Budget Gorilla Trekking in Africa
Besides Mountain Gorilla’s being a unique adventure desired by many travelers to track, most see it as a bit expensive which often limits people including it on their wishlist for Africa travel plans. However hope is not lost if only proper planning is taken into consideration especially off season peak periods when prices scale down but still realizing value for many especially Budget and backpacker travelers. Uganda offers that glimpse of hope for off season relatively cheap gorilla tracking permits. Three year ago Uganda gorilla permits used to cost $500 per person year round and a slight change started in 2014 where trackers could get Gorilla permits at $350 during low season and $600 for high season a price which still runs up to present. For a decade now many budget tours run across Bwindi Impenetrable Rain forest Park and Mgahinga mountain park to track habituated mountain Gorillas in all the four park sectors, Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga and Nkuringo.
The Majority demand of cheap Uganda Gorillas safaris created hotel investment opportunities for many local and foreign investors in order to meet the demand of the growing tourist arrivals to the park. Today if your dream is to sleep in a clean self contained affordable lodge or camp, you have a list to pick from provided you book the right lodge for the right Gorilla family tracking sector. Buhoma rest camp, Nshongi Gorilla camp, broadbill camp, Gift of nature lodge, Wagtail eco lodge, Bwindi back parker lodge, Golden monkey hotel, Gorilla friendly camp are the most desired Bwindi forest Budget lodges in Uganda.
I know Uganda Shares the Mountain gorillas with two others countries Rwanda & Democratic Republic of Congo the largest population and cheap Gorilla permits make it the better bet during off season period coupled with diversity of over safari nature wildlife excursions. Besides private and backpacker, travel from the main city to the park is convenient provided and requires atleast 3days schedule if not flying. Start by booking your Gorilla permit either online or with a responsible Uganda tour operator, and later set off for the gorilla tracking tour to western Uganda. If your tour is private don’t hassle waking up early to go to the bus terminal to leave the city with the early morning bus, just have your breakfast and wait for your driver guide to pick you up from your hotel of residence since all is handled by the tour operator. The travel time on round is around nine hours so you need to be on the road latest 7.00am local time. Ensure that your Gorilla permit is booked before leaving the park main office in Kampala, Uganda Wildlife Authority. Expect to see the Uganda Equator, local drum makers, Art & pottery work and grand cultural displays at igongo cultural museum. Lake Mburo wildlife can be spotted on your way especially the Zebras and some travelers make road stops for few photo captions before heading to Bwindi forest.
In fact the drive is too scenic for those who do private budget trips since you can stop any where unlike in public buses where you can’t stop others passengers for your personal interests. Gorilla tracking starts at 8.00am after briefing at 7:30am and tracking is only done once per day. Bwindi Impenetrable RainForest Park treks are not too tough as per the saying since tourists are able to find the sliver back mountain Gorillas with its other family members in just 1-3 hours though some times the trek takes long to end but the encounter is worth the effort. The allowed one hour of photography with the Gorillas give tourists amazing life lasting memories and a reason for many Gorilla visitors to the country every day. However when backpacking it even goes more low since you spend less on both public transport and accommodation unlike the Gorilla tracking permit price which is constant for a particular season for all trackers. Friends can also work for you if you travel with them and share costs.
Uganda though unique with the gorilla tracking life time experience safaris, its also endowed with a diversity of Nature wildlife excursions and water adventures in its over 5 National parks of Queen Elizabeth, Murchison Falls, Kidepo park, Kibale forest park mostly for primates and bird safaris, Lake Mburo with high diversity of antelopes, Zebra’s, Giraffe, Hippos etc. A drive to Jinja enable you witness the source of the great longest River in the world the Nile river as discovered by one of the great British Explorer John Speke coupled with water activities like white water rafting, spot fishing, boat cruises and Bungee jumps for the strong hearted.