Gorilla trekking frequently asked questions
Gorilla trekking frequently asked questions: several travelers normally ask different questions in regard to gorilla trekking both in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo. Here I am today to explain some of the frequently asked gorilla trekking questions and they include;
What is gorilla trekking?
What is gorilla trekking is the most and frequently asked question about gorilla trekking. Gorilla trekking is a process where by a group of trekkers alongside armed rangers and guides are in position to follow up the mountain gorillas that have already been habituated and used to humans as they go on with their daily life of roaming in the forest. The art of trekking gorillas includes searching for the allocated gorilla family via different trails with in the forest until trekkers finally spot them.
Where can one trek mountain gorillas?
After knowing what gorilla trekking is, then travelers would like to know where to trek gorillas thus where one trek gorillas can is included in the frequently asked questions about mountain gorilla trekking.
Gorilla trekking in Uganda: In Uganda, mountain gorilla trekking is done in Bwindi Impenetrable national park and Mgahinga Gorilla national park all situated in south western part of Uganda. Bwindi Impenetrable forest national park has over 15 habituated mountain gorillas that are trekked all year round with in four sectors including Rushaga sector, Ruhija sector, Buhoma sector and Nkuringo sector. However, Rushaga sector is also the best sector where mountain gorilla habituation experience is also carried out.
Gorilla trekking in Rwanda: In Rwanda, Mountain gorilla trekking is done in Volcanoes national park which is the second best destination for gorilla trekking after Bwindi impenetrable forest national park in Uganda.
What is the cost of gorilla trekking is another frequently asked question when it comes to gorilla trekking. Different country set its own cost of a gorilla trekking permit thus it’s up to trekker to choose which destination to trek gorillas in relation to the gorilla trekking permit.
The cost of gorilla trekking permit in Uganda as of now is $700 per person for foreign nonresidents, $600 per person for foreign residents and UgX.250, 000 for Ugandans and East African citizens.
In Rwanda, gorilla trekking permit costs $1500 per person which is equivalent to a gorilla habituation experience in Uganda.
In DRC, gorilla trekking permit costs $400 per person during peak or high season and $200 per person during low season. This implies that DRC offers the cheapest gorilla trekking permits all year round enables budget trekkers to also spend an hour with mountain gorillas in their natural habitats.
These gorilla trekking permits can be obtained either directly at the boards managing the parks for instance in Uganda, gorilla trekking permits can be obtained from the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) that enables travelers to trek in either Bwindi impenetrable national park, Mgahinga Gorilla national park or both. In Rwanda, gorilla trekking permits are obtained from Rwanda Development Board (RDB). This Rwanda permit enables a trekker to trek gorillas within Volcanoes national park. While in DRC, gorilla trekking permits are obtained from virunga park managements to trek gorillas in Virunga national park. However, these permits can be obtained through a trusted tour operator such as Achieve Global Safari which can be in position to arrange for the entire gorilla trekking safari in both Uganda, Rwanda and DRC.
What should I expect to inclusive and Exclusive in a gorilla trekking permit?
A gorilla trekking permit comes with a lot of benefits including the park entrance fees, this implies that once you book a gorilla trekking permit then no need to pay park entrance fees. This is applicable in both Bwindi impenetrable national park, Mgahinga gorilla national park, Volcanoes national park and Virunga national park. A gorilla trekking permit also includes ranger fees, a full hour of close contact with gorillas, the park security and police patrol fees and other benefits as communicated during the briefing on a gorilla trekking day.
However, gorilla trekking permit excludes; Visa fees, porter hire fees, snacks, drinking water gorilla trekking attire etc.
How long does gorilla trekking last in Uganda, Rwanda & Congo?
Duration of gorilla trekking is yet a frequently asked question about gorilla trekking. Well, there is no specific time fixed for gorilla trekking since trekkers end up with different experience while in the jungle trekking gorillas. However, Gorilla trekking is usually taken as a full day activity ranging between 2-7 hours or even to a full day depending on several factors such as movement of mountain gorillas since we are never sure of how far they will move on the trekking day as sometimes gorillas tend to spend their day up in the hill while sometimes they be nearby so this to determines the length of trekking. Also, the movement of trekkers will determine the duration of gorilla trekking since all trekker s must move at the pace of the slowest trekker.
