Gorilla trekking is currently a popular and numerous activity any visitor to Africa for safari would wish to engage in because of its rewarding everlasting memories.
It enables you to come close to these world’s rarely seen shy endangered gorillas in the jungle.
Since gorillas are found in Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo this is where you can go for your lifetime gorilla trekking safari most especially Uganda since it is ranked to be with almost half of the world’s gorilla population in its two major destinations.
But before you plan to do a gorilla trekking safari in Uganda you have to know what it takes, where to find them, what to follow, how to book, what’s required and more as explained below.
What are Gorillas?
Gorillas are herbivorous ground dwelling apes which feed on stem, foliage, leaves and some fruits, they are tailless and characterized with two colors black and brownish basing on the species, they usually live in groups comprising of both female and male members named “Troop”, this group is usually led by the dominant leader named “Silver back”(Silver back is mostly a dominant old male gorilla responsible for looking after its group members through protecting them, constructing huts and looking for what to eat).
These gorillas are divided into two species named mountain gorillas and Lowland gorillas which are further divided into sub species like Eastern low land gorillas, Western lowland gorillas and more, Mountain gorillas are black in color and Lowland gorillas are brownish in color, when you compare the two Lowland gorillas are bigger than mountain gorillas in size.
In Uganda only, species of mountain gorillas are residents in the two major National Parks located in the Western part of Uganda.
Where to Find Mountain Gorillas in Uganda.
Uganda “The Pearl of Africa” is listed among the major gorilla hosting destinations in Africa strategically located in the Eastern part of the African continent, it is ranked to be habiting almost half of the World’s Gorilla population in its two major National parks named Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National park and Mgahinga Gorilla National park, these national parks are both located in the Western part of Uganda which is about 8-9 hours’ drive from Kampala city the capital city of Uganda.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National park is ranked to be the major gorilla hosting destination in Uganda because it is habiting most part of Uganda’s Gorilla population in its forest; it is characterized with strong and thick impenetrable forest with over thirteen habituated Gorilla families, twelve for trekking and one for research or habituation experience.
These gorilla families are group in four sectors of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park named Rushaga, Ruhija, Buhoma and Nkuringo sector, highlighting more on Bwindi it rewards you with both amazing gorilla trekking and gorilla habituation experience, these activities looks to be similar but the difference is that for gorilla trekking you stay with these apes after discovering their location for only one hour while seeing them feeding, playing with young ones, laughing and more, for Gorilla habituation experience you stay with these apes in the Jungle for four hours or full day trekking.
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is the second gorilla hosting destination in Uganda after Bwindi impenetrable Forest National park with only one gorilla family for trekking, its characterized with both Montane rain forest and bamboo forest where golden monkeys are residents, its inclusive of the Virunga Massif and research put it that some of the gorillas in the Virunga Massif cross borders from Mgahinga to Rwanda’s Volcanoes National park and Democratic Republic of Congo’s Virunga National park.
What’s the price for Gorilla permits in Uganda?
Visiting mountain gorillas in the jungle requires to first buy a permit which issues you permission for the activity from the responsible authorities and this permit costs $700 USD per person which is usually paid in advance before your trekking dates, if you choose to do a double gorilla trekking you are required to book for two gorilla permits in advance.
For gorilla habituation experience in Bwindi impenetrable national Park its permit costs $1500 USD per person.
What is the don’ts to ensure while in presence of Gorillas?
There are some rules you should follow while in the presence of these apes to ensure better excursion of your gorilla trekking activity and better life of these apes as listed below: –
- You are not allowed to go for the trekking if you are suspected to be with any signs of infectious diseases like cough and more.
- Move slowly while in the Jungle to avoid scaring these apes.
- Always keep your voice at low tone.
- Do not eat in the presence of these apes.
- Do not run after these apes.
- Do not touch these apes without permission.
- Always keep a distance of about 7m from these apes.
- Always do not use flush cameras when taking photos of these apes.
- Do not liter rubbish in the park.
What to wear for your Gorilla trekking Safari in Uganda?
These apes are found in the jungle where hooks, shrubs, pot holes and more are found therefore you should come with strong hiking shoes which are not easily penetrated with hooks, trousers and long-sleeved shirts to protect yourself from scratches, biting insects like tsetse flies, huts and sunglasses to protect you from sunshine, Waterproof jackets to protect you from water in case rainfall finds you in the jungle.