3 Day Uganda Gorilla Safari


3-Day Gorilla Trekking Safari in Uganda offers an adventure to the jungles of south western Uganda to see the rare mountain gorillas. Uganda is one of the best destinations for gorilla trekking in the world, as it is home to more than half of the remaining population of these endangered primates. Uganda has two national parks where you can encounter the gorillas: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.

However, this 3 Day gorilla trekking Uganda focuses mountain gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, which is the most popular and accessible park for gorilla trekking in Uganda. The Park covers an area of 331 square kilometers, boasts a rich biodiversity of flora and fauna and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a host to 19 habituated gorilla families that can be visited by tourists.

This itinerary starts and ends in Entebbe/Kampala where we pick you up to transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable forest. Accessing Uganda, you will fly to and from Entebbe International Airport. While in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, you will have the opportunity to trek mountain gorillas, interact with the local communities, learn about their culture and traditions which is also a chance to support the conservation efforts in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest before returning back to Entebbe/ Kampala

Safari Summary:

  • Day 1: Transfer from Entebbe or Kampala to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
  • Day 2: Undertake Mountain Gorilla trekking – Evening Optional Cultural Tour or Community Walk/ Visit
  • Day 3: Transfer/drive back to Kampala or Entebbe

Day by Day Itinerary

Day 1: Transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

After an early breakfast by 6;30 am, we depart from Kampala/ Entebbe towards southwestern Uganda, where the magnificent Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park awaits. This scenic drive will take you through countless green hills, terraced plantations, and rural villages, providing a glimpse of Uganda’s natural beauty with an enroute stop at the Kyahabwe Equator Point for photography and Igongo Cultural Center for Lunch

Upon reaching the park, settle into our booked chosen lodge and if time permits, explore the local community or engage in a guided nature walk to familiarize yourself with the surroundings of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.

Day 2: Undertake Mountain Gorilla trekking

The highlight of our 3 day gorilla trekking Bwindi  beckons on this day – an unforgettable face-to-face encounter with the gentle giants of the forest, the mountain gorillas.

The gorilla trekking experience starts with an early morning briefing at the park headquarters, where you will be assigned to a gorilla family and a ranger guide. There are 19 habituated gorilla families in Uganda, distributed across four sectors of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga, and Nkuringo) and one sector of Mgahinga Gorilla National Park (Nyakagezi). Each gorilla family has a unique name, history, and personality.

The ranger guide will lead you into the forest, following the trails and signs left by the gorillas. The trek can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 8 hours, depending on the location and movement of the gorillas. The terrain can be steep, muddy, and slippery, so you need to be physically fit and prepared for a challenging hike.

Once you find the gorillas, you will be allowed to spend one hour with them, observing their behavior, taking photos, and marveling at their beauty and intelligence. You will be amazed by how human-like they are, as they groom each other, play with their young, communicate with vocalizations, and display emotions. You will also be able to witness their unique features, such as their silver backs, muscular arms, expressive eyes, and gentle demeanor.

gorilla trekking uganda - 3 days

The trekking time will vary on the location of the gorilla group and their movements but normally a trek in anywhere between 30 minutes to 6 hours. After the unforgettable one hour we trek back to the park head quarters to receive a gorilla trekking certificate before we head back to our lodge. This evening you can opt for a cultural tour to meet the Batwa People or take on a community walking tour.

The Batwa are an indigenous group of hunter-gatherers who used to live in harmony with the forest before they were evicted to make way for gorilla conservation. You can join the Batwa Experience or the Batwa Trail to learn about their traditional way of life in the forest get to witness  how they make fire, hunted animals, collect honey, harvest plants, build shelters, and their ritual performances. .

Day 3: Transfer/drive back to Kampala or Entebbe

On the final day, we bid farewell to the forest and begin our journey back to Kampala or Entebbe. Reflect on the incredible experiences, memories, and photographs gathered during your Uganda gorilla trekking safari. Our safari guide/ driver will drop you off your hotel in Kampala/ Entebbe or at the Airport for your departure flight home

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    Why Choose Our 3-Day Gorilla Trekking Uganda Safari?

    When it comes to planning a gorilla trekking Uganda safari, it is essential to choose a reputable and experienced safari company that can provide an unforgettable experience.

