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|To meet the gaze of a mountain gorilla is one of the most spine-tingling, humbling and moving experiences available for any visitor to Africa.
And in Uganda, high in the rainforests of the Virunga mountains or at nearby Bwindi, on the border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo, it is possible to do just that.
Listed as a critically endangered species, mountain gorilla numbers are estimated to be between 800-900 individuals. More than half of these gentle, retiring creatures can be found in Uganda at Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.
Both parks contain groups of mountain gorillas that have been habituated to the presence of small parties of humans. Given that the gorillas tend to move around, visitors taking part in gorilla tracking can expect to hike through the rainforests for several hours. This is a wonderful way to take in the sights and sounds of the forest.
There are over 300 species of birds at Bwindi, as well as baboons, chimpanzees, various types of monkey and even forest elephants. Mgahinga is set in the stunning, misty scenery of the volcanic Virunga range. Like Bwindi, it also includes many bird species such as yellow-vented bulbul, black kite and paradise fly-catcher, as well as rare golden monkeys.
To protect the gorillas, tracking groups are limited to 8 people and this makes for an intimate, uncrowded safari experience.
Winston Churchill once called Uganda “the pearl of Africa”. Like so many after him he was besotted with this wonderful country’s superb wildlife, magnificent scenery and friendly people.
1.3733° N, 32.2903° E
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OUR Uganda FAVOURITES