Uganda Gorilla Trekking Safaris from Nairobi : Having relished a wonderful time in Kenya browsing through the sweeping savannah plains for a wide range of African game, booking the Uganda Gorilla trekking safaris from Nairobi is the perfect spice that you need to make your African safari complete. Magical Kenya is popular for its numerous savannah-dominated Protected Areas, which shelter rich wildlife diversity but there are completely no mountain gorillas. For this reason, you will start your wildlife safari in Kenya exploring the famous Masai Mara National Reserve for the Great annual migration, hot air balloon tours and game drives with hope of seeing the big five game, to Lake Nakuru, Nairobi and Amboseli National Parks before connecting to Uganda for the gorilla trekking safaris.
One of the important requirements for enjoying Uganda Gorilla trekking safaris from Nairobi is the visa, but with the existence of the East African Tourist Visa, travellers can acquire a single Visa for $100 to explore Uganda and Kenya during the Uganda Gorilla Trekking safari from Nairobi. This visa guarantees multiple entries into these countries for a period of 3 months and interestingly, you can use the same visa for visiting Rwanda. How do you get to Uganda for gorilla trekking safaris from Nairobi?
Uganda Gorilla Trekking safaris from Nairobi by flying
Flying from Nairobi is the easiest and most stress-free option of getting to Uganda for your gorilla trekking safari. However, be prepared to pay a higher cost. For this reason, you will fly from Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta international airport to Entebbe International Airport of Uganda, then take a domestic flight to Kisoro or Kihihi Airstrip. Alternatively, you can continue to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park by an 8-9 hours’ road trip. Flights to Uganda from Kenya are mainly operated by Rwanda air, Uganda Airlines and Kenya Airways. For domestic flights to Bwindi (Kihihi or Kisoro Airstrips) from Entebbe International Airport, they are operated by Aero link Limited and Bar Aviation Uganda Limited.
One important thing to be noted is that you will not be trekking mountain gorillas on the same day of arriving Uganda and Bwindi Impenetrable or Mgahinga National Park. This is mainly because of the fixed mountain gorilla trekking schedule (starts at 7:00am with briefing), flight duration and flight schedules. It is advisable to arrive a day before the actual gorilla trekking date to give enough time for settling into your booked place of stay and undertaking the required preparation for the activity.
Be at the Park Headquarters by 7:00am to attend briefing, offered by the Park Rangers and by 8:00am be ready to start the adventure in the jungle.
Driving for Uganda Gorilla Trekking safaris from Nairobi
This option needs patience and endurance, although it is the cheapest. If you are a lover of road trips, then you will enjoy the long journeys (13-15 hours) from, Nairobi City to Kampala (Uganda’s Capital) via the Busia Border crossing. It is advisable to rest for the night and continue to Bwindi Impenetrable or Mgahinga National Park the next day, another long but exciting journey marked by beautiful sceneries along the way. It takes about 8-9 hours to get to the south-western side of the country where these beautiful destinations are found.
Permit availability and costs for Uganda Gorilla Trekking safaris from Nairobi
Uganda offers a fairer price for gorilla trekking permits (compared to Rwanda) and they cost $700 per person for the foreign non-residents, $700 for the foreign residents and Shs. 250,000 for the East African citizens. Interestingly, this country also offers the highest population of these Great Apes, thus the highest number of habituated gorilla families totalling to 21 in Bwindi and Mgahinga National Parks. Because of this, a total of 168 gorilla permits are issued each day by Uganda Wildlife Authority.
When to undertake Uganda Gorilla Trekking Safari from Nairobi
Safaris Uganda from Nairobi are done throughout the year but some months offer more challenging treks than others. Given the denser vegetation and slippery/muddy trails in the rainy season coupled by the already existing rugged terrains, visitors always avoid the months of March, April, May, October and November. The drier season on the other hand is preferred because of the drier trails and sparser vegetation that make it less challenging to walk through the jungles while searching for the mountain gorillas. When it comes to your packing list for Uganda Gorilla Trekking safaris from Nairobi, make sure that you have items for both wildlife and gorilla safaris. These include safari hat, camera (preferably non-flash), safari pants, short and long-sleeved shirts, warm sweater, rain jacket, hiking boots, toiletries (such as deodorant, sunscreen, toothpaste and toothbrush, hair comb, hand and body lotion and many others), first aid kit, binoculars, hand sanitizer, daypack, pair/s of shorts, sandals for relaxing and many others.