Discover The Unexpected

Gorilla Tracking in Uganda: Is it Safe?

With more than 95% of DNA identical to humans, the powerful and intelligent herbivore, the gorilla, has fascinated Man for many decades. The huge silverbacks (male leaders of an extended family of gorillas known as a troop, numbering up to 30) rarely display their enormous strength and only ever become aggressive with other silverbacks. That is the theory yet tourists keen to see gorillas in the wild may have a little apprehension about the safety of venturing into gorilla territory with minimal protection from these impressive creatures. The question is whether tracking gorillas is totally safe?

Remember ‘’King Kong’’ was fiction. The original film from the 1930s and the early 21st Century remake showed the gentle side of the beast as well as aggression when he felt threatened. The atmosphere that is important is one in which the gorillas feel no threat or need to protect their young from strangers.


A gorilla eating plants in Gorilla tracking in Uganda

It is thought that there are less than 1,000 mountain gorillas in the world, and they simply do not survive in zoos; if you have seen a gorilla in a zoo, it will be a lowland gorilla from West Africa.

As male gorillas grow past childhood, they leave the troop to begin their own troop with some of the females often going with him. That happens around the age of 15 with life expectancy anything between 40 and 50 years. At 15 they are known as blackbacks with their hair turning silver with age.

Females can give birth at the age of 10 and will tend for their young for 4-6 years so will have perhaps four youngsters in their lifetime?

They are also creatures of routine rising from their leafy beds early each day and spending up to five hours a day eating. They take naps at midday and are generally asleep for the night after sunset by which time all tourists are long gone.

Gorillas are susceptible to several diseases that humans catch such as cold and flu, so it is to avoid spreading any such things into a gorilla troop. Physicians monitor the gorillas as a result who are able to identify one from another because they have unique nose prints, as well as fingerprints.


Mountain where Gorilla tracking happen in Uganda

Half of the world’s population lives in two Ugandan National Parks, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, a very suitable name.

Mgahinga was created in 1991. It is located in South West Uganda and covers just 34 square kilometers, but it is an area of dense forest in the Virunga Mountains with the altitude varying from 2,200 meters to over 4,000 meters. Even with those figures, it is the easiest of the two parks for visitors to see mountain gorillas.

Bwindi is also in the South West on the border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It covers 320 square kilometers and this UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to over a third of the world’s mountain gorilla population. The general altitude of Bwindi is lower than Mgahinga, ranging from 1,100 meters to 2,600 meters.


A group of people doing Gorilla tracking in Uganda

Families of mountain gorillas in Uganda have become habituated to tourist visits; habituation is a process that can take a couple of years, and that is done by the visits of just rangers and tourism personnel without tourists themselves. The result is that tourists who follow simple instructions from their guides are perfectly safe. As a precaution, rangers and tourism police are armed but the chances of any need to use weapons against gorilla families are remote indeed.

Wildlife tourism is Africa is big business but on the plains of East Africa, tourists are confined to vehicles. In order to see gorillas in Uganda, their remote habitat can only be reached on foot and hence groups must trek in search of their close relatives.

Guides will always know the general area to find a troop, but gorillas are nomadic traveling most days in search of food.

Security is important because of the value of human life and the revenue that gorilla tracking brings to the Ugandan economy. That security is the role of both wildlife rangers and tourism police whose role includes guarding against more than gorillas with incursions of rebel groups into Uganda from over the border, something that has occurred in the past, yet is now under control. Security is in place throughout any holiday involving gorilla trekking and that includes overnight accommodation.

Mountain gorillas live in dense forest, sometimes on steep slopes, so those wishing to go gorilla trekking must have a certain level of fitness although a tourist party will move at a comfortable rate. This is not something that independent travelers can do by themselves because the gorilla habitat is strictly under tourism authority control.

Everyone needs to be suitably attired in comfortable footwear, light raincoats in their carry bags as well as water and headgear. The number of tourists allowed to visit mountain gorilla troops is limited.


There is an element of adventure in every contact with a wild animal and although the gorilla troops that trekking tours approach has all been habituated, make no mistake! Gorillas are wild animals with moods, just as people have. They make few sounds other than grunts and a sign that a silverback is unhappy with the situation is an impressive beating of the chest, a rare photo opportunity. However, it is not something that guides of a tourist party will ever want to see because it is a warning.

