Uganda Gorilla Trekking, Bwindi and Mgahinga Gorilla National Parks
Uganda is a top tourist destination for mountain gorilla tourism. Uganda gorilla trekking takes place in the two popular national parks of Bwindi and Mgahinga gorilla national parks. Both parks are part of the Virunga massif in the Albertine graben.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Bwindi is home to more than half of its remaining mountain gorillas. Bwindi is considered the wealthiest biodiversity forest in East Africa with hundreds of plant species, birds, and other wildlife. The main tourist activity in the park is tracking the mountain gorillas. Bwindi has different habituated gorillas groups open for tracking. There are groups in the northern sector of the park, in Ruhija and the rest of the groups are in the southern sector, in the Kisoro District, in Rushaga and Nkuringo sectors.
We advise all travelers interested in tracking the gorillas to book the trekking permits in advance since last-minute bookings might not work out, especially in high season months, June to September. In Uganda, one gorilla permit costs $700 compared to the $1,500 charged in Rwanda as of July 2020.
Bwindi National Park Airports
Bwindi National Park is accessible by two domestic airports of Kihihi/Savannah Airstrip and Kisoro Airport. AeroLink Uganda provides daily flights from Entebbe International Airport to Kisoro Airport and Kihihi/Savannah Airstrip.
- Kisoro Airport
Kisoro Airport is a domestic airport located in Kisoro district near Bwindi National Park in southwestern Uganda. The airport is situated about 550kms south of Entebbe International Airport, and the Civil Aviation of Uganda operates the airport. Kisoro airport is mainly used by small planes taking tourists to track mountain gorillas in Bwindi National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. AeroLink provides direct flights from Entebbe airport to Kisoro airport daily.
- Kihihi Airport / Airstrip
Kihihi Airport, also known as Savannah Airstrip, is a domestic airport located in Kanungu district near Bwindi National Park in southwestern Uganda. Kihihi airport is situated about 550kms south of Entebbe International Airport, and the Civil Aviation of Uganda operates the Kihihi airport. Kihihi airport is mainly used by light aircraft taking tourists to track mountain gorillas in Bwindi National Park. AeroLink Uganda provides direct flights from Entebbe airport to Kihihi airport daily.
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is Uganda’s smallest national park covering only 33.7 square kilometers. Launched as a national park in 1991, Mgahinga is part of the Greater Virunga – a vibrant tropical forest cover that stretches between Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The park is known for its dynamic vegetation cover of the bamboo forest, Afromontane and alpine vegetation. Mgahinga also settles on a high elevation with three mountains forming the backbone of the park. These are Mt. Muhavura (4,127 meters), Mt. Gahinga (3,474 meters), and Mt. Sabyinyo (3,645 meters).
The three volcanoes provide an unforgettable hiking experience in Uganda. At the top of the three volcanoes, you get the most stunning views you would rarely find in other places in East Africa. Many people have seen the third peak of Mt. Sabyinyo to be sacred as you step in the three countries of Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo at the same moment.
Like Bwindi National Park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park has a habituated mountain gorilla group open for tracking. The top activities and things to see and do in Mgahinga National Park include gorilla trekking and volcano hiking (Mt Sabyinyo, Mt. Muhabura & Mt. Gahinga). Other activities include golden monkey trekking, nature walks, Congo border walk, Gisozi caldera, Sabyinyo gorge walk, bird watching, and The Batwa Trail experience.