Gorilla Trekking

Gorilla trekking | Gorilla trekking tours| Uganda gorilla trekking safari| Uganda gorilla tracking |Rwanda gorilla trekking| Congo gorilla trekking tour

Gorilla Trekking

Mountain gorilla trekking / gorilla trekking / gorilla trekking tours/ gorilla safaris / Rwanda gorilla trekking / Congo gorilla trekking safari is the physical act of walking in the rainforest following in the footpaths of gorillas to have a brief interaction with them.  Each gorilla trekking team is composed of maximum of 8 visitors and ranger escorts. Interaction with the gorillas upon locating their feeding area is limited to maximum 1 hour.

gorilla trekking

WHERE CAN WE DO MOUNTAIN GORILLA TREKKING SAFARIS?

The Mountain gorilla habitats are in 3 East African countries spread into 4 national parks. Bwindi Impenetrable and Mgahinga Gorilla National parks are in Uganda, Volcanoes National park is in Rwanda and Virunga national park in DR Congo. Note; Mountain gorillas cannot survive any other ouside their natural habitat.  Apart from the above places, nowhere else will you find Mountain gorillas.

WHEN IS THE BEST TIME OF YEAR TO TREK GORILLAS?

Mountain gorilla trekking safaris /  gorilla trekking tours / gorilla trekking trips : virunga-national-park on all through the year. Travelers can best plan their gorilla trekking safaris with some knowledge about climatic and weather conditions in the gorilla habitats. Dry season ranges in months; June-September and December- February. Rain seasons start March – June and October – November and the temperatures averagely range 210C-300C. It may rain several times a day each one lasting a few hours. These mild rains cannot stop gorilla trekking though bad weather may offer additional challenges. Remember the gorilla habitats are in the tropics and very soon the tropical sun can surprise travelers with burning heat.

WHAT ITEMS DO I NEED FOR GORILLA TREKKING EXPEDITION?

The appropriate dressing for trekking gorillas is composed of light warm long sleeved shirts / blouse, long pants which should be tucked in stockings in hiking boots. There are chances of walking into irritating insects like safari ants which have a habit of crawling onto human bodies. It is necessary to carry a rain jacket. Gorillas inhabit rainforests and showers can surprise travelers anytime. Pack a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen. Average temperatures from the gorilla trekking countries range 210C-300C and sometimes the heat from tropical sun can be burning hot. There are many types of insects in the rainforests and having insect repellents in your gorilla trekking kits is highly recommended. Carry a pack for your belongings, a camera and most preferably pair of reserve rechargeable batteries. You may park gardening hand gloves and a walking stick along or use the local walking sticks improvised and used by other trekkers before you. Your safari guide will carry lunch pack and bottled water provided at your safari camp.

HOW LONG DOES TREKKING GORILLAS TAKE?

Mountain gorillas live in families and each family is clearly marked and well monitored in its home range. The gorillas leave their sleeping nests every morning and traverse the rainforests in search of leaves, fruits, flowers and others to satisfy their dietary needs. It’s therefore not very easy to ascertain the exact time it takes to trek gorillas from the moment you descend into the forests. On record some gorilla trekking teams have encountered gorillas less than 30 minutes into their trekking safari, others 6 hours, yet others have missed them altogether when the gorillas move out of their home range. The probability of seeing the gorillas on gorilla trekking safari is above 90% since the rangers closely monitor their every activity.  

 HOW CAN DISABLED TOURISTS TREK GORILLAS?

Gorilla trekking is an exciting Uganda safari activity and measures are in place to provide basic services to all travelers to trek gorillas. A team of porters is always on standy (hired labour) with a stretcher to transport disabled, elderly and members of the gorilla trekking team who may feel unable to complete the entire gorilla trekking exercise. In the same way, porters are on hand, at a small fee, for gorilla trekking members who may feel burdened carrying their packs. The gorilla trekking habitat is in volcanic mountain areas with steep valleys and thick vegetation. 

WHO IS BARRED FROM TREKKING THE GORILLAS?

Gorillas are closely related to humankind and are susceptible to contract communicable human diseases as well and vise versa. To minimize such fatal incidences, stringent regulations are in place and jealously implemented. The following categories of people don’t trek gorillas.

