Gorilla trekking frequently asked questions
Gorilla trekking frequently asked questions : Gorilla trekking is the major activity carried out that involves people moving into the tropical rainforest in search of the habituated gorilla families in their natural habitat. Visitors who want to come on a gorilla trekking usually ask various gorilla trekking questions and Achieve Global Safaris is here with the responses of the frequently asked questions.
Where can I see the mountain gorillas?
Mountain gorillas are endangered primate species that are found in four African destinations namely Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga gorilla national park in Uganda, Volcanoes national park in Rwanda and Virunga national park in Democratic Republic of Congo. Bwindi impenetrable national park harbors about 19 habituated gorilla families which are found in four sectors including Buhoma, Ruhija, Nkuringo and Rushaga, Mgahinga gorilla national park is a home of 2 habituated gorilla families, Volcanoes national park is a home of over 15 habituated gorilla families and Virunga national park which harbors about 8 habituated gorilla families.
How many mountain gorillas are in the world?
There are about 1063 mountain gorillas in the world and about 459 are found in Uganda in Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga gorilla national park. Due to the fact that Uganda harbors half of the world’s mountain gorillas it is considered the best destination for gorilla trekking in Africa therefore visitors interested in viewing large numbers of gorillas should visit the Pearl of Uganda.
How is gorilla trekking done?
Gorilla trekking starts in the morning with a briefing at the park headquarters about the rules and regulations. After the briefing you will be grouped into 8 people to trek each habituated gorilla family and grouping is done according to age, physical fitness, personal preferences among others. Trekking of the mountain gorillas starts at around 8:00am with a park guide and takes about 30 minutes to 7 hours depending on the location of the mountain gorillas.
How difficult is gorilla trekking
Mountain gorillas live in high elevation areas therefore some gorilla families will be easy to trek while others that live in high altitude areas will be hard to trek therefore gorilla trekking can be determined depending on the location of the mountain gorillas. Trekking of the mountain gorillas in high altitude areas requires visitors who are physically fit. Gorilla trekking also becomes difficult when it rains because the gorilla trekking trails in the jungle will be muddy and slippery therefore you are advised to carry various trekking equipment’s like hiking shoes, garden gloves, long sleeved shirt and trouser, rain jacket or to visit during the dry season in the months of June to September and December to February when there is less rainfall.
How long do I spend with the mountain gorillas
Visitors are allowed to spend one hour with the mountain gorillas in their natural habitat so as to allow the gorillas to carry out their daily activities because the females feel shy to breastfeed their babies in the presence of people. During the one hour given you will get an opportunity of learning about their lifestyle, habits, behaviors, take photos and also record the moments to show people back home.
How many people are allowed to trek the mountain gorillas
Gorilla trekking in all destinations that is Bwindi impenetrable forest, Mgahinga gorilla national park, Volcanoes national park and Virunga national park allow a maximum number of 8 people to visit each habituated gorilla families. The number of visitors is limited so as to minimize behavioral disturbances, allow visitors to enjoy the experience and also minimize the risk of transmission of diseases.
How much is a gorilla trekking permit
Prices of gorilla trekking permits vary according to the destination where you will be trekking from for example a gorilla trekking permit in Uganda costs $600 per person for foreign non-residents, $500 per person for foreign residents and UGX 250,000 per person for an East African citizen. However Uganda increased the price of a gorilla trekking permit by $100 effective 1st July 2020 therefore the foreign non-residents will be paying $700 and $600 for foreign residents. a gorilla trekking permit in Rwanda costs $1500 for all nationalities and it’s the most expensive permit in all the three countries and a gorilla trekking permit in Congo costs $400 for foreign non-residents.
Gorilla trekking permits can either be booked directly through Uganda Wildlife Authority, Rwanda Development Board in Rwanda or Virunga foundation in Democratic Republic of Congo. there is also another option of booking through a tour operator which is the best option because Achieve Global Safaris will not only acquire a gorilla trekking permit for you but also organize you entire gorilla trekking safari which involves accommodation, transportation, meals among others.
When to book a gorilla trekking permit
Gorilla trekking permits should be booked 3 to 6 months in advance before the actual trekking date because the permits are competitive and usually get sold out especially during the peak season in the months of June to September and December to February therefore to avoid last minute disappointments, it’s advisable to book in advance.
How old must I be to trek the mountain gorillas
Gorilla trekking on Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo allows visitors who are 15 years of age and above and this is confirmed by the park authorities when issuing the gorilla trekking permit using your passport details which show your birthdate.
What are my chances of seeing the mountain gorillas?
As long as you book a gorilla trekking permit in time you have 99% of meeting and interacting with the endangered mountain gorillas in their natural habitat which gives you breathtaking and lifetime experiences that is worth the money paid.
When is the best time to trek the mountain gorillas?
Gorilla trekking can be done all year round though the best time is during the dry season in the months of June to September and December to February when there is less rainfall in the gorilla destinations. During the dry season access roads to the national parks will be passable and gorilla trekking trails will be dry and passable.
Gorilla trekking can also be done in the rainy season in the months of March to May and October to November. the rainy season is the period when there is heavy rainfall in the national parks and during this time the gorilla trekking trails will be muddy and slippery therefore visitors who travel during the rainy season should carry trekking equipment’s like hiking, boots, rain jacket, long sleeved shirt and trousers, back pack among others. there are also other advantages during the rainy season for example luxury lodges will offer discounts to visitors which favors the budget travellers and last minute travellers will be able to acquire a gorilla trekking permit.
Where to stay during the gorilla trekking safari
There are various accommodation facilities in Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo which range from luxury, midrange and budget where you can stay on your gorilla trekking safari and you are advised to choose a lodge that fits within your budget and also near the destination where you will be trekking for easy accessibility on the trekking date.
Can a disabled person trek the mountain gorillas
Yes, gorilla trekking can also be done by disabled persons therefore when making reservations for your gorilla trekking safari, you should inform the tour operator so that we communicate with the management of the national park where you will be goring to trek from so that they allocate you a gorilla family that is easy to trek. There is also another alternative of hiring a sedan chair where you will be carried by four porters to the gorilla group and then put down to take photos and also carried back after the one hour with the gorillas.
What else can I do apart from gorilla trekking?
Gorilla trekking is done in national parks which offer other thrilling activities such as chimpanzee trekking, golden monkey trekking, mountain climbing, nature walk, bird watching, Batwa trail experience, cultural tours among others therefore in case you want to engage in other activities apart from gorilla trekking you should inform us when making the reservation so that we include the activities when planning for your safari.
What should I wear during the gorilla trekking safari?
Visitors on a gorilla trekking safari are advised to wear long sleeved shirts and trousers to keep you warm because gorilla trekking is done in high elevation areas, tuck in long cotton socks to prevent the biting insects from entering your body, put on a hat to protect your hair from water droppings and direct sun, garden gloves to protect your hands from germs and thorns in the forest. you should also carry a rain jacket to protect you from rainfall, energy snacks like drinking water and packed lunch, camera to take photos and record the moments, backpack to carry your trekking equipment’s, walking stick to give you support when trekking and in case you have difficulty in walking it’s advisable to hire a porter at an affordable price who will give you a pull, push and also carry your backpack during trekking.
In case you are interested in gorilla trekking you can book gorilla trekking packages such as 3 day gorilla trekking safari, 2 days gorilla trekking from Kigali among others or you can contact us for more questions about gorilla trekking.