A mountain gorilla trekking safari in Africa really needs a lot of planning, good preparation and research. Currently there are around 980 mountain gorillas left in the whole world and they are only found in three countries that is to say Uganda in Bwindi Forest National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla Park, Rwanda in Volcanoes National Park and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in Virunga National Park. With regards to this memorable adventure, different factors need to come to guide you so you have the best safari in East Africa. To be more on safe part, we have listed some of the things that merit knowing as you organizes for your gorilla trekking safari in East Africa.
Perfect Place to do Gorilla Trekking
Gorilla trekking safaris is done in Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). In any case, DRC is as yet recovering from instabilities and due to this most visitors run to Rwanda and Uganda for these lifetime experience and in Uganda, visitors only visit Mgahinga Gorilla Park and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park which are situated in southwestern side of Uganda. In Rwanda, mountain gorillas are visited in Volcanoes National Park in the northwestern park of the country and the most popular habituated gorilla families are Susa ‘A’, Susa ‘B’, Sabyinyo, Hirwa, Ugenda, Kwitonda, Amahoro, Umubano and others while in Uganda, the main gorilla families include Nkuringo, Busingye, Bitukura, Kahungye, Mishaya, Bweza, Nshongi, Habinyanja, Oruzogo, Nyakagezi, Rushegura among others.
Gorilla Trekking Permit is a must
When you planning to go for mountain gorilla trekking safari in East Africa, remember that gorilla trekking permit is an absolute necessity to have to guarantee your spot. Reserving your gorilla permit at hand offers around 98% chances for you to visit mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. Every gorilla permit is equivalent to a spot to one habituated gorilla family and just eight visitors are permitted to visit a gorilla family per day. Gorilla permits in Uganda are sold at $600 per person for foreign nonresident citizens, $500 for foreign resident of Uganda and shs.250000 for East African residents. You can buy your gorilla permit through a reliable tour company in Uganda and or you can book your gorilla permit direct from Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA). Around 12 habituated gorilla families are ready to be visited in Uganda and they convert into 96 gorilla permits for tourists to buy. In Rwanda, you can buy a gorilla permit at $1500 and this cost cuts over all tourists on Rwanda gorilla safari. Gorilla permits in Rwanda can be reserved through tour operators in Rwanda or you can buy direct from Rwanda Development Board (RDB). Just 80 gorilla permits are issued everyday for tourists to buy in Rwanda. You are encouraged to book for your gorilla permit in advance something like 3 to 4 days to avoid any kind of inconvenience.
The best Time to go for Gorilla Trekking
In case you organizing to go for gorilla trekking in East Africa, it is critical that you know the perfect time for you to perfectly make the most of your gorilla safari adventure in Uganda and Rwanda or DRC. Generally, most tourists visit East Africa amid the dry season to visit mountain gorillas in their natural habitats and other interesting tourist attractions in the area. This season begins from June to August and this is viewed as the longest dry season, and from December to February which is additionally famous as the peak season in every protected areas. Notwithstanding, this doesn’t imply that trekkers shouldn’t come for this amazing experience. It is likewise feasible for you to visit mountain gorillas during the rainy season. And during this season, it can rain at any time of the day just like it is in dry season however the amount varies and the sun can turn out after at sometime and normal treks can proceed. The main disadvantage of rainy season is that, the ground can be slippery and muddy making it more challenging to walk through the thick vegetation cover as they looking for these rare animals in the wild. Although the rainy season has disadvantage but if you to visit mountain gorillas in Uganda it also had advantage whereby during rainy season gorilla permit prices in Uganda are cut from $600 to $450 but this is only in Uganda.
The one hour with mountain gorillas
In all destinations you will be allowed a maximum one hour with a group of habituated mountain gorillas in the wild while exploring their general conduct. The treks completely include hiking through the thick vegetation and steep slopes to look out a group of these dramatic animals. The trekking time can take from 1 – 8hours yet this depends on different factors some of which incorporate trekkers’ hiking speed, nature of the habitat and where the gorilla family spends the night on that day. When you find your gorilla family, ensure that you use every minute and explore more about these novel species, take as many photo as you can.
Gorilla trekking precautions
Before you go for actual gorilla trekking, you will have a short briefing from the park ranger who will take you through the rules and regulations to be follow while you are with mountain gorillas in the jungle. Some of the dos and don’ts to observe while on your trek include, just 8 people are doled out to track one gorilla group every day, you will be required to clean your hands before going for actual trekking, your voice ought to be low at all the times yet where vital, you free to ask any question in the presence of these animals, you should keep a distance of 7 meters from these animals all the time, keep squanders till you come back to the park tourist center where there are dust containers for you to dispose them off, don’t drink, eat or smoke in the jungle, only people above 15 years are permitted to go for this lifetime experience, in case you don’t feel well, you won’t be permitted to go for gorilla trekking and numerous others.
Your physical wellness matters a lot
Trekking mountain gorillas includes strolling through a thick tropical rainforest, bamboo that flourish inside the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, Mgahinga National Park, Volcanoes National Park, or Virunga National Park. The trekking experience can take around 1- 8 hours depending on trekkers’ physical fitness and the location of the gorilla group that will be doled out to you to track.