Enjoy amazing Uganda Rwanda safaris, gorilla tracking, wildlife, African culture and adventure safaris with a tour company that provides you with tailor-made tour packages for ultimate Africa safaris memories.
Also known as the Pearl of Africa, Uganda is the ultimate tourist destination Africa. From the expansive Savannah grasslands and plains to the Rwenzori snow-capped mountains, thick rain forests, tangled jungles, several wildlife species and mountain gorillas. Explore our safari packages and come discover what makes Uganda special! Read More
Rwanda offers a variety of Africa adventure opportunities for travelers seeking the best experience. With 3 national parks of Volcanoes, Akagera and Nyungwe forest, there are a lot of activities and of course lots of wildlife and a lot more. Top activities include Rwanda gorilla Safaris and primates, Nyungwe forest, birding and hiking tours. Read More
Mountain gorillas are an endangered species with only about 900 left in the entire world and can only be found in the Virunga region, a place located at the intersection of Uganda, Rwanda and DR Congo. At Lakeside Tours and Travel, we offer Rwanda, Uganda and Congo gorilla tours with tailor-made safaris designed by expert guides, to give you the best gorilla safari experience! Discover Gorillas
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Our Client Reviews
Best weekend with Bonarde!
Nanthini the explorer
Date of experience: July 2019
Awesome safari and trekking experience
Victy_toria123 Cologne, Germany
Date of experience: May 2019
A nice weekend in Murchison falls
The accommodation was good with really nice and big rooms. However, the food was not the best (or the fastest) and could include some more options.
I would strongly recommend going with Lakeside Tours if you are looking for a nice time.
Date of experience: May 2019
Best trip of my life
Date of experience: August 2019
Anant S Kabul
Date of experience: August 2019
Uganda is one of the leading tourism destinations in Africa boosting over the natural endowment it possesses. Uganda is a landlocked country found in the East African region and it’s boarded by South Sudan in the north, the Democratic Republic of Congo in the west, Rwanda in the south-west, Tanzania in the south and Kenya in the east. Uganda has a uniquely diverse landscape which allows the variation in the vegetation cover.
Uganda National Park Rules and Regulations
All national parks in Uganda have specific rules and regulations governing them. All travelers are advised to read, understand and adhere to the rules and regulations of respective parks if they are to have a memorable and enjoyable stay in the Pearl of Africa. These rules are put to promote wildlife conservation and ensure the safety of both travelers and wild animals in their natural habitats promoting sustainable tourism in the Pearl of Africa. These rules apply before entering the park, during your stay in the park and when in the presence of animals.
- Retain all official receipts for inspection
- Do not camp or make campfires except at designated place
- Do not litter in the park
- Do not drive off the tracks
- Don not bring dogs or other pets into the park
- Do not pick flowers or any plant in the national park
- Do not use sounding motor horns which disturb animals
- Do not drive beyond 40 kilometers
- Driving in the park must be between 7:00am and 7:00pm
- Do not use firearms in the park
Useful information to know when visiting Uganda National Parks:-
- The only currencies accepted for park entrance and park activities are US Dollars or Uganda Shillings. No other currency is accepted.
- Tourist activities in the park such as lunch cruising are paid separate from Park entrance fee.
- Children below 5 years are exempt to pay park entrance fees.
- All tariffs in Uganda are set by Uganda Wildlife Authority and are subject to change without prior notice!
- How to acquire visa to Uganda?
What to do on Uganda safari:
Gorilla trekking – Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. This requires you to purchase a gorilla tracking permit before you embark on this trek through the jungles with the help of your ranger guide. You are only allowed 1 hour in the presence of the gorillas once you locate them. Alternatively, you can choose a gorilla habituation experience which accords you 4 hours in the presence of the gorillas.
Chimpanzee trekking – Chimpanzee trekking is done in various forests in Uganda such as Kibale forest, Budongo forest, Semliki reserve, Kalinzu forest, Kyambura gorge.
Hiking/Mountaineering – This can be done in the Ruwenzori mountains and Mountain Elgon.
Game drives – In the custom made safari vehicle your tour guide drives through different game tracks in search of the most sought after animals like Lions, Leopards, Elephants, Giraffes, Buffaloes etc.
Boat trips – This is done on many lakes and rivers around the country. Sometimes it is for birding, game viewing or sunset cruises. While in the national parks you can take an afternoon boat ride and watch different animals as they come to water and others that are resident there like Crocodiles and Hippos.
Nature walks – In some parks you are allowed to take a nature walk with a ranger guide to learn more about the herbs, shrubs, trees and animals that are in the vicinity.
Cultural visits – Uganda is home to over 40 different tribes that have unique languages, foods – or at least a unique way of preparing it, songs and dance, rituals and rites of passage. Taking part in a cultural tour will allow you to interact with the people at close range getting involved in their day to day activities.
Bird watching – Birding is done in both protected areas and non-protected areas, in agricultural areas, wetlands, forests, savannah etc.
White water rafting – This is done in Jinja which is also home to the source of River Nile. White water rafting happens on the stretch of the Nile with several rapids. You can also choose jet boating.
Cost of Gorilla permits in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
|East African Citizens||USH250,000||$1500||$400|
When to book for Gorilla permit?
It should be at least 6 months in advance. The high demand for gorilla permits require travelers to book as early as possible and secure them in time. Last time bookings stand limited chances of accessing permits
Gorilla permit cancellation policy.
