Individual safety is key to enjoying your gorilla trekking safari. Although other safety measures may be in place like having armed ranger guides, presence of armed forces of either Uganda, Rwanda or D.R.Congo. You are your first in all you possess, do or sign too while on safari.
Mountain gorilla trekking in Africa is only done in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National park in Uganda with about 19 gorilla families open for tourism.
In Rwanda, gorilla tracking is only done in Volcanoes National park with over 13 gorilla families open for tourists viewing.
For D.R.Congo, Gorilla trekking is known to be in Virunga National Park only. World over only those three countries are the only natural habitats for the mountain gorillas. Mountain gorillas cannot be relocated to other areas like the zoos because they are basi cally mountain inhabitants and may not adapt or thrive well to new environments.
Which Personal safety Measure Should One take Note of During Gorilla Trekking in Africa
Stay in Contact with your Safari Operator on Ground
While on gorilla trekking safari, you may get in touch with other tourists and lose track which may cost you an experience because you are not sure of there intensions for you.
Interacting with others is very good but do it cautiously. Engaging in dubious deals that are not part of your gorilla safari arrangement without the knowledge of your driver guide or tour operator on ground is risky and at times may cause you to end in the terrible African prisons. Dealing in drugs or any narcotic substances is prohibited in Uganda, Rwanda and D.R.Congo. Do not risk your safari experience.
Packing light but right is the best way to feel safe while on a gorilla trekking safari. you need to recheck your list of gorilla trekking gears to ensure that none is missing. Expecting to borrow or hire on ground may not be comfortable.
Some of the gorilla trekking gears include tracking boots for protecting your feet from hash conditions in the jungle, garden gloves to protect your palms from sharp surfaces, first aid kit in case you get an emergency case, insect repellant for keeping away stinging insects in the jungle to mention but a few.
Hire a Transfer Cab From Designated Airport Taxi Services
In case you organize your own airport transfer to the hotel or lodge in town, you need to be careful about who you hire. Ensure that the cab you hire is well labelled with airport taxi label on the car and number plates both clearly visible and the drive’s face in clearly seen just in case.
There are so many people who may mascaraed as airport taxi drivers yet may have ill intensions for you. To avoid such circumstances, at Arch safaris and Tours were do airport transfers and pickups for our clients upon request. Send Request
Avoid Showing off Valuables During Gorilla Trekking Safari
In case you have travelled with some valuables, it is best to keep them in safe custody of the lodge managers or in the safety box of the Hotel. Not all people at the destination have intensions of only doing the gorilla trekking safari. even the service providers like room service or battlers.
Your valuables may catch the eye of thief who won’t hesitate to arrange for its disappearance.
Keep your travel Documents very well
Your travel documents like the passport are your only source of identification. You must protect it jealously. In case you get an emergency while on gorilla trekking safari you can easily be saved and your family contacted.
In case you lose your identification documents, please report to the authorities concerned as soon as possible. The passport must be legitimate too.
Having travel insurance that covers such uncertainties while on safari is great cover up for you while you travel for gorilla trekking tour in Africa.
Carry limited Cash while travelling for Gorilla trekking
Credit cards are rarely used as a form of exchange in Africa so you need to have cash to do any on ground transactions. Credit cards have a long procedure of obtaining money from them which slows service provision.
Do exchange your money into local currency from a point that is well established not from a person, there are so many fake notes produced by crooks. In order not to be scammed, try to do the exchange in a Bank or designated foreign exchange centers.
Count Your Money In A Discrete Space During Gorilla Trekking Safari ‘
In case you want to count money while on a gorilla trekking safari, do it from a discrete place. There many opportunists who may wish to pick it from you including lodge staff. Do not leave money on display even in your room because snatchers may cease this opportunity.
Carry personal Photocopy of Medical Records When Travelling For Gorilla Trekking
In case you have a disease that requires urgency, you need to carry some of your medical records just in case it reoccurs during gorilla trekking safari. These make it easy for the doctors to prescribe and administer medicine even if you are unconscious.
Never Eat from anywhere during gorilla trekking tours
Ensure you purchase food from designated points or areas where you can go back to complain in case you get food poisoning. There are many street food centers along the way and you may be enticed by the look of what they sell but the hygiene conditions under which the food is prepared at times may not favor your wellbeing.
In case you catch dysentery, you may be disqualified from gorilla trekking yet this is the gist of your entire safari experience.
Do not spit On Vegetation while In The forest Gorilla trekking
This is disgusting and mountain gorillas feed entirely on the vegetation. You may never know that you possess some communicable bacteria or virus which you may pass to the mountain gorillas. This may lead to there massive death yet conserving them has come along way. It is also unhygienic
The forest has very many wild animals that may be ready to defend themselves from you. You need an escorting ranger guide to lead the way. In case you wish to perform anything while in the jungle, you must first consult that guide otherwise you are risking your life.