However much the gorilla trekking is considered a full day activity, when travelers finally come closer to gorillas they are allowed to spend only One hour taking photographs and learning different gorilla behaviors. Therefore, the maximum duration offered to trekkers in close contact with the mountain gorillas is ONE hour and after this one hour, trekkers have to leave the gorillas since they don’t need to be interrupted.
What is the gorilla trekking fitness level in Uganda, Rwanda & Congo?
Amongst the frequently asked questions about gorillas is the fitness level for gorilla trekking. Several Travers actually fear taking part in gorilla trekking thinking that it’s a hard and tiring activity but the good news is that gorilla trekking isn’t a scaring activity but rather a fascinating activity as travelers thrill through the forest, hills, and valleys in search of mountain gorillas for trekking. Yes, trekkers might need some level of fitness to enable them spend long the long time on a move. But also park management always know some gorilla families that do not over move thus trekkers who are less fit are offered the nearby gorilla families for trekking. And the adventurous trekkers are offered the gorilla families which do over move and are always found up in the hill and mountains where trekkers really need to be fit in order to trek them.
When is the best time / season to trek mountain gorillas in Uganda, Rwanda & Congo?
The best time for gorilla trekking is another frequently asked question when it comes to gorilla trekking. The best time / season for gorilla trekking is usually the dry months from June to September and from December to February. In these months the parks dry and passable thus making gorilla trekking more enjoyable unlike in rainy months when parks tend to be slippery, Muddy and with thick blush that some tines make gorilla trekking abit tiresome. All in all, gorilla trekking can be enjoyed all year round whether during high or low season but the nature and condition of the park tend to be harsh during rainy months than in dry months. Choose the best month to have an adventurous and memories experience but keep in mind that during high season, gorilla permits tend to get sold off very fast as compared to low seasons. Also, during low season, the parks are less congested as compared to high season when several travelers are on safari thus congesting the parks but the overall condition of the park is good for trekkers and other travelers on other safaris such as wildlife viewing safaris, birding safaris and nature walks.
What is the gorilla trekking minimum age in Uganda, Rwanda & Congo?
15 years is the minimum age limit when it comes to gorilla trekking in both Uganda, Rwanda and DRC. A person aged 15 years is considered to be mature and able to manage and handle the straining trails while trekking gorillas. Also a person of 15 years can understand the dos and don’ts and even try to follow all instructions given by the rangers and guides during gorilla trekking including minimizing the noise level while in the jungle and many other regulations that are put up to ensure security and safety of both gorillas and trekkers and that’s the reason as to why the minimum gorilla trekking age limit was set at 15 years.
What are the chances of seeing the mountain gorillas during the gorilla trekking safari?
Travelers should be informed that the probability of encountering mountain gorillas during trekking is as high as 99% this is possible due to the fact that before embarking on a gorilla trekking adventure, rangers already know where the particular gorilla families are and it’s a matter of trekking through the forest to get to where it is and I am pretty sure that no one has ever missed out a chance of encountering gorillas during the trekking safari.
Is it possible to trek gorillas in Uganda via Kigali Rwanda?
A good number of travers have asked this question frequently of how best can one trek Uganda gorillas from Rwanda. And the answer yes, this is the best way for travelers to arrive in Kigali and then cross into Uganda for gorilla trekking safari at a cheaper gorilla permit. This is also very advantageous as it saves travelers time as the journey from Kigali to Kisoro where gorilla trekking is carried out is between 4-5 hours as compared to 11-12 hours’ drive from Kampala to Kisoro.
Are there discounted gorilla trekking permits?
Yes, Democratic Republic of Congo offers discounted gorilla trekking permits at $200 during the low season to trek the endangered mountain gorillas in Virunga national park. Also, Rwanda has a discounted gorilla trekking permit at $1050 on a condition that a traveler must spend more 3 days in Nyungwe forest national park and other 3 days inn Akagera national park to qualify for a discounted permit otherwise it remains at $1500. However much Rwanda and DRC offer discounted gorilla trekking permits, Uganda doesn’t have any discounted gorilla permit whether during low season or high season.
How many people are allowed to trek mountain gorillas?
