Gorilla trekking in Africa is a life time dream come true. Most travelers have this dream on there Bucket list but the scarcity of gorilla trekking permits in Uganda and Rwanda is keeping this dream from becoming a reality.
Each day Uganda Wildlife Authority releases 154 gorilla permits for booking out of about 18 gorilla trekking families. In Rwanda Development Board releases about 104 gorilla permit are released for booking out of about 13 gorilla trekking families. Some tourists wish to do double gorilla trekking while others privately close off a particular gorilla family for the day. This also contributes to the scarcity of gorilla trekking permits.
To play it safe, booking your gorilla trekking permit in advance at least 3 month prior saves you moments of panic search for last minute gorilla permits. Panic to secure a gorilla permit also disorganized other safari arrangements like accommodation especially in Uganda where permits are issued according to area.
Securing a gorilla trekking permit is like winning a lottery because of the high demand and first come first served basis from which they are sold.
The history surrounding Bwindi Forest and volcanoes National Park which is thought to have survived and saved thousands of wildlife from the arid conditions of the ice age era is a wonder on its own. This is a push factor for most tourists to be part of this unmatched history through gorilla trekking. This biosphere serve has survived for over 25000 years.
For bio-scientists, the amount of wildlife including primates, birds, plants, insects, land forms and so much more that the forest harbors is worth searching about. Many researchers have camped close to the forest for many years to unearth the hidden surprises of this enormous forest cover.
The gorilla trekking permit is key in confirming a gorilla trekking safari in Africa. You must have specific or tentative dates when you prefer to do gorilla trekking. The number of people travelling with during gorilla trekking contributes a lot to gorilla trekking safari.
What is your safari plan is it Luxury gorilla trekking, Mid-Range or Budget gorilla trekking. This depends on how much you are will to spend on your gorilla trekking Africa safari
In case you wish to do more with this Africa gorilla trekking experience then the number of days on your holiday have to increase. Most fascinating wildlife reserves in Uganda and Rwanda are some hours apart especially if you are using road transport.
Some of the other activities you can combine with gorilla trekking include game drives. Launch trips, chimpanzee trekking, sun set cruising, birding, nature walks, hiking, wildlife photo shoots, community visits and so much more.
How Much Is a Gorilla Trekking Permit
Gorilla trekking permits as of today cost $700 per person per trek in Uganda and the price cost for gorilla trekking permits in Rwanda as of today is $1500 per person per trek. When you book in advance at least 6 months in advance, you may be allowed to pay at least 30 % but you must complete the entire payment by 90 days before your trekking date.
Gorilla trekking permit selling is one of the contributions towards mountain gorilla conservation. Mountain gorillas are some of the survivors of the ice age periods but by 1970s, they were at the verge of extinction numbering to about 250 gorillas in the entire world.
These gentle giant gorillas were poached for trophies and other taken as pets. This cruel treatment lead to so many death of the mountain gorillas.
Paying for a gorilla trekking permit is supporting the up keeping fund for conservation. Part of this money pays the selfless rangers who give in their lives to save the gorillas. The medical team that carters for the gorillas, more research about the gorillas, 20 % profit accrued all year round is injected into community projects to help them understand the reason for conserving.
Are Gorillas Aggressive
Mountain gorillas are some of the most serene creatures in the world. Despite there sheer size, they live a shy life and staring into there dark brown eyes may put them off.
When they get angry, they thump there chest, pull close by vegetation, walk on one leg and dash into the deeper ends of the forest.
You do not need to provoke the mountain gorillas even if they are serene. Just enjoy there presence and way of life similar to that of human that they display. The mothers care for infants, juveniles show off there muscles, silverback keep watching over the family from a distance.
Many people save there hard earned money to enjoy gorilla trekking so give everyone a chance to enjoy.
Is Gorilla Trekking Safe
Gorilla trekking is safe because of the presence of top securities organs of Uganda and Rwanda. Never enter the forest without an armed ranger guide because the forest has other wild animals like forest elephants, buffaloes, vipers and so much more. These are not habituated to the presence of the humans so treat they will not treat you right.
Personal safety is required during gorilla trekking. Wear trekking boots that are comfortable for hiking. There lots of itchy surfaces, deep holes, pricking sticks and so much more in the wilderness.
