Wildebeest Migration Safari Diaries

The wildebeest migration safari is an annual mass animal migration in the Masai mara and Serengeti Eco system. The migration involves a movement of millions of wildebeest, Thompson gazelles, zebras across the open plains searching for fresh pastures. The wildebeest migration safari is a wildlife wonder to look out for when visiting Kenya and Tanzania for a classic African wildlife experience.

The annual animal movement features the mating, calving and growth stages that keeps the crowds alive. A number of these are also targeted by the deadly predators the ecosystem has from Lions to the deadly crocodiles in the River Grumeti and Mara. Despite all these challenges, the births along the trail keeps the animals in the migration going year in year out.

All these happen in a particular month transcending into another. This helps travellers to know the best month or stage to catch up with the migration.

Wildebeest Migration Safari. African Safaris
Wildebeest Migration. Courtesy Photo

Wildebeest Migration safari Month by Month

The wildebeest migration being an annual migration gives a unique experience each month or quarter. The calving period is a great time to view the newly borns and how they adopt with the deadly open savanna’s. The River Crossings are the most anticipated as wildebeest struggle crossing the paths of the deadly crocodiles. Let is briefly look the the wildebeest migration safari activity month per month. For anyone planning a safari featuring the migration this would help to know when to visit or what to expect at a particular month.

December to February

The rains in November favours growth of pasture that the wildebeest continue to feed on as they slowly drift south of Serengeti. From mid November throughout January Southern Serengeti is the best place to catch up with the migration. More wildebeest continue calving reaching the peak in February.

A Serengeti Safari around February is humbling as you might get to see wildebeest births in the wilderness. The predators use this time attacking the young and  isolated wildebeest as the crowd slowly moves towards Central Serengeti.

March to April

These months are wet and high chances of rainfall. This however does not deter the wildebeest migration journey in Central and western Serengeti. There is often plenty of pastures to feed on and much it is a low tourist season, the migratory birds set in making a wildebeest migration safari even more enjoyable.

While in Tanzania ensure to book your accommodation strategically to catch up with the live a action wildebeest migration.

May to June

As May sets in, the wildebeest move towards Northern Serengeti always driven by the need for fresher grazing grounds. May is also a transition month from the wet to the dry season and a great time for wildlife viewing.

The wildebeest plus other major herbivores continue sweeping across the north as they prepare for their adventure in the Masai Mara. The rains in March and April increase the water levels of Grumeti River but by June it starts reducing and the wildebeest start their River crossing quest. At the Grumeti River you can spot some crocodiles but River crossings are not as enjoyable as the Mara River crossings. Nevertheless, it is always fascinating to see the bold wildebeests that take the first jump leading the whole group.  

July to September

The July to September period doubles as the peak tourist season and it is very significant time for a wildebeest migration safari. It features the migration River crossings in the Serengeti and Masai Mara Ecosystems. Two major Rivers are Grumeti and Mara. These are home to some of world’s deadliest Nile crocodiles that the Wildebeest have to overcome on their journey northwards to the great Masai Mara.

The wildebeest River crossings start in July as the wildebeest would have reached Western Serengeti. The major first River Crossing obstacle they meet is River Grumeti and tense but quite a sight to see for adventure lovers. Towards the end of July, the surviving herds of the wildebeest continue to northern Serengeti. From early to mid August, the crowds proceed through northern Serengeti into Masai Mara and cross the Mara River yet another obstacle on their journey.

In the Mara region they get to enjoy the lush grasses that act as hiding places for worlds’ fierce predators especially the lions. While in the Mara ecosystem, the wildebeest traverse the northern Mara conservancies before starting their journey back to the Serengeti. Here they once again Cross the Mara River an event that attracts a number of tourists.

For those interested in the River Crossing, the best time to catch up these in Serengeti is early July. From Mid July to September Masai Mara would be place to be.

October to November

By this time the wildebeest start slowly drifting towards northern Serengeti. Those visiting Tanzania during this time of the year the best place to catch up with the migration is the Serengeti Lobo Area. The month of October being a transition month from the dry to wet season, the rains set in especially towards the end. This gives a boost to vegetation growth enabling the wildebeest enough pastures for grazing.

