Uganda is among the few blessed countries in the world to host the rare mountain gorillas. Bwindi Impenetrable national park is Uganda’s most gifted parks for gorilla tracking. They can also be tracked in Mgahinga gorilla forest national park. Bwindi impenetrable national park is located in the south western part of Uganda passing through the rolling hills sometimes referred to as Switzerland of Uganda and finally to the park. It takes about 7-9 hour’s drive from the capital Kampala to the park. The park habituates 12 gorilla groups and 2 gorilla groups are only for research purpose, the groups are habituated to human standards and they can be tracked safely without any harm caused to human and the gorilla groups receive visitors daily.
Gorilla tracking is the most done tourist activity at the park and over 90% of travelers to this park come specifically to see gorillas. The park protects over 400 individuals out of an estimated 900 individuals left in the world. One of the most visited and interesting gorilla family is the Habinyanja and it’s from this group that several groups have been controlled/habituated to human standards. The Habinyanja Gorilla family is among the 3 gorilla families that live in the northern sector of Bwindi national park known as Buhoma sector of the park. Other gorilla families in buhoma sector include the Mubare and Rushegura. All these gorilla families receive visitors on a daily basis
The Habinyanja gorilla family is one of the largest gorilla group with over 17 individuals including 2 Silverback Rwansigazi and Mwirima. It’s known to be among the oldest gorilla family in Bwindi, it was ready to receive visitors in 1999 and since then it is experiencing growth due to very many births. The name habiyanja is a Rukiga word meaning ‘’Nyanja’’ a place with water’’. Gorillas in this group were first seen near the swamp in Bwindi national park. In order to be allowed to trek/track in this sector of the park you must purchase the gorilla permit of the Buhoma region which costs usd$600 for foreigners, usd$ 500 for foreign resident, and 250,000 Uganda shillings for natives and this price apply during the high seasons. Though during the low seasons, the Uganda Wildlife Authority tend to offer a discount on gorilla permits in the months of April, May and November to usd$400, $350 and 150,000 respectively and all the price is per person per tracking including a park entry fee and ranger guide fee, making it cheaper and cost effective for those interested in undertaking low cost gorilla safari in Uganda.
Like in other gorilla families, trekking in the habiyanja gorilla family begins in the morning after reporting at the park headquarters in Buhoma , here you are briefed about the all process of gorilla tracking from the park wardens and also gets you assigned to the ranger guide. After, you will follow the ranger guide to the forest to begin the activity. The group is so magnificent to visit, it includes silver back, females, black back, adult females and infants which are so playful thus making it exciting and attractive to encounter in Uganda gorilla safaris. Ounce gorillas are met, you are strictly allowed only one hour with the group, you are rewarded a gorilla certificate signifying that you have partaken in tracking the habiyanja gorilla family. You can go for many other optional activities after gorilla tracking in the evening at the park, like visiting the Lake Bunyonyi, or take a community walk to the Batwa pygmy or you can decide to relax at the lodge.
The drive to this sector of the park will take you through the country side landscapes of Uganda including the traditional Banyankole pastoralists with their incredible long horned cattle, then pass through the Kigezi highlands, kabale and Kisoro then from here drive to the north part of the park and the Virunga Mountains beyond. Visitors to this sector of the park can sleep in Buhoma lodge, Mahogany springs, Gorilla Forest Camp, Lake Kitandara Bwindi, Buhoma community camp/ground among many others either you’re a budget or up-market traveler. Book with us any gorilla safari to Bwindi we are always at your disposal to take you through the wild.