  • Children below 15 years
  • Sickly travelers
  • Travelers with extreme high pressure
  • Ladies with heavy pregnancy and due to give birth
  • Epileptic travelers
  • Any travelers suddenly not feeling well and already at the venue of gorilla trek starting point; uncontrol able blood pressure, nausea, stomach upsets, dizziness, too hysterical and others may volunteer to remain behind. Alert the organization and arrangements may be made to transfer your trekking time to the next day.
  • Gorilla Trekking

WHAT OTHER ACTIVITIES CAN BE DONE AFTER TREKKING GORILLAS?

Gorilla trekking goes beyond merely looking at the families of gorillas. The rainforests are very vibrant with other wildlife species and several other activities can be arranged within and outside the wilderness to get more Uganda safari experiences. Many travelers hike into the forests (volcano climbing in Mgahinga), birdwatching walks, canoeing on crater lakes, golden monkey tracking and community interaction walks.

HOW HARD IS GORILLA TREKKING IN UGANDA?

This is the most asked question in the minds of travelers before planning a visit for gorilla trekking in Uganda or Rwanda and Congo .All in all you need to be fit in the body because Gorilla trekking  involves in hiking through difficult terrain ,thick vegetation ,water bodies ,hills and valleys .Although it is considered one of the most fabulous wildlife experience among other touristic activities on earth ,very challenging and strenuous leaving one exhausted ,with sore knee to those who are not used  of walking for long hours. This activity is all about hiking and have unpredictable tracks in thick forest to deal with biting insects and thorns. Rain is also a great worry in some of the national parks.

But the greatest advice given to the visitor is to start planning mentally before embarking on gorilla trekking. You need to prepare for unpredictable weather, terrain and changes in plan which might happen in visited destination. Though it is bit challenging but 98% of trackers who visit gorilla trekking finish off their activity.

What makes Gorilla trekking quite interesting is the experience of hiking done in greedy vegetation, territory and tropical forest. While trekking, you will have amazing opportunity to spot birds, smaller primates and the scenic scenery. Some tourists enjoy adventuring slid in the mud or hiking up steep cliffs just to see the primates. Those travelers who get disappointed on their gorilla trekking experience, we have noticed that they find the gorillas too soon thus missing a huge fun of trekking for hours.

How hard or long is Gorilla trekking; Trekking Mountain gorillas is quiet unpredictable, depending on where were left the previous day. It might take between 30 to 8 hours before meeting a particular gorilla family. For instance, the length of gorilla trekking depends on many factors, one of them is the Gorilla group you’re to trek on that day. While some gorilla families live close to the meeting center and lodges, easing the move and they keep on moving deeper into the forest or park. Some gorilla families keep moving away each time, trackers on trek sometime get closer to them before settling. This is especially happening to those who choose to go for the Gorilla habituation experience. The gorilla habituation experience can only be done in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest to allow tourists more time with gorillas that first undergoes the habituation process. Tourists who plan to do double gorilla trekking, meaning trekking 1 to 2 days, they assign different gorilla group each day. This depends on the time taken to locate the group and enjoy their thrilling behavior. It is advisable to select your accommodation near the area you selected gorilla family is known to be living. This only appears if you are trekking gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.

Gorilla Trekking
Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi Forest

Bwindi Forest National Park is one of the premium four national park where mountain gorilla trekking takes place in Africa. Gorilla trekking on Uganda safaris can also be carried out in Mgahinga Gorilla national park, the Volcanoes National park in Rwanda and the Virunga National Park in Democratic Republic of Congo. Each destination has its weaknesses. In Bwindi, visitors trekking has to deal with rivers, stream and thicker forest. Travelers to Mgahinga and Volcanoes National Park have to be physically fit to hike within the mists, higher altitude and bamboo forests. And for travelers to have the best gorilla trekking experience must go prepared, carrying right wear like hiking boots, clothing’s, rain jackets, a hat, insect repellent, hand gloves, sun glasses, snacks and enough mineral water bottle thus making you more comfortable on your gorilla safaris. Always book your gorilla safari /permits in advance 3 to 6 months before your arrival date, more especially in the peak season if you delay you might find the closest gorilla groups booked, you can book your gorilla permit by the tour operator.

