Facts!!! Why we are related to Gorillas!!!

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
silver-back (Head of a gorilla family)

Gorillas are the largest of the four-great species of the Apes; chimpanzees, Bonobos, and Orangutans. Gorillas are shy, rough with broad chests and shoulders, large human like hands, hairy bodies, hairy faces and small eyes. They are and different from monkeys because they are larger, have no tails, have bigger brains and walk upright for a long time. We are closely linked  with the gorillas by DNA. They share 98.3% of the human genetic genes which makes them our closest cousins after the chimpanzees and Bonobos which have 98.8% human genes.Gorillas have attracted many tourists for Uganda safaris just to encounter with these critically endangered gorillas.

Gorilla Species

The Mountain Gorillas (Gorillas beringei beringei). They have longer and thicker fur on their bodies adapted to their cold mountainous environment. Mountain gorillas are only found within the Virunga conservation area overlapping Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Uganda.

Mountain gorillas are estimated to be about 880 according to the census conducted in 2011 as released by the Uganda Wildlife Authority. Uganda happily confirms 400 gorillas out of the 880 totals in the world. In Uganda, mountain gorillas are found in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park. Without mountain gorillas, there would be no Uganda Rwanda Congo Gorilla Trekking Safaris and Tours

The Eastern lowland Gorillas/ Grauer’s Gorilla (Gorilla beringei gaueri). They are the largest of the four species and have a more blackish coat. Eastern lowland Gorillas are spotted in the eastern part of Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and Rwanda.

The Western lowland Gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla). They are brownish gray in color. Western lowland gorillas are mostly found in Cameroon, Nigeria, the Central African Republic, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and Angola.

The cross-River gorilla Gorillas (Gorilla gorilla diehl). Their coats are typically brownish grey to black and their hands, faces, feet are bare of fur. These are confined in a small area in Nigeria and Cameroon

 How do gorillas move?

Just like any other Ape, gorillas have arms longer than their legs so have a tendency of walking on their four hind limbs. This kind of movement is known as knuckle walking.

What do Gorillas feed on?

Gorillas have flexible diets therefore can live in diversity of environments. Gorillas are herbivores. They feed on roots, shoots, vines, pith and fruits. Even though they eat, they rarely drink water because they feed on succulent vegetation which comprises of water as well as morning dew. However, some gorillas look for water sources to take water although rarely. During a Uganda gorilla safari habituation, tourists have chance to watch the gorillas feed, and how they carry on their daily life in the wild.

How do Gorillas behave?

Gorillas display a lot more of human-like emotions and behaviors. It has been observed that the gorillas laugh, grieve, have a strong family bond, and make use of tools for survival in the forests where they reside. This behavior is what amazes tourists on Uganda tours as they see human-like behavior in animals.

Gorilla families live in groups of about 5-10. However they can also live in numbers bigger than that. Just like in a normal human family, the male is always the head. Silver-backs lead their families. They assume leadership and it lead their families for several years.

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park- Uganda
A resting gorilla family

What are silver-backs?

Adult male gorillas are known as “Silver-backs” because of their silver colored hair on their backs and the hips. The young males are called black-bucks. The female gorillas have no special names so they are just called gorillas.

The silver-back makes decisions especially where they will sleep at night, feeding place of the day, and determines their moves. It does so because it must protect the family at all times, even if it costs its life just like humans do. The silver-back tends to be more aggressive, he beats his chest, and charges if he detects any threat. Silver-backs have the right to mate with anyone in the family. Young males sometimes leave the groups as they become older to start their own lives and families.

When a silver-back passes on, the gorilla family disperses to find other groups to join. Getting a group to join is a bit hard so sometimes they wait for a silver-back to join them and maintain grooming the young ones.

How do Gorillas communicate?

Gorillas are so intelligent. They have taught themselves a subset of sign language. This helps them communicate with each other. They normally do a nose to nose greeting. Besides greeting, they also make different sounds. These sounds they make may be classified as grunts, and barks. Gorillas scream, make signal alarms especially when warning; most often by silver-backs.They normally use this type of communication especially when they are traveling.

Where do Gorillas sleep?

