Gorilla tracking in Africa is one of the beautiful adventurous activities done on the continent. Africa has a lot to offer to tourists starting with its culture, tradition, wildlife, hospitality, weather among others. It’s from this continent where we find the three distinctive countries that harbor the endangered mountain gorillas that is; Uganda, Rwanda and Congo one of the most interesting activities that any traveler on a safari would love adventure.
Mountain gorillas are primates living the thick forest vegetation and on highland areas, vegetarians feeding on fruits, leaves and vegetation living together in groups with hierarchy leadership structure led by a male sliverback to defend the rest of the family members from external danger, followed by female adults, black backs, juveniles and infants.
Mountain gorillas are listed as critically endangered with approximately only 800 remaining in the world, There are 3 areas in Africa that offer the chance to go for gorilla trekking These include;
Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park which is one of the few in Africa to have flourished throughout the last Ice Age and it is home to roughly half of the world’s mountain gorillas. And Mgahinga National Park. Bwindi has several sectors with all gorilla habituated families ready for gorilla trekking and gorilla habituation experience, these include; Rushaga, Ruhijja, Buhoma, and Nkuringo sectors with all gorilla habituated families and Nyakagezi gorilla family in mgahinga open to all tourism activities.
The gorilla trekking in Rwanda is lot easier since the parks location is not far from the airport it’s easily accessible. Gorillas make their homes in and among the bamboo-covered slopes of the Virunga ranges in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, There are ten Gorilla families living in the Volcanoes National Park that are fully habituated and available for visits by the public, Each family consists of at least one Silverback (but sometimes as many and four), along with several females and a group of youngsters.
Gorilla tours with the habituated groups started in the 1970s. Within Kahuzi Biega National park, it’s a stronghold of the eastern lowland gorillas, the advantage of experiencing an adventure to Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is that you can bracket your gorilla trek with very different big game viewing or highly satisfying birding. Kayaking in the bias is a must-do activity here, topped off with a barbecue on the riverbank.
Gorilla trekking groups are accompanied by National Park guides, trekkers, porters and UPDF soldiers. Both the National Park guides and the soldiers are armed – this is not intended to cause alarm, rather a precautionary measure to reassure tourists that both the Uganda Wildlife Authority and the Uganda Government consider tourist safety and well being of paramount importance. The National Park guides carry hand-held radios and are in constant communication with both the Park headquarters and the other trekking groups. This process apply to other wildlife conservation areas in both Rwanda and Congo.
8 people are allowed to visit a gorilla family each day. In Uganda, there are 11 habituated gorilla families in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, and therefore can host up to 80 people tacking the gorillas on a single day. This therefore creates enough space for visitors to undertake the experience the entire year due to the specified space to accommodate them to explore the habituated gorillas.
Gorillas have to be habituated to adapt to human presence in their habitats, and only a few people can see them at a time. Uganda has a total of about 30 mountain gorilla groups only twenty of these have been habituated and can therefore be visited by tourists. Nineteen Habituated groups are found in Bwindi, and one in Mgahinga. Habituation is a long process that can take up to two years. These are primates which can neither be found in zoos and thus the best way to see them is finding them in their natural way. They are well like human and can acquire human diseases and thus when you’re sick you’re not recommended to undertake the experience.
The joy attached of setting eyes on these giant peaceful mountain gorillas is incredible therefore time factor is crucial as it is always easiest to trek in the dry season. In the wet season, the mud can make trails slippery and the trek tougher
There basic equipment’s that you ought to pack in order to have the best experience upon the trek in the jungle which include a pair of long sleeved pants/trousers which will protect you from thorns, branches, Gloves, camera without flash, light weight hiking boots these will enable navigate flexibly along the steep terrain as you track the rare species of Gorillas in their natural vegetation habitat, Rain Jacket which will protect you from the rain due to the fact that it rains anytime.
The fee for the gorilla permits in Uganda is currently at $600 per person trekking the gorillas and for the gorilla habituation is $1500 per person trekking however there have been a slight increase for gorilla permits to $700 with effect from 1ST JULY 2020.
The gorilla permits in Congo are at a fee of $400 per person, per permit to trek the gorillas in the Virunga National park.
The Rwanda permits cost $1500 per person trekking the gorillas and it’s issued by Rwanda Development board. The difference is Rwanda permits are slightly higher in price than Uganda.
Note that, gorilla trekking lasts for one hour from the time you meet the gorillas and gorilla habituation experience lasts for four hours with the gorillas. By this time, you are able to ask the guide all the questions concerning the gorillas as you get to study them and their behavior.
Safari vacations & travel services is therefore willing to help you plan well your safari towards having an encounter with these great apes across all tracking regions as we have well experienced travel guides and all the requirements suit for your trip, our team of travel consultants will as well be ready to help you on all your inquiries to ensure that you get the best and accurate information.
Book with us for the best and affordable offers upon your budget.