The calving period also starts and with the young ones coming in it reboots and rejuvenates the wildebeest population. The lush vegetation however attracts a number of predators that sometimes target the young ones. Survival in the Serengeti is by chance but many survival despite the attacks from the predators.

Plan your visit to magical Kenya and Tanzania to be part of the never ending Wildebeest migration safari adventures. Remember these feature classic African encounters of major wildlife species including birds and predators.

There are a number of tented camps and lodges where one can stay to enjoy the wildebeest migration. Some tented camps are temporary and change to new locations depending on the movement of wildebeest. Now that the peak season has set in it is time to book your bucket list adventure to either Serengeti or Masai mara. The best time for these safaris are early mornings as you get to see the early risers some returning from hunting. 

Tanzania Safari Tips With What To Know Before You Visit Tanzania

Serengeti National Park. Tanzania Safari Tips
Wildebeest Migration in Serengeti National Park. Courtesy Photo

Tanzania Safari tips are very vital as the country features on top bucket lists of adventure travellers visiting East Africa. It is home to diverse wildlife species with over 20% of Africa’ largest mammal population. A Tanzania safari featuring savanna’s finest wildlife is everyones’ dream but there some information you need to know before you travel to Tanzania. Below are key Tanzania safari tips you Must take note of while preparing your visit to the country.

Visa Requirements

Tanzania has a provision for Visa on arrival as well as an eVisa system where one is required to apply in advance. There are however a number of countries with Tanzania visa exemption. To enter the country one must have valid identification like a passport or a National Identity card.

American citizens entering Tanzania must apply for a Multiple entry visa that has a 1 year Validity. This costs USD 100 per person however holders of this Visa are required to at least leave the country every 3 months.

The ordinary or single entry visa cost USD 50 per person and its validity does not exceed 90 days. Adventure lovers seeking to visit the country for a safari must ensure to apply for the correct visa. You can now apply for an online Visa before visiting Tanzania.

Wildlife

A Tanzania safari is possible because of the country’s wildlife with over 4 million wild animals. There are over 430 mammal and 1100 bird species, amphibians and reptiles often seen on game drives in the country. Tanzania has 17 national parks covering a land area of about 16,000 square miles representing about 40% of Tanzania.

With this, Tanzania stands out as a leading wildlife destination with natural wildlife wonders like the great wildebeest migration. While on a Tanzania safari you can engage in a number of activities to fully what the country has to offer. These include game drives, guided nature walks, ballon safaris, boat cruise, birding expeditions among others.

The great wildebeest migration in Serengeti National park is a must watch along with the big cats and five 5 mammals. The Ngorongoro crater is extraordinary offering great scenic views and is also home to a variety of wildlife. Giraffes, rhinos, buffaloes, wildebeests, gazelles, elands, waterbucks, crocodiles are some of the wildlife seen on a Tanzania safari.

Accommodation

There are a number of safari lodges in Tanzania where one can stay while on a Tanzania safari. These range from Budget, deluxe and luxury facilities giving on a wide range of options to choose from.

Each national park has a number of facilities within or nearby the premises from where one can easily access the park. A number of these feature in worlds leading travel magazines as number safari lodges and Hotels. Notable safari Lodges in Tanzania include
andBeyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge, The Highlands Ngorongoro, Sanctuary Kichakani Serengeti Camp among others.

Important to note that in the peak tourist season the lodges get fully booked and its advisable to book in advance. Lodges in the low season from March to May offer discounted rates but it’s a rainy season.

Best time to Visit

Tanzania safari adventures can be enjoyed any time of the year. For best savanna wildlife experiences though it’s always better to visit in the dry season. This ranges from June to Late October and from Mid December to Early March. 

In the dry season you get to see a variety of wildlife with minimal rainfall disturbances. The game drives trails are also dry making it easy to do game drives as opposed to the wet season when some trails are impassable. 

Kindly however note that the dry season is the peak tourist season and some camps or lodges charge highly during this time of the year. 

The wet season from November, April, May and great times to visit for those interested in birding. It’s around this time of the year that migratory birds are in the region. With the rains, the vegetation is often lush great and one doesn’t have to drive far to spot wildlife especially the grazers that naturally attract the predators. 

