Purchasing the gorilla permit from Rwanda Development Board or Uganda wildlife Authority surpasses all plans you must make for a successful gorilla trekking safari. You must choose a date for the gorilla trekking safari and number of permits to help quicken checking availability.
Consider the ages of people you are travelling with as 15 years is the age limit for gorilla trekking in Uganda and Rwanda. This was set because one has to move in the forest on foot yet time of completing the gorilla trek is unpredictable which may be unbearable for a child below 15 years.
Book accommodation within or closer to the gorilla safari park in Uganda and Rwanda as gorilla trekking starts early with briefing which is compulsory to every participant. Absconding from attending briefing before gorilla trekking may tantamount to dismissal.
Select transport means to use from the point of commencement to the gorilla trekking destinations but on this case road transport is the commonest means. Air transport is also available in both Uganda and Rwanda to the up country airstrips close the gorilla safari destinations in Uganda and Rwanda.
Choose additional Uganda or Rwanda safari activities to combine with gorilla trekking. This however requires you to have extra days on safari or engage in these activities prior to doing the gorilla trekking adventure.
What to Consider when Planning a gorilla Trekking safari in Uganda and Rwanda
Booking the gorilla trekking permit for Uganda and Rwanda confirms taking part in gorilla trekking per the dates of your choice. In Uganda, the Uganda Wildlife Authority and Rwanda Development Board for Rwanda have the mandate to sell and regulate all gorilla permits.
In Uganda gorilla trekking happens in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park. Rwanda has Volcanoes National Park for gorilla trekking. You must make choice of which country of Uganda or Rwanda you wish to have the gorilla trekking tour
At Arch Safaris and Tours, we can assist you purchase the gorilla permit plus additional amenities that support gorilla safaris. When you Enquire from us about the gorilla trekking safari, select a date and number of permits you wish to secure. Pay attention to the age of people travelling with for gorilla trekking in case you have children in your company.
Upon receiving your gorilla trekking safari enquiry our tours consultant checks availability from the Uganda Wildlife Authority or Rwanda Development Board list.
We advise clients to purchase their gorilla trekking permits as soon as availability is acquired to avoid last minute disappointment because they sell out in a short time. Gorilla trekking permits are highly demanded yet supply is restricted to maximum 8 permits per gorilla family.
Note that gorilla permits for Bwindi Impenetrable National park in Uganda are booked according to area under which the park is subdivided that is Buhoma, Ruhuja, Rushaga and Nkuringo. These areas are separated by distance a features that make accessibility a challenge because of the serious volcanic action in this area.
Choose Accommodation To Use During Gorilla Trekking Safari
Staying close or on the outskirts of the gorilla safari park in Uganda or Rwanda help you reach the early morning briefing point on time. Failure to attend gorilla safari briefing may lead to being dismissed from joining the rest of the trekker.
The gorilla trekking destinations whether in Uganda or Rwanda have different categories of accommodations to choose from that is luxury, mid-range and budget facilities.
When doing gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda, you need to note the area where your gorilla permit is booked as this is where you have to book your accommodation. In case you happen to spend the night before the gorilla trekking in another area of Bwindi, you may have to drive in the dark to catch up with briefing the next day. On the way there are several obstacles you may encounter like muddy roads, deep fog leading to poor visibility, logs falling across the road and so much more.
To avoid facing such trouble during gorilla trekking safari in Uganda, you need to book accommodation closer to the area where the gorilla permit is booked.
As you shop for gorilla trekking safari, consider having a list of items to pack for the gorilla safari. This helps you pack light but relevantly so that you do not carry so may irrelevant bags that may cause discomfort on the way to do gorilla trekking.
Some of the gorilla trekking gears you can pack include safari boots, long sleeved shirt and trousers, safari foldable hat, insect repellant, warmers, toiletries, garden gloves, camera, fully charged spare batteries, flip flops, changing wear, a torch to mention but a few.
Consider means of How to get to the gorilla safari destinations of Uganda and Rwanda
Reserve transport means to the gorilla trekking destinations in Uganda or Rwanda,
Whether in Uganda or Rwanda, you need to consider booking a 4×4 wheel drive vehicle in good condition. Having an experienced and professional driver guide gives you more information about the gorilla safari and other tour activities in the country.
Distance to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga National Park in Uganda from Entebbe or Kampala
The drive time from Entebbe or Kampala to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga National Park in Uganda is about 8 to 9 hours excluding stopovers. The distance you may cover from Kampala or Entebbe to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is about 530 kilometers taking several routes. From Kampala or Entebbe to Mgahinga National Park, the distance you cover is about 540 kilometers.
Distance to Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda from Kigali
From Kigali in Rwanda, you can cross into Uganda via either Gatuna or Cyanika border to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga National Park. This route covers a shorter time that is about 5 hours to 6 hours and is picking momentum. You may purchase the East African visa in case its one of the travel requirements to enter either countries.
