Gorilla trekking gives you a glimpse into the life possible past life of man that we only read about in the stories. Many travelers say you shiver more than you sweat at a glance of the mountain gorillas and immerse into there adorable spell.
In the entire world, gorilla trekking safari is only done in Virunga area made up of Uganda, Rwanda and D.R.Congo. Travelers from all walks of life desire to have a day with the mountain gorillas but the limited number of person allowed per day for conservation reason slums the doors into there faces. Only maximum 8 tourists are allowed to view the mountain gorillas per day. BOOK NOW
Mountain gorillas are believed to have been around with the dinosaurs but because of the tectonic forces that led to the partitioning of the world, the dinosaurs became some of the victims of these geographic changes. Doing gorilla trekking gives you a walk into the history. Some visitors say if you want to know the secrets of the forest, mountain gorillas know it all.
Even the gigantic body structure of the mountain gorillas coupled with there outlook of dark furred body and sunken brown eyes may stimulate some adrenaline at a glance but you realize how serene they are. This is some of what makes mountain gorillas special.
Mountain gorilla co-exits with other primates like chimpanzees, endangered golden monkeys, black and white colobus, blue monkeys, vervet monkeys and others. Some of these primate species are on the list of endangered species and only exist in limited parts of the world.
For keen birders the Virunga area can never disappoint, as a number of birds are resident here including those on the red list of IUCN. You can spot Albertine endemics in the Virunga area while on gorilla trekking adventure. Some of the birds you may spot include Handsome Francolin, Shelley’s Crimson Wing, African Green Broadbill, Rwenzori Turaco, Collared Apalis, Western Green Tinkerbird and Others. Frequently Asked gorilla trekking questions
Gorilla Trekking Is A Sure Deal Safari In Africa
When you book a gorilla safari, you are 99% sure of meeting the mountain gorillas in the jungle. There is no probability of finding the mountain gorillas like game safaris. Mountain gorillas occupy a particular area for some time feed and nesting in this area. Everyday trackers follow them earlier than tourists and update headquarters about the mountain gorillas’ way about for the day.
Only Few Mountain Gorillas Are Existing In The World
At the moment according to the last mountain gorilla population census, only about 1000 are believed to be living in the world only meandering the forest in Uganda, Rwanda and D.R.Congo. When you go gorilla trekking, you are among the few lucky tourists for the day to have that quality one hour in there company. You get to share into the life of the endangered mountain gorillas.
Restricted Number Of Tourists
Despite the high demand for a chance to do gorilla trekking, only 8 tourists are allowed to visit each gorilla family per day. This is for conservation reasons as massive tourism may cause scarcity of food for the vegetarian mountain gorillas. In case you are looking for uncrowded but fantastic African Safari destination, gorilla trekking is the right activity to select.
Test Your Fitness Level During Gorilla Trekking
During gorilla trekking, you have to walk to where the mountain gorillas are. The way is sloppy because of volcanic activities in this area that lead to the formation of ridges, plateaus, mountains and others land forms.
Sometimes the mountain gorillas spend there day at the slopes or deep in the valleys making the way to locate them challenging.
Age Limit For Gorilla Trekking Is 15 Years
Gorilla trekking is limited to 15 years as only persons of this age are believed to be capable of walking through the rough jungle conditions. Even hiking to where the mountain gorillas are requires you to have some level of fitness which people of this age are believed to have. The time of locating the mountain gorillas is unknown so some patience is needed
Gorilla Trekking Is A Noble Adventure That Supports Sustainable Mountain Gorilla Existence during gorilla safari
When you take the gorilla trekking safari, you do it as a dream come true safari experience in Africa but also support the work of conserving these endangered primates. The mountain gorillas are some of the world’s endangered primates picked from the verge of extinction by 1980s as about 250 were counted to be living then.
Because of gorilla conservation support through the sale of gorilla permits and getting humans into understanding the need to protect them and there habitat, there current population is bout 1000.
