Gorillas in the Mist, anyone? Heading out on safari in Uganda will treat you to your own unforgettable primate adventure! As you hike through wild jungles, you’ll gaze in wonder at chimpanzees, various subspecies of monkey, and the world’s last remaining mountain gorillas. Bonus? Uganda also offers great wildlife viewing including elephant, buffalo, hippo, leopard, and tree-climbing lions!
So, what do you need to know about a Ugandan safari for your own special visit?
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is home to half the world’s population of endangered mountain gorillas, making it one of the best places to spot these gentle giants up close. The other half live throughout the remainder of the Virunga mountain ranges in Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Rwanda. On a visit to Uganda, you can track gorillas in both Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Operators know where the families are at any given time and therefore spotting them and spending time watching them is almost guaranteed. The trek itself could last anywhere from a few hours to eight hours, traversing dense foliage and steep inclines, so a good level of fitness is essential! Once you reach the habituated gorilla family, you’ll have one magical hour to spend in their company. This is of course at the discretion of your guide, who may opt to leave early if the family become agitated.
Although gorillas can be tracked at any time of the year, the most comfortable months are during the drier seasons from December to February and June to September. World Journeys prides itself on only dealing with lodge owners and safari companies who have a core ethos of giving back to the land, the people and the wildlife. Some of our favourite places to stay in Uganda include Buhoma Lodge, Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp and Clouds Mountain Lodge. These safari operators work with the locals for the good of the community and conserve wildlife in these special areas.
Though physically challenging at times, gorilla trekking is a once in a lifetime experience that surely ranks on anyone’s African safari wish list. The adventure is well worth the effort, and your visit doesn’t just begin and end with gorillas! For the complete safari experience, head to Queen Elizabeth National Park to spot Uganda’s famous tree-climbing lions, along with leopard, jackal, hyena, hippo and over 600 varieties of birdlife. In Kibale National Park, you can also enjoy encounters with chimpanzee and 12 other species of primates including the red colobus monkey, grey-cheeked mangabey, and olive baboon.