Gorilla trekking is an adventurous African tour that only Uganda and Rwanda are master of. To be honest no one is a jungle expert apart from the lives that live in it. Even the rangers who monitor the forest each day keep discovering surprises every time. The forest never prepares you for all its content.
Briefing Before Gorilla trekking Safari
In Uganda briefing before gorilla trekking starts at 0800hr while in Rwanda 0700hrs
Every early morning, each gorilla trekker for the day is expected to converge at the ranger station for briefing. It doesn’t matter if it’s your first or third gorilla trekking time briefing is a must each route.
Each day a group of rangers rises up early to establish the condition of the gorilla trekking families to be visited. They communicate to the rangers at the main station. This may seem unnecessary and monotonous but like humans gorillas have mood swings depending on the conditions in forest
Gorilla trekkers for the day are expected to wear masks, carry hand sanitisers, and carry the necessary gorilla trekking gears. The ranger guides pass on the rules of gorilla trekking, explain the conditions of the forest and make groups of about 8 trekkers.
Each group is assigned two ranger guides and commended to follow instructions and advice provided. Following the trails constructed by regular visitors you enter the thick forest but the ranger guide tries to follow the pace of the slowest trekker. Try not to delay the entire crew to save time since you are not aware of where to locate the gorillas.
Briefing before gorilla trekking is one of the requirements to start searching for the mountain Gorillas. Although gorilla trekking is a dream come true Africa safari, sometimes an interested tourists may not be allowed even with a gorilla permit. Various reasons may be the cause for any one missing briefing which eliminate you from joining others to do gorilla trekking
In case you catch any communicable infection before briefing like Corona Virus, Influenza, dysentery and others. You are requested to volunteer to stay behind but inform the Authority so that arrangements of gorilla trekking permit Refund can be processed.
Losing your gorilla tracking permit card especially those on self-drive may cause you to miss out on briefing. Even without a receipt
Not picking your gorilla permit card from Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) or Rwanda Development Board before starting your journey to the park. This may cause some disturbance as in Uganda Gorilla trekking Cards are swiped into a machine to finally capture your information before you are allowed to see the mountain gorillas.
For the case of Uganda, spending the night in one area and track gorillas in another is risky. An example is spending the night in Nkuringo gorilla trekking area yet your gorilla permit was booked in Buhoma area which is about 10km away. Driving early in the morning to catch up with briefing may be delayed by uncertainties like slippery roads, blocking fallen tree trunks.
Waking up too late to go to the briefing point even if you had your overnight in the area where your gorilla permit was booked. You may arrive when briefing has already been done and trekkers subdivided into groups.
Not showing up on the day of gorilla trekking without reason makes you miss briefing. Sometimes your permit may be given to those on waitlist and you are declared a no show.
Walking through a natural tropical forest like Bwindi Forest or Volcanoes Park is like reading an endless story. Everything corner seems to look like the other but in a different style. The huge buttress roots that support the gigantic tree trunks make you wonder the number of years each tree has existed.
Troupes of monkeys enjoy the freedom of the forest as they lip from one branch to another. Others battle to swallow the ripest fruits of the forest. Some common monkeys include black and white colobus, vervet monkeys, red tailed monkeys, blue monkeys, L’hoest the list is endless.
Based on the route you take, you have chances of crossing amazing water falls. Bwindi forest in Uganda has a dense network of Rivers making it the water catchment area of the community around. When you trek the Ruhija area through Mubwindi Swamp, you have chances of spotting numerous bird species including some Albertine endemics
When Is The Best Gorilla Trekking Time
All year round gorilla trekking is open. Its only you to choose your most suitable time when availability of gorilla permits favors your dates.
During the months of June to September the demand for gorilla permits is very high. The months of March to May attract less demand for the permits. Sometimes Uganda or Rwanda off discounted gorilla permits during the low seasons but depends on the Authority choice.
Which Gorilla Trekking Area is Best To Trek In Uganda
Gorilla trekking in Uganda is based on gorilla trekking area and each area has gorilla trekking families. When you reserve a gorilla permit, make it a point to know which area has been booked. This assist you in reserving the necessary accommodation.
Spending a night in another area may cost you your gorilla trekking experience.
Each area has amazing gorilla families with differing interesting features to see and each gorilla family is unique. Its quite challenging to choose the area with the most outstanding gorilla family.
The cost of Gorilla trekking packages in Uganda or Rwanda depend on your Budget. That is to say Luxury gorilla tour package, Midrange package or Budget Safari package. No matter which choice you make, the gorilla trekking permit is the constant cost. In Rwanda the gorilla permit costs $1500 and in Uganda the gorilla safari permit price is $700.
The cost of the gorilla permit is like the base in costing any gorilla tracking package.
What Is the Age Limit for Gorilla Trekking
15 years is the age limit for gorilla trekking in Rwanda or Uganda. The terrain in Bwindi Forest or Virunga- Volcanoes forest is Volcanic with lots of climbing, sloping at times to locate the gorillas.
The way is quite tiring and patience is necessary at times before meeting the gorillas. Trekkers below 15 years may not be in position to withstand such forest conditions that is why they are excluded from participating in gorilla trekking.