The 101 Logic of Trekking with Gorillas in Uganda Successfully


It all starts from when one navigates the web for a tour to Uganda, and behold there comes thousands of results all having the 'Mountain Gorilla' term in them. Here one may begin to wonder why of all wildlife?.

Before you get puzzled the answer is that the Mountain Gorilla is one of the most sought after creatures on the planet for a number of reasons. First, because of its diminishing population that is almost going the dinosaur way. Less than 1000 individuals of this great ape are remaining on the planet and of which more than half is in Uganda.
Do you get surprised on hearing this?


I know that great travelers will not wonder after tasting the real gem in this small country almost the size of UK or Orebro state. It is no wonder that its great treasure prompted the then British prime minister Sir Winston Church hill to name it the Pearl of Africa in 1907 years after the great missionary; Alexander Mackay had called it the 'eye of Africa' in the last half of the 19th Century when his countrymen called him off the mission but could not leave the treasure that he had seen. If this humble nation could pull the people from as far as Europe, from their comfort zones, it is less surprising then that the homeless creatures which are struggling for survival elsewhere like the Mountain Gorillas will definitely find home in its dense natural forests.


Secondly, the mountain Gorilla is considered as man's evolutionary cousin for those who believe in the evolution theory to explain man's existence. This therefore makes it an important creature to be looked at. Allow me just stop at these 2 main reasons as for now and leave you with the task of finding out more about why this gentle creature is highly sought after by travelers to Africa. If you doubt so, check out the diseases these creatures suffer from and the medicine they give them, you will discover that we have a lot in common. Back to the core of our topic planning a gorilla safari in Uganda requires the traveller to find a tour operator to help him/her on arranging this wonderful safari experience. A Uganda gorilla permit is purchased from Uganda Wildlife Authority indicating the trekking dates, and all the necessary reservations and arrangements are finalized.


Arrival in Uganda at the Entebbe international airport, you will recall the Israelite invasion of Uganda in 1970s in an effort to save their citizens who had been taken captive by the terrorists that found ground in Uganda after making a deal with Idi Amin; the then president, when your eyes stretch to the old buildings at the old airport and the bullet marks on the former control radar. However the exquisite smiles of beautiful ladies and handsome men will beckon a welcome signal of a land with much more than the gorillas. A tour operator's representative will officially welcome you and brief you about your stay in Uganda. In most cases, you will be driven to the country's capital; Kampala where you will be stunned by the level of business as you approach the city center.


Noise of traders along the streets calling out for customers, Boda boda (motor cycle taxis) riders maneuvering in the congested streets, taxis hooting at the overcrowded pedestrians and local men pushing over loaded bicycles will be a welcome signal to the Country's busiest city as your driver struggles through the traffic jam. The roads may not be purely fine as pot holes may be encountered in some parts within the city. You will reach the climax of your reception when you finally reach at the hotel/lodge. Most of the hotels in the city are well furnished with excellent and caring staff take this chance to explore in the African scrumptious cousines as well as some foreign dishes. You will relax till the following day as you enjoy life in your new environment. If you like beers, most of these hotels have well stocked bars and restaurants with some operating 24 hours.


The beginning of an Adventure the following day, you will leave the noise and congestion of the city and drive south west through a verdant country side with road side businesses like meat roasting and en route sights of men vending heavy loads of Matooke on the bicycles as you picture out the Country's key economic activities. A stopover at the equator allows you time for photography and water experiment while the picturesque sight of the Ankole long horned cows in Mbarara will cap your day's experience. After a lunch stop in Mbarara, the fascinating scenery of the rolling hills adorned with terraces will sedately welcome you to the region of the Mountain gorillas. The welcoming and caring people of Uganda will give you memories that will make you shade tears when your time to leave the country comes. As you continue to approach the park, you can't avoid hearing chants of 'Mzungu,' meaning a white person by children playing by the roadside excited at seeing you. You will be taken to your booked lodge where you will relax within two worlds. The outside of it blends with the environment and looks more rustic yet the inside of it, is a city like ambiance. However most of the park lodges may not have sufficient power and mostly use solar lanterns because they try to minimize on the environmental impacts as they give you a serene experience in a remote setting. The lodges strive to give you a real taste of an African adventure.


The Awaited day As you wake up ready to look into the eyes of a creature that the American zoologist Dian Fossey gave up her life for, you will be required to arrive at the park headquarters early enough at around 7 am in order to be briefed about the dos and don'ts while with these endangered apes. As you enter this dense forest, it will seem to close in on you as you hike the towering hills, marvel at the misty valleys and maneuver through massive trees with thick undergrowth while hearing mysterious sounds. This will click a remainder that you are in a true African jungle. This quest for the Mountain Gorilla may take you 30 minutes to 10 hours depending on where they will have spent the previous night as you make your way through this impenetrable forest. Do not forget to carry packed lunch, tracking gear like gum boots, rain coats, long sleeved shirts/ blouses, and drinking water. Porters are available for hire in order to make you comfortable to track without burden of the luggage.


Remember that hiring a porter also helps in improving the livelihood of the community since porters are from within the neighboring communities to the park. Once you capture their view, you have a full hour guarantee to be with them as you learn and observe their behavior while taking photos to back up your memory. After the one hour with them, you will begin your journey back to the lodge as you begin to ponder on when you will traipse this forest again. The tourism business of trekking with gorillas in Africa takes place only 3 countries today, namely; Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo though tracking is commonly done in the first two because Democratic Republic of Congo has been faced with an insurgency by the M23 rebels hence making it unsafe for tourists. A gorilla permit costs $750 in Rwanda while in Uganda; it is sold at $600. Uganda Wildlife Authority ( has offered gorilla permit discounts in the Months of April, May and November this year where one can get a permit at $350. You can as well book yours for this November now. With the gorilla trekking done, what next?. Though the lure of the gorilla is very strong, do not forget to take your time and explore the other gem in this lush country.


Take time to interact with its wonderful people; regarded as the most welcoming and hospitable on the continent. Plenty of other wild life like the big five mammals and a variety of bird species are yet another gem you do not have to miss.

  • Pre cautions about tracking
  • Children below 15 are not allowed to track the Mountain Gorillas
  • It is advisable to carry packed food and drinking water since you may not know how long it may take you to see gorillas.
  • You are advised to dress in long sleeved shirts/ blouses, long pants and pack any rain proof gear like a rain coat since it may rain at any time of the day. Shoes that reach above the ankles like gum boots are highly recommended since you may pass through muddy spots in the forest.
  • No individual with any illness like fever or flue is allowed to trek Gorillas because they (gorillas) may get infected with the illness.
  • You are not allowed to touch the gorillas or come closer than 7m to them for the sake of your safety and that of the gorillas. You are highly welcome to travel with us and make this gorilla trek safari one of your lifetime.