the gorilla permit I got through UWA (the “Uganda Wildlife Authority”), I paid US$510 (2010 price). Nevertheless, I have heard they were thinking of increasing the rates to US$750 pp (to be confirmed).

How much does it cost for a porter?

Porters can be handy, especially when you have to trek for long hours before seeing the gorillas. A porter will typically cost you US$15 for the day.

How long does one need to hike before eventually finding the mountain gorillas?

There is no rule. Some people trek for as little as 30 minutes, while others may have to hike for as long as 8-10 hours before eventually finding them.

We were extremely lucky on my last visit as we encountered them after only 15 minutes. It almost felt disappointing as it was kind of too easy! :) ;)

NB: While the trackers and guides do their very best to find the primates, mountain gorilla sightings are by no means guaranteed. Some people may end up having to go back the next day to try and find them.

Do I get my money back for not being able to see the mountain gorillas?

Gorilla permits only get refunded in the following cases:

- If the visitor is sick (50% refund).

- If the gorilla family has crossed the border to one of the neighboring countries (full refund).

- If the tourists have been trekking the whole day without seeing mountain gorillas (75% refund of the tracking fee).

For general cancellations, refunds depend on how long in advance (to the tracking date) you cancel.

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For more information on mountain gorillas and how to plan your gorilla safari, visit the following links:

- Mountain Gorilla Trekking Briefing.

- Interesting Mountain Gorilla Facts.

 
 
 

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One Response to “Bwindi from A to Z: My Gorilla Safari Experience”

  1. One of the best ways to see a beautiful gorilla in his natural habit is to go on a Ugandan Gorilla trekking rwanda in Africa.

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