The distance walked during a gorilla trek can take up to more than 9 miles which is approximately 3 hours to find the gorillas, this means you will spend approximately 6 hours each way. A gorilla trek takes between 1 to 6 hours on average. This depends on the time the trackers last saw the gorillas and where. This time includes right from the start of the trekking point, then watching the gorillas and returning to the meeting point of the National Park. You will set off for the gorilla trek at 8 a.m. and be back by 3 p.m. However kindly note this is for the normal trek, gorilla trekking sometimes can take the whole day. It greatly depends on nature that day and the movement of the gorillas in the forest.
Gorilla trekking in the dense Bwindi Forest timings and conditions vary tremendously as the gorillas move continuously through the rain forest. This also determines how many miles the gorilla trek will be that day of your trek. It is good for you to prepare early and remember the weather changes with very little warning. The terrain is often steep and through areas where there are no marked paths. It can be strenuous, and it may be just a couple of hours but it can also be for a full day of up to 8 hours or more of hiking in hot, high-altitude conditions. Therefore please be prepared for this by being as fit as possible.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is one of the only 4 national parks home to the endangered mountain gorillas in the world, other national parks include Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda, Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is one of Africa’s oldest forests with a diverse biodiversity with various species which include 350 birds, 310 butterflies, 200 trees, 51 reptiles, 88 months, and 120 mammals, the park is also home to several primates including chimpanzees, L’Hoest’s monkey and the major one which is the magnificent Mountain Gorillas. The global population of mountain gorillas is 1064 individuals and half of these are in the Bwindi forest. The park has over 20 habituated gorilla family groups open for gorilla tracking with 8 gorilla permits allocated to each group per day.
It is very important to prepare physically before going on a hike. This means having the proper equipment as well as being in good shape. Here are some tips on how to prepare yourself for a hike:
Get the right equipment. Make sure you have the proper clothing and footwear for the conditions you will be hiking in. You will also need a backpack, water, and snacks.
Be in good physical shape. Hiking can be strenuous so it is important to be in a good physical condition before attempting a hike. Start by doing some basic exercises such as walking or jogging to get your body used to the activity.
Know your limits. Don’t attempt a hike that is beyond your abilities. If you are not sure, start with an easier hike and work your way up to something more challenging.
Understand and listen to your body. If you start to feel tired or sore, take a break. It is important to rest and drink plenty of fluids when hiking.
Prepare for emergencies. Make sure you know how to find help if you need it and always carry a first aid kit.
You must get a sense of the terrain you’ll be covering on your trek by reading through your trip notes. You can also prepare for the conditions you’re likely to encounter by doing some Practice walks that simulate the conditions as closely as possible. In addition, don’t forget that hills can be your friend! The more you practice walking uphill, the easier it will be when you encounter them on your actual trek. If the difficulty of the terrain worries you, it’s best to go trekking in the dry season, which runs from June to September and December to February. The ground can become very muddy during the wet season, making it more difficult to walk. However, photographers should note that rain clears away the dust in the air, resulting in sharper images.
Increase the Intensity of Workouts. The recommendation is that you gradually increase the intensity and duration of your trekking and hiking workouts as you get closer to your hike date. This will help to avoid injuries and ensure that you have physically got ready to go for the trail.
Increase Cardiovascular Activities. Cardiovascular activities such as running, cycling, or swimming are great for improving your overall fitness levels. Strength training exercises such as sit-ups, push-ups, and weightlifting will help to build up your muscle strength. Stretching exercises such as yoga or Pilates can improve your flexibility, which can be helpful when trekking and hiking.
Choose Simpler Treks If Possible. There are also many different trekking and hiking trails in Uganda and Rwanda targeting gorilla trekking. So there sure is one that is right for your fitness level. No matter what your fitness level is, trekking and hiking are great ways to get some exercise and fresh air. So get out there and explore the world!
By following these tips, you can prepare yourself for a safe and enjoyable hike or trek.
If you are reasonably fit, then you should have no problem tackling most gorilla trekking and hiking trails. However, if you are not used to exercising regularly, then you may want to build up your fitness levels before attempting any long or difficult trails.
If you are very fit, then you will be able to tackle almost any trekking or hiking trail. However, it is always a good idea to research the trail before you attempt it, to make sure that it is within your abilities.
No matter what your fitness level is, trekking and hiking are great ways to get some exercise and fresh air. So get out there and explore the world.
Gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is in 4 sectors which include Buhoma, Ruhija, Nkuringo, and Rushaga. Buhoma sector is located in the northern part of Bwindi and the Ruhija sector is in the North Eastern part of Bwindi, both sectors are located close to Queen Elizabeth National Park making it easy to combine gorilla trekking with game viewing if you are trekking at these sectors. In the southern part of Bwindi, it is where Rushaga and Nkuringo sectors are located close to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park for gorilla trekking and Golden monkey tracking. Each sector has different mountain gorilla families which the researchers habituated and open for gorilla trekking with the Rushaga sector having many families compared to other sectors.