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Census shows Mountain Gorilla Population increases to 1063 individuals
Uganda safari news

Census shows Mountain Gorilla Population increases to 1063 individuals

Census shows Mountain Gorilla Population increases to 1063 individuals

Mountain Gorilla Population Census results of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and contiguous Sarambwe Nature Reserve released on the 16th of December 2019 shows an increase from 400 members to 459. This brings the global total population of Mountain gorillas to 1,063 from 1004 from the last survey in the Virunga National Park.

The survey was conducted by the conservation Authorities within the protected areas within Ugandan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. It involved over 75 trained survey members working under the transboundary framework of the Greater Virunga Transboundary Collaboration. Partners who supported the survey include the International Gorilla Conservation Programme (IGCP), a coalition of Conservation International, Fauna & Flora International, People’s Postcode Lottery and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

The gorilla families are stated to have increased from 36 to 50 with 13 solitary individuals. The increase in mountain gorilla numbers within Bwindi forest undoubtedly came in as good news. There is lots of excitement not only for conservationists but the whole tourism industry and travelers as well. Uganda gorilla safaris are getting better and therefore a perfect time to take a tour to Bwindi to trek gorillas.

Last year the increase of the mountain gorilla population to 1,004 was a success story as this saw the specie moved from critically endangered to endangered. The population of Mountain gorillas has gradually been increasing with the 2002 census showing an improvement by approximately 7% to 320 individuals, about 380 in 2006 with Bwindi alone having about 314 individual in 2006. At this time there were 5 habituated gorilla groups with a total of 76 individuals, 25 unhabituated groups with 227 individuals and 11 solitary silverback males.

Uganda Gorilla Trekking rules and regulations

  • Do not visit the gorillas if you have a cold or other infectious illness
  • Human waste should be buried 30cm deep
  • Maximum number of visitors is eight persons per gorilla group each day
  • Maintain a 7m (21ft) distance from the gorilla
  • Smoking, eating and drinking are not permitted on the tour
  • If you must sneeze or cough cover your face and turn away from the gorillas, as they can catch coughs and colds from humans
  • Visits are limited to one hour per gorilla group per day
  • Do not use flash photography

Best time to go gorilla trekking in Uganda 

The best time of the year for a gorilla tracking safaris is during the dry season months of June –August and December –February which makes it easy to go through the trails. When trails are drier, gorilla trekking is easy since trails are passable and the park is accessible. It is best advisable to track gorillas during the dry season since it’s easy to trek gorillas as well as view wildlife. However, the dry season is actually the peak or high season therefore early booking is recommendable since permits can easily get fully booked as well as accommodation.

How to book for a Uganda gorilla trekking safari

Booking for a gorilla tour Uganda can be one of the complicated trips to plan, however just find the right tour operator to do this for you. Wild Jungle Trails Safaris and Gorilla Trail Safaris have expertise in planning gorilla trips in Uganda and can do all the best planning.





Save Murchison Falls - Murchison Falls National Park
Uganda safari news

Save Murchison Falls – Murchison Falls National Park

Save Murchison Falls – Murchison Falls National Park

There have been lots of controversies on Murchison Falls and the heated debate led to the save Murchison Falls campaign. Recently, the cabinet gave the south African energy company Bonang Power and Energy (pty) Ltd a green light to undertake feasibility studies on the Uhuru falls. Uhuru falls are just a few meters about 500 away from Murchison Falls and both pour and continue flowing to the same direction.

How it all started 

In a letter dated June 20th to the Ministry of Water and Environment through National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) from Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA), there was an application for a feasibility study for a proposed power dam near the Murchison Falls by a South African Company, Bonang Power Limited.

According to the Electricity Regulatory Authority, Bonang Power Limited was planning to build new hydropower dams at Ayago, Uhuru, Kiba and Murchison Falls to generate 2,550 MW of electricity.

This proposal faced resentment from the time many Ugandans came to know about it especially those from the tourism industry. Amos Wekesa one of the tourism enthusiasts, rejected the proposal and referred to it as nonsense.

“Europe is getting rid of hydro power dams. Uganda lies on the Equator. Why can’t we explore solar. Are these people (Bonang Power Limited) even Ugandans? Do they care?” Wekesa bitterly queried on a statement with soft power.

Many more individual bitterly rejected the proposal and at least 2,533 people signed a petition to stop the planned construction of a power dam near Murchison Falls after the Electricity Regulatory Authority published the proposal for public views.

Wednesday 22nd August, the Minister of State for Environment, Mary Kitutu in a statement to Parliament said that the National Environment Management Authority has not approved the application due to environmental and other socio-economic implications such as tourism.

Kitutu says that after a joint meeting of the ministry of water, NEMA, Uganda Wildlife Authority and Uganda Tourism Board, the ministry rejected the plan.