At the end of the day, each gorilla constructs a nest using leaves and other plant materials in which they will sleep. Mothers normally share their nests with their small infants.

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
An infant gorilla in the mother’s arms

How do Gorillas reproduce?

Gorillas mate throughout the year. Their birth interval is about 4 years. A gorilla’s gestation is 8.5 months and normally give birth to one baby. The young one of a gorilla is called an infant. Just like humans, the gorilla infants are helpless at birth and weigh around 3-4 1bs. They gradually grow and learn how to crawl at about 2 months. Infant gorillas walk at about 8-9 months. Female gorillas nurse their gorillas until they are a round three years after which they are left to become independent.

Where do we find Mountain gorillas?

Safari Uganda to the superior Bwindi Impenetrable and Mgahinga National Parks that host the unique species and encounter Uganda gorilla trekking safaris for perfect memories, photography for remembrances with one of the cousins that all humans share.


Gorillas are only threatened by leopards, habitat loss and this is done when there is an increase in human population especially where they habit. Mountain gorillas love cool places so if there is any climate change, they migrate to places which favor them. During their movements, they normally affect vegetation around them.



Silverback Lodge Bwindi Impenetrable Forest showcases the richness and diversity of Bwindi’s heritage. Build and well set up with inspiration from the area’s natural beauty, the facility is constructed using local material such as sisal rope, forest vines, and purple slate stone. This lodge gives visitors magnificent views of the impenetrable forests and captures the soul of Bwindi. Simplicity and local charm put together, this facility is just welcoming.

gorilla safari tour

The lodge boasts of a total of 12 rooms with each having an ensuite bathroom and comfortable chairs on the veranda overlooking the thick green forest and misty valley. The facility has 4 twin rooms, 5 double rooms and 3 single room. It is at this very spot guests that will appreciate nature’s variety and landscape from forests, hills and for bird watchers, this is the perfect place. Here you’re guaranteed that you will wonder into the timeless charm and grace as you adventure into one of the most scenic areas in East Africa, the Bwindi impenetrable forest which is home to the critically endangered mountain Gorillas.


gorilla tracking safaris

Entice yourself with one of mouth-watering buffet dishes on a Uganda safari, here local dining influences will definitely thrill your taste buds. With one of the best chefs, the restaurant serves dishes ranging from local dishes to world over cuisines. And there is well stocked bar for those wishing to enjoy a drink as the relax from tiring Gorilla treks, or call it a warm environment to share the memorable tales of your Gorilla trekking safari experience. More so, the lodge also has beautiful gardens that are ideal for relaxation.


Silverback Lodge in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is strategically located in the Buhoma sector of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest about 478kms from Kampala city the capital of Uganda. The Lodge also offers opportunities for walking trails starting from the lodge and visits to the nearby local Batwa pygmy community. Access to this place is either by 1 hour and 40 minute domestic flight or up to 9hrs drive from Kampala to Bwindi.

Uganda Gorilla-viewing Tourism Facts

The rare opportunity to spend a full hour in the wild with one of the world’s estimated 35 mountain Gorilla families drew over about 40,000 trekkers last year to Uganda, the country is home to more than 50% of the mountain Gorilla population in the wild. From 2007, the country’s total number of tourists coming in per year has almost doubled to 1.3 million, and that is according to Stephen Asiimwe who is the CEO of the Uganda Tourist Board. With now over 18 international airlines now flying to the country’s international airport at Entebbe, including Emirates, Qatar, Brussels, KLM and many more.

It us now close to 40 years since the exile of the Uganda’s infamously brutal leader Idi Amin, though now the 30-plus-year of the reigning government been marred by questionable election practices and human rights infringements, the Unites States government writes about Uganda as a relatively political stable, undergoing democratic progress, and economic growth and considers the country as a “reliable, stable partner.”Gorilla safaris in Uganda

A Uganda Safari, is a visit or tour that takes you on journey where you’re assured of encountering friendly locals, stunning landscapes, comfortable lodgings and undoubtedly good food — and all this will leave you yenning to return.

