After paying that hefty price for a gorilla trekking permits in Africa, you want to be assured that you will definitely see the mountain gorillas. The guarantee that you are going to see the mountain gorillas is 99 % in Uganda and Rwanda. Because of the political insurgency in D.R.Congo, you may not be sure to locate the mountain gorillas although the strong hearted dare this safari experience.
Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National park and Mgahinga National park host over 400 mountain gorillas out of the about 1000 mountain gorillas living in the world. Currently about 19 gorilla trekking families are open for tourists visits. Although taking a game safari in Africa has a probability viewing chance attached to it because of the free movement of the animals, this is not the case with gorilla trekking.
During gorilla habituation, the mountain gorillas are only helped to get used to the presence of humans without altering there nature. This hard work may take between 3 years to 5 years depending on how wild the gorilla family is. The former researcher like Dian Fossey discovered that one of the ways to preserve the endangered mountain gorillas is by bridging the then animosity that existed between humans and the gorillas. This had cause a lot of tension and death of a good number of mountain gorillas.
Through gorilla trekking, the mountain gorillas and humans are learning to coexist without rubbing shoulder.
Rwanda gorilla trekking is in Volcanoes National Park with about 13 gorilla families open for tourists viewing. The topography of Rwanda is generally mountainous so expect a steeper hike especially during the severe rainy seasons when the mountain gorillas feed from the slopes.
Three months to the gorilla trekking date is the perfect last minute time for booking a gorilla trekking permit. This is because gorilla permits are few and they get sold-out fast. Others book there gorilla permit even a year in advance to avoid panicking. In case gorilla trekking is on your bucket list, advance planning is comfortable and makes the entire adventure experience memorable.
Others opt for the low seasons when few people are going on safari and completion for resources is low. March to May and November are the low seasons for gorilla trekking. You may also have the chance to have the gorilla family to yourself.
Which Is the Best Country For Gorilla trekking Safari Uganda Or Rwanda
Gorilla trekking is a fun wildlife experience no matter where you go but factors like the cost of s gorilla permit, number of available gorilla families, access to the gorilla parks and others bring out the difference.
Getting to Volcanoes National park in Rwanda from Kigali Airport takes about 3 hours going through meandering roads. The road trip from Entebbe Airport to Bwindi Impenetrable National park is about 8 hours to 9 hours on a bumpy road.
The cost of a gorilla permit in Uganda is $700 per person per trek while Rwanda gorilla permits cost $1500 per person per trek. It doubles the cost price for Uganda gorilla permits.
in Uganda of gorilla habituation is $1500 per person and when you locate the semi habituated mountain gorillas you have 4 hours of watching and noting about there day today life. This is the same cost for one hour’s gorilla trekking experience in Rwanda.
Bwindi Impenetrable National park in Uganda has about 18 gorilla trekking families open for tourists viewing while Volcanoes National park in Rwanda has 13 gorilla trekking families.
In a nutshell, getting the difference of what is best country for gorilla trekking is quite difficult because of the differences in both countries.
Checking availability as per the date of your preference is the first step to booking a gorilla permit in Uganda or Rwanda. For Uganda, theUganda wildlife Authority is responsible for selling all the gorilla permits. In Rwanda, Rwanda development Board is the gorilla permit selling body.
Although tour operator have access to the prevailing status of gorilla permits, securing any of the permits is after payments and mandated to the Uganda wildlife Authority only. No one is allowed to reserve the permit without payment as this is the only way to show commitment to taking this Africa safari.
Tourists from allover the world book the gorilla permits any time so do not be surprised to be told that all the gorilla permits have been sold off for the dates of your preference. Availability changes as soon as others book. Only 8 gorilla trekking permits are allowed to be booked by tourists per family per day.
What To Pack For Gorilla Trekking In Uganda
Safari Long shirt and trousers
Wearing wilderness friendly colors like khaki is comfortable especially if you have no time to wash. You need to protect your entire body from stinging nettles and rough surfaces that you pass by. Covering up your body with clothes gives you safety
Pajama to wear in the night
Safari Tracking boots
Going through the soggy trails to locate the mountain gorillas needs comfortable shoes. Trekking the gorillas in the jungle takes you to messy surfaces so you have to be prepared for anything. Time of locating the mountain gorillas is unknown but you need to keep going.
Travel adapter and charger in case your electronic equipment needs recharge.
Medicated Insect repellants
Your skin needs protection from stinging insects that buzz in the forest all day along.
Toiletries in case your lodge doesn’t provide
A poncho or raincoat
Protecting your body from getting cold and wet by wearing a raincoat is a wise decision. It rains in this area anytime without warning so be prepared.
First Aid kit to use in case you have an injury while on safari.
A fleece or sweater
It is extremely cold in the mornings and afternoons so you need to wear some warmers. Temperature drop up to 7 degrees centigrade
At times you may slide off and fall but when wearing the gloves, you are sure not to hurt yourself. Creepers in the forest may give you extra support especially when getting up the slopes.
