How safe is Gorilla Trekking in Uganda

How safe is Gorilla Trekking in Uganda: Uganda gorilla trekking is one of the most popular tourist activities in Africa; thus, a lot of attention is put to ensuring that tourists from all over the world have an opportunity to have safe and memorable gorilla trekking experiences. Gorilla trekking in Uganda is well-organized and secure enough to ensure that all tourists visiting the mountain gorillas are safe throughout their trek. For those longing for close encounters with these primates, “How safe is Gorilla Trekking in Uganda” is one of the questions that springs to their minds.

Gorilla trekking in Uganda is done in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, both located in southwestern Uganda in Kanungu and Kisoro Districts respectively. Mgahinga on the other hand lies on Uganda’s borders with Rwanda and DR Congo. Managed by the Uganda Wildlife Authority Both national parks are pristine forests and lie in mountainous landscapes. And for that reason, many tourists are afraid to go for the gorilla trek for fear of attacks from wild animals, among other creatures in the forest. However, as previously stated, both national parks are very well monitored by tourism police and park rangers. Lets dive right into the question “How safe is Gorilla Trekking in Uganda “.


Uganda is Africa’s premier mountain gorilla trekking destination for two reasons: affordability and safety, and for gorilla Trekkers, affordability is meaningless without safety and security. There have been no security incidents involving gorilla trekking in Uganda in the last 20 years since it has been offering gorilla safaris. Along with the Military, there will be Armed Rangers on your Gorilla Trek, and Uganda has the Tourism Police as well.

Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest or Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is one of the safest activities in Uganda. Rangers in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Parks are highly motivated, well-equipped, and well-established to keep gorilla trekking safe and secure.

One of the main reasons Uganda has become a popular gorilla trekking destination is the security measures in place. Everyone involved in gorilla tourism abides by the Uganda Wildlife Authority’s Security Standards, which are issued and implemented. In addition to the outbreak of Covid-19 in 2020, the Ugandan government has strengthened measures of safety and security concerning gorilla trekking; given that the endangered mountain gorillas share 98% of our DNA, which makes them susceptible to human diseases, including COVID-19.

Ensuring Safety with the Mountain Gorillas - the Gentle giants

Trekking mountain gorillas is safe as long as you keep a distance of at least seven meters from the reserved apes and follow specific rules and guidelines (all of which will be explained to you beforehand by your trekking guide).

Mountain gorillas are relatively calm and non-aggressive creatures, even though they are the strongest species of gorillas and can pick up about twice as much weight from the floor as champion strongmen. If you’ve ever seen two silverbacks fight, you’ll understand the apes’ strength; however, these gorillas are accustomed to human presence, so you won’t see any of that aggression in your encounter. Before they are exposed to gorilla trekking, mountain gorilla groups undergo habituation: a process where the apes are accustomed to the presence of human beings, through regular visits. This process is carried out by experienced researchers and park rangers and for a gorilla group to be trekked, it must have undergone habituation for at least 2 to 3 years.  

While in their presence, body language and keeping your distance is important for ensuring that the gorillas do not feel threatened, but your guides will explain everything to you before you begin your trek.

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Excellent Gorilla trekking Guides

The expert guides who will accompany your gorilla trek through the forest will put you at ease and will coach you in non-threatening body language. This includes not staring into the gorillas’ eyes (which they will interpret as a sign of hostility), speaking quietly, lying low and not surrounding them, and not using flash photography in their presence.

In the extremely unlikely event that a gorilla becomes aggressive, park guides and rangers are trained to fire their guns to scare the animals away (without harming them).

Safety around the Game Parks

There is a police presence in the communities surrounding Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla National Parks, including the Tourism Police and Military Police. They serve as an additional layer of safety and security for both tourists and the local community. Furthermore, the Gorilla Parks are patrolled daily. The Ugandan Army (UPDF) patrols the borders, including the one with the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The local community also understands the importance of gorilla tourism. They benefit both directly and indirectly from gorilla tourism, and they report any suspicious activity inside or outside the parks to authorities.

Uganda is Guerrilla-Free and is doing everything possible to keep it that way for the safety of ordinary Ugandans, more so the gorilla trekkers. Safe and secure gorilla trekking can be found in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.

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Stringent Measures to Ensure Safe and Secure Gorilla Trekking in Uganda

If you come across the gorilla family you were assigned to, try to be quiet and move slowly by following your guide’s instructions. Gorillas are intelligent and gentle giants, but they can be startled and even irritated if you approach them too closely or too quickly. You’ll be surprised to hear your guide make a belching noise while approaching the gorillas—this isn’t a bad character on the show.

Although you will be accompanied by a guide who will always be available to assist you when in the presence of the gorillas, it is beneficial to have a briefing about gorilla trekking rules and regulations to follow. These are mandatory before your gorilla trekking experience in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.

While in the presence of gorillas in Uganda’s Bwindi Forest, look into their eyes for a moment, then pause to appreciate the action before taking your gaze away from the gorilla’s eyes and looking down. This demonstrates to the gorilla that you are not a threat and that you are enjoying the gorilla trekking experience.

Visitors should keep a safe distance of six or seven meters (about 23 feet) from the mountain gorillas at all times. Because gorillas and humans share 98 percent of their DNA, they could easily spread human illnesses like covid19, cough, and other airborne infections. Furthermore, by keeping a safe distance from the mountain gorillas, we will prevent the spread of any human diseases that may infect this unique species.

If a gorilla approaches you, keep your cool and stay still. And if you happen to be standing right next to a gorilla, simply give him some room and let him walk about as he pleases. Then, if the gorilla approaches you and sits down, simply walk away gently to restart the measuring distance you were given.

If you start coughing while hiking, be careful to cough into your arm. This prevents the gorillas from becoming infected with any viruses you may be carrying. If you are unable to trek mountain gorillas due to illness, you may reschedule your trip until you are well; otherwise, your money will be refunded. We hope that armed information, your question “How safe is Gorilla Trekking in Uganda” has been answered.


Overall, gorilla trekking in Uganda is completely safe when visitors are accompanied by a skilled guide with the proper mindset, and your encounter with the mountain gorillas is extremely safe while you enjoy the trip. Respect for the animals and the environment is the best way to enjoy the activity, and you will be rewarded with an unforgettable encounter with one of the world’s rarest apes.

Best time for Gorilla Trekking in Uganda

The best time to go gorilla trekking in Uganda is during the drier months of January to February and June to early September because it is easier to travel to the park, and easier for treks. After all, the forest is not too muddy and gives a clear view of the mountain gorillas because the vegetation cover is not too densely grown. However, the rainy season is sometimes considered better to go for a Gorilla trekking because there is a lot of food for the mountain gorillas because of rain. Moreover, the rainy season happens in the low season which has no crowds, and treks are done by few tourists giving you privacy.

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