Gorilla tracking in Uganda is a highly attractive venture for tourists. Many visitors tour Uganda purposely to see these primates who share 97% of their genes with humans. There are only about 700 gorillas remaining in the world and half the population is found in Uganda. These rare endangered animals are found in Bwindi impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park. These two parks are well protected by the Ugandan government and the gorillas are slowly increasing in number. However, tracking gorillas is not that easy since they live in dense rain forest and in steep slopes. Tracking the gorillas is tiring and can take between 2-9 hours depending on their movement.
There are four gorilla groups currently available to be visited by tourists in Bwindi impenetrable National Park. These includes Mubare group which has 10 gorillas and 1 silverback/male and was opened in 1993, Habinyanja group opened in July 1998 has 18 gorillas and 1 silverback, Rushegura group founded in July 2002 with a population of 10 gorillas and 1 silverback and Nkuringo group opened for tourism in April 2004 has 10 gorillas and 2 silverback. There is only one gorilla group (Nyakagyezi) in Mgahinga National Park which has 11 gorillas, 2 silverback, 3 adult females, 4 juveniles and 2 infants. These groups move freely to Rwanda therefore you should inquire whether they are available before touring the park.
You need to obtain an official permit to each of the parks a few months before safari to Uganda. Children below 15 years are not allowed for gorilla tracking. If you are sick or suffering from any contagious disease, you will not be allowed to visit these parks to avoid infecting the animals. No flash photographs are allowed and the maximum duration you can watch the animals is one hour. You are also required to stay 5meters away from them. The maximum number of visitors per day is between 6 and 9 per group. Drinking, eating, spiting or touching the gorillas is prohibited. In addition, you are not allowed to imitate the silverbacks by beating/thumping the chest since they can become angry and attack you. Warm clothes are advised since it is very cold in the thick forests.
For a more enjoyable trip you can combine Gorilla Tracking in Uganda with birding where you will get to watch over 1000 bird species! Other attractive sites in Uganda Gorilla Safaris include the wildlife viewing and cultural activities. You can also go fishing safaris in Lake Mburo, Lake Mbunyoni and also in Lake Victoria. A tour to the Ruwenzori mountains will also leave you with beautiful memories.
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