for free!
 This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Prefered" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, WW

Guide 0 Triplogs  0 Topics
  5 of 5 
26 0 0
tap icons for details
Difficulty 3 of 5
Distance Round Trip 3 miles
Trailhead Elevation 6,600 feet
Elevation Gain 1,000 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 1 - 7
Kokopelli Seeds 8
Interest Off-Trail Hiking & Perennial Waterfall
Backpack No
Dogs not allowed
Photos Viewed All MineFollowing
26  2019-07-15 gummo
author avatar Guides 9
Routes 0
Photos 11,828
Trips 216 map ( 1,039 miles )
Age Male Gender
Location mesa
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Expand Map
Preferred Jul, Aug, Dec, Jan → 8 AM
Sun  9:03pm - 9:08am
0 Alternative

Gorilla tracking and more
by gummo

 Likely In-Season!
remove free decal offer
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is located in southwestern Uganda in East Africa. The park is part of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, and is situated along the Democratic Republic of Congo border next to the Virunga National Park and on the edge of the Albertine Rift. It comprises 128 square miles of jungle forests and contains both montane and lowland forest and is accessible only on foot. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a high altitude rainforest. Peak rainfall occurs from March to April and from September to November. The park is home to many birds and mammals but people usually come to the park to see the mountain gorillas. All hikes in the park require a guide. Diverse species are a feature of the park, and it became an UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its ecological importance.

When I arrived at Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, I noticed that it was much cooler than the rest of Uganda. Air temps are very mild. I, like most tourists, came to the park to do the gorilla tracking tour. Permits for gorilla tracking range are $600. Tracking starts at 8am.

Prior to that, you talk to the ranger about what to expect when seeing the gorillas and some dangerous. Mountain gorillas are peaceful, and these gorillas are used to seeing people. The hike is rough. Mountain gorillas do not have GPS collars so they need to be tracked. Trackers leave an hour earlier to find the gorillas and study them. They radio back when the gorillas were found. Each team of tourists gets to track a family of gorillas. Mountain gorillas travel in small family usually numbering around 15. The number of individuals that we tracked was 12.

The guides told us that the permits were non-refundable and tracking happens rain or shine. The tracking can be easy and within 5 minutes of the road or could last 7 to 8 hours, so the hike could be very easy to very strenuous. My hike was not too bad, but hard for some people who do not hike regularly. If gorillas could not be found, then you would receive half the money back. Falls and exhaustion are the two most hazardous things to worry about when tracking.

The hike starts from the road and down hill. The terrain is steep and slick, as it's usually damp from the rain or morning dew. Long pants are recommended. Porters can be used to carry your gear for $15.

When I did the hike, we trekked up and down a few hills and got to the gorilla family we searched for. Seeing the mountain gorillas was a treat. They acted as if you were not there. They would come up to you, fart, beat their chests, and sometimes grab your clothes and bags. They didn't grab mine, though. They knew better. When you see the gorillas, by law, you are only allowed to spend an hour with them. The hour goes by fast.

Mountain gorillas are one of the most endangered species in the world. Their numbers are growing and poaching is down. They cannot live in capacity. Permits to see the gorillas usually need to be purchased 6 months in advanced. Fortunately, I had some connections, where I was able to get the permits a few days before. To purchase permits to see the chimpanzees, you can purchase those permits the day of tracking, despite what you read online.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2019-07-25 gummo
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Permit $$
    Special Use

    Map Drive
    FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

    To hike
    See road map. Most people come from Kampala or Kigali. Kigali is a shorter route.
    page created by gummo on Jul 25 2019 9:33 pm
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
    prehydrate & stay hydrated

    end of page marker