Frequently asked questions – Mountain gorilla tracking has become one of the most admired adventure among travelers in East Africa. The endangered primates have been recorded to be reducing in number world wild but apparently they can only be found in Africa and specifically in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo however some low land gorilla species can be found in Congo than the other two east African countries. we therefore provide you with answers to frequently asked questions by most visitors who intend to have an encounter with mountain gorillas in Uganda/Rwanda.
There a lot of frequently asked questions that have been developed basing on clients preferences and love to understand before they embark on the adventure to the jungle for the life changing experience and here are some of the questions and answers to your concern.
The following are some of the answers to frequently asked questions before
Mountain gorillas can be seen all year round in both Uganda and Rwanda. These endangered great Apes occupy the thick montane vegetation of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest national Park/Mgahinga gorilla National Park and Volcanoes National Park which are fertile with all conditions that promote presence and occurrence of their wildlife.
Trekking mountain gorillas in Uganda is done in two gazeted national parks that is Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga national park all located in south western part of the country. The landlocked country is a home for over 480 primates which are half of the world’s remaining mountain gorillas with 11habituated gorilla families and one family found in Mgahinga national park.
Yes. Gorillas exist as well in Rwanda where there are 10 habituated gorilla families which include, Susa group, Sabyinyo group, Amahoro family, Group 13, Kwitonda, Umubano and Hirwa kirisimbi, Titus, Agasha and Bwenge group all in the country all for visitors to undertake the exploration. These gorilla families can be trekked in Volcanoes National Park all year round and 8 visitors are allowed to visit a particular group per day.
Yes gorilla tracking is safe where by the respective governments have put much emphasis to protecting and conserving the wildlife with in protected reserves especially Uganda and Rwanda. The gorilla trekking rules and regulations are all meant to keep safety and harmony, so following them is the best answer to the gorilla safety question. Gorillas are organized into habituated gorilla groups. Tourism police has been set up to patrol the area from criminals and rebels. More so the visitors are escorted with armed park ranger guides to offer protection to those undertaking the exploration from un habituated primates in the jungle, even community members have been sensitized on how to handle travelers and how to relate with them thus making the adventure safe from all insecurity measures.
Gorilla tracking in Rwanda became luxurious when the permits increased from US$750 to US$1500 per person per trek, this excludes other services like accommodation and other optional activities which are as well much costly not best for budget gorilla trekking. The country host a lot of tourists than the rest of the East African countries in the sector who go for mountain gorilla tracking.
In Uganda mountain gorilla permits in Uganda apparently cost US$600 but effectively from 1ST JULY 2020 the permits will increase to US$700 and habituation experience costing US$1500, this is therefore twice tracking permits in Rwanda
Note: It’s highly recommended to book at least 2 months before your gorilla-tracking safari. There are even provisions for you to do a two-year advance booking. Remember the cost of gorilla permits does not include your accommodation or transport costs and food. Your tour agent company will help you with this.
A valid passport is mandatory, and visa requirements should be checked before you travel. Long pants and long-sleeved shirt made of light-weight mate, Make sure you have good hiking shoes and don’t worry about the weight of your backpack, it is also wise to wear a hat to prevent ticks from getting in your hair. Bring a rain jacket and rain pants in your day park, ideally gardening gloves for body protections. Plus a camera with zoom lens for wildlife (70 – 300 or similar) with strong batteries among others.
Habituated mountain gorillas are human friendly unless you go against the set rules and regulations prescribed to you at the briefing point by the ranger guides, which are as follows
This is one of the most frequently asked questions about encountering gorillas. Mountain gorillas in both Uganda and Rwanda can be trekked and the chances of having an encounter with them are 95% therefore if you’re planning to make an adventure to these great Apes be rest assured of meeting them in their natural habitats of Bwindi, Mgahinga, Virunga and Volcanoes national park.
