There are less than 800 mountain gorillas left in the world.
They belong to one of the world most endangered apes. Your journey to look for our second closest relatives in the wild can take from 20 min up to even 6-7 hours. In most cases you will hike through the lush rainforest, cross hills and valleys while your guide will cut the vegetation in front of you with a panga till you reach the gentle giants.
Your heart will beat faster when you’ve got to see the huge silverback, the mother gorillas grooming their babies and the juveniles playing with each other. You can see them feeding on a large palette of plants and handling each food items attentively and genially. You might hear booming chest beat of a silverback or roaring chimpanzees from the depth of the forest. The feeling of being in the middle of the rainforest surrounded by these peaceful creatures is indescribable.
The maximum time visitors are allowed to spend with the Gorillas is one hour; however, if the Gorillas become agitated or nervous, the guide will end the visit early.
You have to keep a minimum distance of 7 meters (21 feet) from the Gorillas. (This reduces the risk transmitting diseases between humans and Gorillas)
A maximum number of 8 visitors may visit a group (family) of habituated Gorillas in a day. This minimizes behavioral disturbances to the Gorillas and the risk of their exposure to human-born diseases.
There are 12 Gorilla groups in Bwindi that can be tracked:
Buhoma site: Mubare, Habinyanja, Rushegura
Ruhija site: Bitukura, Oruzogo, Kyagurilo
Nkuringo site: Nkuringo
Rushaga site: Nshongi, Busingye, Kahungye, Mishaya and Bweza
Since 2013 Mgahinga Gorilla National Park also offers tracking.
According to The Ugandan Wildlife Authority, there is a 95% chance that you will come across the Gorillas on your trek.
The price of gorilla tracking permit is USD 600 in Uganda and USD 750 in Rwanda.
Good physical fitness and health condition are required for the gorilla tracking.