Bwindi Gorilla Trekking Tours

Bwindi gorilla trekking tours take you to Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, a home of over half the remaining mountain gorillas in the wild. The Uganda gorillas are a major attraction; making this UNESCO World Heritage Site a great place for conservationists and tourists who are generally in love with wildlife.It is by far the best gorilla trekking destination in the world.

Tourists trek through dense and thick forest jungles on their guided treks to visit Bwindi gorillas in the wild irrespective of their habitats. This gorilla experience is amazing, and contributes further to the mountain gorilla conservation and development of the surrounding communities. Our Bwindi gorilla tours offer you the perfect opportunity to blend with nature, conserve gorillas and make a memory for yourself in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.

Top Bwindi Gorilla Tours, Safaris & Trips



This is Uganda’s most famous tourist destination, with its prime attraction being the Mountain Gorillas. This national park is located in the southwestern parts of Uganda in the districts of Kanungu, Rubanda, and Kisoro.

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Rwenzori National Park were both declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1994 to protect the rich ecosystems and biodiversity of that region.

The park covers a vast area, approximately 321 sq km, protecting different vegetation covers ranging from Tropical rain-forests, Bamboo, and shrubs.

The park boasts 120 different mammal species, some of which are rarely seen due to the thickness and terrain of the forest.

Some of the mammals in Bwindi include forest elephants, forest buffaloes, giant forest hogs, duikers, among others.

There is a total count of 11 species of primates in Bwindi, with the Mountain Gorillas being the prime attraction, Chimpanzees, Baboons, Black and white Colobus monkeys, among others.

The forest has a total count of over 350 species of birds and is also one of the best birding spots in Uganda.

The park hosts 24 Albertine Rift Valley endemics with 14 species not recorded anywhere else in Uganda.

Bird watching in Bwindi mainly happens in the “Neck” section that joins Buhoma region to Ruhija, as well as Mubwindi Swamp in the southern part of the park.

The most sought-after bird species include Shelley’s Crimson-wing, handsome francolin, and regal sunbird, among others.

The park also has over 200 butterfly species, 27 species of Amphibians with 11 being endemic to that region, 14 different snake species, and 14 different species of lizards.

Getting to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

3-Day Bwindi Gorilla Tour from Kigali Itinerary
View of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

There are several roads that will lead you to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park depending on where you are coming from and which region you are going to trek the mountain gorillas.

When coming from Kampala, the best route is through Masaka to Mbarara to Kabale, and here you will branch off to your respective region, and this whole driving journey will take you about 8 to 10 hours.

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park could as well be accessed through Queen Elizabeth National Park via Ishasha road.

This will depend on the nature of the road in Ishasha; however, on a good day, it takes around 4 hours of drive.

However, this road is more rewarding as you could branch off to Ishasha and do a game drive while looking out for the Tree-climbing lions before you proceed to Bwindi.

Today there is also an option of going for gorilla trekking in Uganda from Kigali.

You fly in through Kigali International Airport, drive through Rwanda, cross the border, and proceed to Bwindi, and this is a 4-hour journey while sparing one hour for border clearance.

For those that are not interested in driving the long distances by road to Bwindi, Aerolink Company offers daily flights from Entebbe to Bwindi in Kihihi Airstrip, which is a 2-hour drive for those trekking in Buhoma and Rushaga.

You could also fly to Kisoro Airstrip, which is a 1-hour drive if you are going to trek mountain gorillas of Nkuringo and Rushaga, as well as Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.

Popular Mountain Gorilla Families to Trek

Uganda Gorilla Trekking Cost
Mountain Gorilla in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

Uganda has 18 habituated mountain gorilla families in Bwindi, and each family can be visited by up to 8 tourists per day.

Some of the most popular Ugandan mountain gorilla families can be seen below:

Top Things to do on your Bwindi Tour

Below are some of the top things to do on your Bwindi gorilla trekking tour.

Mountain Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi

2-Day Kigali to Bwindi Gorilla Tour

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is subdivided into four trekking regions or starting points for gorilla trekking: Buhoma, Nkuringo, Rushaga, and Ruhija.

Each region has habituated gorilla families open for trekking, making it essential for any tourist planning to visit Bwindi to confirm which region they are going to for trekking.

This helps in choosing the route and selecting the hotel for accommodation.

Today, there are about 21 habituated mountain gorilla groups available for trekking, distributed across the four regions of Bwindi.

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is home to half of the world’s total population of Mountain Gorillas.

Gorilla trekking occurs daily in Bwindi, with only eight people allowed to track a given family of mountain gorillas.

It is advisable for tourists to secure permits, especially in high seasons, as they tend to sell out.

A Bwindi Gorilla Permit in this park costs $700, a figure lower than that of Rwanda, which is $1500.

Individuals above 15 years are the only ones allowed to trek mountain gorillas, and good health is necessary to track them, as human diseases, especially flu and cough, can be transmitted to them.

On the day of trekking Mountain gorillas, wake up early depending on the distance from your lodge to the trekking region head offices, have breakfast, and drive there for briefing and assignment of a gorilla group.

You will be entertained first, then briefed by the guide on the rules and regulations of the park, what to carry, and what to expect on your gorilla trekking adventure.

Essentials for Gorilla trekking include waterproof hiking boots, a rain jacket, insect repellent, gloves, packed lunch, and enough drinking water.

Walking sticks are provided by the park rangers at the beginning of your trekking trip.

After your briefing, you are assigned a guide and head out to the forest for trekking, an activity that takes 2 to 8 hours.

Once you find the Mountain Gorillas, you will be allowed to spend one full hour with them, watching them play, feed, and groom amongst each other.

During this time, you are allowed to stand at a distance of 7 meters in silence, taking pictures and videos with no shutter sound and flash light.

