The existence of gorillas in Africa’s forests like Bwindi has been known for centuries and not only to local residents. Gorillas were first described 2000 years a go when sailors from North African province of Carthage landed in West Africa and tried to capture some Apes, a bruising encounter that earned the animals the Carthaginian name for ‘scratchier gorilla’. It is not actually clear whether the visitors encountered gorilla or chimpanzees but the name has stuck.
Two species of gorilla the western lowland and the eastern lowland were identified for science in 1847 and 1877 respectively. It wasn’t until 1903 that the third sub species, the mountain gorillas was identified. This was observed to be somewhat bulkier than its lowland cousins weighing up to 210 kilograms with a shaggier coat suited to its chilly montane habitat. This sub species was named after the German officer, Oscar Von Berenge, who enabled its classification.
Indeed until just a few decades ago, gorilla received a bad press that dated back to their first unfortunate encounter with Carthaginian tourists 2000 years a go. This ferocious image was deliberately perpetuated to create a myth eventually immortalized on screen.
Bwindi Gorilla Trekking 3days
Day 1: Travel to Bwindi National Park
Set off early in the morning for Bwindi National park located south west of Uganda, travelling for up to 8 hours (530km from Kampala). Take a stop, pictures and refreshments from the equator before you go to Mbarara where you’ll have lunch in a hotel. South western Uganda is famously referred to as the Switzerland of Africa and this shows through the winding terraced hills, the lush green rain forests, glaciated mountains and streams.
The impenetrable forest that covers the large part of the park is famous for some families of mountain gorillas, a few of the 700 primates surviving across the world. It is for this reason that it was declared a world heritage site in 1994. The park’s terrain is however hard to climb but is abundantly gifted with the gorillas, chimpanzees, butterflies, lush rainforest vegetation and different species of Albertine rift endemic birds such as the Green Broadbill, Bar Tailed Trogon and other gorgeous forest species.
There are plenty of Overnight accommodation options, all offering you excellent dining and typical African nights, characterized by the crocks and several sounds from the forests. Check out luxury package accommodation from Gorilla Forest Camp, Clouds Lodge, Gahinga Volcanoes Lodge and/or Volcanoes Bwindi safari Lodge. Exclusive/ mid range accommodation is also offered from Engagi lodge, Buhoma Loage, Traveller’s rest camp, Silverback Safari lodge and cheaper options at Wag tail Eco lodge or Lake kitandara camp. Budget package options include Virunga Hotel, Nkuringo Safari centre, Buhoma Community bandas or Bwindi View bandas.
Day 2: Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
This day’s experience starts with breakfast and then set off with your ranger guide to the forest for the gorilla tracking experience. There is short briefing session at the ranger stations before you head for the adventure. Good tracking efforts begin during the mid morning as the trackers/ rangers flow the trails left by the gorilla family from the previous day. Tracking experience is sometimes between 2 and 6 hours. Once you meet the family, you spend one hour watching the primates as they feed and play in the forest canopy. It is advisable to pack your lunch as it sometimes a long strenuous trekking experience.
The guides normally identify different unique traits about this park like its flora and fauna, the gorilla trails, chatters and sounds from the wild and others.
The day ends with beautiful memories of these animals and watch documentaries at your lodge with more information about them. Take the rest of the evening at leisure, interacting with local people and meeting other guests on the same trip. Overnight and accommodation is per your standards and budget
Day 3: travel back to Kampala
After breakfast, pack your luggage, ready for the return trip to Kampala. Pass by the magnificent grasslands grazing the famous long horned Ankole cattle and also stop by visit the different curio and gift villages. Take your lunch from a hotel in Mbarara or another town along the way.
Trip cost per person:-
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