With the limited numbers during the wet season, safari experiences are very exclusive and intimate. Visit Tanzania today and explore the country’s rich and diverse wildlife, culture and heritage. The discussed Tanzania Safari tips are enough to guide in the tour planning process. You can contact us for more information about the different destinations in Tanzania. 

Kenya Safari Experiences to Part of This March

Kenya Safari Experiences
Wildebeest Migration along Mara River. Courtesy Photo

Kenya safari experiences form a great part of an African safari and its the reason why Kenya is a leading safari destination. The country has diverse wildlife and physical attractions that leave many adventurous tourists wanting more. The coming month is a transition one from the dry to the wet season that will last till May. The wet season comes in handy with the rains making safari activities not as enjoyable like in the dry season. However there are a number of adventurous Kenya safari experiences one can still be apart of. They include the following;

Birding Safari

Much as March is part of the low season its a great time for a birding safari in Kenya. From March to May, there are a number of migratory birds in Kenya. A number of them come all away from Europe and a combination of these and then natives make birding very enjoyable. Notable birds to see on a Kenya birding safari include the southern ground hornbill, crowned hornbill, Amani sunbird, Jackson’s hornbill among others. There are also a number of birds endemic to Kenya including Clarke’s Weaver, Taita thrush, Williams’ lark most of which while on game drives.

Big Cats Safari Experiences

Big cats will forever form a great part of a Kenya Safari experiences. The country is home savannah’s major big cats and leading predators. These include lions, leopards, cheetahs and hyenas. Prides of lions are often seen in Masai Mara National reserve and other national parks and conservancies.

Some of these caught in action hunting their prey. Leopards the strongest of all the cats even like to climb with their prey up the tree. Here they can feast in comfort without any disturbances especially the hyenas that like to eat already hunted prey.

Game drives featuring any of the big cats are very enjoyable. At least major national parks and conservancies in Kenya have 2 or all the big cats. Because there are a number of newly borns, predators are very active hunting taking advantage of the young ones.

Big Five Mammal safari experiences

The fact that March is not so crowded it makes it a perfect month for big five mammal safari experiences. Savannas’ big five include elephants, lions, buffaloes, leopards and Rhinos. These are seen while on game drives in beautiful places like Amboseli National Park. This park has the best views of Mount Kilimanjaro and the best place in Kenya to see Elephants.

These are complemented by the major herbivores including antelopes, zebras, giraffes that are easy to spot because with the rains there is plenty of grass. Most times the predators hide in the lush and relatively tall grasses to slowly take down their prey.

The other major benefit of having Kenya safari experiences march included is that some lodges reduce on rates.

Must Do Congo Safari Adventures

Congo Safari Adventures have over the recent years featured on adventure lovers bucket lists. Democratic Republic of Congo is one of the World’s less discovered wildlife safari destinations yet with a lot to offer. The country is the second largest country in Africa and with its vast size comes with more diversity and opportunities for wildlife.

Unfortunately Congo has had several insecurities related emanating from rebel attacks that hinder tourism and wildlife conservation. Despite the attacks and insecurity issues in the country, the beauty and tourism potential keeps on attracting a number of tourists from different parts of the world.

Eastern Congo has a number of key attractions including Virunga National Park Africa’s oldest national park. The park team has security protocol it follows to ensure that all visiting tourists are safe. They monitor the park and ensure to inform the public whenever they suspect any insecurity and go ahead to refund payments made by the visitors.

Let’s see the top Must do Congo safari adventures one should be apart of especially while visiting the Eastern part of the country.

Mountain Gorilla trekking

Democratic Republic of Congo is one of the 3 countries with the remaining mountain gorilla population on the entire planet. They live in Virunga national park and are the main tourist attractions. Mountain gorillas are apes with over 95% DNA similar to humans making them among man’s closest primates species.

Mountain gorillas live in families ranging from 2 to 20 or more each family headed by a dominant gorilla called Silverback. Congo safari adventures featuring gorilla trekking are very amazing and offer a once in a lifetime experience. Trek one of the habituated mountain gorilla families in Virunga National Park for of the the ultimate primates adventures.

