Gorilla Watching in Uganda

Tracking the world’s greatest hairy human relative is the greatest unforgettable experience in world that you will never forget! Visiting the gorilla parks, hiking and getting to find the critically endangered mountain gorillas in their natural habitat is a great journey that is not only interesting but also educative. Early in the morning, a group of tourists assemble at various locations to take a hike in search of one of the habituated gorilla group! The scenery and attractions relating with the surrounding areas is a plus!

Upon meeting the gorillas, you have up to one hour to watch these great apes. Your watching will not distort their activities! You can find them feeding on their bamboo shoots and green leaves! The old ones are usually seen grooming them selves as the young enjoy playing in the tree branches! The adults do not forget their duty of parenting most especially the silver back gorilla, the head of the family.

For Uganda visitors, this kind of once in a lifetime experience is attainable on a visit to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga gorilla national park. Elsewhere gorilla tracking can be done in the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and the Virunga National Park of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Both Bwindi Forest and Mgahinga National Park are located in the south-western part of Uganda on the edge of the Rift Valley. The mist covered hillsides are sheltered within one of the oldest rain forests in the world. These parks “impenetrable and Mgahinga” also protects a half of the world’s total population of gorillas estimated to be as few as 900 mountain gorillas.

Both parks also inhabit different bird species, butterflies, animals and plant species.

For ornithologists, these parks hold over 600 species of birds and they contain 90% of the Albertine Rift endemics, hardily seen in any other part of the East Africa but atleast 100 bird species can be seen a day.

You can visit Buhoma, and Ruhija to see species like the African green broad bill (psedocalptomena graveri), dwarf honey guide (indicator pumilio), kivu ground thrush (zoothera a Tanganjicak), Lagdeen’s bush shrike ( Mahacanotus legdeni), Chaplin’s flycatcher (Musticapa lend), Oberhandar’s ground thrush, yellow eyed flycatcher, montane double-collared sunbird (Nectarinia ludoviencis), and dusky twinspot.

Other Things to Do

Apart from the popular gorilla safaris, there are many other exciting adventures in the area. Gorilla tracking in these parks can be accompanied with several other tourism activities like the primate watching, nature walks, cave exploration and village walks, mountain bike rides. Within Bwindi Forest volunteering and community work is possible. Visitors can also give a hand at the Bwindi hospital, a project that was set up from as a profit sharing scheme that was introduced in Uganda’s protected areas. From Mgahinga, you can enjoy a Batwa Trail or Pygmy experience, and community volunteering.

Where to Stay

Accommodation in the area is available with different range. These are located in and outside the parks. The all have Single rooms, double rooms, twin and farmily rooms and cottages and are built and designed using local materials such as sisal ropes, forest vines and many others with bathrooms (with hot water showers) and good veranda for viewing the spectacular scenery that surrounds the lodges.

Therefore, it is a place that one will never forget once you visit this small piece of the “Pearl of Africa”.

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