There are approximately 20 mountain gorilla family groups in the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park – eight to 11 of these families can be tracked and observed*. There are other family groups that have not been habituated for conservation reasons.
Expert Uganda Wildlife Authority officials spend approximately two years habituating a family group, allowing them to become acquainted to human visits. The mountain gorilla family groups are scattered among four areas in the park and identical to humans, their group structures and numbers change.
*As of 31 March 2022
What do I need to know?
- Make use of the porters (approximately USD 15 per trek), not only does it encourage sustainable employment in the community, but they are a great help up steep inclines and carrying your pack
- Be respectful when you see the gorillas, be silent and submissive. Stay calm and do as your expert guide directs you to do – this way, the gorillas will be unperturbed by your presence
- Take enough water and energy snacks. Your accommodations should supply these, but if you have a particular energy treat that you like, it is worth bringing along, as treks could take a couple of hours
- Investigate the gorilla habituation experience – spend up to four hours with researchers and Uganda Wildlife Authority as they follow a gorilla family group, getting to know the dynamics, while the gorillas become used to humans. This experience needs to be booked in advance through your expert travel planner
- Gratuity guidelines per guest are USD 15 for porters and USD 5 – 10 for park guides
- For guests who might find this terrain too challenging, we are able to offer the solution of a local stretcher or sedan chair to the nearest tracking point. These need to be booked in advance, at an additional cost
- For the photographers:
- As you are close to the gorillas, long lenses aren’t usually the best to use (and they are heavy to carry), a mid-zoom lenses such as a 24-70mm is a good option. Also be aware that lenses can mist up due to the humidity levels
- Flash photography is not allowed, so make sure you have the correct light settings
- Keep your camera in a waterproof bag to avoid it getting wet
- Don’t forget to charge your battery