Gorilla tracking Bwindi forest
Gorilla tracking Bwindi impenetrable national park first started in 1999 when Mubare gorilla group hosted tourists for a gorilla tracking adventure for the very first time and with growth of other Gorilla groups, it has since then raised to the top as one of the biggest highlights on a tour to Uganda as Gorillas are considered a worldwide endangered species and yet Uganda alone has 50% of the world’s Gorilla population. Making it a highly ranked destination for Gorilla tracking. Gorilla tracking bwindi is done in groups of 8 people at a time to preserve the natural habitat and prevent overuse. Briefing is given before beginning the tracking and you’re informed about the dos and don’ts during your Gorilla tracking
The Gorilla tracking bwindi forest rules
- When tracking these beautiful creatures, do not come too close to them as they can feel threatened and you yourself could pass onto them an infection because they are a close relative to humans and therefore have a likelihood to get some diseases that humans get
- Stay at a distance of about 5m
- Flash photography is not allowed
- Keep in a group and don’t wander off on your own because it’s very easy to get lost in the thick canopies of Bwindi
- No eating, drinking or smoking near the animals and if you do stop for lunch kindly please do not litter so as to preserve the natural habitat for the animals
What to bring for your Gorilla tracking safari
- A waterproof bag that can keep your equipment well protected from the unexpected down pour while tracking
- Raincoat is a must as the rainfall in this area is quite unpredictable
- High performance walking, hiking boots
- An effective insect repellent is always a lifesaver in Africa
Social and feeding structure
Gorillas live in a group that could be as large as 30 members and they are led by an adult silver back of about 12 years and above. Gorillas can be a little shy sometimes but when threatened, they become aggressive and fearless like “the king of the jungle”. The silverback has the duty to protect members of the group and decide various activities like rest, feeding trips and travel.
They feed on mostly vegetation and the biggest part of their diet consists of fruits, they can eat termites, caterpillars. A male Gorilla consumes 44lbs(18kg) of vegetation per day and it uses its strength to uproot vegetation and eat a particular part without over exploiting the area.
Age limit for Gorilla tracking
15 years and above
What makes mountain gorillas unique
These have shorter arms and are larger than the lowland gorillas. Mountain gorillas also have longer hair on their bodies compared to lowland gorillas
Gorilla family groups in Bwindi
The park has 4 main areas that have a number of Gorilla groups
Where the park headquarters are located has the following groups : Mubare gorilla group, this group opened up the path to gorilla tracking in Bwindi that receiving tourist in 1993. But the area, Mubare was first habituated in 1991. Habiyanja Gorilla group, habituated in 1997 and started receiving tourists 1999. Rushegura Gorilla group, was first habituated in 2000 and then got tourists in 2002
|17 individuals with 2 Silver backs||8 individuals with 1 silver back||19 individuals with 1 silver back|
Nshongi Gorilla group, named after River Nshongi is the biggest habituated Gorilla group in Uganda comprising of 25 members per the time of opening and later 10 members broke off to form the Mishaya group. This group is the most tracked. Mishaya Gorilla group comprises of a group of 10 members that broke away from the Nshongi group. Businge formed in 2017, Kahunge that has 27 members and Bweza
|9 individuals with 1 silver backs||11 individuals with 1 silver back||13 individuals with 3 silver backs||26 individuals with 4 silver backs||12 individuals with 1 silver back|
Nkuringo Gorilla group, this is the most favorite group to those who track it with a challenging but worth while hike and it offers the best accommodation facilities.
Accommodation options during your Gorilla tracking bwindi
Your safari lodge will depend on the group you are interested in tracking as various groups are affiliated to a given area and on which kind of trip you are intending to have i.e budget, mid range or luxury
Budget accommodations include
Broad hill forest camp, Buhoma community rest camp, Bwindi view Bandas, Gift of nature lodge, Nshongi camp, Nshongi Gorilla resort, Ruhija community rest camp
Gorilla Mist camp, Gorilla valley lodge, Nkuringo Gorilla camp, silverback lodge, Eco Marvels Gorilla Resort, Engagi lodge
Buhoma lodge, Chameleon hill lodg, Clouds mount gorilla lodge, Gorilla forest camp, Gorilla safari lodge, Mahogany springs, Volcanoes safaris Bwindi.