Kitutu says that constructing a dam will result in flooding at the National Park, which will also affect crocodiles, hippos and other animals, birds in the park.

Meanwhile, the Minister of State for Minerals, Peter Lokeris said a memorandum in cabinet, though not discussed discourages construction of a power dam at Murchison Falls.

The Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga asked for an official statement from the Prime Minister, Dr Ruhakana Rugunda on the matter.

Just when Ugandans and conservationists thought Murchison Falls was going to stay intact, cabinet decides to allow the Bonang company do feasibility studies of which everyone in the industry knows where this is heading to.

Why Government should save Murchison Falls 

In the past year Murchison Falls National Park was the most visited destination by tourists on Uganda safaris and this is because of the numerous wildlife and bird life. Not that alone, this is one of the destinations in Uganda where tourists can visit all year round with less climate interference. Uganda birding safaris as well as wildlife safaris in Uganda are all rewarding at Murchison Falls National Park. For its beauty Kanye West and wife Kim Kardashian West visited the park in 2018. This December 2019 Jidenna visited Murchison Falls National Park. This proves how much beauty this park has and income it can generate to the country.

About Murchison Falls National Park

Murchison Falls National Park is 3,840km2 making it the largest Uganda safari park. With the adjacent Bugungu Wildlife Reserve (748 square kilometers) and Karuma Wildlife Reserve (720 square kilometers) it forms the Murchison Falls Conservation Area.

Formerly known as Kabalega Park, Murchison Falls National Park became Uganda’s first national park in 1952 when the British administration established the National Parks Act of Uganda.

Attractions / what to see in Murchison Falls National Park Uganda

  • Wildlife in Murchison Falls National Park

Hosting about 76 mammal species, Murchison Falls National Park is a great Uganda wildlife safari destination. The four of the “Big Five” sought after Africa safari animals; Buffaloes, Lions, Leopards and Elephants can be seen at Murchison Falls National Park. This is the best place to see the giraffes in Uganda and world over, the park has the highest population and can only be seen at Murchison Falls National Park and Kidepo Valley National Park in Uganda.

Several other wildlife species that can be seen in the park include the waterbucks, bushbucks, Uganda Kob, Jackson’s hartebeest, warthogs, olive baboons, blue and red-tailed monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, patas monkeys and many more. Aquatic species found in the banks of the Nile River as it continues to flow northwards include the hippos and crocodiles (Uganda’s largest population).

  • Birds in Murchison Falls National Park

With the varied habitats, about 450 bird species are present at Murchison Falls National Park. Bird species include water birds like the rare Shoebill stork, Weaver birds, the Grey Crowned Crane (Uganda’s national bird), Malachite Kingfishers, the Blue-headed Coucal, Swamp Flycatcher, African Quail-Finch, Squacco Heron, African Jacana, Black-billed Barbet, Sandpipers, Abyssinian Ground-Hornbill, Denham’s Bustard, Black-headed Gonolek, Red-throated Bee-eater, Eastern Grey Plantain eater, and many more .

There also the Budongo forest 59 restricted range bird species which include the Dwarf Kingfisher, Goliath Heron, White-thighed Hornbill and the Great Blue Turaco. With these several bird species in the park it has attracted many avid birders and becoming a top Uganda birding safaris tours destination.

  • Murchison Falls

Murchison Falls is the highlight of the Murchison Falls National Park. Murchison Falls is a beautiful feature formed as the Nile River waters squeeze through a narrow 7 meters (23ft) wide gap of rocks then plunge into what is known as the devils cauldron, 43meter (141ft) below with a thunderous roar, water spray and beautiful rainbow. The falls actually lends its name to the park. The spot is so spectacular for photography and sightseeing.

  • Kaniyo-Pabidi and Budongo forest chimps

The forest trails of Kaniyo-pabidi and Budongo forests south west of Murchison Falls Conservation Area are host to chimpanzees. Chimpanzees can be tracked in the Kaniyo-pabidi and Budongo Forest with about 800 of them living there and habituated for tracking. Within the forest, there about 24 mammal species, 465 plants and 360 birds enriching all kinds of safaris with great memories.

Popular Uganda safari packages to Murchison Falls National Park

Murchison Falls National Park is indeed one of the most inclusive Uganda safaris destinations with wildlife, waterfalls, bird life within a beautiful savannah plains area and great accommodation facilities. Here are safari packages to Murchison Falls National Park;

A visit to Murchison Falls Park can be tailored with other destinations in Uganda or also Tanzania safaris, Rwanda tours, Kenya safaris or even long Congo safari tours. For all kinds of travelers including families, groups, solo travelers, Murchison Falls National Park is a rewarding all year round destination that will meet your tour expectations.

