Gorilla Tracking Safari Guide And Preparations
The best guide for gorilla tracking preparations on an African safari is knowing where to go for this trek either Uganda or Rwanda. You can also do both Uganda and Rwanda gorilla trekking since they are just few hours apart.
Uganda has two gorilla trekking destinations that is Bwindi Impenetrable national Park and Mgahinga National Park in the south West. All these destinations lie in the south western corner of Uganda.
Rwanda’s gorilla trekking destination is Volcanoes National park in the North Western part.
You need to secure a gorilla trekking permit for uganda or Rwanda in advance. This is because they are limited in number and yet demand world wide is hight.
Select the number of days you hope to be on gorilla trekking safari holiday like:
How To Prepare For Gorilla Trekking Safari In Uganda or Rwanda
A successful Gorilla tracking safari requires you to have initial ideas on what is necessary to make your stay comfortable in Uganda or Rwanda. I agree with those who say standing face to face with the mountain gorillas is a lifetime experience which is a must do. Before gorilla trekking, you need to know the below tips.
How To Book Gorilla Trekking Permits
Select a date for gorilla trekking and the number of permits you want.
Send us an Enquiry on email@example.com
Our safari consultant check availability from the Uganda wildlife Authority or Rwanda Development Board listing.
in case its positive, we request our clients to purchase theirs as soon as possible because they are fast sold. First come first served basis is used when securing the gorilla permits.
A gorilla permit receipt is issued
We require some personal details late like nationality, date of birth, passport expiry date.
Test your physical fitness prior to gorilla trekking.
Do some exercises to stretch your muscles more than usual although you do not have to spend the entire day in a gym. Gorilla trekking involves walking for an unknown distance and hiking to the slopes in case the mountain gorillas are spending the day there.
The topography of the Virunga area is Volcanic with jagged highlands. Mountain gorillas live in this mountainous area and Bwindi Forest, Volcanoes forest and Mgahinda forest.
This means you have to hike at some point to meet the gorillas. Some articles advise about the easiest gorilla family to trek which is a hard selection. This is because of there mobility as they search for food and the conditions of the forest.
The gorillas may move into the deeper ends of the park so you need to trek for about 2 to 6 hours to find them. Remember this area is at a high altitude so air gets thinner as you get up. You need to control your breath. some level of patience is necessary too during gorilla trekking.
Carrying some energy bites keep you going because breakfast is taken to early to last the entire time.
This doesn’t mean that the very aged or the physically hand capped cannot trek the gorillas. There is a provision of porters or the sedan chairs that can be hired. You need to advise our booking gorilla safari agent so that this can be done in advance of travel.
Take Anti-malarial prior to your gorilla trekking trip or carry your special medicine.
You need to know that Uganda or Rwanda are tropical countries where malaria is a common disease. You can to swallow ant-malarias prior to travelling because going to the jungle may deny you accesses to a better hospital.
Come with your medical insurance card too so that you can we can call up for assistance in case you get ill. Therefore, to enjoy your gorilla safari, you need to follow the mentioned medical precautions
Pack First Aid kit with items that you may require in case of an emergency while in the jungle searching to find the mountain gorillas. Include items like black stone, bandage, Ointments, antibiotics and others.
Gloves for gorilla trekking
The vegetation of the habitats where mountain gorillas live is thick and tangled from the thousands of years over which it has existed. You need garden gloves to protect your palms from biting nettles where you may land your palms in case you tripe and fall.
In the forest where the gorillas live, there are stems and branches that need to be pushed away so as to protect your hands from being hurt, you need to wear gloves. The forest is cold too you need to keep warm while in the forest. Read about what to Pack for a gorilla trekking tour
Logistics for gorilla trekking
To keep moving and replace your energy lost during gorilla trekking, you need to have some energy bites like chocolates, sweets, fruits, flapjacks, nuts, sand witches and other energy generating foods.
Prior to heading to the ranger station for briefing, you need to carry your packed lunch because you are not sure of your return time. Water is very important to carry so that you can quench your thirst. At least 2 litres of water are a reasonable amount to carry.
Currency and money necessary during gorilla tracking safari
In Uganda, the common currencies used are Uganda shillings or Rwandan Francs, dollars with denominations above 2000 and pounds. It is advisable to carry some cash on you and change it to local currency which you will use for purchasing on ground.
Big notes are better to change because they weigh a bigger value in local currency than the smaller denominations.
Credit cards are not commonly used in Uganda or Rwanda because of the long process of authorization. Although some centers accept credit cards like the upmarket hotels, master cards are not a guarantee in most places. Visa Cards may apply.
There is a limit to the amount that must be withdrawn from the credit card too. However for tragedy purposes, your credit card can be used for defense.
Tip after gorilla tracking
Gorilla tracking is a superb activity that gets you closer to the prehistoric primates that are the largest in the word. Several people contribute to your excitement of meeting the mountain gorillas.
As a token of appreciation, tipping a ranger, driver guide, hotel staff and others who render you great service. It is the most reliable way of giving back to the community.
After gorilla trekking activities.
Uganda is endowed with a lot of attractions which you may pick interesting in while on your gorilla trekking safari. Some of them include chimpanzees, mountain climbing, visit to the orphanages, visit to Uganda wildlife Education centre (UWEC), Ngamba chimpanzee sanctuary tour, game drives and several others.
You need to request the tour operator to organise these in time because some of them require advance booking. You can also request for more information about these attractions from our professional tours consultant.
How Much Is Gorilla Trekking Safari in Uganda And Rwanda
The cost of gorilla trekking safari is proceeded by the price of a permit.