From Kigali city the drive time to Volcanoes National Park is about 3 hours through winding roads.
In Uganda, there are daily domestic flights you can book to the gorilla safari destinations. From Entebbe airport or Kajjansi airstrip to Kihihi airstrip then get on a transfer vehicle to Bwindi Impenetrable national park. The entire journey may take about 4 hours including flight and transfer time. The southern route take you from Kajjansi airstrip or Entebbe airstrip to Kisoro where you may access the southern sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park.
For exclusive gorilla trekking experience, you can charter from Entebbe airport or Kajjansi airstrip to Kihihi or Kisori airstrip. You need to hire a transfer vehicle too.
Ages of People Travelling with for Gorilla trekking
15 years and above is the age limit for gorilla trekking in Uganda. this age was considered because of the nature of gorilla safari where you have to hike the highlands in the wilderness. There is also thick vegetation that you may have to creep below which may be challenging for a child below 15 years.
Time of meeting the mountain gorillas is hard to determine which may make it hard for a child below 15 years to contain patience during the search to find the mountain gorillas.
At a glance mountain gorillas display an intimidating look with dark furred body and deep brown eyes. In case this stimulates your adrenaline, you must be in position to contain your nerves which may seem hard for a child below 15 years.
What is the criteria used to allocate gorilla trekking Permit in Uganda and Rwanda
There is no specific criteria used to allocate gorilla trekking families and permits in Uganda and Rwanda. When you report to the briefing point before the gorilla trekking adventure in Uganda and Rwanda, some of the points considered when you gather is the physical fitness of tourists, age range, physical capacity and so much more.
May visitors also ask for the easiest gorilla family to trek in Uganda and Rwanda but this is hard to determine as the closest gorilla family the previous day may be the furthest the next day. Finding the mountain gorillas in the wilderness depends on factors like the location of there feeding point, in case of a vigorous fight with another gorilla family, weather conditions prevailing on gorilla trekking day and so much more.
No matter which gorilla family or area you are allocated, the feeling you get when standing before these primates is unmatched as it creates everlasting memories.
Gorilla trekking is quite tiresome because of the nature of the terrain of the Virunga area. The nature of the topography of the area where gorilla trekking happens is ragged with highlands resulting from volcanic actions in this area. Sometimes the mountain gorillas spend time on the slopes or deep in the valley so you need to follow them where they may be spending the day.
The nature of the vegetation where mountain gorillas live is tangled from the so many years of existence. There are overgrown natural tree species with huge trunks held by large buttress roots. The ground is soggy from the regular rains that fall and decomposing matter yet less sun light is allowed to penetrate through to the ground.
Having some level of fitness and carrying the right gorilla safari gears saves you from getting tired before completing the trek.
The ranger guide with a machete trims protruding vegetation that may be obstructing you as you search for the mountain gorillas.
Are Mountain gorillas dangerous?
Mountain gorillas are calm and serene primates despite there intimidating outlook. When angry, mountain gorillas do charge at the offender but have never been reported to cause a fight with visitors.
Some of the signs to show mountain gorilla aggression is thumping hard there chests, hooting, pulling grass around them, going into hiding. When you notice these signs it doesn’t always show you have caused this but wait for the ranger guide to observe.
Sometimes it is fight with another gorilla family trying to conquer there territory even family feud for power. To enjoy harmony when with the mountain gorillas, follow the rules of gorilla trekking like no staring into the eyes of the mountain gorillas.
Mountain gorillas are vegetarian so do not expect them to tire you a part because there entire life is supported by feeding in foliage. Bamboo is there favorite but also feed on leaves, stems, fruits, tubers and others.
What are the rules of Gorilla Trekking
Feeding the mountain gorillas is forbidden as they are wild animals that must search for there own food.
In case you have a communicable infection like flue, covid-19, cough, volunteer to stay behind so as not to pass germs to the highly susceptible mountain gorillas.
Keep a distance of about 8 meters from the mountain gorillas when you find them in order not to give chance to exchanging germs.
Do not spit on vegetation because this is food for the mountain gorillas. this is unhygienic too.
Littering the forest is forbidden because it alters the nature of the forest where food for primates that live in this forest thrives.
Upon finding the mountain gorillas, talk at a low tone in order not to agitate them.
Only one hour is allowed with the mountain gorillas when you find them as this is the time allowed to be in there presence.
Staring into the eyes of the mountain gorillas is not allowed because they are shy and may run into hiding when you stare at them.
Keep 200 meters from the mountain gorillas in case you want to smoke or eat
When raking photos do not use flash photography and mountain gorillas are scared of unfamiliar occurrences in there presence.