Gorilla trekking safari tourism in Uganda was launched in the late 1990s to create alternative employment to poaching and in the same way protect and conserve the critically endangered mountain Gorillas that were only left in the forests of Bwindi Impenetrable and Mgahinga National Park in the country. In Uganda, 20% of every permit fee which is approximately $180 per visitor goes to the local community. And also jobs as hotel staff, guides, drivers, rangers and porters all go to locals.

Despite some the continued poaching and habitat loss, this conservation plan seems to be yielding positive results. And between 1989 and 2011, the number of mountain Gorillas in these jungles grew from about 620 to about 880, according to Bas Huijbregts, who is the African species manager for the World Wildlife Fund’s Wildlife Conservation Program. And data collected from the most recent mountain Gorilla census, in 2015-16, is still being analyzed.

Mountain Gorilla destination countries get their share in this, Uganda charges $600 each individual per day for the highly coveted, date-specific gorilla trekking permits. Rwanda recently doubled its permit fees from $750 to $1,500, with $150 per gorilla permit given to the local community. The Democratic Republic of Congo has the least charges at only $450 a permit.

Getting to Bwindi National Forest requires a five-to-six-hour drive on dirt roads. But there is also an alternative option of close to 90-minutes flight from Entebbe.


Echuya Batwa, mostly known as Pygmies, are the most marginalized, vulnerable and voiceless group of indigenous people in Uganda. The Batwa were the first inhabitants of the forests of Bwindi and Mgahinga, but were affected forever with the establishment of the National Game Parks.

When Uganda Wildlife Authority established the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park in 1991, the indigenous Batwa were evicted from their forests, and didn’t even receive any compensation. They were pushed to live on the edges of the other Ugandan society, experiencing consistent and extensive discrimination. And the Batwa became conservation refugees.

Visiting the Batwa  

You can make a Uganda safari tour to visit this interesting pygmy tribe near the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. One of the activities on this Uganda safari is to take on the Batwa Experience in Mgahinga and Bwindi. This activity is created by the Batwa pygmies themselves to educate their children and to share their heritage and traditions with the rest of the world.

gorilla safari tour

Another option would be arranging a visit by yourself through your tour operator or guide. But you can be assured that for both options, your contribution will majorly go straight to benefiting the Batwa community. This is amazingly eco-tourism at its core meaning and will give you one of the undisputed and memorable encounter with a marginalized culture.

And you will need just about a 15 minutes’ walk outside of the main village and lodges of Bwindi as your guide takes you through all the needed information about the Batwa and you will arrive at an area of small, wooden houses, inhabited by locals alone, here you will mingle and experience how this marginalized group of people go about their lives.

This tour gets more interesting since this is the very destination for Gorilla trekking safari tours in the forests of Bwindi and Mgahinga in Uganda.


For those who have embarked on a Gorilla safari tour in Africa or even many who have bothered to research about these gentle primates, you must have heard of people or writers refer to a giant male mountain gorilla as a “Silverback”, but why call it by that name?

Silverback Gorillas are male alpha group leaders. They typically lead Gorilla groups or families comprising of 10 – 40 members with a clearly defined social structure and play very many roles in the day-to-day life of a Gorilla family they are heading.

These giant adult male mountain Gorillas derive their name “Silverback” from their silver saddle of hair on their backs. Generally, mountain Gorillas have a well-built body, with a broad chest, long, muscular arms and wide feet and hands and their arms are seen to be longer than their legs.

The dominant alpha is always there to protect and overlook all the activities of the entire group, they are the decision makers, they mediate conflicts, determine the movement of the group, and serve as mentors and protectors of the attire family especially the young and this increases their chances of survival during childhood.

gorilla safari tours

Because mountain Gorillas are nomads, the dominant alpha leads his group and takes charge of making decisions on where they settle and where they find food. The silverback is always there to protect his family from various threats, whether from human beings or other wildlife. They are very huge and can easily scare away any threat by drumming on their chests and stamping their feet.

These critically endangered mountain Gorillas inhabit high in the mountains of protected parks and have been habituated for visitors interested in Gorilla trekking safaris and some of these game parks include Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Forest National Park in Uganda, Volcanoes National Park of Rwanda and the Virunga National Park of the Democratic Republic of Congo.