    With years of experience in organizing gorilla trekking expeditions, Tusker Trails Holidays has garnered a solid reputation for providing exceptional services. knowledgeable guides ensure your safety and offer insightful information about the gorillas and the forest.

    3 days gorilla safari UgandaOur team of highly trained guides are not only passionate about gorilla conservation but also well-versed in the behavior and habits of these remarkable creatures. They will accompany you throughout your 3-day gorilla trekking Uganda, providing valuable guidance and making the experience both educational and thrilling.

    We believe in providing personalized service to each and every guest. We take pride in tailoring your 3 Days gorilla trekking Uganda safari to meet your specific requirements, ensuring that your trip is a truly unique and memorable experience.

    Why You Should Trek Mountain Gorillas in Uganda?

    Uganda is one of only three countries in the world where you can see mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. The other two are Rwanda and Congo. However, Uganda has some advantages over its neighbors that make it a more attractive destination for gorilla trekking.

    First of all, Uganda has more gorillas than any other country. According to the latest census conducted in 2018, there are about 1,063 mountain gorillas left in the wild, and 459 of them live in Uganda. That means that Uganda has almost half of the world’s population of mountain gorillas making it the ideal destination for a 3 day Uganda gorilla safari

    Secondly, Uganda has more habituated gorilla families than any other country. Habituation is a process of gradually getting the gorillas used to human presence without altering their natural behavior. This allows tourists to observe them from a close distance without disturbing them. Uganda has 19 habituated gorilla families that can be visited by tourists, while Rwanda has 12 and Congo has 8.

    Thirdly, Uganda has more diversity in terms of gorilla trekking options than any other country. You can choose your 3 day gorilla trekking Uganda safari between two different national parks (Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park), four different sectors within Bwindi (Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga, and Nkuringo), and different levels of difficulty depending on the location and terrain of the gorilla family you are assigned to. You can also opt for a longer and more immersive experience called gorilla habituation, where you can spend up to four hours with a semi-habituated gorilla family under the guidance of researchers.

    Uganda also has more affordable prices for gorilla trekking than any other country. A gorilla permit in Uganda costs $800 per person, while in Rwanda it costs $1,500 and in Congo it costs $400. However, Congo is less stable and secure than Uganda and Rwanda, and its gorilla trekking infrastructure is less developed. Therefore, Uganda offers the best value for money for gorilla trekking in terms of quality and quantity.

    Planning and Preparation

    Planning and preparation are essential for an enjoyable 3 day Uganda gorilla safari. Here are some of the things you need to consider before you embark on your journey:

    Gorilla Permits

    You need a gorilla permit to be able to trek the mountain gorillas in Uganda. A gorilla permit costs $700 per person per trek, and it includes park entry fees, ranger guides, and a one-hour interaction with a gorilla family. You can book your gorilla permit through a reputable tour operator or directly with the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA). Gorilla permits are limited and sell out quickly, so it is advisable to book them at least 6 months in advance.

    Packing List

    You need to pack wisely for your 3 day gorilla trekking Uganda safari, as you will be trekking in a tropical rainforest with varying weather conditions. Some of the essential items you need to pack are:

    1. A valid passport and visa
    2. A yellow fever vaccination certificate
    3. A printed copy of your gorilla permit
    4. Comfortable hiking shoes or boots
    5. Long-sleeved shirts and trousers
    6. A waterproof jacket or poncho
    7. A hat and sunglasses
    8. A pair of gloves
    9. A pair of binoculars
    10. A camera and extra batteries
    11. Insect repellent and sunscreen
    12. A small backpack with snacks and water
    13. A first aid kit and personal medication

    The Best time to Go Gorilla Trekking in Uganda

    The best time to embark on this 3 Days Gorilla trekking Uganda safari is during the dry seasons, which are from June to August and December to February. During these months, the trails are less slippery and the weather is more favorable. Nevertheless, Uganda’s gorilla parks are open all year long making it possible to trek these majestic apes throughout the year

    Gorilla Habituation Experience

    If you want to spend more time with the gorillas and learn more about their conservation on this 3 days Gorilla trekking in Uganda, you can opt for the gorilla habituation experience. This is a special activity that allows you to join the researchers and trackers who are habituating a new gorilla family in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

    The gorilla habituation experience lasts for 4 hours, and it involves following and observing the gorillas as they get used to the presence of humans. You will also be able to participate in collecting data, taking notes, and recording behaviors. The gorilla habituation experience is a rare and exclusive opportunity that gives you a deeper insight into the lives and personalities of the gorillas.

