Gorilla tracking in Africa can only be done in Uganda, Rwanda and D.R .Congo and these three countries are the only homes of these apes in the entire world. Gorilla tracking gives you the experience of the jungle and brings to life films like “Gorillas in the mist” and the lion guard cartoon for the children. It all starts with booking a gorilla permit which is the entry document before preparing for this memorable African safari.
When you enquire about gorilla trekking, the pressure of securing a gorilla permit keeps you wondering about how special the gorilla tracking experience is. Each day only 8 gorilla permits are released for public booking. When you finally reserve a gorilla permit, it is like hitting a jackpot. The mere fact that gorilla permits are sold on first come first served basis yet the competition for them is quite tight is another travel adventure.
In Uganda, the gorilla tracking permits are sold at Uganda Wildlife Authority ( UWA) and starting July 2020, the cost of a gorilla permit will be $ 700, in Rwanda the gorilla tracking permits are sold at the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) and each permit cost $1500 per person per trek. This fund assists in the conservation of the mountain gorillas
When you state your preferred days of Safari in Africa, gorilla trekking safari can be tailored to fit your stay on the African trip. Our Safari Team will try to find availability of the gorilla permits and get back to you as soon as possible. In most cases the phone queue is tight requiring some patience but upon getting the response, we get back to you to make your decision. When all is done, you are required to make down payment for your gorilla permit as this is the only way to confirm your interest in the safari.
Send some details of your names on the passport, expiry date of passport, country of origin, age that will be used to produce your certificate after the gorilla trek. To be safe, it is best to book a gorilla permit atleast 3 months to the date of travel as the gorilla permits get sold out so quickly.
When is the best time for Gorilla trekking In Africa
Gorilla tracking in Uganda or Rwanda is open throughout the year but just like any other travel destinations, there are peak seasons that is to say June-September and December-February and low seasons during March-May and October –November. The choice of what time you wish to do the gorilla trek is left for you to make.
Gorilla trekking is a wilderness experience that gets you up-close with the mountain gorillas. You take a walk in the jungle and find the gorillas in there home. They share this home with other primates like the chimpanzees, black and white colobus, vervet monkeys, red tailed monkeys, grey cheeked mangabey, blue monkeys and plenty of birds including about 23 species of the 24 species of Albertine endemics.
Do mountain gorillas bite
Its true mountain gorillas are huge, have a dark hairy body, walk in knuckle style however they are entirely vegetarian. Throughout the day, they keep feeding on foliage especially bamboo which is there delicacy. They are generally serene animals and shy so this is the reason why tourists are advised not to stare into there eyes as this agitates and may send them into hiding.
What To do Before Gorilla Tracking
The terrain of the gorilla tracking area in Africa is generally ragged as a result of Volcanic action and the forest cover is thick therefore you need some level of fitness to find the mountain gorillas. Try to do some exercises to assist you maneuver the jungle as the time to find the mountain gorillas cannot be pre-determined because of there uncontrollable mobility and conditions in the forest.
Pack the right gorilla trekking gears like long trousers, tracking boots, insect repellant, sound proof camera, garden gloves, hard cash, light waterproof bag and other travel necessities to assist you enjoy your gorilla trekking experience.
Early morning, you are advised to take breakfast and carry your gorilla tracking gears to the ranger station. Do not forget packed lunch as the time of returning to the lodge is unknown. Join other trekkers for briefing and afterward proceed into the forest with the armed ranger guide.
You are subdivided into groups of 8 trekkers and when in the forest you are advised to speak at a low tone so as not to scare the other interesting in-habitats like the birds, colorful butterflies, monkeys, baboons, wild animals and so much more that the forest hosts. Follow the trails created by former trekkers.
What to do or not to during gorilla trekking in Africa
Littering the ground is you trek to find the mountain gorillas alters the feeding ground for the mountain gorillas.
Do not feed the mountain gorillas as they are supposed to search for there own food
Avoid eating while infront of the mountain gorillas.
In Case you wish to ease yourself ask the ranger guide to dig a hole for you and afterwards cover everything beyond recognition.
Volunteer to stay behind in case you have a contagious infection as this can affect the mountain gorillas causing them severe illness or death.
When infront of the mountain gorillas, stand at a distance of about 7 meters away to avoid direct contact.
Use a flashless sound proof camera to take photographs as the mountain gorillas are usually sacred of the flash.
Only one hour is allowed to be with the mountain gorillas. They have been habituated to be in front of humans for just that one hour.
What other activities to do after gorilla tracking
Take a walk to the Batwa pygmies community, visit the Bwindi hospital in Uganda, game drive and launch cruise in Queen Elizabeth National park, Chimpanzee tracking in Kibale National park, a walk in the Uganda wildlife Education center ( Entebbe Zoo) in case you have a late night flight. Visit Murchison Falls National park the mesmerizing falls in Uganda where the River Nile Water squeezes through a narrow gorge of about 7 meters and vigorously burst out to form a cloudy appearance.