The gorilla trekking experience starts with a briefing early morning at the park headquarters. You are then led to the forested mountains in a 2 to 4 hours trek. Once you get to the mountain gorillas you will be allowed in their presence for an hour and later be brought back to the park headquarters.

Lowland Gorilla Trekking

Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo is blessed with another gorilla species, the eastern lowland gorillas. These Inhabit the forested mountains of Kahuzi Beiga National park in the Bukavu region.

Eastern lowland gorillas to differ from other gorillas sub species are relatively bigger in size. Just like other gorillas, they are vegetarian and feed to a plant and fruit diet. They also live in families led by a dominant male gorillas.

Lowland gorillas trekking is not as prominent as mountain gorilla trekking but also offers exclusive primate trekking experience. These gorillas are also endemic to Kahuzi Beiga national park and its therefore the only place where you can see Eastern lowland gorillas in the wild.

Lowland Gorilla in Kahuzi Biega National Park. Congo Safari Adventures
Juveline Lowland Gorilla in Kahuzi Biega National Park. Photo by Shannon

Mount Nyiragongo Hike

Mount Nyiragongo is one of the worlds’ active volcanic mountains located in Eastern DRC. The mountain has a lava lake on its summit and last erupted in May 2020 displacing thousands of families as lava spread allover burning people’s homes and gardens.

Since its eruption, tourism was halted temporarily. Hiking will be open again once the park officials are sure that the mountain is safe to hike. The Nyiragongo Hike takes 2 days with the first day ascending the mountain to its summit. The night and early mornings are the best times to see the hot lava Lake. The 2nd day is for descending the mountain an activity that offers great scenic views of the surrounding Great Lakes region and the chains of the Virunga massif mountains.

Once it’s open again for tourism, Mount Nyiragongo will still offer amazing and exclusive Congo safari adventures.

The Best of A Uganda Safari Adventure

Popularly Known as the Pearl of Africa, Uganda is one of the best East African safari destinations. Having a Uganda Safari Adventure this new year is highly recommended as you would get to explore the country’s major wildlife. As the world is slowly opening up after the COVID 19 lockdowns, tourists numbers are few making it a great time to have intimate safari experiences.

For a successful Uganda Safari adventure, there are some bucket list places and experiences you must be apart of. They include the following

Mountain Gorilla Bwindi Uganda Safari Adventure
Baby Mountain gorilla Bwindi. Courtesy Photo

Gorilla trekking is among the top desired Uganda safari adventure experiences. Mountain gorillas are apes with over 95% DNA similar to humans. On the entire planet, mountain gorillas can only be found in 3 countries that are Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo.

Mountain gorillas are endangered with their total population estimated at around 1000 gorillas. Almost half of that population live in Uganda’s Bwindi impenetrable national park. The park is located in southwestern Uganda and has 22 habituated gorilla families that are open to tourism.

While taking a Uganda safari adventure, gorilla trekking should be your number one safari activity to do. The trek enables you enjoy great scenic views as well as seeing other wildlife in the park especially birds.

Batwa Trail Experiences

The Batwa are pygmies and one of the native tribes of the Great Lakes region. They were initially living in the forest and only relied on the forest for food and survival. They were hunter gatherers however their activities were a threat to wildlife because of poaching. With the gazetting of the parks to conserve and protect wildlife, the Batwa were pushed at the edge of the forest and are occasionally allowed to go to the forest again.

The Batwa trail experience is one of the authentic cultural experiences while on a Uganda safari experience. The Batwa on this experience take you through their initial ways of life. They demonstrate their hunting and gathering skills, making fire using stones and perform folks about their culture.

The trails goes through the forest to the Ngarama cave that was once a home for the Batwa King. The Batwa trail is done in Mgahinga gorilla park another home for mountain gorillas.

Chimpanzee Trekking adventures

Uganda’s is one of the leading chimpanzee trekking destination worldwide. The country is home to the largest chimpanzee population in world. These live in the primate capital of the world Kibale forest national park.

Chimpanzee trekking here is exclusive and offers an opportunity to see other primates including red tailed and Colobus monkeys among others. Chimpanzees in Kibale National park can be explored by a normal chimpanzee trek with the first shift starting in the morning till mid day and the afternoon session starting at 2:00 pm. The morning and afternoon chimpanzee trekking sessions take 2 to 4 hours of trekking. Once you get to the chimpanzees you will be allowed in their presence for an hour. 