Are you intending to embark on an adventurous holiday to Africa? If so, wild Gorilla trekking should be on your bucket list, without a doubt one of the best experiences you can have in the amazing Uganda’s national game parks. Though the very first question most tourist  traveling to Africa ask is “When is the best time to make a trip for mountain Gorilla Trekking in Uganda”?

Mountain gorillas are among the critically endangered species on our planet earth. Today, they find home in the forests of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and the Virunga ranges, which cuts across the three countries of Uganda (Mgahinga National Park), Democratic Republic of Congo (Virunga National Park) and Rwanda in the Volcanoes National Park. And because these gentle primates are critically endangered, visitors are willing to pay a relatively higher price compared to other safari activities just to go watch or track them. The current price for Gorilla permits is USD600 in Uganda, USD400 in the DR Congo, with Rwanda doubling its permits starting May 2017 to USD1500 for each.

Gorilla safari tours

Best time to track mountain Gorillas

Although mountain Gorilla tracking is a year-round activity, the best time to embark on a Uganda Safari for a Gorilla trekking tour is during the country’s two dry seasons of December to February and from June to July. If you are flexible enough, this would be the best time to visit. Because these Gorillas stay deep in the rain forests, it is recommended that you carry along waterproof clothing even during the drier months. Coming across other wildlife in Uganda at this time is also very likely. The drier seasons can be ideal for tourists looking to try out other safari activities such as hiking and mountain climbing.

Tracking Gorillas During Low Season

Deciding to visit during the low season also means that you will get to enjoy the rainforests with relatively less crowds since there are less travelers to these destinations.

The low season months of February and September are also good for a safari vacation in Uganda since there are less tourists visiting and obviously the lodges are not fully booked as compared to the high season period.

Many of tourists to these destinations avoid these months as the rain creates unfavorable conditions to trek through the jungle and sometimes the roads leading to these places can be tricky to maneuver through.

However, the advantage is, during these wet seasons Gorilla locations are more predictable. And this is mainly because the sustenance of these mountain Gorillas can be found in the lower slopes, where it is warmer and are able to find food easily, surprisingly making tracking Gorillas during the wet season easier.


Uganda Gorilla trekking offers an incredible wild Gorilla encounter that is worth every penny spent to see these close cousins of man in natural habitat. Uganda is home to half the world’s critically endangered mountain Gorillas with at total number of over 450 in the wild. These mountain Gorillas can be tracked in two places in Uganda; in the mystical forest of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. When it comes to why people prefer to do Gorilla Trekking Safaris in Uganda, it goes down mainly to these three factors;

The bigger number of Gorillas in Uganda as compared to its neighboring competitors is an appealing factor to most primate lovers, boasting with 11 habituated Gorilla families living in Bwindi forest and 1 habituated family found in Mgahinga-that is part of the Virunga mountain range that stretches across Congo, Uganda and Rwanda. Tourists coming in from the Uganda side have a chance to view these apes in both the parks to see how different the ones in Bwindi interact from the ones in Mgahinga.

Gorilla safari tours

The cost of Gorilla trekking safaris to Uganda is at a low $600 per permit for each individual as compared to that of Rwanda that was recently in May 2017 doubled from $750 USD to $1500 for each individual is also one of the deciding factors. The total cost of a Uganda Safari is more affordable than in other countries.  Going by the fact that trackers can get to see Gorillas in both countries, the high cost of going on an African adventure Safari for the same attraction in one has made visitors opt for Uganda.

Uganda offers more than just Gorilla Safaris tours as it is blessed with plenty of wildlife making it a more complete Wildlife safari destination. Visitors can get to see the uncommon tree climbing lions of Ishasha in Queen Elizabeth national park and also enjoy sightings of several birds with Uganda boasting of over 1070 species including the much sought-after Shoebill stork.

For a unique and memorable Gorilla trekking experience, a Gorilla Safari to Uganda should be on your bucket list.