The important thing for everyone who goes gorilla trekking is to remember the simple rules that guides explain before the party sets out and follow those rules. It is possible to get fairly close to the troop, even to a female with a youngster but it is important to stop when advised and keep quiet at all times so none of the troop is startled.

The rules are common sense, and if followed, make gorilla trekking perfectly safe and an experience that tourists will remember for the rest of their lives.



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August 8, 2023
Asante Gosheni and espacially Hassan Nous tenons à recommander Hassan car nous venons de passer un séjour mémorable avec lui. Grâce à son expérience, sa connaissance parfaite du monde animal et des parcs, Hassan nous a permis de voir de nombreux animaux en étant extrêmement bien placé.
Bien évidemment les big five (même le rhinocéros!), la traversée de la rivière par les gnous et bien d'autres animaux.
En faisant un safari avec Hassan vous trouverez tout ce que vous êtes venus chercher.
A l'avenir si nous décidons de refaire un safari, nous voudrions repartir avec Hassan.
Myriam D
Myriam D
August 8, 2023
Hassan is the best guide !!!! Nous avons eu la chance de faire un safari de 8 jours dans les parcs nationaux du nord de la Tanzanie avec Hassan comme guide. Hassan est un guide très expérimenté.
Grâce à lui et sa grande expérience nous avons découvert et appris énormément de choses sur la Tanzanie, les animaux, les végétaux etc. Hassan est un véritable passionné qui aime transmettre son savoir.
En plus de ses connaissances, Hassan a un véritable œil de lynx et sais débusquer le moindre animal caché.
Grâce à Hassan nous avons eu la chance de voir beaucoup d’animaux et tous ceux du « Big Five ».
Parmi tous les véhicules présents lors des safaris, Hassan sait se frayer un chemin pour nous permettre d’avoir toujours le meilleur point de vue.
Hassan sait où se placer pour nous permettre d’avoir une vue sans égal sur les animaux, en les observant de très près.
Hassan est également un excellent conducteur. La route n’a aucun secret pour lui.
C’est également un guide très attentionné, toujours aux petits soins pour nous et d’une extrême gentillesse.
Nous recommandons Hassan les yeux fermés et si nous devions refaire un safari, nous demanderons d’être guidés par Hassan sans hésitation.
Merci encore à Hassan pour ces merveilleux moments qui resterons gravés dans notre mémoire !!
bonny l
bonny l
August 6, 2023
amazing Safari experience wiz gosheni nice trip wiz our amazing guide Samir We saw all the wild animals during Safari
thx a lot for the thoughtful and excellent service
highly recommend
August 6, 2023
愉快的非洲之旅 幸运的选择了gosheni Safari,我们的向导samir服务非常好,小朋友们都很喜欢他,非洲五霸除了犀牛没有看到外,其他都替我们找到了,寻找动物经验丰富,在超远的地方就能看到目标。可以在众多的车子中抢到一个很好的观赏位,办事灵活。
Vladimir T
Vladimir T
August 6, 2023
Great experience! Great experience! Starting from the trip planning the communications were very clear and smooth to organize the tour and select itinerary. In the end we opted for 5 days/4 nights route including the Tarangire, Serengeti and Lake Manyara nations parks as well as a visit to the Ngorongoro crater. The tour itself was excellent and very punctual, here kudos to our guide Wilson who is very experienced and knowledgeable about his job and also went well beyond his duty and gave us a nice summary of country’s history. It was really a pleasure to spend time with him and we managed to see the big 5:) Accommodations were superb: great camps, an amazing farmhouse close to Ngorongoro, meals were also good and picnic lunches well organized.
In summary the experience was highly satisfying, I sincerely recommend Gosheni Safaris and to ask for Wilson as a guide.
Allison B
Allison B
August 5, 2023
Great Taste of Tanzania Had a great 5-day tour. Our guide James was very dedicated to making sure we saw amazing sights. He asked us our favorite animals to see and made it his mission to help us spot them. The food was good, the lodging was very pleasant, and enjoying a glass of wine on lunches was a nice touch. Favorite lodging was definitely the Farmhouse by Ngorongoro. Beautiful landscapes along the entire tour, covered a lot of ground and got a great introduction to Tanzania.
Sukhraj S
Sukhraj S
August 5, 2023
Gosheni number 1 What an unforgettable 6 days, courtesy of Gosheni Safari and our guide/driver Zadock!!!
I booked this holiday back in 2020 but then had to cancel due to Covid. That was after a lot of research of tour companies and finally picking Ghosheni. The time was right to get this once in a lifetime trip set up again, so working via email with William at Gosheni we compiled the agenda…he was so helpful and we settled on one day in Tarangire, one day in Lake Manyara, three days in Serengeti and one day in Ngorongoro Crater…I’m now on the way to Zanzibar after an amazing experience, Gosheni took care of the whole package for my wife, three teenage sons and I.