Keep Children Close To You When You Travel For Any Africa safari
When you travel for gorilla trekking as a family, a person below 18 years in Uganda, Rwanda or D.R.Congo is considered a child. You must be in the know of their way abouts throughout the safari to avoid any uncalled for circumstances.
In the lodge facilities there other tourist that share this accommodation with you so you need to warn the children about meeting and interacting with strangers without your consent.
Stay Close To Your Gorilla Trekking Group
After you are selected into different groups ready for gorilla trekking, try to stay close to the people you are trekking with so that you are not lost in the vast jungle where it may be hard to trace your way out.
The ranger guides follow the pace of the slowest trekker but this doesn’t guarantee that delay the rest of the group. Even trying to do your own activity like birding, monkey watching without the approval of the ranger guide may cause you to separate from the rest. The mountain gorillas may be serene but they do not wish to have intruders in there environ so do not assume you are safe on your own.
Purchase Travel Insurance before Gorilla trekking
Having travel insurance before coming for a gorilla trekking safari in Africa and knowing what it covers helps you in times of uncertainty. The insurance papers must be easily accessible in case you need urgent help.
Follow Ranger Guides Instructions After Briefing To Do Gorilla Trekking
During briefing at the ranger station, you are advised about how to behave while in the jungle. Even when you locate the mountain gorillas, you have some behavior that you have to display to enjoy that moment fully. Failure to follow that may cause the mountain gorillas to get agitated and move into hiding.
A few of these rules of gorilla trekking you must follow include never provoke the mountain gorillas, staring into there eyes makes them shy, do not chew or smoke before the mountain gorillas and must more.
Be courteous With Your Driver Guide During Gorilla Trekking
Although not compulsory, tipping your driver guide or lodge staff for a good service rendered is a token of appreciation. This gives them a sense of loving the work they do and even offer more help to you even when the safari is over. They may not be your friend but try to treat them fairly so as to enjoy the entire gorilla trekking trip.
Although mountain gorillas are serene in nature, this doesn’t mean that try to provoke them. You must respect the rules set.
Gorilla trekking is safe but safety starts with you. Each group of maximum 8 tourists is escorted by ranger guides who create the way through thick creepers using a machete.
An armed ranger guide is there to protect you from other wild animals in the forest like elephants, giant forest hogs, leopards, lions and others. You must have the right gears to walk safely in the boggy jungle or hire a porter to carry your belonging.
Is gorilla Trekking Difficult
Gorilla trekking is a little strenuous because of the nature of the topography of this area. It is generously mountainous with very old plant cover. Sometimes they feed from the slopes, which are quite slippery especially during severe rains. You need to have some level of fitness to get to the mountain.
The time of locating the mountain gorillas is hard to determine because of the prevailing forest conditions like proximity of there food, fighting with wild groups, death of a family member and others.
Some level of patience is necessary to be successful with gorilla trekking because the joy and feeling of meeting with the mountain gorillas is incomparable.
Which Is The best Country For Gorilla Trekking Safari Uganda or Rwanda
No matter where you go gorilla trekking, that moment of being in front of the huge mountain gorillas is unforgettable, its like waking in a dream.
Gorilla trekking permit in Rwanda costs $1500 per person per trek while the price of that of Uganda is $700 per person per trek.
In terms of distance, it takes about 3 hours to drive from Kigali Airport to Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda while you have to travel about 8 hours to 9 hours on the road to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda.
If you want a combo of Africa game safari with gorilla trekking, Uganda has the best experience. After gorilla trekking in Bwindi impenetrable National Park, its quicker to connect with a drive in Queen Elizabeth National Park with a variety of wild animals and beautiful scenery. Rwanda’s Akagera National Park is not endowed with game like Queen Elizabeth National Park.
For Authentic gorilla trekking experience, Uganda’s Mgahinga National Park possess untouched environment while volcanoes national Park has gone through changes over time because of regular visitors.
The topography of volcanoes national Park is generously mountainous with a back drop of 5 volcanoes which makes the trek more challenging. Bwindi impenetrable national Park may be located in a volcanic area but walking through it to find the gorillas is not so tough. The topography is generally fairly steep.
It Is possible to do 2 day gorilla trekking in Rwanda yet it is difficult to do so in Uganda because of the length of time taken to the destination. The least number of days one can do on Uganda gorilla trekking is 3 day gorilla trekking safari in uganda.
Through Rwanda, one can do gorilla trekking in Uganda at a short drive time while it may take an entire day to arrive in Rwanda from Entebbe Airport.