Watching a gorilla in its particular habitat is a rare experience, not so many people will do in their life. If you are in Uganda, though, you will have this chance. Plus the incredible privilege of admiring one of the most beautiful species in the world, Mountain Gorillas. These animals live in high plateaus among the mountains that divide Uganda from Rwanda and Republic of Congo. Mountain Gorillas are different than “normal” gorillas: they are taller, have longer furs, their colour is darker. Male gorillas of this species have particular silver reflections.
Mountain Gorillas mainly live in the territory of Rwanda, but you can also meet them in Uganda. Especially in two areas: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park. Most part of safari and trekking itineraries are organized at Bwindi but Mgahinga is another interesting scenario where to have a nice tourist experience. Nature and animals will welcome you as they welcomed the famous scientist Dian Fossey, “the lady of gorillas”, in the nearby Rwandese forests.

About the Gorillas’ parks

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park takes its name from the large and dense forests – tropical jungle – covering almost all its territory. It is impossible to explore this park with motor vehicles, you can only walk through it. And you must have a local guide by your side because it is dangerous to get lost along those paths. Mgahinga is the last part of Ugandese territory bordering both Rwanda and Congo. It consists of forests surrounding three volcanoes – Mt. Muhabura, Mt. Gahinga, Mt. Sabyinyo. No one of them is active anymore. Mountain Gorillas of Mgahinga Park are more accustomed to the human presence in their habitat, so they are less dangerous.

gorilla 1
mountain gorilla

How to see gorillas at Bwindi

In Entebbe and Kampala there are many tour operators organizing Mountain Gorillas trekking, tours or safaris through the two main natural parks. Just take all useful information at your hotel or by asking your travel agency and trust local guides all the time. If you want to see Mountain Gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park you will have to move to the place by airplane (landing at Kihihi or Kisoro) or by a 9-hour drive. The tourist lodges are in the northern area of the park and you will explore it mainly on foot. Trekking in this park will allow you to admire gorillas from a reasonable distance in total safe conditions. Every gorilla trekking could last 3, 5 or 7 days.

Gorilla trekking at Mgahinga

In order to enter Mgahinga National Park the town of reference is still Kisoro. So you will land over there, or get there by car from the main cities of Uganda. You will need a particular Visa or permission before starting your trekking, here. You will go both by jeep car, for a while, then on foot. Local gorillas are less dangerous than others so tourists can admire them from closer positions. In this park trekking and safaris may include also the visit to the volcanoes and a stop at the Batwa Caves. Trekking at Mgahinga National Park last from 6 hours to 2 days, depending on your guides. Be prepared, though: the itinerary is very tiring.

gorilla 2
mgahinga park