Yes mountain gorillas can be tracked by people who are physically impaired or amputated because there have been provisions made to offer extra support to those in needy for example use of Sedan chairs have been introduced to carry you along the trail to and back for trekking in the jungle, stretchers made out of bamboo are the other support features for un fit clients thus these extra support equipment’s can be borrowed from the park headquarters at a minimum cost depending on the distance, terrain and weight of the client.
Tracking mountain gorillas can be done all year round however there seasons within the year which include the dry (high season) and the wet (low season). These vary in countries
The best time to track mountain gorillas in Uganda is the dry/ high season in the months of January, February, June to august, September and December thus these are competitive months which host most travelers requiring you to book early enough for your availability.
The wet months/ low season are March, April, May, October and November due to rains which tend to create bad trails and poor conditions around trekking and accommodation points. One of the benefits when trekking during the rainy season is that accommodation at lodges and hotels are at discounted rates.
Like any other country trekking falls in seasons and the best seasons for tracking fall in the months of June to October which receive little or no rains making it easy to track gorillas in their natural habitat and less strenuous.
The best time to visit Rwanda for gorilla tracking lies in the months of June to September and December to early February.
Note: gorillas can be sighted all year round with high chances of interacting with them face to face either in dry and wet season, more so the weather and climate where the primates preside is susceptible One of the benefits when trekking during the rainy season is that accommodation at lodges and hotels are at discounted rates. to rains at any time regardless of the season.
this is yet another frequently asked question and therefore Trekkers must be 15 years old at the time of their trek. While there is no upper age limit on gorilla trekking. Trekkers over 60 years old at the time of their trek may have to request a letter from their physician, given how physically demanding a trek can be
Yes, credit cards can be used along your trip to help you get access to certain extra things that your local operator/guide will have not included in your budget and require personal treat. Credit cards are widely used in mostly in up market hotels, banks and malls to purchase some items along the way.
This is amongthe frequently asked questions and the answer is No, mountain gorillas occupy thick Afro-montane vegetation in national parks where they can be able to feed on their own diet which is preferably vegetables. An adult male gorilla feeds to about 34kilograms of vegetation a day, females can eat as much as 18 kilograms a day coupled with fruits and invertebrates which can hardly be provided in the zoo thus living in their natural habitat with their own will to feed on a variety of leaves and vegetation makes it better to be found in the jungle.
Once you meet the gorillas in the jungle you are allowed to have one hour experience with them in their natural habitat but this requires you to be more observative and maintain your guidelines as briefed before the trek, this is among the frequently asked questions and thus you are advised to maintain a distance of 7 meters which is approximately 21feet away from the primates since they are wild creatures however at times dome may come close to you but the guide will always be there to guide you on how to respond in the best way possible not to hostile to them and have the best memorable experience along the trek.
Today the world shelters approximately 1004 mountain gorilla in the jungles of Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. However, Uganda within her two mountain gorilla destinations of Bwindi and Mgahinga has more than half a total population of mountain gorillas and the majority of these are found in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park
Uganda has been ranked the number one destination for tourists for the year 2012 by Lonely Planet which is the largest travel guide and media publisher in the world, The Rwenzori Mountain which is also known as “Mountains of the Moon” a UNESCO World Heritage Site, snow-peaked mountains, glassy lakes and sprawling savannas, it’s no wonder Winston Churchill dubbed this wonderful country the ‘pearl of Africa’ chimpanzee trekking and habituation, white water rafting, bird watching, tree climbing lions and among others which can be tailor made with gorilla tracking.
Rwanda which is best known for luxury gorilla tracking in volcanoes national park, it has got Akagera National park for game viewing and Nyungwe forest national park for Chimpanzee trekking and canopy walk. Other activities do on your Rwanda safaris include boat cruises on Lake Kivu, cultural tours and bird watching. You can also to hike to Karisoke summit where Diane Fossey conducted her pioneering research, or else go tracking golden monkeys
Just inform us about you additional wishes in the content space or our gorilla trekking packages or if you have any further questions that we didn’t answer among the above frequently asked questions.