Comparing Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi and Mgahinga – A Uganda Gorilla Trekking GuideGorilla Tracking Uganda
Comparing Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi and Mgahinga – A Uganda Gorilla Trekking Guide
Comparing Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi and Mgahinga – A Uganda Gorilla Trekking Guide. Gorilla trekking in Uganda is definitely the best way of seeing Mountain gorillas in Africa since the country has two national parks inhabiting these elusive apes.
Gorilla trekking in Uganda is definitely the best way of seeing Mountain gorillas in Africa since the country has two national parks inhabiting these elusive apes. Uganda is the only country in the world where mountain gorilla trekking can be undertaken in two national parks which are Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.
The country has the highest population of mountain gorillas with 20 habituated gorilla families in both parks, 19 in Bwindi and 1 in Mgahinga. The mountain gorillas are under 24-hour protection by the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) to ensure their safety.
Tourists are also assured of safety from any harm while trekking in the jungle. With two national parks in the same region of the country, intending trekkers may want to know what trekking in each of the parks may be like.
This article is intended to compare gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park;
Gorilla trekking in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is home to mountain gorillas with 1 habituated gorilla family known as the Nyakagezi gorilla group. The park is located in Southwestern Uganda. The park covers only 33.7 square kilometers deriving its name from the local word “Gahinga” which means a pile of volcanic stones cleared from farmland at the foot of the volcanoes. Nyakagezi is a place in Mgahinga where there is a lot of sumptuous food attractive to the gorillas.
Nyakagezi family is one of the easiest to track given the fact that it prefers a narrow home range for feeding, resting, relaxing, and recreation. In case you are not ready to hike for a long distance, Mgahinga is a better option since they can be found after a short time of trekker rather than those of Bwindi that may require a longer time to trek.
Tracking the Nyakagezi gorilla group is amazing with the fact that this group is big and social compared to many other habituated gorilla groups. The family is comprised of three silverbacks, 2 adult females, 2 black backs, and 2 infants. The Nyakagezi family is led by Silverback Mark assisted by Mafia, Ndungutse, and Bugingo.
Rukundo is the sole Black back, Nshuti an adult female plus two babies namely Nshuti baby and Fred. Silverback Bugingo was formerly the lead silverback before Mark took over, however, the former is happily playing the role of the “senior” silverback in the group.
Such a group is rare to find since in many families big groups separate to have dominance and 2 silverbacks can’t lead the same group.
It’s only in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park where mountain gorillas and golden monkey co-exist therefore the slogan where silver meets gold. In case you would love to see these beauties then it’s good to choose trekking Mgahinga for gorillas and golden monkeys as well. There is no other place where this is possible in Uganda.
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is closer to Rwanda and therefore easier to return to Rwanda after the trek. In case you are in Rwanda where the gorilla trekking permit is at US$ 1500 and would love to trek gorillas at a cheaper price you can opt to trek in Mgahinga at just USD 700. It’s about a 4 hours’ drive from Kigali to Mgahinga and therefore you can return after the trek.
Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park – Comparing Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi and Mgahinga
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is one of the two gorilla habitats in Uganda. Many tourists prefer to trek gorillas in the park during Uganda gorilla safaris because of not only the amazing experience but the ambiance and whole liveliness in the jungle.
Gorilla trekking in Bwindi is done in the four sectors of the park. The sectors include Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga, and Nkuringo. Each of these sectors has several habituated gorilla families that tourists are allocated to trek.
Allocation of which sector an individual is meant to trek is dependent on which sector they are allocated by the Uganda Wildlife Authority during the time of booking the gorilla trekking permit.
Each morning, a total of 8 trekkers are allocated 1 of the 19 gorilla families in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park to track. All individuals first gather at the park headquarters for a briefing on the rules and regulations of gorilla trekking in Uganda. Briefing starts at exactly 8:00 am local time, then after individuals are allocated a group with a total of 8 members in each.
Groups are allocated depending on the physical fitness levels of the clients and the group moves depending on the speed of the slowest trekker. Each group of 8 trekkers goes along with 2 armed park rangers for protection and guidance while in the jungle. Trekking lasts an unpredictable time lasting about 2-6 hours depending on where the gorillas spent their previous night.
After trekking and meeting the gorillas, you spend a maximum of 1 hour in the presence of the gorillas. You spend this time taking photos and interacting with gorillas in the Bwindi forest.
The advantage of trekking Bwindi is that there are several gorilla groups to choose from the trek.
Gorilla trekking in Uganda is more preferable because of the affordable costs which are US$ 700 for a gorilla trekking permit for foreign nonresidents, US$ 600 for foreign residents, and UGX 250,000 for East African citizens.