Looking for a new destination that is less ventured on? The Pearl of Africa will not disappoint you! I am sure you are wondering about which destination is the Pearl of Africa. This is Uganda, a small country in East Africa. Almost the size of Oregon, Uganda is a wonderland with a lot of amazing tourist sites, unique things to see and adventures to undertake. From gorilla watching in Bwindi or Mgahinga Forest to traditional safaris through national park vistas, there is a lot to do on a holiday in Uganda.
Of the dozens of wildlife viewing experiences I’ve had in Africa and the rest of the world, encountering mountain gorillas in their natural habitat takes the cake. On my first gorilla trek in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in 2018, I felt as if I had been invited to a reunion of distant, hairy relatives. When I first saw the gorillas I took photos for a while, but then put my camera away so I could just watch. I stood mere feet from these powerful animals and they calmly let me be a part of their world. No glass, no bars, no rumbling safari car engine, no squinting through binoculars, just humans and gorillas together in the forest.
Anyone going on Uganda safari in East Africa should consider adding on a few days to see the mountain gorillas in nearby Rwanda, Uganda, or the Democratic Republic of Congo. However the success to meet the mountain gorillas in their natural habitat doesn’t come on a silver plate. Gorilla trekking requires more active participation than on traditional safaris, so it’s important to plan ahead so you are prepared for the challenge.You need to be prepared to hike for long hours before meeting the gorillas. It took us about 2 hours to find the gorilla family, one hour of gorilla watching and another 2 hours to hike back to the starting point.
Once you book a tour (I recommend any reliable tour operator listed on this guide) but the most important points to keep in mind is to have a great time at whatever cost.
- Uganda gorilla permits cost USD600 per person and it is advisable to book the permits at least 4 months in advance most especially during the peak months of June to September.
For more information to plan a gorilla trek in Central Africa, check out the Visit Gorillas website, a useful resource with lots of information to adventure through the gorilla-land.