Gorilla trekking in Africa is getting the travel boom everywhere tourists wanting to add it to there must do activities. Acquiring a gorilla permit is not only similar to winning a lottery but securing a gorilla permit is limited to just 8 people per day. This even makes the chance to confirm the gorilla trekking safari harder.
Gorilla trekking is only restricted to Uganda in Bwindi National park or Mgahinga National Park, Rwanda in Volcanoes National park and D.R. Congo in Virunga National park in the entire world.
Most wildlife safari activities in Africa can be related like game drives in Masai Mara, Chimpanzee trekking, birding, water activities at least you have somewhere else where they can be done. Its different with mountain gorilla hiking
A number of Questions Pop up about gorilla trekking and these have helped many travelers to understand a little more about the experience. But although these questions solve such issues, the personal feeling you get when standing in front of the gorillas is unexplainable. This feeling differs from person to person.
Some of these common Questions about gorilla trekking include
Uganda, Rwanda and D.R.Congo are the only natural homes of mountain gorillas. Bwindi Impenetrable National park or Mgahinga National park or Volcanoes National park or Virunga National park are the only parks in the world that provide home to the endangered mountain gorillas.
Gorilla trekking was an initiative of an American philanthropist Dian Fossey who dedicated her life to studying and researching about mountain gorillas. By the time she set up here research Center called Karisoke Research Center in Rwanda, about 250 mountain gorillas were left in the world.
These majestic beasts faced poaching, hunting for trophies, setting snare and so much more. She tried to defend them from such cruel acts but could not do it for ever. She realized that bringing humans closer to the mountain gorillas will save them so gorilla habituation was born.
Gorilla habituation led to gorilla trekking which we enjoy currently. Only one hour is allowed when you meet the mountain gorillas to allow them continue feeding and do other activities.
How To Book A Gorilla Trekking Permit In Africa
Each country has a governing body that regulates and sells gorilla permits. In Uganda the Uganda wildlife Authority sells the permits, Rwanda Development Authority sells the gorilla permits, Institute Congolais Pour La conservation (ICCN) and Virunga Foundation for mountain gorillas sells the D.R. Congo permits.
At your figure tips, you must have the date when you want to do your gorilla safari and number of people traveling with to do gorilla trekking. These assist in checking availability of the gorilla permits since they are sold per day.
No gorilla permit is reserved without payment so you need to purchase it as soon as availability is presented. Availability changes any time because the gorilla permits are sold on first come first served basis and demand for the few released permits worldwide is high. This is because it’s the only way to show your commitment to the gorilla trekking safari.
Any time is open for booking gorilla trekking permits as long as the date of your preference has availability. To be safe at least book your gorilla trekking permits three months in advance of travel. This is because they get sold out quickly especially the peak seasons that is to say June to September and December to Mid- January.
The low seasons at times attract discounted gorilla permits in all countries but this is not a definite price. Its dependent on the gorilla permit selling bodies.
How Difficult Is Gorilla Trekking in Africa
Although the topography of the gorilla trekking area is volcanic, you can walk or hike to where the mountain gorillas are feeding from. Sometimes they are at the bottom of the highlands or at the slopes. You need to locate them so that you can watch what they do for the day. Only one hour is allowed with the mountain gorillas.
Which Is the best Country For Doing Gorilla Trekking In Africa.
No matter where you go gorilla trekking, the experience of standing before the gentle eyed mountain gorillas is unexplainable. Other factors like the time you take driving to the gorilla trekking parks, the proximity to other safari activities, the level of ranger guide expertise in gorilla trekking and so much more may be forgotten for that while.
Whether trekking gorillas in Uganda or Rwanda the experience of standing before the dark furred huge giants is immense.
Gorilla trekking in Uganda and Rwanda is safe because of the involvement of security operatives ready to keep everyone safe from intruders. The Uganda tourism police is in place to keep law and order in the tourism industry in uganda.
After briefing and armed pair of ranger guides escort you into the forest but always in constant communication with security team at the head office. They have radio calls that keep them connected to the security team outside the forest. This is for the safety of tourists. A team of rangers rises up earlier than others to check on the location of the mountain gorillas to be trekked for the day. They also do some forest surveillance to ensure no intruders linger in the forest.
Which Accommodation To Book For Gorilla Trekking in Africa
Although mountain gorilla trekking is in the Virunga area, the parks differ and each country has it defined boundaries. Its not easy to trek mountain gorillas in one country and overnight in another. You need to book accommodation closer to the park you have booked.
Gorilla trekking Accommodations in Uganda
Bwindi Impenetrable national park is the biggest home of gorilla trekking in Africa. Its size however prompted the park administration to sub-divide it into areas. The gorilla permits in Uganda are sold per area and accommodation you select must be within or at the outskirts of the area.
Some of the accommodation you can book for gorilla trekking include gorilla Forest Camp, Clouds Lodge, gorilla safari lodge, Engage Lodge, Bwindi View Bands, Bwindi Volcanoes Lodge to mention but afew.
