"Feel transported to a primordial and undiscovered world, though it may surprise you to come in contact with such a close relative: the rare mountain gorilla!"
Very few wildlife encounters can compete with mountain gorilla trekking. The chance to spend time with rare mountain gorillas in their natural habitat is a truly unique opportunity, and is one of the most amazing experiences our planet has to offer. A critically endangered species, it’s estimated that there are only around 880 individuals left in the wild, and because they are not known to be able to survive outside of their natural Albertine Rift mountain forest habitat, you won’t even find one in a zoo.
On this incredible four-day trekking tour you’ll travel to Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, home to nearly half of the world’s population of mountain gorillas. Situated in the south-west of Uganda, the park is renowned for its rolling green hills and lush mountainous landscapes, as well as its gorilla populations. Accompanied by an expert ranger, you’ll journey deep into the Bwindi forest to locate one of the 13 families of gorillas that live there – be prepared to negotiate difficult and rugged terrain! Your exertions will be more than rewarded, though, when you get the priceless chance to spend up to an hour observing a family of mountain gorillas in their natural habitat.
Read the story of Dian Fossey, guardian of the rare mountain gorilla, by clicking here.
The incredible story of the critically endangered mountain gorilla is testament to the power of conservation and, more specifically, ecotourism. Mountain gorillas are found in just three central African countries: Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. As a result of wars, poaching, and forest habitat loss in these countries, mountain gorilla populations sharply declined - just ten years ago their numbers were as low as 400, and the fate of these great apes looked bleak. Over the last ten years, though, there’s been a significant turnaround for mountain gorillas, with conservation efforts helping to boost numbers to over 800, as they stand today.
Ecotourism has played an important part in helping to bring Mountain Gorillas back from the brink of extinction, with the money made through gorilla tourism used to support conservation efforts. For example, funds generated through the cost of gorilla trekking permits have helped to provide funds for anti-poaching patrols, to support local communities, and to improve park infrastructure. By booking a gorilla trekking tour, travellers are able to directly contribute to the protection of mountain gorillas, whilst also experiencing one of the world’s most unique and memorable wildlife encounters! The future of mountain gorillas is intrinsically linked to ecotourism - neither can survive without the other.
Arrival: Upon your arrival at Uganda’s Entebbe International Airport, you’ll be met by your tour driver who will transfer you to your hotel. Depending on your arrival time, you may decide to take a leisurely walk in Entebbe’s Botanical Gardens, or go bird and monkey-watching around beautiful Lake Victoria.
Entebbe – Bwindi Forest National Park: After an early breakfast, you’ll begin your journey to Bwindi Forest National Park. Enjoy this scenic road-trip into south-western Uganda, and stop along the way for lunch in Mbarara town.
Gorilla Trek: Transfer to the park office at 7am to meet the rangers. They will allocate you a gorilla group and also give a pre-trek briefing before you head into the forest in search of the gorillas. It may take a few minutes to locate them, or even several hours, depending on where in the forest your gorilla group is, and also the type of terrain you need to negotiate. Either way, it’ll be an incredible adventure! Once you’ve finally found your gorilla family, you’ll spend an emotional and enthralling hour watching the gorillas in their natural forest habitat.
Departure: After breakfast, make the return journey to Entebbe and transfer to the airport for your homeward flight. En route, you’ll make a stop at Mbarara town for lunch, and also the Uganda Equator – a perfect photo opportunity!
- The rate shown is a 'from' price per person
- Click 'Ask a Question' up above to speak to the operator about this tour's availability, departure dates and costs
- It is advisable to book your tour well in advance as the gorilla permits are limited and sell out quickly, especially during the peak months of June, July, August and December.
- Only 8 people can track a gorilla group in a day
- Minimum group size: one traveler
- There is an age limit for Gorilla trekking which is 15 years
- Refunds: 60 days or more prior to arrival = refund 90%; 59 – 32 days prior to arrival = refund 75%; 31 – 8 days prior to arrival = refund 50%; 7 – 3 days prior to arrival = refund 25%; 48 hours or less prior to arrival = no refund.
- Airport transfers
- Transportation with a 4X4 tour car
- English speaking professional tour driver
- Drinking water in the car throughout the trip
- All meals
- One gorilla permit per person
- All park fees and taxes
- Visa fees
- Porter fees
- Premium drinks i.e. alcohol
- Travel insurance (highly recommended)
- Expenses of a personal nature (souvenirs, phone-calls, laundry etc)
- Anything else not mentioned in inclusions - if in doubt, click 'Ask a Question' up above to chat to the operator directly!