- Cancellation done 8 days or less, to the tracking date do not qualify for any refund whatsoever!
- 8 – 45 days expect a 25% refund of the total permit cost.
- 45 – 90 days expect 50% refund.
- While cancellation done 91 days to the gorilla trekking date are refunded 75%.
- In case of a reschedule of the gorilla trekking date, an extra $150 will be charged by Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA).
Note: In rare cases where travelers fail to see mountain gorillas, respective park management give a second chance to trek again the next day without paying. However, if a traveler fails to see gorillas due to his/her physical unfitness or sickness, he or she is not refunded anything since it’s not the fault of the respective park management.
Habituated Wild Gorilla Families to trek in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo
Each gorilla family is led by a dominant silverback gorilla. They are known as silverback gorillas because of the silver hair that develops on their backs when they grow older. A habituated gorilla family is one that has gone through the habituation process of about two to three years and is familiar with the presence of human beings.
Habituated Gorilla Families in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park Uganda is home to 19 gorilla families found in the four gorilla trekking sectors and these are: –
Buhoma Gorilla trekking sector: – Rushegura, Habinyaja, Mubare and Katwe Gorilla groups.
Ruhija Gorilla trekking sector: – Bitukura, Kyaguriro, Mukizo and Oruzogo Gorilla groups.
Nkuringo Gorilla trekking sector: – Bishasho, Nkuringo and Christmas Gorilla groups.
Rushaga Gorilla trekking sector: – Nsonji, Mishaya, Bweza, Kahunjye, Businjye, Rwiji, Muchunguzi and Bikyinji Gorilla groups.
Habituated Gorilla Family in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is the smaller gorilla park in uganda with one gorilla family known as Nyakagezi Gorilla Family. The Nyakagezi gorilla family has 10 family members 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.
Habituated Gorilla Families in Volcanoes National Park
Volcanoes National Park is the only gorilla safari destination in Rwanda with several habituated gorilla families for gorilla trekking. The gorilla families include: – Igisha gorilla family, Susa gorilla family, Karisimbi gorilla family, Amahoro gorilla family, Sabyinyo gorilla family, Agashya gorilla family, Umubano gorilla family, Kwitonda gorilla family, Hirwa gorilla family, Ugyenda gorilla family, Bwenge gorilla family and Muhoza gorilla family.
Habituated Gorilla Families in Virunga National Park
Virunga National Park is the top Congo gorilla safari destination found within the Virunga Mountain ranges. Virunga National Park is home to gorilla families which are known as: – Rugendo gorilla family, Munyaga gorilla family, Mapuwa gorilla family, Lulengo gorilla family, Kabirizi gorilla family, Bageni gorilla family and Nyakamwe Mountain gorilla family.
Habituated Gorilla Families in Kahuzi Biega National Park
Kahuzi Biega National Park is habitat to the lowland gorillas of Congo making the country the only world destination with both mountain and lowland gorillas. There are 2 habituated gorilla families for trekking in Kahuzi Biega National Park named Chimanuka and Mugaruka respectively. The Chimanuka gorilla family consists of about 36 gorillas. This is one of the biggest gorilla families a traveler can ever encounter in the wild.
How long is gorilla trekking exercise?
It takes 30 minutes to 8 hours to see the endangered mountain gorillas because the gorillas are too mobile, sometimes depends on where they built their nests the previous night as well as the weather and topography.
Game rangers move following the slowest person in the group because it is not good to leave any person behind and finding gorillas depends on the group’s speed.
Note: Expect a moment with these giant, humble, seemingly shy, dangerous, soft, and many other traits of these animals.
How many people trek a gorilla family per day?
Each gorilla family takes 8 people per day for only 1 hour. Bwindi impenetrable national park has another gorilla activity called gorilla habituation experience and it allows maximum of only 4 people to trek and spend with gorillas 4 hours.
Gorilla habituation is trekking and tracking an identified wild gorilla group on daily basis for at least 2 – 3 year so as to make it familiar to people.
What to pack for Gorilla Trekking?
You should pack hiking boots, long trousers, long sleeved blouse/shirt, garden gloves, hat, rain jack, insect repellents, water proofed camera bag, packed lunch and mineral water.
Drive time to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Drive time to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park from Entebbe International airport is about 9 – 10 hours of road drive. This is the major arrival terminal of tourists coming to Uganda for safaris it’s the main entry point to the country. This journey is usually not a boring one as it takes you through different regions and districts of the pearl of Africa each with a lot of endowments that will make you admire Uganda until you reach your ultimate destination, to say you will have stop overs at points like at the equator point, road side craft and fresh fruit shops. In terms of kilometers, from Kampala to Bwindi is 550 kilometers on a fairly good road.
Is it possible to visit Uganda gorillas via Kigali-Rwanda?
It’s very possible to visit Uganda, or the Bwindi impenetrable forest for gorilla trekking via Kigali. The driving time from Entebbe to Bwindi is about 10 hours, while the drive from Kigali to Bwindi is only 4.5 hours. Equally you can start your tour in Kigali and end in Entebbe and vice versa if you have more activities you want to do more than just the gorillas.
Note: The East African tourist visa can allow you access these countries with ease. The East African tourist visa costs $100, and we advise you to buy if you plan on visiting any two or all of the three east Africa countries.