Accommodation to book for gorilla trekking in Mgahinga National park include Gahinga Lodge, Volcanoes Camp, Traveller’s Inn, Kisoro Tourist Hotel, Mgahinga gorilla Triangle, Majambere Iwachu, Community Camp, Mountain Gahinga Lodge, Mutanda Lake Resort
Volcanoes National Park gorilla trekking park Mountain Gorilla View Lodge, Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge, Kinigi guest House, Le Bambou, Hotel Mille Collines,
What Is The Age limit For Gorilla Trekking In Africa
15 years and above is the age limit for gorilla trekking in Africa. This is because of the nature of the terrain where mountain gorillas live. The mountain gorillas sometimes feed from the slopes especially during rainy seasons.
At times mountain gorillas tease there visitors which may not go well with a child below this age.
What food do Mountain Gorillas Eat
The mountain gorillas are generally vegetarian eating mainly foliage like bamboo, fruits, leaves, soft stems and so much more. They may supplement there diet with ants if seen in the forest. For this reason, only one hours is allowed with the mountain gorillas when you find them. This is to allow the gorillas grab there own food that will last them the entire day and night.
What else Can You do after Gorilla trekking in Africa
Game drives make a great combination with gorilla trekking. In Uganda you can go for game drives in Murchison Falls National park, Queen Elizabeth National park, Lake Mburo National park. In Rwanda, Akagera National Park is open for game drives in Rwanda.
Some of the others wild animals you can see during game drive include lions, leopards, water bucks, bush bucks, zebras, giraffes, warthogs to mention but a few
Chimpanzee trekking is another activity you can combine with gorilla trekking in Africa. Some of the parks where you can do this include Kibale National park in Uganda, Nyungwe National park in Rwanda, Virunga National park in D.R. Congo
Boat trips on the water bodies with in the parks like Murchison falls, On Kazinga channel all in Uganda, On lake Ihema in Volcanoes National park
Birding after gorilla trekking is awesome because of the forest where they can spend the day or nest. The Virunga area is one of the found habitats to a variety of birds including the red list Albertine endemics on the IUCN list.
What To Pack For Gorilla Trekking In Uganda
A pair of pajamas to wear when going to bed during your Africa safari
Long camouflaged shirt and trousers
The wild is inhibited by stinging nettles and sharp surfaces that you pass by while trekking to see the gorillas. You need to wear something that covers you up and camouflages dirt.
Walking in the jungle takes you to the unknown so you have to be prepared for whatever comes your way. As you move in the forest the ground surface is normally muddy and soggy requiring you to have boots that make you feel comfortable.
Stinging insects linger the forest all day along so you need to protect your skin from them. Carrying a repellant that is friendly to your skin.
A poncho or rain coat
It rains heavily anytime in Bwindi forest without warning so to keep dry, you need a rain protective gear.
Foldable safari hat to wear when in the wild and protect your hair from dripping water off the leaves.
A fleece or sweater
Some warmers for the day will make it more comfortable while in the wilderness. It gets cold when it rains making it uncomfortable for most trekkers so pack some warmers.
Tripping while you walk may be unavoidable but when you protect your hands with gloves, you are safer. You may also want to secure your grip on the creeping plants you pass by using gloves.
Binoculars to use for seeing far ranging attractions in the wild like birds, monkeys and so much more
A pair of stocking
These also provide extra protection to your legs when you tack in your trousers.
Sound proof flash-less Camera
Gorilla trekking is a once in a life time experience whose memories you wish to keep forever. Carry a camera with no sound as this may scare the mountain gorillas while taking photos. It must be flash-less too because strange noise scares the huge apes
First Aid box to use when you get injured while in the wilderness
A light water proof bag
Keeping your belongings safe and together while in the wilderness by carrying them in a water proof bag. Scattering and losing your belongings in the forest while you trek to find the gorillas makes you feel really bad. Do not spoil your gorilla trekking feeling that you have saved for by forgetting to pack a light bag.
Gorillas are mobile creatures that wonder in the forest all day long searching for a meal. You need to keep up with the pace which may wear you out. You need to energised to keep moving because you do not know when you will meet the gorillas in the wild.
A shoe bag to keep the tracking boots when they get socked in the muddy and soggy soil that may make your other belonging dirty.
Which Is the Best Gorilla trekking Family To Trek
Depending on which results you wish to get after gorilla trekking, each gorilla family is amazing. You may find one with entertaining juveniles, one with many infants, caring silverback and so much more
The experience of just being in close proximity with the wild mountain gorillas is mind blowing.
Most travelers have watched mountain gorillas in films like King Kong, Babies day out, Gorillas in the mist and majority think it is just fiction. Being one of the Lucky trekkers of the day to personally spend one precious hour with the gorillas is enough joy to your successful trek.