Gorilla & Chimp Tracking
Mountain Gorillas are one of the world’s most endangered apes, and it is estimated that there are only some 880 left in the world. Almost half of the population can be found in Bwindi National Park in Uganda.
Gorilla tracking in Uganda
Read more about the gorilla's
For many travellers, gorilla tracking ranks among one of the absolute highlights of a trip to Africa. The spine-tingling feeling that you get being so near to one of our closest relatives is hard to describe. Almost half of the world’s gorilla population can be found in Bwindi National Park, in the Southwest of Uganda.
A Gorilla is the largest primate with a massive build, powerful muscle structure, large head with low forehead and small ears. The mountain gorilla is a subspecies that only resides on the border of Rwanda/Uganda and the DRC. There are only a mere 700-800 mountain gorilla’s left in the wild. Bwindi National Park protects an estimated 350 mountain gorillas, including 11 habituated groups, which can be tracked. There are four departing places: Buhoma and Ruhija which are in the northern part of the park, and Nkuringo and Rushaga, which are in Kisoro District in the southeast of Bwindi. Permits cost US$ 600 per person and are usually discounted to US$ 450 for the months of April, May and November.
Kindly Note that children aged 15+ are allowed on gorilla tracking.
Chimpanzee tracking in Uganda
Kibale Forest is the prime chimpanzee tracking location, with a 95% chance that you will spot a chimp family. Tracking starts every day from Bigodi in Kibale Forest, in the morning and afternoon. If you plan to track the chimps from Kibale, it is recomended that you reserve the permits in advance. The Uganda Wildlife Authority headquartered in Kampala issues the permits only upon cash payment in full (no pre-booking). Chimp tracking permits cost US$ 150 per person and are discounted to US$ 100 for the months of April, May and November. You can also opt for the full day chimp habituation experience, which costs US$ 220. These permits have not been discounted at times thus far.
For those on a budget, Budongo Forest or Kyambura Gorge are a cheaper alternative to see the chimpanzees.
In Budongo Forest, the likelihood of spotting chimpanzees is highest in the morning, with an 80% chance of spotting the chimps. The tracking is organised by Uganda Lodges - Budongo Eco Lodge. Permits can be obtained at the site, or reserved in advance through Uganda Lodges. Prices are US$ 75 during low season (March-May, Oct-Nov) and US$ 85 during the rest of the year.
Kyambura Gorge, also called the “Valley of Apes” is located in the far eastern corner of Queen Elizabeth National Park. It is a steep walk as you descend to the gorge and enter a totally different mini-ecosystem. Highly recommended tracking, yet remarkably little visited by tourists. There is no guarantee that you will spot the chimps (about 50% chance), but there is plenty of other wildlife and the gorge is a destination on its own. Permits cost US$ 50 and can be bought at the Katongo Park Headquarters, or arranged in advance through UWA.
Kindly Note that children aged 13+ are allowed on chimp tracking.
Arranging your gorilla and chimp tracking permits
If you are planning to visit the gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest NP and/or chimpanzees in Kibale Forest NP, it is recommended that you reserve the permits well in advance. The UWA headquartered in Kampala issues the permits only upon cash payment in full (no pre-booking). Gorilla tracking permits costs U$ 600 per person, and are usually discounted to US$ 450 for the months of April, May and November. Chimpanzee permits in Kibale Forest go for US$ 150 per person throughout the year.
Roadtrip Uganda can arrange the permits on your behalf when you book a car with us. For this service we charge a fee of US$ 25 (gorilla) and US$ 15 (chimp) per permit.
In order to do so, we need:
- Full name as it appears on passport, nationality, date of birth and passport number of all the people tracking.
- Preferred date and tracking location (check tracking locations for Bwindi here)
- Second best date in case the preferred date is fully booked.
Once proof of payment has been sent, we will purchase the permits on your behalf. Kindly note that UWA does not have a refund policy in case of any cancellation or change of data.
Contact us for your request.