"Kisoro - Home of the Mountain Gorillas" Kisoro District by K.Knight

Kisoro District Travel Guide: 32 reviews and 76 photos

Kisoro, staging point for the Gorilla Trek.

After leaving the relative comfort of Kenya, in our big blue Kumuka truck, Anne and I headed off toward our ultimate goal, the mountain Gorillas of the “Impenetrable Forest” In Uganda.

To achieve this goal, we had to traverse Uganda from East to West. Setting out from Jinja we headed down the dusty and well worn track that circumnavigates the mighty Lake Victoria, past the source of the Nile, through Kampala and down through Masaka, Mbarara, Kibale and Lake Bunyonyi before arriving in the Kisoro district 4 days later….what a mission!

The town of Kisoro is located in the South Western corner of Uganda and sits squarely in the shadow of the Virunga chain of volcanoes, location of the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Formerly known as the Impenetrable Forest, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is one of Uganda's most recently created national parks and as such, the park has become the main place in East Africa to see the gorillas

The “Impenetrable Forest.”

The drive to see the Gorillas is quite long.
Getting out of bed at 4am for an early breakfast, you begin a 3.5hr drive on murram roads, (another name for MUD,) to the UWA National Park Headquarters. The trade off is that you will be passing through some of the most picturesque countryside that you have seen. Rising out of the Kisoro valley, views of the Virunga Mountains are breathtaking as you proceed proceed to the park for a briefing by the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park’s guides on how to behave in the forest and in the presence of mountain gorillas.

You are reminded that the trekking can take from 1 to 8 hours and that you may have to climb to altitudes in excess of 5,500 feet. The terrain is very rough and at most times of the year it is very muddy. I remember sitting there thinking, “and I paid US$550 for this!!!!”

The ultimate prize

This feeling soon left me as our porters, (for US$10 a porter will carry your pack and assist you every step of the way,) guided us down the hillside, through the village, over thick vegitation, across several streams, creeks and rivers, through the lush vegitation, over hills and into the Impenetrable National forest. After approx 2 hours we paused for a refreshment break and without us “tourists” even realizing it, the gorillas were only 50 meters away! The next 90 minutes was the most amazing experience that I have had in my entire life!

  • Last visit to Kisoro District: Mar 2007
  • Intro Updated May 13, 2008
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  • Xemx's Profile Photo
    May 15, 2008 at 12:21 PM

    Very interesting, Kev, you have been on some great trips! Pity about the poachers, it makes me sad to hear about such things.

K.Knight

“Don't die wondering”

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