Uganda gorilla trekking tips
Many people will remember the heartbreaking story of Mountain gorillas living in the African jungles of Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo in the classic 1988 film “Gorillas in the Mist.”
Based on the same-named book by Dian Fossey, a prominent primatologist, environmentalist, and novelist, this story served to bring attention to the predicament of these gentle giants. Fossey realized at the time that these apes were facing extinction owing to hunting, habitat degradation, and death in the crossfire of human combat.
The World Wildlife Fund estimates that there are just 880 mountain gorillas remaining on the earth. Conservationists, on the other hand, are finding indicators that their numbers are growing. It’s no surprise that seeing them is the ultimate bucket-list experience for safari visitors.
We’ve compiled a list of seven suggestions for organizing a gorilla trekking vacation in Rwanda or Uganda to see these wonderful wild creatures:
1. Before you arrive, make sure you have a permission.
One of the most crucial things to keep in mind if you’re planning a gorilla trekking safari is that you’ll need a permit to observe gorillas in both Rwanda and Uganda’s national parks:
Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park costs $1500 USD. Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest costs $600.
Because the number of individuals permitted into the parks is limited, these permits are difficult to get. These permits will be obtained for you by Discover Africa Safaris and are included in the cost of your gorilla trekking expedition. The most important thing to remember is to plan your vacation ahead of time.
2. Be ready for any kind of weather.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Uganda. On the same day, the weather might be hot and humid, as well as somewhat cool and wet, which is reason enough to be prepared for a variety of weather situations. Experts advise that you dress in layers that may be modified according to the temperature. Pack a waterproof jacket or coat to account for the possibility of rain.
You should also bring a decent pair of hiking shoes since you will be traveling across a variety of highland terrain. It’s also a good idea to keep as much flesh covered as possible since blister bushes and stinging nettles are common in specific places.
3. Bring food and drink with you.
There are no stores in the different national parks, and though some tour companies may provide packed lunches, it’s still a good idea to bring food that will keep your energy levels up, since you may be trekking for up to eight hours to find the gorillas. For added energy, include some dried fruit, nuts, or trail mix, as well as lots of water.
4. Your camera is waterproof, and there is no flash
In order to keep your camera safe in inclement weather, you must waterproof it. Protecting your equipment with water housing or casing is critical.
While walking or anywhere near the gorillas, flash photography is prohibited, so make sure your flash is switched off.
5. Get in shape before you depart and be aware of your fitness levels.
The height of both Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Volcanoes National Park makes walking considerably more difficult, even for experienced hikers. Before you travel, make sure you know your fitness level, and if you aren’t an enthusiastic hiker, it’s a good idea to visit the gym or some local trails and treks in your region to get in shape. Gorillas may be seen after two hours, or it may take up to ten hours to spot them in the dense bush.
6. Visit during the dry season
Gorilla tracking isn’t confined to a season, and you may go at any time of year. It’s thought that you’ll have a better time in the dry months since everything is a bit more accessible since there’s less rain and muck. Dirt roads will be a part of the adventure, and in dry weather, they will be simpler to navigate and much more pleasant.
Mid-December to early February is the dry season, while June to September is the long dry season.
7. Be mindful of the gorillas’ personal space.
Mountain gorillas are still wild creatures, even though their population has been domesticated and they are non-aggressive and timid. No one will be harmed if they respect their space. Experienced guides will accompany you on your hiking adventure. These guides have received extensive training and devoted their lives to gorilla conservation. The five-meter rule should be followed. There are several materials available on gorilla etiquette, one of which may be found here.
A chance to see the gorgeous Mountain gorillas in their natural habitat is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Please contact us for more information on how we can help you plan your gorilla trekking expedition.