Our guide and driver was Zadock, a humble, honest, genuine, proud and generous man. He did absolutely everything for us, answered every question and took us to all the places to see the big five up close, hunts and more.

The food was served every lunch time as a picnic, with plates, blanket, wtc whilst others had lunch boxes. The Jeep was cleaned daily, and was extremely comfortable along the difficult rough terrain…a credit to Zadock.

Zadock had so much knowledge not only of the animal kingdom’s hundreds of species but also the history of Tanzania, Africa, politics, and social customs, we felt as though he was part of our family.

Thankyou Zadock and Gosheni, I very rarely write reviews after holidays and I have travelled extensively around the world, but these guys are special and have made this so memorable for my family and I….I recommend to everyone if you are unsure about who, how, what, these guys will sort out the whole trip and at a very reasonable price.

Well done William, Gosheni and Zadock, and I really hope you get to be recognised as the number one tour company in Tanzania!
Eric W
Eric W
August 4, 2023
Extraordinary Safari with Gosheni I am so glad to have Gosheni as our tour operator. They provide excellent service starting from arranging the tour till the end of our safari.
As our city had quarantine arrangement due to COVID-19, we were so worry about our trip. Luckily, Gosheni is so considerate and try their best endeavors to rearrange our scedule. With their assistance, everything is set and we feel comfortable for all of their kind arrangements.

During the safari, we have a terrific tour guide, Edward! He takes care of all the stuff and administration including liaison with hotels, lunch packing, other add-on safaris so that we can fully enjoy the trip.

Not only Edward spots a lot a lot of animals and birds for us, including the top 5 in the trip, he also introduces us the habitat and features of the animals and birds. We are very impressed by his rich knowledge and do enjoy listening the "stories" of the animals.

Edwward is definitely experienced and propose the best programme during the safari, e.g. he tries to maximise our time for the game drive in different locations and tribe visit. We fully trust his expertise and professionalism.

We are very happy with Edward and Gosheni. We will absolutely consider them in our next Africam safari.
Priyank S
Priyank S
August 4, 2023
Amazing Safari with Gosheni and Ombeni Our guide, Ombeni, was the best part of our trip. He is really knowledgeable, friendly, and we trusted his expertise for the whole 9 days across Tarangire, Serengeti, and Ngorongoro. We were lucky to see some amazing things on our game drives. Having grown up in Kenya, I have been lucky to go on many safaris, and this is one of the best I've been on.
The food was excellent, and even on the all-day game drives we had a cooked, sit-down meal for lunch which was a big plus point. All the accommodation was excellent as well.

We had a bespoke itinerary which we planned in advance with William from Gosheni, and he was extremely helpful in answering our questions and accommodating our requests.

I would highly recommend Gosheni and especially Ombeni for future travels.
August 4, 2023
Dreams come true!!! Thanks to best guide Hassani I have been dreaming Serengeti Safari tour for a long time and Gosheni Safaris made my dreams come true. We completed our 5 days safari at the end of July and it was wonderful. We visited Central Serengeti, North Serengeti and Ngorongoro.
The company is very professional from beginning to end. Peter the owner of Gosheni Safaris helped us a lot about planning our itinary. I asked too many questions and he replied all of them everytime. Sometimes he can be in the bush and has no internet connection but be sure he always will reply your questions. Just be sure that you are in safe hands and Hakuna Matata☺️

Our guide was Hassani who is a perfect guide, safari driver, friend and everything. He always did his best to show us as much as possible. We always felt safe and witnessed lots of amazing moments by help of Hassani. Beside being a perfect safari guide, he prepared very nice lunch tables every afternoon. He is very funny person and makes lots of jokes during the safari. I higly recommend Gosheni Safaris which is best one and Hassani who is a very good guide. I want to thank Hassani in person for making our safari perfect and looking forward to meet again🙏🏻

Tips: I recommend ‘Morning Hot air Balloon safari’.