When is the best time to visit gorillas in Uganda? When it comes to having a memorable gorilla trekking experience in Uganda, the importance of timing cannot be overrated. Uganda is one of the countries that boasts best weather, security and modern infrastructure in the world. It is a beautiful country in Eastern Africa, with diverse range of flora and fauna, bordered by Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, Republic of Kenya and Tanzania. Half of the world’s mountain gorillas live in Uganda, where they may be found all year in the southern destinations of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Mountain gorillas have been Uganda’s top tourist draw for years.
The most well-known gorilla habitat is Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, which was the first to welcome visitors in 1991. In its four sectors, Nkuringo, Ruhija, Rushaga and Buhoma, there are around 19 gorilla families to track each day. The park is located at the base of the massive Virunga mountain ranges and features beautiful tropical jungle with the highest concentration of gorillas and other primate species in the world. Trekking activities are available all year, starting every morning at 8:00am.
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is another best place in the country to go gorilla trekking. It was established in 1991 and currently has one Gorilla family available for trekking, Nyakagezi. One of the most intriguing groups to come across at the base of Virunga Mountains – Mount. Gahinga, Sabyinyo and Muhabura.
Because gorilla trekking takes place on foot, deep in the bush, it is critical to be aware of Uganda’s weather trends. Rainfall occurs between the months of March and May, as well as in November, with mostly heavy showers. From June to October and late December to February, the weather is mostly dry with just sporadic showers. Regardless of the weather, these creatures take pleasure in their domain, feasting all day and sleeping like real kings of the forest.
Any month from June to October and December to March, is ideal for seeing the gorillas, though rainfall is still a possibility. Because there is not much mud or slick ground during these months, hiking the steep slopes of Virunga ranges is much easier. Dry months are the busiest, with a high number of visitors and dry grounds.
Rainy months are ideal for budget travelers and those who prefer less traffic. Majority of lodging facilities are affordable and give quite good discount to the few visitors, which makes traveling in this season a good idea. Another reason for traveling during this season, is squarely because permit prices are sometimes reduced, making them considerably more inexpensive.
The trek to see mountain gorillas begins at 6:00 a.m., with a pre-tour briefing conducted by ranger guides who explain various trekking rules and regulations to the trekkers. Gorillas are social creatures, living in groups, led by a dominant alpha male with silver-like lining at the back, with the authority to instill discipline. Majority of their time is spent feeding and migrating from one location to another in pursuit of new territories, When is the best time to visit gorillas in Uganda?
According to Uganda Wildlife Authority tariffs that took effect from June 2020 to July 2022, trekking permits cost 700 USD for foreign non-residents, 600 USD for foreign residents, and 250,000UGX for East African citizens.
Advice on what to carry while on a visit to see gorillas; waterproof hiking boots, rainproof jacket, gloves to cover your hands, a hat to cover your head/hair, good camera for photography, binoculars to watch distant species, long-sleeved shirts, trousers, Negative Covid-19 test certificate and insect repellents among others.
The best time to see mountain gorillas in Uganda is when you are prepared for this once-in-a-lifetime experience. It can be done at any time of the year, but months of June through September and December through February are the best. You can take a gorilla trekking tour during your honeymoon holiday, summer or winter vacation.