Wild Jungle Trails stands for Save Murchison Falls and preserve nature all around Uganda

Rwanda Gorilla Safari Uganda gorilla tour
Uganda safari news

Gorilla Trekking Uganda Price, cost for Bwindi & Mgahinga tracking permit

Gorilla Trekking Uganda Price, cost for Bwindi & Mgahinga tracking permit

Gorilla trekking in Bwindi Forest National Park

Gorilla trekking in Bwindi Forest National Park

Wondering how much a Uganda gorilla trekking permit costs? Gorilla trekking Uganda price is USD 700 for foreign non residents, USD 600 for foreign residents and 250,000 UGX for East Africa citizens. The price for a gorilla trekking permit in Uganda is for each individual per trek. The only way to have your permit well booked is to start planning early and work with a high-quality gorilla safari company.

Persons above 15 years of age are eligible to purchase a gorilla permit in Uganda for the only chance of seeing Mountain Gorillas in their natural habitat. Gorilla safaris in Uganda are a wonderful opportunity to see these majestic creatures in their own environments. And the trekking or else hiking experience does not stop at seeing gorillas either.

By taking a longer Uganda safari or combining several short trips, you can see many of the other wildlife that appreciates Uganda as their home. To make the most out of your gorilla trek Uganda, you must be organized and ensure you know exactly what costs you will encounter for the whole trip by requesting for a quote from the gorilla tour operator.

Best Way to Plan for Uganda Gorilla Safaris

Great preparation is key for any good safari, therefore, to make sure you have your gorilla safari right, here are tips on how best you can plan prior your gorilla safari in Uganda;

  • Start preparing for your trip well in advance, choose the best time to go and make early payment for prior booking. Gorilla permits in Uganda are cheaper compared to those of Rwanda and therefore are highly demanded for and could easily get finished before you purchase one.
  • When you receive your quote, check properly what exactly is included in the gorilla trekking Uganda price. Make sure you are aware of the exclusions and prepare some cash for extra purchases especially drinks and any other desired things like crafts.
  • If you would love to spend more time with the gorillas, you will have to go for a gorilla habituation experience. Habituation costs $ 1500 per person per trek.
  • Ensure your passport is up to date. In case you need to apply for a new passport do this early. Also ensure you purchase your visa to Uganda early just to avoid last minute changes that will affect your Uganda gorilla safari trek.
  • At least weeks before coming to Uganda for a gorilla safari, check with your doctor about vaccinations. Yellow fever vaccination is one of the vaccinations you need before you travel to Uganda? Remember there are often long waits and costs involved here as well therefore checking early makes planning easy.
  • Check whether you have the right clothing for gorilla trekking hikes in Uganda. If you have the suitable clothing than you are ready to go. Some of the right clothing for trekking includes long sleeved shirts and long trousers, garden gloves and comfortable hiking boots. If you have no appropriate trekking clothing yet, then you can purchase some before the trek. Remember to keep comfortable.

Wild Jungle Trails Safaris Gorilla Trekking tours in Uganda

For many people, trekking to see the gorillas of Uganda is a once in a life time opportunity and at Wild Jungle Trails Safaris, we want you to make the most of that experience. Our gorilla trail safaris and treks including the cost of your accommodation, meal plans, guides, transport and gorilla permits.

Our team is always here to help you with understanding the gorilla trekking Uganda price for Bwindi & Mgahinga and helping to find the right package for you. To see our most popular safaris, for Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park treks, check out our packages at https://www.gorillatrailsafaris.com or to speak to a member of our reservations team, call us on +256 414 663 115 or +256 777 690 798.


Mubare group, oldest gorilla family in Bwindi gets new baby gorilla October 2019 –Travel News
Travel News, Uganda safari news

Mubare group, oldest gorilla family in Bwindi gets new baby gorilla October 2019 –Travel News

Mubare group, oldest gorilla family in Bwindi gets new baby gorilla October 2019 –Travel News

Mubare group, oldest gorilla family in Bwindi gets new baby gorilla on the 16th October 2019 birthed by Businza a female gorilla in the group. Both the baby gorilla of Mubare and the mother are reported to be in good shape.

Oldest gorilla family in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park known as Mubare gorilla family received a new baby gorilla on the 16th October 2019. Mubare gorilla family was the first habituated gorilla family in Bwindi opened up for gorilla trekking in Uganda in the year 1993 after a 2 years habituation process. The group is named after the beautiful Mubare hills where it was first sighted, till date the Mubare gorilla family is found within the Buhoma sector of the park.

Yesterday the 16th of October 2019, Mr. Peter Mbwebwe, the Uganda Wildlife Authority Warden in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park confirmed the birth of a new mountain gorilla in the Mubare family.

“We celebrate a newborn in Mubare group. Mother Businza and baby in good shape,” stated Mr. Mbwebwe.

