It is amazing how one trip can change your whole attitude towards things you never thought about.
Uganda is one of only three countries in the world that still have mountain gorillas, besides being the Pearl of Africa. Many people around the world dream of an opportunity to come and visit them.
In the past, obtaining the permits to see the Gorillas seemed was a hard and expensive undertaking. How ever things have changed a bit now and the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) has made provisions for cheaper prices during the low tourist seasons. Their offices in Kampala are such an amazing start for a memorable trip. Their staff at the ticketing office, are welcoming and professional, have good advice on accommodation and transport modes for ones Uganda safari and who ever intends to have a safari to Uganda any time.
Opting to take a flight vs road transport
One may love to travel by road as most tourists that go for Uganda safaris do, but it is not only is it a long drive, but some parts of the road are seriously bad and result in reaching tourist destination late and very exhausted. The mountain Gorilla trekking safari destination –Bwindi impenetrable gorilla forest is a destination where you need all your strength to be able to hike and cross the hilly impenetrable forest climbing up and sloping down as you trek the mountain Gorillas. If you are to fly, there is a great airline – Aero Link with daily flights to Kihihi town just about 50 Km drive to most lodges in Bwindi.
It is a small aircraft that sets off from Entebbe Airport, for just one hour later; one will already be landing at a neat small air strip from where a tour car will be waiting to transfer you to you lodge. The scenery around is breath-taking, but the state of the road in some parts is so bad that one may almost forget how beautiful the surroundings is due to the bumps up and down due to rough terain.
You will pass many rice fields and the drivers will draw your attention to little high shelters in the middle of the fields. Usually, early in the morning and before sunset, farmers sit in these shelters making noise and clapping to scare away little birds that would otherwise feed on the grains.
Once you arrive at Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, an amazing forest which is actually a world heritage site and the residents of the area are taking this very seriously and struggle to be part of it all.
At Buhoma Lodge, Gorilla Forest Camp, Gorilla mist Camp,Mahogany Springs,Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge and others offer a great reception of fresh juice and smiles awaited all gorilla tracking safari tourists. For all the couple of days you spend in these lodges, the lodge Managers and their team make you feel at home or even better. The lodge owners have done a great job with the rooms that are very beautiful and eco-friendly, inclusive of a spectacular panoramic view from the terrace. These lodges serve delicious intercontinental dishes.
Adventure in the jungle (Bwindi Impenetrable Forest Park)
To start you Gorilla trek, a UWA official briefs you about the tracking requirements- good hiking shoes ,long sleeved trousers, and lots of insect repellent plus instructions about how to behave in the jungle. Always try to adhere to all rules in the jungle. One has to have a high level of fitness to be able to make the journey of Gorilla trekking as you have to track these gorillas in their natural set up/ habitat.You indeed have to very fit to enjoy this Gorilla trekking Uganda safari or at large all Uganda Safaris that have gorilla trekking as part of their itinerary package.
Evey morning, there are different groups tracking gorillas in the different parts of the forest. Ours was the H group. You may have a car ride to reach the edge of the forest depending on where your lodge is.
Once at the forest edge where Gorilla trekking starts, one of the most challenging yet exciting trips of your life starts, believe me this Gorilla trek will be your life time ultimate safari. After some hours of sweating, you will finally reach the spot where all the gorilla family will be feeding or having their rest in non assured numberd r anging from 3 to 30 menbers of the gorilla family under the protection of a silver back. Tracking these Mountain gorilla takes between 1-9 hrs depending on how far the Gorilla are, and once traked regulations allowed you only an hour near and photograph them,but this will be the best hour any safari/adventure addict will ever have in a life time.
As you walk back to the lodge, you will pass by tea plantations that are very close to the forest boundary wishing you would see more mountain gorillas here as you conclude your Uganda /Africa Gorilla trekking safari/tour and certainly you will want to have this amazing Uganda safari again and again as many tourists have intimated.
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