Gorilla Trekking Trips – Meeting the mountain gorillas in their natural habitat is one of the best wildlife experience one can ever encounter. The mountain gorillas are captivating and they share 98% of human’s DNA. They are among the critically endangered species whose numbers are progressively growing with the increase in gorilla tourism and conservation.
Mountain gorillas are found in Bwindi impenetrable forest and the entire Virunga massif region. This region is known with volcanic peaks stretching to cover borders of Uganda (Mgahinga gorilla national park) and Rwanda (Volcanoes national park) as well as Democratic Republic of Congo (Virunga national park).
Traveler numbers to visit these mountain gorillas in their natural habitats are controlled in order to protect their growing population and so prior booking is required for any visitors intending to take part.
Gorilla permits are very important while planning for a gorilla safari in Rwanda, Uganda or D.R. Congo. The permit allows you to meet the gorillas in their natural habitats for a maximum of 1 hour. Since the mountain gorillas are only found in Africa, the number of guests going for gorilla trekking trips have been increasing and this has made the permits to be on extremely high demand.
Therefore, it is wise if you are planning to trek the gorillas to book in advance so to secure your gorilla permit.
Gorilla trekking trips can be experienced all year round since the destinations that host mountain gorillas have tropical climate and it can be rain any time of the year. However, the dry seasons from December to March and June to October with little rain is the best time to do a gorilla tour. During the rainy season, trekking becomes challenging because the terrain is slippery and makes hiking in the impenetrable jungles so tough.
On the D – day of trekking, visitors have to be at the park headquarters at 7:00am for briefing with their passports and gorilla permits. The briefing session begins at 7:30am, to tell you about what to expect during the trek and how to conduct yourself during the trek and while with the gorillas. At the end of the briefing, travelers are given different groups to trek so it is upon the traveler to choose from simple, medium and tough hike. The visitors are divided into a group of 8 people and each appointed a gorilla family.
Visitors are then transferred to their respective group starting points and they are accompanied with a guide and visitors choose to hire porters who will help to carry their belongings during the trek. Gorilla trekking duration depends on the time travelers sight the gorillas; however it may last for up to 6 of 7 hours because the gorillas don’t stay in one place but they keep moving looking for food. And after they are sighted, visitors are only allowed to stay with them for maximum of one hour.
While trekking mountain gorillas, there are rules and regulations to follow, and these will be read to you by the head ranger during the briefing session and also during the booking process, endeavor to ask your booking agent to send you a copy of gorilla trekking rules and guidelines.
Once the gorillas are spotted, the visitors are supposed to remain at least seven meters away from them; this is to limit the possible infections that may be transmitted by the visitors to the mountain gorillas.
And visitors are also supposed to avoid direct eye contact with mountain gorillas and also during the moment of taking pictures or videos, the camera flash must be turned off not to scare them away.
Be among the few in the world and undertake a gorilla safari to Uganda, Rwanda or D. R. Congo to experience one of the finest wildlife encounters the world has ever seen.