Uganda’s ruling party boss markets country’s gorillas to UK ministers, legislators

Uganda has the highest percentage of all gorillas on Planet Earth and trekking these primates (gorilla trekking) in the Pearl of Africa is the sweetest thing one will enjoy once you set foot here.

This was the message presented by the chairperson of National Resistance Movement (NRM) Entrepreneurs League, Dr Robert Mwesigwa Rukaari, to ministers and legislators in the United Kingdom (UK).

Rukaari who is the MP for Mbarara City North told the gathering in London on September 11 that the Pearl of Africa was the best tourism destination in Africa.

“Remember the former PM of UK, Winston Churchill once wrote: “For magnificence, for variety of form and colour, for profusion of brilliant life — bird, insect, reptile, beast — for vast scale — Uganda is truly ‘the Pearl of Africa.”

“Honourable members, if you want hospitality and tourism, the biggest number of gorillas in the world are found in Uganda,” Rukaari told the legislators who had gathered at the House of Commons (Westminster).

The world has about 1,063 gorillas and of these, 457 live in Uganda’s natural forests.

“We have Lake Victoria, River Nile, mountains, national parks and more so Ugandans who are so welcoming,” Rukaari told the audience that included investors from India and UAE.

The meeting came at the end of the UK-Uganda business summit who took place in London last week.

The 13th edition of the summit, which sought to grow trade between UK and Uganda was convened under the theme, Unlocking Trade, Investment, and Export Potential.

What visitors speak about Uganda

Fiona, who travelled to Uganda in July 2023, said: “I have just returned from 14 days in Uganda. The entire experience was outstanding. From my first contact with Marc (travel agent) everything ran so smoothly. Communication was excellent. The holiday was everything I could have hoped for. The two gorilla treks, chimpanzee trek, 3 boat cruises, a hike through the mountain forest, visit to a rhino sanctuary and numerous games drives . . . all were fantastic. The standard of accommodation was perfect, service excellent and the food was sensational. My local guide on the ground, Denis, was also outstanding.”

Uganda Wildlife Authority’s guide to gorilla trekking

The guidelines below were published by UWA to guide tourists who want to trek gorillas at the country’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

Bwindi is Uganda’s main gorilla trekking destination. Here, habituated families can be accessed from four trail heads: Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga and Nkuringo.

Each trail head has its own characteristics, families and levels of difficulty.

Departing from one of the four trailheads on the perimeters of the forest, you join a group of other trekkers (maximum group size of 8 people) for a guided hike into the forest in search of one of the 11 habituated gorilla families.

Led by experienced Uganda Wildlife Authority guides, you will be introduced to the ecology of the forest and the changing landscape as you trek to the gorillas. Your guides are in communication with the team of trackers who will have been shadowing the gorillas since daybreak. The trackers direct your guides to bring you to the gorillas.

The Gorilla Treks

Two tours run daily from the base camp, usually starting at 09:00 or 14:15 and are limited to groups of eight.

The limit on group size is to keep to gorillas safe from any airborne pathogens, but also to increase the chances of sightings, as larger groups often scare off these (surprisingly) timid animals.

From the onset, the imposing southwestern sloped hills and terraced volcanoes prove a formidable adversary. This is gorilla territory, and access requires hiking through the thick, triffid-like tangles of vegetation, up muddy hills and down into craggy valleys.

The high altitude and testing terrain make the journey tiresome, but the rewards all the more magical.

Gorilla Trekking in Uganda is hard work, but the rewards are immense.

Making Contact

Once contact is made, there is usually a silent wait, deep within the dense foliage, as the gorillas edge closer.

When they do emerge, seeing the gorillas in their natural habitat, the verdant forest providing the perfect backdrop, is a truly breathtaking experience.

Any silence is soon broken by the rustling of leaves as the gorillas wander and play, and the calls, whistles, and whoops of thousands of animal species for miles around provides the perfect sound-track.

Once contact is made, you have up to one hour to spend with the gorillas. If you wanted to spend longer, you can take part in a gorilla habituation experience, and spend up to 4 hours with these gentle giants.

Related Posts