Mubare group, oldest gorilla family in Bwindi gets new baby gorilla October 2019 –Travel News

Mother Businza and her new born baby gorilla in Bwindi

The good news as Bwindi gets new baby gorilla come as a success to the strong conservation efforts by the Uganda Wildlife Authority as well as all conservation partners.

Mountain gorillas in the previous year were moved from the IUCN list of critically endangered species to endangered; at least a step to success and this birth comes handy as an addition to this conservation success story.

Previously, mountain gorillas were known to total to about 880 individuals, however with the latest census from the Virunga Mountain parks, the gorillas are known to be about 1004 individuals. This total is not inclusive of latest census information from Bwindi National Park that could increase the numbers. As Bwindi gets a new baby gorilla the future of the Mountain gorillas gets better compared to the risk of extinction they faced not many years ago.

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has the highest population of habituated mountain gorillas and therefore a perfect choice for a gorilla trek in Africa.

What is the cost for a gorilla trekking safari in Uganda?

The Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) is set to increase Uganda gorilla trekking permit prices from the current USD 600 – USD 700 for foreign non residents and USD 500 –USD 600 for foreign residents as of the 1st July 2020. Currently, Uganda gorilla trekking safaris are sold at 600 USD per person per trek for foreign non residents and USD 500 for foreign residents for travelers above the age of 15.

This is an increase of USD 100 for each permit. The permit is valid for a single trek with a maximum of 1 hour in the presence of the elusive Mountain Gorillas. Even with this increase Uganda still stays the best option for gorilla safaris in Africa as its still USD 800 less than a gorilla permit in Rwanda.

The gorilla permit price is a general price for the two Uganda gorilla safari destinations of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.

Why trek Mountain gorillas in Uganda

  • Uganda is host to the largest population of Mountain gorillas in the world with half of the total in the country.
  • Mountain gorilla trekking in Uganda is cheaper compared to the neighboring country of Rwanda with permit prices at 1500 USD. The neighboring Congo also has Mountain gorillas though has been politically unstable despite its gorilla trekking permit being sold at USD 400 -450 in the low and high seasons respectively.
  • The Mountain Gorilla tracking experience of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is much more of an experience itself alongside seeing the gorillas. The park rises on an elevation of 1,190 to 2,607 meters giving a mystical challenge to trekkers. The forest itself is an amazing place to visit with several flora and fauna species.
  • Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is the only Uganda safari destination where Mountain gorillas co-exist with golden monkeys. As an add-on activity, golden monkey trekking is the best option and much amazing to glimpse at these playful monkeys.
  • For avid birders on Uganda birding safaris, the two parks for mountain gorilla trekking are the best parks for bird watching and seeing the Albertine rift endemics.
  • Uganda is the only world destination that still has mountain gorillas that are not fully habituated and therefore clients can opt to go for mountain gorilla habituation. This offers than chance to spend four hours rather than one hour studying the behavior of these giants and probably their real before in the wild without getting used to human beings. Mountain Gorilla habituation costs USD 1500 per person.

Other Gorilla Families in Uganda

  • Habituated Gorilla Families in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

As per September 2019, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park Uganda is home to 19 gorilla families found in the four gorilla trekking sectors and these are;

  • Rushegura, Habinyaja, Mubare and Katwe Gorilla groups in the Buhoma Gorilla trekking sector
  • Bitukura, Kyaguriro, Mukizo and Oruzogo Gorilla groups in the Ruhija Gorilla trekking sector
  • Bishasho, Nkuringo and Christmas Gorilla groups in the Nkuringo Gorilla trekking sector
  • Nsonji, Mishaya, Bweza, Kahunjye, Businjye, Rwiji, Muchunguzi and Bikyinji Gorilla groups in the Rushaga Gorilla trekking sector


  • Habituated Gorilla Family in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is the smaller Uganda gorilla safari park with one gorilla family known as Nyakagezi Gorilla Family. The Nyakagezi gorilla family has 10 family members including led by silverbacks Mark and Mafia who took over from their father silverback Bugingo who now happily plays the role of grandfather; there are 2 other silverbacks known as Rukundo and Ndungutse, 2 female adults known as Nshuti and Nyiramwiza and 3 youngsters.

This group is unique for gorilla trekking because the family has 6 silverback gorillas living in harmony within the same group; this is a unique family of all the gorilla families in Uganda.

Recommended Uganda gorilla safaris

3 days Uganda gorilla safari Bwindi

3 days gorilla habituation safari Uganda

4 days Bwindi gorilla trekking flying safari

5 days gorilla and white water rafting safari

5 days Bwindi gorilla safari and Queen Elizabeth wildlife tour 

5 days gorilla & chimp safari

In case you would love to book a gorilla safari to Uganda you can reach us on these emails – wildjungletrails@gmail.com, tours@wildjungletrails.com or call us on (+256) 777690798 / (+256) 414663115.

Authored By  Wild Jungle Trails Safaris