The gorilla trekking in Uganda is one of the prime safari activities that the country is proud to have in possession along with magical Uganda Wildlife safaris, the birding safaris in Uganda, Mountaineering, Chimpanzee trekking, fishing safaris and Cultural tours. In her protected area of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, there lies a minimum of 400 of the critically endangered apes – the mountain gorillas and it is from this group that several groups have been tamed / habituated to accommodate humans.
Apparently, there are 12 gorilla families that are free to people and
willing to interact with them with no wild characters unless provoked.
The Oruzogo Gorilla family is among the three gorilla families that have
a habitat in the eastern sector of Bwindi named Ruhija. The sector
shelters other two families named the Kyaguliro which previously was a
research group and Bitukura gorilla group. All these are fully
habituated and well explored by travelers on gorilla safaris in Uganda.
The Oruzogo gorilla group features a count of 23 members including one
Silverback and is noted to be among the recent introduced groups for gorilla trekking in Uganda having been opened up on June 20th 2011. The Oruzogo Gorilla Family is led by the dominant Silverback called Tibirikwata.
Tracking the Oruzogo Gorilla Family involves purchasing the gorilla
permit of the Ruhija region which goes for $600 for the foreigner
staying outside the East African partner states, $500 for the foreigner
with valid work permit in the partner states of the East African
Community and then 250,000/= for the natives of the partner states.
Though the Uganda Wildlife Authority tends to offer discounted gorilla
permits in the months of April through May and the month of November, it
is always publicized at the beginning of the year and if offered, the
gorilla permit reduce to $350, $300 and 150,000/= respectively making it
cheaper and cost effective for those interested in undertaking low cost
gorilla safari in Uganda.
The encounter involves driving through magical countryside landscapes
of Uganda including the traditional rangelands of the Banyankole
pastoralists before being fronted by the scenic Kigezi Highlands and
Virunga Mountains beyond. You branch off from the main Kabale – Kisoro
road at 10km from Kabale town taking the north direction where you drive
through fascinating highlands of Kigezi with sharp corners steep slopes
up and down before entering through Ndego gate to the Ruhija section of
the park. The accommodation of your choice is booked in advance and can
be either Broadbill Forest Camp if interested in budget stay or Gorilla
Mist Camp which suites both Midrange and Luxury.
The morning would
see you gather at the Ruhija park headquarters and a special request is
passed on to the rangers allocating the gorilla families by your safari
guide and you get yourself allocated Oruzogo Gorilla family and though
it’s not guaranteed as it is not provided for in the arrangement, a
humble request might grant you triumph.
The Oruzogo features young gorillas which are playful thus making it vibrant and interesting to encounter in Uganda gorilla safaris.
Following the day long hike traversing the dense jungle of Bwindi,
exploring magical flora and birds along with gathering great pictures
and memories, you are rewarded with a gorilla certificate indicating
that you have indeed tracked the Oruzogo gorilla family. You can opt to
spend your evening down at Lake Bunyonyi, chilling at the lodge or
taking a community tour to the Batwa People.