The chimpanzee habituation experience is the other activity in which chimpanzees in the park can be explored. This is a full day activity that starts in the morning and gives you 4 hours in the presence of the chimpanzees. In the habituation experience you follow the chimpanzee’s days’ routine and activities. The experience is a great opportunity to explore mans’ closest primates.

Uganda has a variety of savanna wildlife and majority of the country’s national parks and game reserves have a savanna ecosystem. Savanna’s big five mammals that include lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants and buffaloes can be seen while on a Uganda Safari adventure.

Uganda’s most isolated national park Kidepo Valley National Park offers one of the most exclusive and classic game drives on the African continent. The park is located north east of Uganda near the border with South Sudan. Game drives here are very rewarding with wildlife including cheetahs, lions, leopards, giraffes, elephants, buffaloes, zebras among others.

Murchison falls National park is another great place to enjoy a Uganda safari adventure featuring the big cats and big five mammals. Most game drives here are done in the northern sector of the park with the highest concentration of wildlife.

All these can be done throughout the year with best experiences and photography happening in the dry season.

Birding Journeys

Uganda is a birders haven and a Uganda safari adventure is usually incomplete without a birding safari experience. Some of the worlds’ rarest and endemic bird species are found in Uganda.

The country has a number of ramsar sites that are ideal of a birding safari adventure. Major national parks’ ecosystems are also habitats for the various bird species. The Mabamba swamp in Entebbe is among the leading birding destinations in Uganda. It’s home to the rare shoebill stork and many other bird species.

Visit Uganda and be a part of the never ending safari adventures in the Pearl of Africa.

East African Luxury Safari Holidays To Be Apart of This December

East Africa is one of the leading luxury safari holiday destinations on the African continent and the world at large. The regions has various natural wonders and attractions making it among the most desirable and bucket list tourist destinations. The idea of luxury Safari holidays is not new as many people continually seek exclusive high-end safari packages.

In East Africa, there are a number of these exclusive luxury Safari holidays one can be a part of. Now that the festive days are getting closer, let’s look at some of the finest luxury safari holidays to look out for.

East Africa is the only destination with the rare and endangered mountain gorillas. Mountain gorillas are apes and some of the closest primate species to human beings with over a 95% DNA similar to humans. They can only be found in Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo and offer so far one of the best wildlife safari experiences.

Of all the 3 gorilla trekking destinations though Rwanda offers the best luxury gorilla trekking safaris. Mountain gorillas in Rwanda can be trekked in Volcanoes National park located North west of the country. The park has 12 habituated mountain gorilla groups open for tourism.

There are a number of high-end luxury accommodation options around Volcanoes National Park where one can stay. These include Bisate Lodge, One and Only Gorilla Nest Lodge, Kwitonda Lodge, Bishops House and many others. This December if looking for one of the best luxury safari holidays then Volcanoes National Park would be a great option.

Mountain Gorilla. Luxury Safari Holidays. Photo by Eric Manzi
Mountain Gorilla in Volcanoes National Park. Photo by Eric Manzi

Kenya’s Masai mara national reserve is one of the best safari destinations for Big Five safaris. The reserve is home to Elephants, Lions, Leopards, Rhinos and Buffaloes. There are many private reserves surrounding the Mara Triangle where one can have game drives seeing the major big five.

Apart from game drives, you can do nature walks, ballon safaris among others all which that give you an opportunity to see the big five. There are a number of luxury safari lodges in the Masai Mara reserve offering all inclusive services.

End this year relaxing in the jungle enjoying high-end exclusive services with great views of endless plains of Masai Mara.

Lions in Masai Mara. Luxury Safari Holidays
Lions in Masai Mara Reserve

The wildebeest migration is a natural phenomena that involves a mass movement of wildebeest, gazelles, zebras over the Masai mara and Serengeti eco systems. This mass movement attracts a number of predators that are often ready to take on their prey. These includes the jungles most feared predators like lions, leopards, cheetahs, hyenas among others.