In spite of the fact that a Safari to Uganda has been famously known worldwide to involve Wild Gorilla trekking for the critically endangered Mountain Gorillas in Bwindi Forest National Park, having more than half of the only remaining Gorillas on the planet makes Uganda a perfect destination for Gorilla Safari Tours, but there is a number of other tourist amazing attractions and activities including different animal species, birds, vegetation and beautiful landscapes that this beautiful landlocked country offers.

Gorilla safari tours

Though one of the standouts of your Uganda Safari should definitely include spotting of the mysterious tree climbing Lions in the Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park.

There are only two places in the world where you can find these extraordinary animals, the Ishasha sector in the Southern part of Queen Elizabeth National Park for those on a Uganda Safari tour plus the Lake Manyara region of Tanzania.

The Ishasha Sector is broadly known for its unusual tree climbing lions which is a one of a kind fascination and is one of the highlights of a safari tour to this park. Lions can be seen hanging on large fig trees while Uganda small antelopes graze in the Ishasha plains.

If you were to find yourself in danger of being chased by a lion you may attempt and climb a tree to get away, this would not be of much help in the Queen Elizabeth National Park since Lions have been seen resting in trees as they enjoy their lunch and as shelter from the hottest part of the day. It is also believed that these Lions climb trees to hide from the Tsetse flies.

These uncommon lions have been found climbing trees in Uganda and Tanzania and can often be seen laying on a tree branches, high above the ground. While on a game drive, look upward in the fig tree branches for the rare big cats.

This very Uganda Safaris route also offers high chances of spotting elephants, buffaloes, Kobs, birds and great scenery.

Plan a memorable Gorilla Trekking Safari in Africa

There is always something unique about trekking to see Mountain Gorillas in the remote rain forests of Uganda Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo. That one of a kind feeling and acknowledgment that they are much the same as us, living in closely attached family groups, obviously headed by a “parent”, the dominant silverback there to serve as their defender and protector.

In spite of the fact that these apes are still considered as a critically endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, Mountain Gorilla numbers have continuously been growing with each year, as their remarkable numbers of new borns and less deaths on account of strict conservation effort and protection of their habitat.

There estimated to be more than 1000 gorilla species, residing in Bwindi Forest National Park in Uganda and in the Virunga conservation area, here there also volcanic mountains with bamboo forest shared by Volcanoes National Park Rwanda, Mgahinga National Park Uganda and Virunga national Park in Congo.

Congo Gorilla Safaris

Practical guide to gorilla trekking

Book your gorilla Permit, before you confirm your flights to Africa. You must know there is so much competition for Gorilla permits especially during the peak seasons of June – September. Rwanda offers a total number of 80 gorilla permits for each day, Uganda offers a maximum of 104 Gorilla permits per day, and 8 available for Gorilla habituation experience while Congo offers a total of 48 permits.

The numbers of tourist travelling to see mountain Gorillas in the wild is increasing by each year, there is great need to book your Gorilla Safari tour ahead of time. Accordingly, the government of Rwanda has doubled the cost of Gorilla permits from $750 to $1500 Per Person for 1 hour with the Gorillas to limit the number of visitors. A gorilla permit in Uganda still goes for $600 Per Person, while Congo Gorilla Safari permits go for $450.

Is gorilla trekking worth the hustle?

There is no single traveller who has had the chance to track gorillas that hasn’t cherished it. You can also look at ratings and reviews on trusted travel forums like TripAdvisor, Lonely Planet and Fodors. Trekking to see gorillas is a standout amongst the most fulfilling and fascinating adventures, not to only save the critically endangered species, as well as to help the poor communities around the national parks.

Gorilla Safari tours in Rwanda

Is it safe?

Uganda and Rwanda are very safe nations to visit, with no security issues. While trekking gorillas in the wilderness, visitors are guided by well-trained rangers, escorted by military armed guards. Visitors’ safety is a priority since tourism is a major revenue earner for these countries’ budgets.

 What to pack for gorilla trekking

Gorilla trekking Safari takes you climbing through the wilderness in search for mountain gorillas, it is essential that you pack the right clothing and footwear to protect you from nettles, slippery grounds, branches and many more.