After your trekking, you will return to your starting point and be offered a certificate as proof that you trekked mountain gorillas of Bwindi.

Bird watching in Bwindi

Detailed 18-Day Rwanda - Uganda Birding Safari Itinerary

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is home to a total of 350 bird species, including endemic and migratory species. It is one of the important birding destinations in Uganda.

Among the resident birds are 24 Albertine rift endemics with 14 species not found elsewhere in the country.

The Neck section of Bwindi is a popular site for birding – an area that joins Buhoma and Ruhija gorilla sectors.

The other important birding area is Mubwindi swamp located in the southern region.

Bwindi’s most popular and sought-after bird species include handsome francolin, regal sunbird, and Shelley’s crimson-wing, among others.

This is in addition to 27 amphibian species, with 11 of these being endemic to the Bwindi area, 14 different snake species, 14 lizard species, and 200 butterfly species.

The park has very good and knowledgeable bird guides who will make your birding trip fantastic.

Nature walks

Compliments to your Nkuringo Gorilla Tours

There are several nature walk trails that take you inside the forest, depending on your interests.

However, it’s always a must to move with an armed ranger guide to interpret nature for you and protect you from animal attacks, especially from forest buffaloes and elephants.

Some of the famous trails in the park include the Nkuringo-Buhoma walking trail, which takes about 6 hours of walking, Rushura hill trail that takes you across to the Uganda – Congo border, and Muyanga River trail, which is famous for bird watchers.

Batwa Local Community Experience

Cultural Encounters
The Batwa People

The Batwa people are known as the “keepers of the forest” and were the major human inhabitants of the forests of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga, specifically before Conservation and Tourism took over.

These people survived on hunting wild meat and gathering wild fruits in the forest.

In 1991, when Gorilla trekking and conservation started in Uganda, these people were evicted from these 2 national parks.

As a way of making these people love conservation, the park management has developed trails that lead you to their original homes, the Stone caves.

While here, the Pygmy guide demonstrates how they used to survive in the forest, including making fire, hunting, and using medicinal plants, among others.

This five-hour tourist activity begins at every region in Bwindi headquarters, costing $20, and this money goes back to these communities.

Remember, 20% of the annual national park entry fees are given back to these communities in the form of services like clean water and health facilities to encourage them to embrace conservation and Tourism.

When to Visit?

Is it Safe to Visit Bwindi National Park?

Uganda is always open to holidaymakers on Bwindi safaris at any time of the year.

When planning a Uganda safari, it is essential to consider two seasons: the wet and dry seasons, which occur each year.

The dry season is the most favorable if you plan to visit Uganda for mountain gorilla trekking, game drives, mountaineering, chimpanzee tracking, and golden monkey tracking.

You can choose to travel during the long dry months of the year, which begin in June, July, August up to September, or during any of the shorter drier months starting December, January, to February.

There are two significant phases of wet/rainy seasons, with the longest wet months occurring from March to May and the shortest rainy months beginning from October to November every year.

These are the best times if you are an enthusiastic birder on a Uganda safari holiday tour.

Know Before you Come

Gorilla Groups in Rushaga Sector of Bwindi

Visiting Uganda for a holiday is fun, but there are a few things you must take note of before you consider traveling.

Uganda welcomes everyone to enjoy its natural treasures, whether you are a local or international traveler on Bwindi safaris.

Here are some basics to keep in mind before you get to the country for your holiday.

When to Travel to Uganda:

  • Visiting Uganda, the Pearl of Africa, is possible at any time of the month or year.
  • The best period of the year to come and enjoy what this country has to offer is during the dry season. This is a period when most parts of the country record the least or no rains, making it the ideal time for gorilla trekking, mountaineering, or chimpanzee tracking.

Where to Go:

  • Uganda is a vibrant destination with exceptional tourist sites.
  • On Uganda safaris, visitor exploration isn’t limited to only visiting the national parks and reserves; you also get exposed to other tourist sites, including waterfalls, water bodies, forest reserves, communities, magical islands, to mention but a few.

Visas/Currency/Health:

  • Prior to traveling to Uganda, make sure that you have cross-checked the validity of your visa.
  • Ensure your visa is valid for at least 6 months before the expiry date.
  • Take your jabs and any necessary immunizations, including yellow fever jab, COVID-19, cholera, hepatitis A and B, and typhoid.
  • Also, carry with you some anti-malaria tablets.
  • While on Bwindi safaris, have enough cash to ease your transactions in remote areas. Uganda accepts other currencies as well, including the US Dollar and pound.

Pack Well:

  • A Bwindi gorilla safari is enjoyable when you have the right gear or equipment.
  • Ensure you have a valid visa, passport, gorilla permit, chimpanzee permit, appropriate clothing, safari shoes, insect repellents, day-pack, camera, and a rain jacket.

Language Spoken:

  • The official and widely spoken language in Uganda is English.
  • But take note that Uganda is comprised of about 50 different languages.

Accommodation in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge
Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge

There are so many accommodation facilities near Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

There are categorized by section and you can see some of them below.

Buhoma Region:

Ruhija Region:

Nkuringo Region:

Rushaga Region:

Useful links:

How we work

To offer a more rewarding way to travel, we do stuff the right way; right from the planning process.

1
We pay attention

We will spend time and pay attention to your expectations, then propose an experience that you might like.

2
We complement

Next we will discuss our selected options, point out the best safaris for you and make awesome recommendations.

3
We hold your booking

We will tentatively hold your booking and make reservations while we talk through the safari details or make changes.

Speak to an expert to start planning your African safari holiday...

Give a call to one of our specialists or arrange a video meeting/session for awesome ideas and safari advice.

+256 787 23 0575
Eddie Safari Guide
Ronnie Safari Guide