The great wildebeest migration can be enjoyed in Masai Mara national reserve Kenya and Serengeti National Park Tanzania. The year 2021 has also been stressing because of the corona virus and it would be great to end it enjoying typical African luxury safari holidays featuring the wildebeest migration.

While on the wildebeest migration you will get to enjoy other classic safari experiences featuring the big five and a number of bird species.

Wildebeest Migration Safari. African Safaris
Wildebeest Migration. Courtesy Photo

Chimpanzees are other primates that offer great safari experiences and would be a great option for luxury safari holidays. East Africa has many chimpanzee trekking destinations but Uganda’s Kibale National Park offers the best experiences. The park is the primate capital of the world and is a home to chimpanzees and many other primate species.

The park is located in Western Uganda about a 6 to 7 hours drive from Kampala Uganda’s Capital City. It can be accessed by road and air transport but road transport is more enjoyable through the Ugandan countryside.

There are a number of high-end luxury safari lodges around the lodge including Kyaninga Lodge, Papaya Lake Lodge, Primate Lodge, Crater Safari Lodge among others. All these are a few minutes drive to the park and can be the best options to stay at while heading for chimpanzee trekking.

Chimpanzee in Kibale National Park Uganda by Lionel Egger
Chimpanzee in Kibale National Park by Lionel Egger

What to Know About Eastern Lowland Gorillas

Eastern lowland gorillas also known as Grauer gorillas inhabit and are endemic to the tropical rain forests of Democratic Republic of Congo. They are the largest of the four gorilla sub species and are unique primates species to explore on a primate safari.

Gorillas are great apes that and the largest living primates species that live in the tropical forests of Equatorial Africa. The gorilla species we are discussing today live in Kahuzi Biega National Park. The park is situated in Eastern DRC and can be easily accessed through Rwanda via cyangungu border.

Lowland Gorilla in Kahuzi Biega National Park. Congo Safari Adventures
Juveline Lowland Gorilla in Kahuzi Biega National Park. Photo by Shannon

Lowland Gorillas Diet

Just like other gorillas, eastern lowland gorillas are also vegetarian. They spend most of their day feeding on plants, leaves, stems and tree barks. Eastern lowland gorillas also feed on shoots and often the vegetation in the reach of their arms.

Social Behaviour

They live in groups or families headed by a dominant male known as a silverback. A lowland gorilla family can have 2 to 20 gorillas or more. The dominant Silverback gorillas often determine the daily routine of the gorillas and is also in charge of protecting its family members against any attack.

As the young males (Juveniles) grow, they tend to move away from their original families. They do this to establish themselves and often times try attracting females in their new families.

Lowland gorillas are also very sociable animals and only charge if they detect danger. This is why while on a lowland gorilla trek one is advised to keep 7 meters away from the gorillas. Its intended to avoid confrontation.

Lowland Gorilla Trekking

Kahuzi Biega National park in eastern DRC is the only place where you can see Eastern lowland gorillas. If you are interested in trekking the forests to these rare and endemic apes then a visit to the park is highly recommended.

You will be required to report to the park headquarters for a briefing about the gorilla trek. Later be led to the forest as you enjoy the sights and sounds of nature. Hike in the forest and once you get to the lowland gorillas stay in their presence for an hour. Here you will get a chance to take photographs and get to know more about the gorillas. After this experience you will be brought back to the park or proceed to your hotel depending on Schedule

The National park can be easily accessed through Rwanda via Cyangugu border. Those in southwestern Rwanda in National Parks like Nyungwe Forest National park can easily add lowland gorilla treks on their primate safari packages.

The dry season from June to August and January to February are the best times of trekking lowland gorillas as there are usually minimal rainfall disturbances. The wet season also a great time to visit through there are high chances of rainfall.

Visit East Africa now and take on your favourite primate trekking safari adventures with us.

What You Need To Know About Bwindi, The Best Gorilla Trekking Destination

Mountain Gorilla tourism has over the years gained popularity as people seek exclusive gorilla trekking experiences. People travel from different parts of the world to the forested mountains of East and Central Africa for mountain gorilla trekking. One may wonder what are mountain gorillas and why are they special?