A pair of stocking
For extra security of your body, you need to tack in your trousers and keep away creeping insects.
Sound proof flash-less Camera
The mountain gorillas are afraid of lightening and unfamiliar occurrences in there vicinity.You need to use a flash less camera that will not through the entire family into a rampage.
Shoe bag to keep your shoes from messing the rest of your belongings in your baggage
A light water proof bag
The forest has humid conditions that may not go well with some of your equipment like cameras, you need to protect them safely. Even when you tripe and fall, you do not scatter your items in the forest.
Taking breakfast early is not enough to keep you energized throughout the trek. Having some extra treats is safe for you to keep up with the pace of others and not delay them because you are hungry.
Whether trekking gorillas in Uganda or Rwanda, the feeling of standing before the gorillas is unmatched. Based on what your aim for taking this Africa safari the results you wish to get after gorilla trekking, you all have different heartfelt conversation about what you see in the forest when you locate the mountain gorillas. Every member of the gorilla families is amazing. Some families have entertaining juveniles, others have many infants, caring silverback to mention but a few.
Everybody tells a different story about the feeling they get after meeting the mountain gorillas. That special experience of just being a few meters with the wild mountain gorillas is exceptional.
Several tourists have who do have the chance to watch mountain gorillas in films like King Kong, Babies day out, Gorillas in the mist and think it is just fiction. Just standing a few meters from these monsters brings these films to life.
What is the best Area for gorilla trekking Bwindi Impenetrable National park Uganda
When reserving a gorilla trekking permit from Uganda Wildlife Authority reserves, it is booked according to area. This has an effect on the accommodation you book for your gorilla safari.
If you must stay at a selected lodge, consider requesting for gorilla permits in or close to that area. The distance from to drive from one area to another is long and many obstacles may bar you from arriving for briefing.
Bwindi Impenetrble National park is divided into the Northern sector having two areas that is Buhoma gorilla trekking area and Ruhija gorilla trekking area. For the southern sector two area for gorilla trekking are available that is Rushaga gorilla trekking area and Nkuringo Gorilla trekking area.
Mgahinga National park is placed in the fur south wester area of Uganda. It has only one gorilla trekking family open to tourists.
Is Gorilla Trekking Safe
In Uganda and Rwanda, gorilla trekking is safe because of the combined effort of military collaboration of this area. Both countries exchange information concerning prevailing conditions in the forest. Even ranger guides who mornitor the forest are equipped with tactics on how to overcome any unlawful happenings in and around the parks
How Aggressive Are The mountain gorillas
They may look tough and intimidating but they are In general gorillas are very shy apes. Structure wise, they have a huge body covered in dark fur. You not need provoke there peace.
When angry, they normally respond by thumping there chests, pull close by vegetation, walk on one leg and retreat in to the forest.
Dos and Don’ts Of Gorilla trekking in Africa
Never go gorilla trekking if you catch a communicable infection like flu, covid-19. This may cause massive death of the already endangered mountain gorillas.
Try not to surround the mountain gorillas when you locate them. They feel ambushed and may retreat into hiding if inconvenienced by your presence.
When you locate the mountain gorillas, give a distance of about 8 meter from them to reduce on the chances of spreading any infection from you or the mountain gorillas. In case they walk over, try to stealthily retreat.
Never use flash photography during gorilla trekking because these primates are afraid of anything new in there presence.
When in front of the mountain gorilla never eat anything, as they will be enticed to grab it from you. They are wild animals that must look for there own food.
In case you need to cough or sneeze do it away from the gorillas because the germs may be transmitted to the gorillas.
Never smoke before the mountain gorillas as the effect of the smoke to the mountain gorillas may not go well.
Bury all feaces beyond recognition in case you have to ease yourself in the forest. Ask the ranger guide to dig a hole at least 30 meters deep and cover up
Avoid spitting on vegetation because this is the main source of food for the mountain gorillas. Even the forest gets nasty when you look over at sputum on the leaves.
Littering the forest is forbidden because it alters the nature setting of the forest.
The age limit for gorilla trekking is 15 years. This is because of the nature of the terrain that is generally volcanic and a child below this age may not withstand this. Sometimes gorillas are intimidating especially the first glance which may stimulate some adrenaline.
When in the presence of the mountain gorillas, try not to shout but keep low voices because the gorillas are frightened by unfamiliar voices. Besides there environment is usually quiet which is there way of life.
After locating the mountain gorillas, only one hours is allowed to watch them interact, feeding, groom the infants, and so much more. Afterwards retreat to your lodge to allow them have enough time to feed. Mountain gorillas eat about 200 pound of vegetation.
Ask Arch safaris and tours for help on how to book a gorilla trekking safari in uganda and Rwanda