    The gorilla habituation experience costs $1,500 per person per trek, and it is only available in the Rushaga sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. There are only two gorilla families that are undergoing habituation, and only four permits are issued per day. Therefore, you need to book your gorilla habituation experience well in advance.

    Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

    Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Parkl is one of the oldest and most biologically diverse forests in Africa. It dates back to over 25,000 years ago and has survived the last ice age. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a biodiversity hotspot, hosting over 1,200 plant species, 310 butterfly species, 88 moth species, 51 reptile species, 120 mammal species, and 350 bird species.

    The park is located in the southwestern part of Uganda, near the border with Rwanda and Congo. It covers an area of 331 square kilometers and ranges in altitude from 1,160 meters to 2,607 meters above sea level. The park has a tropical climate with two rainy seasons (March-May and September-November) and two dry seasons (June-August and December-February).

    3 days gorilla trekking bwindi

    The park is divided into four sectors: Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga, and Nkuringo. Each sector has its own gorilla families, accommodation options, and attractions. The sectors are connected by roads that can be accessed by 4×4 vehicles. However, the roads are often rough and muddy, especially during the rainy season. Therefore, it is advisable to hire a reliable tour operator or driver who knows the area well.

    Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is the most popular and accessible park for gorilla trekking in Uganda. It hosts 19 habituated gorilla families that can be visited by tourists. Each gorilla family has a unique name, history, and composition. Some of the most famous gorilla families in Bwindi are:

    • Mubare: The first gorilla family to be habituated in Bwindi in 1993. It is located in the Buhoma sector and has 8 members, including one silverback named Kanyonyi.
    • Rushegura: A splinter group from Mubare that was formed in 2002. It is also located in the Buhoma sector and has 19 members, including one silverback named Kabukojo.
    • Habinyanja: Another splinter group from Mubare that was formed in 1997. It is also located in the Buhoma sector and has 17 members, including two silverbacks named Makara and Rwansigazi.
    • Bitukura: A relatively young gorilla family that was habituated in 2008. It is located in the Ruhija sector and has 14 members, including four silverbacks named Ndahura, Karamuzi, Rukara, and Rukumu.
    • Oruzogo: Another relatively young gorilla family that was habituated in 2011. It is also located in the Ruhija sector and has 17 members, including one silverback named Tibirikwata.
    • Nshongi: The largest gorilla family in Bwindi that was habituated in 2009. It is located in the Rushaga sector and has 26 members, including two silverbacks named Nshongi and Kakono.
    • Mishaya: A splinter group from Nshongi that was formed in 2010. It is also located in the Rushaga sector and has 12 members, including one silverback named Mishaya.
    • Kahungye: Another splinter group from Nshongi that was formed in 2011. It is also located in the Rushaga sector and has 13 members, including three silverbacks named Rumansi, Rwigi, and Ruhamuka.
    • Bweza: Another splinter group from Kahungye that was formed in 2012. It is also located in the Rushaga sector and has 9 members

    How do you get to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest?

    The quickest way to reach Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is by flying into Entebbe International Airport, located near the capital city of Kampala. From there, you can either take a domestic flight to Kihihi or Kisoro Airstrip, or embark on a scenic road trip to the forest.

    For those choosing the cheaper road option, booking a guided 3 Days Gorilla trekking safari with a tour operator is highly recommended. The journey from Entebbe to Bwindi takes approximately 8-10 hours, depending on the route taken and traffic conditions. If not in a rush, it is advisable to break the journey with an overnight stop to enjoy the stunning landscapes along the way.

    At Tusker Trails Holidays, as part of our 3-Day Gorilla trekking Uganda Safari, we provide reliable transportation services to ensure a smooth and convenient journey to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. From airport transfers to comfortable vehicles for your entire expedition, we take care of all your travel needs.

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