DO IT YOURSELF GORILLA TREKKING
For the gorillas, I am afraid we are discontinuing our gorilla trips, due to changes in the Uganda Wildlife Authority's regulations which have made it almost impossible for non Ugandan companies to get permits.
Because of this, Ugandan operators have hiked up the prices and you will probably end up paying about US$1200 to US$1400 to see the gorillas. US$500 of this is just for the permit.
A much cheaper option is to do a Do-It-Yourself package, using buses and arranging the permit yourself.
It is recommended that you trek in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, rather than Mgahinga, as there are more permits available and the sighting is almost guaranteed.
For details of what to expect on a gorilla trek, visit www.uwa.or.ug
The e-mail address of the lady who issues the permits at the Uganda Wildlife Authority is Hope Kabatabazi Veneranda <email@example.com>
The problem is paying for it, because it has to be done by bank transfer, which can take 2 to 3 weeks to Uganda and they will not issue the permit until the money is received.
It also has to be collected from the Ugandan office in Kampala at least 3 days before travel, or they let the position go to someone else.
I have just had feedback from a young lady who recently did it this way, and she enjoyed it but wishes she had spread the trip over a couple more days:
These notes are based on a 5 day trip, starting and finishing in Nairobi.
Day 1- Morning bus to Kampala, 0700 departure on Akamba Royal service from Nairobi, arriving approx. 20.00 hrs, accommodation in Red Chile Hideaway, Kampala.
Day 2 - Travel from Kampala to Bwindi
There's a bus which goes up to Butogota every day at 6:00am from Kampala, so when you reach there you have to get a pick-up truck to Bwindi.
Red Chilli staff will tell you where to get the bus and order a taxi to the bus departure point.
Buhoma community Camp, Bwindi.
A Non-self contained double bed only is $ 33,
Bed and breakfast is $ 39, Full board is $ 65.
Day 3 - Gorilla Trek , then overnight in Buhoma
Day 4 - - Return to Kampala, the same as before but in reverse. overnight in Red Chilli Hideaway, Kampala
Day 5 - - Remain in Kampala or travel back to Nairobi on the Akamba Royal service.
Remember that Bwindi is an Equatorial Rain Forest so you must have decent footwear and waterproof clothing and insect repellant!
You may wish to extend your visit by a couple of days, as travelling by public transport is rather tiring.
Consider the following recommendations:
!. When travelling from Nairobi, stop off at Jinja, about 2 hours before Kampala and go to Bujagali falls for a white water rafting experience on the river Nile.
One Ugandan company that operates there is a friend of mine, Jon at Nile River Explorers in Jinja. He also has a Backpacker Hostel there.
His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
2. After the gorilla trek, spend a day and night at Lake Bunyoni. There are some pleasant chalets there and the lake is beautiful.
If you wish to consider Rwanda for gorilla treks, I have 2 friends who operate there, they are JK safaris and you can find them at www.gorillasafaris.net
I hope this helps, but if you need more advice, or assistance with activities in Kenya, please feel free to ask.
Please also check out our safari briefing sheet on our website to help you with your planning.