What Is Gorilla Trekking
Gorilla Trekking is an activity done in the jungle to look for Mountain gorillas in the wilderness ( not a dictionary meaning). In the entire world, Mountain gorillas are residents of only 3 countries and very much limited in number. Uganda, Rwanda and D.R. Congo are the only homes of mountain gorillas and can only be found in the Virunga volcanoes area.
What is needed for gorilla trekking
In order to protect the endangered mountain gorillas, a limited number of tourists are allowed to see the mountain gorillas each day. Only 8 tourists per gorilla family are given the opportunity to stay close to the mountain gorillas each day. You need to book a gorilla permit in advance so as to be part of this life changing activity.
Do mountain gorillas bite
Mountain gorillas are serene animals despite there sheer size. There entire body is covered with a dark coat of fur and a mature male can be identified by a saddle-like cover of grey hair on its back acquiring the name silverback. They are entirely vegetarian and so no need to bite flesh despite there huge bodies.
What happens during gorilla trekking
Early in the morning, all tourists assemble at the briefing point to listen to the instructions that you need to follow while in the jungle. In case one arrives after briefing, he or she may not be allowed to trek the mountain gorillas as he or she may not know how to behave while in the jungle. This is to ensure that the gorilla habitat is protected as this is where they feed and also no one is lost in the vast jungle.
After knowing the dos and don’t of gorilla trekking, a ranger guide is assigned each group to escort trekkers and direct them on which trail to take. He or she will follow the pace of the slowest trekker so that no one is forgotten in the jungle. Be very observant to see other interesting features and animals in the wilderness like other primates such as the olive baboons, grey cheeked mangabey, vervet monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, red tailed monkeys, blue monkeys, a verity of birds, unique tree species, the waterfalls, streams of rivers the list is endless.
When you get closer to the area where the mountain gorillas may be feeding, you just need to lower your voices so that you donot look suspicious as they are frightened by foreigners in there vicinity. Wait for the ranger to instruct you to take the photos and when all is done, just observe and enjoy the moment in the presence of the world’s largest primates that have survived since the prehistoric era of the dinosaurs. Utilize that one hour profitably and return to the lodge and relax.
What to do before gorilla trekking
Some fitness is helpful before gorilla trekking since the area is ragged with volcanic works. You may need to hike in order to find the mountain gorillas as they are highly mobile because of factors like limited food in a particular area, in case of attacks from other wild gorillas, death of a member, to mention but a few.
What is the age limit for gorilla trekking
Gorilla trekking can only be done by persons aged 15 years and above. This is to limit the number of those who may likely fail to make it to the gorillas. Also the first glance at the gorillas may stimulate your adrenaline causing fear which may be perceived wrongly as any suspicion at times agitates the gorillas. It is quite hard for people below the age of 15 years to keep calm in such situations.
What to Pack for gorilla trekking safari
- Tracking boots are very helpful as the jungle is always wet, boggy and some piercing wood pieces may harm you. You need to protect your feet.
- Long trousers are also a great protection to your body as these may prevent biting nettles from getting to your skin.
- Garden gloves will provide you with a secure grip especially when you slide you can get old of the creeping plants close by.
- Sound proof camera will keep your moments with the mountain gorillas alive for a long time.
- Insect repellants will perform miracles for you against the stinging nettles.
- Long sleeved shirt will also give you extra protection especially on your arms.
- A poncho or rain coat is very good because it rains in this area without warning and at any time of the day.
- Some hard cash will assist you to hire a porter to carry your baggage while you trek since credit cards are not commonly used in Uganda or Rwanda.
- Travel Insurance is very important to you so that you are ensured of your protection.
- A large brim hat will protect your head from water that falls off from the tree leaves.
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