In order to deal with the challenges of mountain gorilla trekking, you need to be fit enough. Gorilla trekking involves in hiking through thick forest, valleys to locate a gorilla family. In this matter, trackers who are less fit cannot trek the primates, in fact you need to have average fitness levels. Trackers who are elders can be helped with the hiking sticks, sedan chair and porters. It is important trackers grown in age to book their gorilla early in advance to get assigned to easier trek and also reserve a sedan chair. The sedan chair can be hired at the park and porters are available to help you. All trackers are encouraged to hire the service of a porter in case they fill some difficult in hiking or carrying heavy luggage with cameras, binoculars many more. A t the park you will be given hiking sticks at free to help you in challenging terrains, while trekking always follow ranger’s advice right from time of briefing. You shouldn’t worry about hiking or your body fitness solutions are given and still you can make it till end.

How to improve your body fitness for gorilla trekking; Before your gorilla safari try to do some walking and hiking to prepare your body for long hikes, you can decide to walk from your office up to your residents if time and weather allows in order to deal with long walking hours involved in gorilla trekking experience. This will help you to find experience interesting and privileged to involve in and end up with unforgettable story to tell the rest on a Uganda gorilla Safari.

WHAT TO WEAR WHILE GORILLA TREKKING

Gorilla Trekking Uganda -What to Wear : Gorilla trekking experience is the most popular tourist activity done in East Africa, to many who have never enjoy it before, have a mistake of proper dressing code for gorilla trekking some seem to wear light clothing, sandals, shorts not knowing that the activity they will be doing, it’s done in thick forested areas /montane rainforest inhabits a lot of insect bites, sharp tree branches and tails tends to be muddy and slippery and for that reason it requires you to put on right clothes.

In Uganda –gorilla trekking can be conducted in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest with a landscape that is slightly different from that of Uganda Mgahinga Gorilla national park and Volcanoes National Parks-Rwanda but all these national park sits at higher elevations thus making them rainy, humid and cold especially in the nights. The truth is that where gorilla trekking is conducted, requires one to be physically fit because hiking is not only done on comfortable tracks as you following very small trails.

Therefore, as you start planning for your Gorilla safaris in Uganda or any other gorilla trekking destination could be Rwanda or Congo. This draws you to wear the right clothing to protect you from nettles, insect bites like flies and soldier ants, coldness, thorn pricks. Always pack right and wear right clothing!

Below are the gears recommended on ‘’What to wear for Gorilla Trekking in Uganda

Wear Long Sleeved Shirts-Long Trousers

Travelers on your visit, right to pack right wear like a long sleeved shirt and Long trousers ‘’Khaki jeans’’.in fact if you have waterproof trousers we suggest to wear those. Both long trousers and long sleeved shirts helps visitors to protect them from branches, thorns, nettles or from anything else that can scratch you.

Please ensure to wear comfortable bras, cotton undergarments since the hike can be tough. Though some travelers, do ignore this advice and wear shorts and t-shirts, the truth is that at the end of the activity their skins can be exposed with scratches. Therefore, always pay attentive and follow the advice given.

Wear Waterproof Hiking Sturdy Boots

The hiking trails can be slippery and muddy when you visit rain seasons. Therefore, it’s advisable to pack a pair of waterproof hiking boots that comfortable for you. in fact, rangers and trekkers usually wear comfortable rubber boots or gumboots. Therefore, its inappropriate footwear for you to put on white snickers, sandals among others.

Wearing comfortable hiking boots will give you good balance, traction and support to your ankles, with these also wear thick cotton socks. It is very important to tuck your trousers into your socks tightly to protect you from insect bites like fire ants.

A Rain Jacket

Gorilla trekking is done in rainforest where rain is unpredictable which might rain any time of day whether in a dry season or not and therefore rain jacket should come handy.

For this matter, a poncho can be worn and it’s good for trackers, rangers and porters wear it. On your visit try to carry one, a light one which you can easily fold and keep in your bag pack until you need it the next time.

