You go to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest with just one goal: to get up close and personal with the endangered mountain gorillas of east and central Africa. Of the 880 surviving gorillas, nearly half the population can be found in this national park making it a not-to-miss experience in Uganda. The other two options are Rwanda or Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). With the civil unrest in DRC, it’s best to avoid it which basically leaves you with Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda or Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda.
While both are relatively safe countries and offer excellent viewing of these beautiful and big apes, the advantage with Uganda is that the government permit costs 600 USD per person whereas it’s 750 USD in Rwanda. Uganda also offers offseason discounts for the months of April, May and November since it’s the rainy season there. This price is only for one hour with the Gorillas, from the time you first find them.
For permits, it’s advised to book them well in advance during the peak season (July to September and December to February) as there are 14 mountain gorilla families in Uganda and only 8 visitors per family per day are allowed.
Keep these tips in mind before planning:
- Uganda visa on arrival is no longer valid for Indians. Instead can take the East African tourist visa at 100 USD which includes multiple entries into Uganda, Rwanda & Kenya.
- Before entering Uganda, be sure to have your Yellow Fever vaccination done else entry will be denied.
- Update your dose of tetanus and hepatitis shots.
- Don’t forgot to take a travel insurance policies
Once these are done, you are ready for the adventure of a lifetime. Take a look at what you might spot there.
All images and text by Nitin Gairola