Within the whole world, gorilla trekking safaris are carried out in three countries including Uganda in Bwindi impenetrable National park, Rwanda in Volcanoes National park and in Virunga National park in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Would you like to plan a visit to these great apes in Africa? Here is a complete guide to planning a gorilla visit answering all the important questions that are asked by the trekkers before going on gorilla trekking expeditions;
What is the Best Time to See Gorillas
The gorillas can be visited anytime of the year. This is due to that most countries where gorilla treks aee conducted are found in the tropics. Please note that most visitors prefer visiting the gorillas during the dry season. The dry season stretches from June to October and January to March. Also note that it can also rain any day of the year due to the changes in climate. Therefore there is no time of the year to avoid traveling. The months of May and April are the rainiest months of the year. However a few trekkers who visit during these months enjoy the treks given that the gorillas move shorter distances because of existence of plenty of food.
Do I need to be fit to track the mountain gorillas?
All the tourists need to have a level of fitness and the willingness to hike the muddy slopes and through the varied vegetation and the terrain. The mountain gorillas also live on relatively high altitude within the montane forests of Bwindi and the Virunga Region. You will find that most treks take you to areas of high altitude and thusa reasonable degree of fitness is needed.
Is it a guarantee to see the gorillas when you set out?
The gorillas live in their natural habitats and so it’s not also a guarantee that you will view them though we have never heard of any situation were the tourists regret their treks. To help in making sure of this, the trackers set off at dawn and then locate the groups and then radio call their GPS coordinates to the park headquarters, so this means that when you set off for the trek with the guide, you know where you are headed. The trekkers also stay with the gorillas though they are not moving.
All in all there are 95% chances that you will meet the mountain gorillas on a single trek. If you do not see the gorillas on your first trek, you are given a chance to try out your luck the next day.
What type of clothing should I wear?
For the safety of the camera, a waterproof day pack is important. Also pack water bottles and snacks as well. At just a small fee, the porters can be helpful in carrying the luggage to the steep slopes. The waterproof jacket will help you with the muddy and rained slopes. Also wear long trousers to be able to guard your legs against the nettles and the T-shirt with the long sleeved shirt over the top.
Is there a minimum or maximum age of visiting the gorillas?
Trekking is also the mostly done activity by the people with 6 years and above and there is also no elasticity to this rule.this is also the same with Rwanda and Uganda and is also being enforced by the National parks. There is no upper age limit.
Do I need a gorilla permit?
You must also obtain a gorilla permit to be able to visit the gorillas and its only 8 tourists that are allowed to see the gorillas per group per day. You must also secure a gorilla permit 4 months before you intend to travel and we can secure that you have the permit before you travel. The permits in Uganda cost $600 and this goes directly towards the conservation of the habitants, anti-poaching efforts and education of the local communities.
Will this be covered by my travel insurance?
It’s also vital that your travel insurance does cover you for gorilla trekking as they may need an additional premium to be paid.
Can you track the gorillas when feeling unwell?
This is a no, the gorillas are so vulnerable to Human diseases and even something that is so minor to us is so dangerous to them. You also need to take care of yourself before the safari and avoid getting sick. You need to warn your guide in case you are feeling unwell.
How big are the mountain gorilla tracking groups?
There is also a maximum of 8 people in Uganda and Rwanda.
How much distance is my accommodation to the park headquarters?
You will also be located in the easy access to the park headquarters, but the distance will also depend on which accommodation you chose. The distance to the headquarters will also vary from a one minute walk to an hour.
How long can I spend with the gorillas?
Once you meet with the gorillas, you will be given I hour to spend with them. We also recommend that you track them twice and this also means that the second time, you can also ignore photos and then concentrate on enjoying the adventure.