Where To Do Gorilla Trekking Safari In Africa
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is one of nature’s best assets hosting a number of fauna and flora a list it has accumulated in a period of over 25000 years. Bwindi forest is the most dramatic and scenic Uganda National Park starting from its dense beautiful forest canopy.
At the moment, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is hosting about 18 gorilla families open to public booking and 2 gorilla families visited gorilla habituation experience.
10 primate species are residents here including chimpanzees, blue monkeys, grey cheeked mangabey, red tailed monkeys, olive baboons and several others.
Keen birders on gorilla safari have a double opportunity of identifying a number of birds from the 350 bird species recorded to be residents of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. The Ruhija area of this park is the birder’s haven especially Mubwindi Swamp.
Mgahinga National Park
Mgahinga National Park lies in the South Western corner Uganda. This park is the smallest of all Uganda National Parks but home to mountain gorillas too. So far, only one gorilla family called Nyakagezi is open to public booking.
Despite its small area, Mgahinga National Park offers unpallared views of extinct volcanoes that is Mountain Gahinga, Mountain Muhavura and Mountain Sabyinyo. You can take a day’s hike to the top of one of these volcanoes where you can simultaneously see the border of Uganda, Rwanda and D.R.Congo.
Mgahinga National Park is home to more primates like golden monkeys, blue monkeys, grey-cheeked mangabey, red tailed monkeys, olive baboons and several others.
VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK
Volcanoes National Park is the only home of mountain gorillas in Rwanda. Volcanoes forest is rich biologically with a huge list of fauna and flora. At the moment, volcanoes national park is home to 12 gorilla families that roam the slopes of five volcanoes that is Mountain Bisoke, Mountain Gahinga, Mountain Sabyinyo, Mountain Muhavura and Mountain Karisimbi.
This park also hosts golden monkeys, blue monkeys, grey cheeked mangabey, olive baboons and so may others.
Keen birders on Rwanda gorilla trekking safari may spot some of the over 200 bird species that are residents of Volcanoes National Park including, Shelley’s Crimsonwing, Handsome Francolin, Acher’s Robin Chat, Dusky and Shelley’s Crimsonwing and several others.
GORILLA TREKKING IN D.R.CONGO
Virunga National Park
Virunga National Park lies in the eastern part of D.R.Congo. This park has been affected by political unrest in this area so just 6 gorilla families are so far fully habituated and opened to public booking.
Some of the gorilla families of Virunga National Park include Munyaha Family, Humba Family, Mapuwa Family, Lutengo Family and Several Others.
This forest also hosts chimpanzees, blue monkeys, olive baboons, vervet monkeys, grey cheeked mangabey and several others.
The presence of Mountain Nyirangonga, which is the largest active volcano in the world with the largest crater in the world, is special to Virunga National Park. Mountain Nyirangonga last erupted in 2022 spreading magma over 20 kilometers.
How To Book Gorilla Trekking Permit?
Whether doing gorilla trekking in Uganda, Rwanda or D.R.Congo, you need a gorilla permit. In Uganda and Rwanda, you need to reserve your gorilla permit in advance unlike in D.R.Congo where you find permits on ground.
Procedure For Booking Gorilla Permits
Select a date for your gorilla trekking experience and the number of eligible people you are travelling with for gorilla safari.
Enquire about gorilla permit availability from a credible tour operator like Arch Safaris And Tours or call Uganda Wildlife Authority Or Rwanda Development Board.
Our tours consultant checks gorilla permit availability from the list of Rwanda Development Board or Uganda Wildlife Authority.
When availability is approved, we suggest to our clients to pre-purchase the gorilla permits as soon as possible especially the peak season permits that runs June, July, August, September, December and January.
Forward some passport details before we collect your gorilla permit like your full names as included on the passport, date of birth, nationality, passport expiry date.
What Is The Cost of Gorilla Trekking Permit?