Staying closer to the rest of the gorilla trekking group saves you from getting lost in the vast forest.
Never provoke the mountain gorillas because they can threaten the rest of the group and cause a rampage in the forest.
Follow the rules of gorilla trekking and all will go as good and you want your safari to be.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park gorilla trekking permits are the only ones booked according to area because of the vast area. You need to know where your permit is booked if you wish to trek gorillas in Uganda. The gorilla trekking areas include Buhoma gorilla trekking area, Ruhija gorilla area, Rushaga gorilla are and Nkuringo gorilla area.
Never book accommodation for gorilla trekking in Uganda before knowing where your permit is reserved.
This is because of the long distance you need to drive early morning to catch up with briefing in another area. The roads are quite impassable especially when it rains and chances of finding fallen tree trunks across the road is high.
Rwanda gorilla trekking permits are booked according to gorilla family.
How To Plan Gorilla Trekking With Game Safari In Africa
Although gorilla trekking is the only activity in Virunga area, you can do game drives too in Uganda and Rwanda. Bwindi Impenetrable National park and Volcanoes National park may harbor other animals other than the gorillas but they are rarely seen. No game drive can happen in the forest because of huge tree trunks, buttress roots, thick foliage which is food for the mountain gorillas.
Put together a gorilla trekking itinerary to enjoy the best safari experience without back tracking.
Queen Elizabeth National park in Uganda is about 5 hours from Bwindi Impenetrable National park. During the game drive, you may get to see lions, herds of elephants, buffaloes, topis, water bucks, bush bucks, porcupines, mongoose, hippos, thousands of hippos and so much more
Murchison Falls National park which is bisected by River Nile is about 9 to 10 hours away from Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. During the game drive in Murchison Falls National park, you may get to see giraffes, lions, elephants, buffaloes, water bucks, bush bucks, oribis, Uganda Kobs, hartebeests and so much more.
Lake Mburo National park is in the center of all tourism activities in western Uganda. You may even pass through the park from on your way to the airport. Some of the wild animals you mat get to see include zebras, elands, impalas, buffaloes, water bucks, giraffes, warthogs, bush bucks and so much more.
Akagera National park in Rwanda can be accessed after gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National park. During the game drive you may get to see zebras, water bucks, bush bucks, elephants, buffaloes, Uganda Kobs and so much more.
In Uganda after gorilla trekking, you can go for chimpanzee trekking in Kibale National park. The drive from Bwindi Impenetrable national Park to Kibale Forest is about 6 hours apart.
For Rwanda, chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe National park can be arranged upon request. You cannot do both on the sane day because of the long distance a part.
You need a chimpanzee trekking permit for the morning or afternoon shift to be part of chimpanzee trekking expedition.
To save the chimpanzees, you need to ensure you have no communicable infection because they are highly susceptible to human infections.
You have to rise up for briefing and together with other trekkers follow your ranger guide to locate the chimpanzees. They are more mobile than the gorillas so get prepared to follow them whenever they move. Watch the community interact and take as many photos as you wish.
A number of itineraries can be tailored to soot your quest to see the gorillas and chimpanzees in the wilderness. Some of these include
What To Pack For Gorilla Trekking Safari In Africa
Travel Adapter in case you wish to charge your phone, laptop or any other electric gadgets you need this.
Safari clothes especially long sleeved shirt and trousers to wear while in the wilderness
Pajamas to wear in the night because it get so cold
Insect repellant to wear when search for the gentle giants in the forest
A foldable safari hat to protect your hair from dripping water from the trees
Garden gloves to protect your palms from itchy surfaces that you may touch when you triple
Safari boot comfortable for hiking slippery slopes that you may have to hike to locate the mountain gorillas
A foldable water bottle to carry water in and quench thirst during gorilla trekking.
Toiletries like tooth paste, soap in case your lodge doesn’t provide
Sun glasses to protect your eyes from flying insects in the wilderness
A camera with a good lens and enough photo storage space to protect your memories of gorilla trekking experience in Africa.
A light water proof bag to carry with your property while in the wilderness.
Sweater or poncho to keep you warm for the day.