And for that matter, don’t forget the following…

  • A pair of waterproof hiking boots, as the trails get slippery when it rains.
  • Dress in long trousers to protect your skin against nettles, thorns, long sleeved shirts and a light rain jacket in case of rain.
  • A pair of sturdy garden gloves to protect your hands, in case you touch nettles, thorns, vines, etc.
  • Insect repellent is a must.
  • Essentials for your trek
  • Keep on time for your briefing! If you skip the briefing, you cannot trek to see gorillas.
  • Hire a porter to carry your day pack.
  • A hiking stick comes in handy.
  • Work on your physical fitness.
  • Note that gorilla trekking is possible even for the very old and the disabled.


Although Uganda is best known for her Gorilla Trekking Safari experience, this beautiful East African country is a much more diverse destination for anyone wishing to do a Safari tour in Africa. From remarkable sports on the River Nile to adventurous National Parks teeming with game and epic scenery, Uganda is fast becoming a serious player in the African safari tour. Here are some of the top 5 experiences visitors to this extraordinarily Pearl of Africa cannot afford to miss on their Uganda Safari Tour.

  1. Gorillas Trekking tour

Uganda is perhaps most well-known for its Gorillas and the adventurous treks tourists can per take in to see these critically endangered primates in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and sometimes in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, of which there are estimated just only 880 Mountain Gorillas remaining in the whole world.

Evidently home to roughly half of the entire populace of Mountain Gorillas, Uganda is prestigious as a top Gorilla Trekking destination. There are 11 habituated families in Bwindi alone, in addition to two that are experiencing habituation and one in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park bordering the Virunga and Volcanoes National Parks in Rwanda and DR.Congo respectively. This expansion implies that there is extension for more tourists to visit in the near future– a tremendous advantage for the conservation efforts going on in this natural forest.

Gorilla trekking Bwindi

2. Chimpanzees Tracking safari

Chimpanzees are obviously one of our closest cousins, sharing a remarkable estimated 98 per cent of their DNA with humans.

Uganda is home to around 5,000 chimpanzees, with the biggest local populace found in Kibale National Park. However, more, smaller groups can be found in places like the Budongo Forest Reserve, which outskirts Murchison Falls National Park, and Kyambura Gorge in Queen Elizabeth National Park. There is likewise a sanctuary for orphaned chimpanzees rescued by the Uganda Wildlife Authority on Ngamba Island, a little way off the shoreline of Entebbe.

Chimpanzee Trekking

  1. Birding Safari

A Uganda safari is one of Africa’s top birding destinations, essentially because of the variety of habitat and the sheer volume of unbelievably uncommon birds that can be found country over. The best known about these is without a doubt the exceptional looking shoebill stork, however different species that will most certainly take your attention include the Puvel’s illadopsis, the black-breasted barbet, and the red-throated alethe.

  1. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

Situated in south-western part of Uganda, Bwindi Forest is without a doubt best known for its gorilla trekking safaris, yet this extraordinarily diverse, 25,000-year-old rainforest deserves a very special mention of its own.

Other than the Gorilla Safaris Tours, there are more than 340 unique types of birds, 200 known types of butterfly, and more than 300 distinct types of tree. Furthermore, this captivating forest is home to a variety of larger wildlife, for example, elephants, monkeys, and antelopes.

Tourists to this region can appreciate what Bwindi brings to the table by participating in other activities like nature walks ranging from half-day to entire day treks. Visitors who simply need peaceful natures can choose from various shorter trails, including a lovely stroll to a waterfall for an exceptionally refreshing dip.

Gorilla Safaris

  1. The River Nile Tours

With its most distant source yet to be conclusively determined, the River Nile flows through a total of eleven countries, including Uganda.

Starting from Lake Victoria at the Ripon Falls near Jinja, this winding river has a ton to offer depending on where visitors go. Jinja can be considered as the adrenaline capital of Uganda, giving some truly epic activities like white-water rafting, bungee jumping, and kayaking. However, the river additionally has some highlights for Safari tourists, for example, a spellbinding 3 hour Boat Cruise Safari up in Murchison Falls National Park.

Plan your Uganda Safari Tour to experience wilderness in its natural state!