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Gorilla Trekking in Uganda

Visit mountain gorillas in the Bwindi Forests of Uganda

The 130 square kilometre Bwindi Impenetrable National Park encompasses the Ugandan portion of the Virunga Mountains, a range of six extinct and three active volcanoes that forms the border with Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park embraces a rich mosaic of montane ecosystems, including evergreen and bamboo forest, open grassland, swamp and heath.

The park is particularly famous for the mountain gorillas which roam freely through the rainforest in small family groups. 

Trekking to meet mountain gorillas face-to-face represents the ultimate wildlife encounter and if you’re intending to visit east Africa then this is an experience not to be missed. Mountain gorillas are critically endangered with none found in captivity and only about 700 left in the world, about half of which are found in the mountains of Uganda and the rest in the neighbouring Rwanda and Congo, so visiting them in their own habitat is something only a few lucky people will ever be able to experience. 

During the trek you may also be lucky enough to see the endangered golden monkeys, elusive buffalos and elephants, as well as diverse colourful birds and other monkey species.

Best time to visit Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

It is possible to track mountain gorillas year-round. Visiting during the long dry season between June and September is best, however you can get wet at any time of the year in the Ugandan rainforest.

Booking information for the Gorilla Trek

Book early to secure your permit

Due to strict conservation controls imposed by the Office Ugandais du Tourism et des Parcs Nationaux (ORTPN) to protect the remaining gorillas, no more than 56 permits are issued per day, and groups of 8 people can visit a family group on any given day. If you want to visit the gorillas you must apply for an official permit in advance of travel.

We cannot guarantee the availability of permits and Gorilla Trek bookings will always be ‘on request’ until confirmed by our London office. In order to secure a permit you must provide Tucan Travel or your travel consultant with your passport details in writing at the time you request your Gorilla Trek as we cannot book or confirm your permit without this.

Your permit is linked to your name and passport number, you MUST apply for your permit with the same passport as you will use to travel to Uganda. It is extremely important to check that it has a minimum of 6 months validity after the end of your tour before you apply.

If you choose to book a tour that includes the Gorilla Trek within 60 days of your tour departure (90 days during high season) we will attempt to secure you a permit but limited availability is likely to greatly reduce your chances of success, particularly in peak season.

Cancellation

Once your permit has been confirmed we cannot make any changes to the trek date as the permit is non-changeable and non-refundable. If other changes need to be made to the permit (excluding date changes), an administration charge will apply, so it is important that you give us all the correct details when booking.

Cancellation by you is subject to our standard booking conditions. If you change the departure date for a group tour or Add-on that includes the Gorilla Trek, you will be required to pay for a new Gorilla Trek permit.

Price changes

The prices quoted are subject to local regulation and prices for permits and transportation may change without notice. Although we will endeavour to keep to the fees listed, it may become necessary to change our prices if permit or transportation costs increase. The cost of the trek is based on the trekking date and not the booking date.

Any changes in permit prices will be posted on our website and also advised at the time of booking if known. You will be advised whether the price increase needs to be paid at the time of booking or locally in US dollars cash. Once your Gorilla Trek permit has been confirmed the discount will not apply if you do not complete the trek or if you do not see the mountain gorillas.

Please note: Mountain gorillas are wild animals, move around a lot and they are not easy to track, therefore we cannot 100% guarantee you will see them, however we have never missed out on any of our tours.

Free time in Lake Bunyonyi

If permits are no longer available a discount will be taken from your Overland Tour price and you will have free time to enjoy the sights in and around Lake Bunyonyi. During your free time in Lake Bunyonyi you can explore the lake or organise your own excursions.

On Budget Expeditions tours, the Gorilla Trek is an optional excursion (that must be booked before departure) and is not included in the tour price. If you do not opt to book the Gorilla Trek excursion or permits are no longer available, you will have free time to enjoy the sights in and around Lake Bunyonyi.

 

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