Gorilla tracking is an activity that is conducted all year round to the endangered mountain gorilla in the forested areas of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park, Mgahinga national park all in Uganda, Volcanoes national park in Rwanda and Virunga ranges in Congo. Gorilla hiking therefore involves a spontaneous process of searching for these endangered primates in the forest for a close encounter and get to learn their behaviors and how they survive. The total population is estimated to comprise 1,004 individuals in two populations as of 2018. One population lives in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, and the other in the Virunga Mountains in three adjacent national parks, namely Uganda’s Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, and Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Gorilla hiking takes you through tracking in the dense mountainous vegetation in Bwindi impenetrable forest but first of all their requirements that all visitors who would love to have this experience have to follow which include gorilla trekking permits. Gorilla permits are the first requirements which gives you access to gorilla tracking experience and these can be acquired online or through a trusted local tour operator and they are issued out by only wildlife conservation bodies in respective countries where the activity is done which include Uganda wildlife Authority in Uganda, Rwanda Development Board in Rwanda and ICCN in Congo. Therefore once you secure your travel dates and availability you are then assured of hour gorilla hiking experience.
Gorilla hiking experience involves one hour encounter with the gorillas in their natural habitat. There several gorilla families that have been habituated for human encounter and daily visits. Apparently there 19 habituated gorilla families in Bwindi impenetrable forest and one habituated gorilla family in Mgahinga and 10 habituated families in Rwanda. This therefore assures you that your chances to have an encounter with these great Apes is 99%. You will therefore be able to be accompanied by an armed ranger, guide who will give you directives while in the jungle. You will be able to observe the primates playing, eating, their sleeping nets, and protection from the family head silverback. This is the most memorable moment to every visitor having an eye to eye glance with the primates wondering what both parties (visitors and gorillas) are thinking about each other internally with gestures of the primates without any jazz. You’re as well allowed to take as may pictures.
Gorilla trekking in Uganda can be conducted throughout the year but since gorillas live in high altitude places the areas are subjected to different seasons characterized with dry and wet season. This however does not stop you from undertaking the exploration as everyone may have personal preferences, time for the holiday and cost efficiency regarding the peak of the season.
The rainy season start from April, May, Beginning of August and September though the amount of rains vary. With the effects of global warming making it difficult to determine the probable months however this season comes with its advantages and dis advantages whereby its termed as low season and thus there is tendency of having permits at a discounted rate, accommodation being at subsidized cost and best time for photography. However there are other challenges associated with this season including, the challenge of rain itself, the slippery grounds, and the dripping forests to reach where mountain gorillas will be though this does not reduce on chances of having an encounter with the gorillas in the jungle on your gorilla hiking.
The dry season include months of; January and February, June, July, August, September and December Even when you think it is the dry season, you can have the night or morning rains – that is why we tell our clients to bring a rain jacket or waterproof boots.
NOTE: Ensure that your physically fit and prepared enough before the trek as gorilla hiking would involve movements that will take 30 minutes to quarter a day in search for the movements of gorillas in the forest and more so the mountainous landscape that may be slippery and require you to be extra strong to have a remarkable experience on your safari.