In Uganda, the gorilla permit costs $700 per person per trek
Rwanda gorilla permit costs $1500 per person per trek.
This costs is universal for all safari packages whether Luxury, Mid-range or Budget
Other costs added to the gross safari package are determined by
The Number of people travelling with for gorilla trekking were bigger your party, the less the safari cost per person. You may get to share some safari amenities like vehicle hire, gas, driver guide and others. Tourists on solo gorilla trekking safari bare all the gorilla safari costs.
One can also join a scheduled gorilla trekking tour in case you have no one joining you for gorilla trekking. You get to share the safari amenities with other travelers who may not be known to you. The scheduled gorilla safari arrangements has fixed dates, change of itinerary is hard, limited with age and so much more.
Time for booking the gorilla trekking safaris as the peak season, which is normally June to September and December to January, has high prices levied. Demand for safari services is extremely high because it is also the tourism peak season for Uganda and Rwanda. When you book gorilla permits for this season, expect high costs
The low season, which is normally March to May and November, sometimes service providers extend discounted prices to clients. This opens chances for people with a limited budget to use facilities of a high end during gorilla trekking.
The Number of Days To spend on gorilla trekking safari contributes to the safari costs where by the days you are on safari, the higher the safari package cost. Most service providers offer per day costs. The more days the more money to spend on safari. you may book 3 days gorilla trekking, 2 days gorilla trekking and so much more
Additional activities combined with gorilla trekking where by the more activities you combine gorilla trekking with, the higher the safari cost. You may add chimpanzee trekking with gorilla trekking, gorilla trekking with game safaris and so much more. This depends on the number of days you hope to be on safari.
Is the Gorilla Trekking permit Refundable?
Uganda wildlife Authority ad Rwanda development board have refund policy which they follow in case of refund. You need to be patient too in case you qualify and have all the necessary requirements for a gorilla permit refund.
The process you go through to secure a gorilla permit is quite disturbing at times so you deserve to see the mountain gorillas but missing to see them sometimes is inevitable
How Dangerous Is Gorilla Trekking safari?
As mentioned above, the topography of the area where mountain gorillas live is generally volcanic so expect to hike slopes or get down the valleys in order to locate the mountain gorillas sometimes.
You need to carry the right shoes that can help you go through boggy, slippery slopes of highlands.
The mountain gorillas are generally serene and shy despite there huge size and hairy body. No tourists in the history of gorilla trekking has ever been attacked by a mountain gorilla. You need to keenly follow the gorilla trekking rules as explained by rangers and game wardens.
How Long Is Gorilla Trekking In Uganda And Rwanda?
The time of locating the mountain gorillas is unknown because of there uncontrolled movements. The mountain gorillas wonder in the forest while searching for food and other conditions that happen to them in the forest force them to change location often.
The gorilla trek may take 2 hour to three quarters of the day depending on factors prevailing in the forest.
What Else To Do with Gorilla Trekking in Uganda And Rwanda?
Game drives Uganda has several game parks where you may have the chance of seeing a wide range of wild animals including lions, giraffes, leopards, aardwolf, cape buffaloes, waterbucks, bushbucks, hartebeests, zebras, impalas, wild cats and others.
Some of the Uganda game parks include Murchison Falls National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Lake Mburo National Park and Kidepo Valley National Park.
Launch trips on Uganda safari
Two Uganda National parks host some of the most scenic launch trips. Murchison Falls National Park and Queen Elizabeth National Park. In Queen Elizabeth National Park, the Kazinga channel is where the launch trip takes place. You enjoy the beautiful views on the floor of the rift valley, sparkling crater lakes, a wide range of wild animals that visit the shores, elevated Rwenzori ranges and others.
Murchison Falls National Park launch trip happens on River Nile. You sail to the strongest point of River Nile where it squeezes through a narrow gorge of about 6 meters and bursts out forming a cloudy appearance. Numerous birds and wild animals often grace the banks of River Nile.
Chimpanzee trekking on Uganda safari
Uganda is a primate haven and chimpanzees are part of them. Some of the Uganda chimpanzee habitats include Kibale National Park, Kaniyo Pabidi Forest, Kyambura gorge, Kalinzu Forest reserve, Ngamba chimpanzee sanctuary, Uganda wildlife Education center and others. You must purchase a chimpanzee trekking permit for some of these destinations at Uganda wildlife Authority.
White water rafting on River Nile
Pushing through the tides of River Nile during white water rafting is superb. You pedal through different tide levels along the Nile valley. No prior experience is necessary because instructors are in place to help you with every necessary trails on ground.
Uganda Cultural tours to some of the ancient tribes as Uganda is a multicultural country. Each tribe has a different language and over 69 tribes live in Uganda. You get to enjoy there different traditional languages, dances, norms like circumcision dances and so much more but there can be fully enjoyed with prior arrangements.
Game drives in Akagera National park can be combined with gorilla trekking. You may have the chance to see animals like lions, cape buffaloes, impalas, zebras, elephants and others.
Boat ride on Lake Ihema with in Akagera National Park is Lake Ihema with lovely views and a wide range of birds that grace its shores. This boat ride is relaxing too especially after a day’s long game drive.
Chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe National park is spectacular as you get to enjoy some of the human closest relatives. You may get to see some other primates like olive baboons, vervet monkeys, grey cheeked mangabey, blue monkeys and others.
Kigali city tour
As Rwanda is growing from the ashes of the 1994 genocide, its city Kigali is one of the interesting to tour. You may get to visit genocide memorials, museums, local markets and others.