In Rwanda, the Gorillas permit currently cost $1500 per person per trek for foreign nonresidents, $500 per foreign resident and $200 for East African residents.
Uganda gorilla permits cost $700 per person per trek for foreign nonresidents, $600 for foreign residents and 250000shs for East African residents.
What Is Inclusive Of The Gorilla Permit Cost?
The gorilla permit includes security during gorilla trekking, gorilla conservation, park entrance fees, ranger guide support, local community support, one hour with the mountain gorillas.
What Is Excluded In The Gorilla Permit Cost?
Porter hire, transport, accommodation, tips and any other items of personal nature. At Arch Safaris And Tours, we can lift odd your shoulder the burden of planning your gorilla safari in Uganda and Rwanda.
We can book gorilla permits on your behalf, reserve accommodations, do vehicle hire and any other amenities that support this African Safari. You suggest where to go, what to do in the holiday time you have in Africa, and our sales team tailors it to your needs. We offer free advice where possible.
When Is The Best Time To Book Gorilla Trekking Safari?
Gorilla trekking safari whether in Uganda, Rwanda and D.R.Congo, is an all year round adventure. Most tourists prefer the dry season, which is June, July, august, September, December and January when precipitation in this area is expected to be low. The forest is full of life as mountain gorilla and other forest dwellers meander it freely.
Whenever you get the feeling of doing gorilla trekking safari, you can start with checking availability of the gorilla permits for the date of your choice but do not be shocked when you find them sold off in a day or hours in case you do not reserve them.
Possibility of finding last minute gorilla permits is more possible in the low season because there are less people visiting.
The last possible secure time for booking gorilla trekking permits is at least 3 months in advance of trekking date. Preparing for gorilla trekking does not only influence the permit but accommodation, hiring the driver guide and others.
How Aggressive Are Mountain Gorillas?
Mountain gorillas are generally shy primates despite there scary looking bodies. The body of the mountain gorillas is covered with dark fur, walk by knuckle locomotion, and when you stare into there dark sunken brown eyes, you realize how fragile these giants are.
Even with these traits, the mountain gorillas should not be taken for granted as they have feelings too. Provoking the mountain gorillas is forbidden as this creates a gap between them and humans yet gorilla habituation is a costly process.
Gorilla habituation is the process of getting a wild gorilla family used to the presence of humans without altering there nature. The time taken to complete gorilla habituation is between two years or more depending on how fast the mountain gorillas cope.
When agitated, the mountain gorillas normally thump there chests, walk on one foot, grab the vegetation around them and may retreat into the forest. Whenever you go for an adventure with the aim of meeting the mountain gorillas, follow the rules of gorilla trekking or habituation experience.
Is Gorilla Trekking Difficult?
The way to the mountain gorillas may require you to hike in order to get where they may be spending the day or lounging however, you have to prepare for gorilla trekking adventure.
Do exercise your muscles a little more than usual because the Virunga area is generally jagged with volcanic highlands. Even the rains that regularly fall create slippery trails especially in the wet season when less sunrays are allowed through the dense canopy.
The creepers in the forest are tangled from the so many years of existence however a ranger guide uses a machete to trim them in case you have to pass through there to the mountain gorillas.
Wearing the right gorilla trekking gears like tracking boots, long sleeved shirt and convertible trousers, insect repellant and others makes your life in the forest comfortable.
Is Gorilla Trekking Safari Safe?
Gorilla trekking in Uganda and Rwanda is safe because the parks have trained ranger guide who protect the mountain gorillas, the forest and visiting tourists. There is still political unrest in D.R.Congo but some times daring tourists go gorilla trekking.
The ranger guides collaborate with other internal security agencies to keep law and order in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park in Uganda and Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda
You need to mind personal safety by not wondering into the forest without an escorting ranger guide. The Virunga forested area has other unhabituated dwellers that may be risky to you alone.
In case you wish to have a taste of local cuisines, don’t eat street food as this may cause you stomach upset which may cost you the gorilla trekking experience.