Mountain gorillas are endangered primate species with over 95% DNA similar to humans. They live in the forested mountains at elevations ranging from about 8000 to 13,000 feet above sea level. They are covered with fur that helps them survive the cold temperatures of the forested mountains.

Gorillas live in families headed by a dominant male called Silverback and are pure vegetarian with their diet consisting of plant vegetation and bamboo shoots. They are endemic to the Virunga massif along the Rwanda, Uganda & DRC Border and Bwindi impenetrable Forest in Uganda. 

The total mountain gorilla population is now estimated at over 1000 and Bwindi Impenetrable forest has almost half of the total population. Bwindi is currently the best gorilla trekking destination and here is more information you might need to know.

1. Various Gorilla Trekking Sectors

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is an extensive park covering about 321 square kilometers. The park has different gorilla trekking sectors evenly distributed each sector with various gorilla families.

The northern and busiest sector is called Buhoma with 6 mountain gorilla families. Closer to Buhoma is Ruhija the eastern sector with 4 mountain gorilla families. It takes about an hours drive from Buhoma to Ruhija and you can therefore have a gorilla trek there incase you had accommodation in Buhoma.

Rushaga and Nkuringo are situated in southern Bwindi. Rushaga has 8 gorilla families while Nkuringo has 4 gorilla families. The Nkuringo region is however steep and one having a gorilla trek there will require some level of fitness. Ensure to know the exact sector where your gorilla trekking experience will be and book your accommodation accordingly.

Mountain Gorilla in Bwindi. Gorilla Trekking
Mountain Gorilla in Bwindi Impenetrable NP. Courtesy Photo

2. Varying Gorilla Trekking Elevation

Bwindi has many hills with a gorilla trekking elevation from 1190 to 2607 meters above sea level. With this, the gorilla trekking experience comes in handy. You must therefore know if the gorilla family you are tracking will require a lot of hiking.

Much as gorilla trekking doesn’t require any levels of fitness, there are some gorilla families that live at high elevations. Those with altitude sickness, the elderly and some health restrictions need to ensure they track families that don’t require a lot of hiking.

Luckily Bwindi has over 22 gorilla families and one has a range of options to choose from. An average hike takes 2 to 4 hours though others take longer and a full day. Talk to your local safari guide or park ranger to ensure you are allocated an easier family to track.

3. Accessibility

Bwindi impenetrable can be accessed by both road and air transport. If you are coming from Entebbe international airport or Kampala by road, it takes a 9 to 10 hours drive. Its a long one but impressive going through the Ugandan countryside. You would have en route stop overs for photography at the Equator and for a lunch break and proceed to Bwindi.

Incase you don’t want the long drive you can fly to an airstrip near the park. There are two airstrips serving the park, one in the north and the other in the south. Kihihi airstrip serves the northern and Eastern sectors. Its 30 to 40 minutes drive to Buhoma sector and about an hour and a half drive to Ruhija

Kisoro airstrip serves the southern sector and its an hour drive to the park. Flying saves a lot of time and its the best option for those who don’t want the long drives. It also offers great aerial views of the countryside and other open savanna parks.

4. Best time for Trekking

Gorilla trekking in Bwindi can be enjoyed anytime of the year. The best time though is in the dry season from June to September and December to March. During this time there is minimal rainfall disturbances and the tracking trails are therefore dry. With this, there is easy movement and great chances for better wildlife photography.

In the wet season from April to May and October to November gorilla trekking is possible but rainfall can occur anytime of the day. Its an adventurous experience having a downpour while in the jungle but some people don’t like it.

5. Gorilla Permits

Mountain gorilla trekking permits for Bwindi cost $700 per person for international tourists, $600 per person for East African foreign residents and Uganda shillings 250,000 for East African citizens.

Gorilla permits are on a very high demand and only 8 tourists are allowed to track one gorilla family a day.  Ensure to book your permits in advance to avoid missing out. You can book and buy permits from the Uganda Wildlife Authority offices. Incase you are using a tour operator ensure to pay for the permits in advance.

If you are interested in the gorilla habituation experience, permits are limited to only 4 people. Habituation permits cost $1500 per person for international guests, $1000 per person for East African residents and shillings 750,000 for East African Citizens.