Several travelers who wish to book a group gorilla trekking safari frequently ask the question about how m any people are allowed to trek mountain gorillas. Well, a maximum number of 8 persons is allowed to trek a particular mountain gorilla both in Bwindi Impenetrable national park, Mgahinga gorilla national, Volcanoes national park and Virunga national park. And these group of trekkers is limited to only one hour of close viewing.
Why are gorilla endangered?
Well, mountain gorillas are termed to be endangered primate species due to some factors which include Poaching, civil wars, lack of habitats. In fact in previous years, mountain gorillas were termed to be critically endangered to the extreme extinction but with the conservation levels, political stability and sensitization of the local communities near the national parks where the gorillas are harbored has greatly improved on the population of mountain gorillas from critically endangered to endangered with a rise in their population in their habitats.
What are the requirements for gorilla trekking safari in Uganda, Rwanda & Congo?
Several trekkers usually would like to know the packing list for a gorilla trekking safari. Well the packing list for gorilla trekking safari include and not limited to the following;
A gorilla trekking permit: once you are done booking your permit, the first thing to remember is to pack a gorilla permit since it’s the gate pass to access the home of mountain gorillas thus no permit, no trekking gorillas. As mentioned earlier, this gorilla trekking permit can be obtained direct from boards governing wildlife or from a tour operator.
A camera: like any other safari, travelers never miss out a Camera in their back packs and the same applies to mountain gorilla trekking safari, ensure that you pack a camera and well charged batteries that can keep you throughout your gorilla safari in order not to miss out capturing such awesome moments while in jungle with the endangered mountain gorillas.
Appropriate gorilla trekking attire: After packing the camera and the gorilla trekking permit, the next thing is to pack the best gorilla trekking attire which include;
- Light weight but water proof hiking shoes to help you walk via mud, thorns, and the light weight enables you to feel comfortable while trekking gorillas since it requires more hours on a walk.
- Long sleeved trousers and shirt to protect both your legs and arms from injuries by thorns, and other itchy plants with in the forest during gorilla trekking
- A rain jacket to protect you from getting wet in case it rains while on a gorilla trekking safari since you won’t be able to find a house for shelter therefore a rain jacket will be your savior at that moment.
- A warm sweater to keep you warm during cold day in the jungle while trekking gorillas
- Sun glasses should also be included in your back pack for eye protection from foreign materials and even protect your eyes from direct sun light.
- A cap for sun protection
- Garden gloves to ensure that your hands are safe since during gorilla trekking hand land on several things including thorns.
- Insect repellant to expel away insect including tsetse flies, mosquitoes and other insects that might bite you while on a gorilla trekking adventure.
- Sun screen is also crucial to protect the body parts exposed to sun from sun burns.
- Snacks to keep you energetic during fascinating gorilla trekking safari
- A hiking stick is also necessary to offer support to the trekker but several trekkers obtain from the park headquarters during gorilla trekking briefing.
How much is a gorilla trekking safari?
The cost of gorilla trekking safari tour varies from one trekker to another due to some factors which include;
- Accommodation facilities ranging from Luxury, Mid-range and budget accommodation facilities determine the cost of the gorilla trekking permit.
- The destination of gorilla trekking safari. For instance the cost of gorilla trekking safari in Rwanda may be higher than that in Uganda and Congo due to higher price of the gorilla permit which is at $1500 as compared to $700 in Uganda and $200-$400 in Congo.
- Also the number of people determine the cost of the gorilla permit since the more the people, the less the transportation fees and thus reducing on the cost of the gorilla trekking safari unlike a trekker who travelers alone thus funding everything alone.
- Other activities may also affect the cost of the gorilla trekking safari since the more the activities, the more the cost of the safari and vice versa.
With the above factors and many more, one is able to come up with their safari budget in order to have the best experience while on a gorilla trekking safari.
Conclusion: There are several frequently asked questions about gorilla trekking so fell free to contact us in case of any other question regarding gorilla trekking and also check out our well designated itineraries gorilla trekking tours and safaris such as 3 days Bwindi gorilla trekking safari, 5 days gorilla trekking & wildlife safari and many more that suite your budget on the Gorilla trekking frequently asked questions?.