Sturdy Gardening Gloves

To many, may seem as a joke but also a right wear to carry. Carry strong gardening gloves which are more supportive not one used in gardening. These hand gloves will help you to protect yourselves on sharp branches or vines and also against nettles to avoid being scratched.

When you reach Gorillas you can put them off in order to take good photograph.

Wear enough Insect Repellent

We advise visitors during the trek to wear a lot of insect repellent because you can come across different insect, this helps you to protect from insect bites. You can as well apply a sunblock cream on your exposed body parts.

Those to participate in Gorilla Habituation Experience a full day activity, you’re advised to pack the insect repellent in your daypack.

Wear a Hat

On your visit to gorilla trekking safari not forgetting to carry a wide brimmed hat on an expensive Tilley Hat. The hat you pack will help you protect your head and neck from rain or direct sunshine.

If you forgot carrying one of them from home, you can buy one from any local craft markets in the country or trekking areas in the area.

By the end of the trek, you will discover why you had to wore it.

A warm Sweater

Yes, it is important that you carry one warm sweater which can be worn in the early mornings and cool nights, because at night here tends to be cold since it’s a rain forest.

Swimming Suits

These items are recommended for travelers who book or stay in up market hotels of lodge with swimming pools. On your visit to one of gorilla trekking destination either in Uganda or Rwanda. You can get interested in swimming in our free bilharzia lakes like Lake Bunyonyi or Uganda, Lake Kivu of Rwanda.

Outing Clothes

These clothes help you to enjoy the city night within the city. It can be a dinner dress for ladies or a suit for the men.

In Mgahinga Gorilla national park and Volcanoes National Park have temperature which raises 10 degrees Celsius and in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest national park raises 11 degrees Celsius and sometime lower than this.

For this case, that’s why the luxury accommodation facilities offer fireplaces in cottages or rooms and other lodges visitors are given hot water bottles for comfort throughout the cold night.

What to wear
What to wear

Note, the right color to pack for your gorilla trekking safari clothes are Neutral colors like green, light brown, Khaki which are highly recommended all over African safaris that is, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Botswana among others. Black and blue shirt are not right wear in the forest since they attract tsetse flies and other insects.

Other important items to pack on Gorilla Trekking safari in Uganda or Rwanda

They include; Citronella soap to protect you from anti-bacterial to your body.

Insect repellent; Resist from insect bites both mosquitoes and tsetse flies.

Sun Blocker cream; helps to protect your face and eyes from the hot sun of Equatorial Uganda.

Hand Wipes; These items help from preventing your germs and they can be found in Africa’s supermarkets.

Sun glasses; Will help to protect you from the direct sun shine.

Malaria medicine; On your visit always be accompanied by medicine bag with best tablets and malarone, make sure you carry all your medication to help you on your safari.

A pair of toiletries; Carry many items that will suite your nice stay depending on the sex of the visitors.

First Aid; This should be packed in case a traveler gets any hurt or injury from the jungle.

A Hand day pack; These item is important to carry personnel documents like drinking water, iPods, money, binoculars, cameras, phones, snacks during both game drives and trekking.

Important safari items and equipment’s

Below are the gadgets and equipment’s to carry safari to Uganda or Rwanda, it might be a laptop, smart phones, tablets and many.

Camera; Always carry a camera with big storage as well as a lens cleaner to keep the camera lens clean.

Enough Batteries; Carry a full set of chargeable batteries along with a good charger should be put in your handy bag within the vehicles.

Binoculars; You’re advisable to pack a pair of binocular, depending on which activity you are met to carry out like bird watching or game driving.

Camera Memory card; Along you visit do not forget to pack extra memory cards for the cameras if you are to take many photos has you can.

Journals; This helps to short list experiences you have done within the places visited.

Flash light; You can carry flash light camera to help you take photos in the dark, during night game drives and on gorilla trekking are not permitted.

Electric Items are permitted.

Conclusion, on your Gorilla Trekking Uganda always Pack right –Wear Right Clothes as listed above in order to end up comfortable and unforgettable experience in Life changing on African continent/Pearl of Uganda-Hospitable Country.