It’s no secret that one of Uganda’s most enjoyable and unique attractions is seeing the wondrous primate reserves. If you’re planning on visiting this country, affectionately nicknamed “the Pearl of Africa” for your next safari, you should strongly consider adding a trip to the chimpanzee refuge on Lake Victoria’s Ngamba Island and/or Bwindi Impenetrable Forest to your itinerary.
For a thrilling wildlife encounter unlike any other, head to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. Gorilla trekking through this area is a visually stunning experience—from steep hills to narrow gorges interspersed with abundant streams and waterfalls, it’s quite the sight to behold.
While the gorillas are this park’s main attraction, you’ll also have the chance to behold monkeys and chimpanzees as well. This unspoiled forest is home to 120 various species of mammal, 200 types of birds, and 346 varieties of butterflies. With such an impressive range of biological diversity in this habitat, it’s not surprising that UNESCO has recognized this forest as a World Heritage Site.
If you decide to see these glorious gorillas and other primates, remember that it’s not the best idea to plan your trip when heavy rainfall occurs throughout the region during the months of March through May and October through November. The risk you take with traveling during these rainy seasons is that the wet forest areas sometimes become impassable by vehicle or by foot.
You also need to take into account that you have to procure a permit ($600.00 per person) before you leave to see the gorillas in Uganda. It’s best to let an African-tour operator take care of these logistics and book a tour guide. The alternative to Bwindi is to plan a gorilla trekking tour in Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda. While the trekking permits here are more expensive than in Uganda ($1500 per person), the open terrain is less physically strenuous to navigate than in Bwindi.