Guide to Gorilla Trekking (FAQs) : What is gorilla trekking? Trekking through verdant forests in search of up-close encounters with gorillas in their natural habitat is known as gorilla trekking. You should go on this safari since it is an adventure of a lifetime. You are assigned a gorilla family on your gorilla walk, and you get to spend an hour watching them go about their daily lives.
What is the price of gorilla trekking?
From one country to the next, gorilla trekking costs differ. Only in the nations of Uganda, Rwanda, and the DR Congo is it possible to undertake gorilla trekking. Gorilla tracking in Uganda costs $700 for visitors from outside the country and
$600 for non-US citizens. Gorilla trekking in Rwanda costs $1500. In DR
Congo: The fee of a gorilla trip is $500 in Kahuzi Biega National Park and $450 in Virunga National Park. These costs cover both the hike into the forest and park admission.
Gorilla trekking permits
Permits for gorilla trekking are legal documents that give you permission to go through the bush in search of gorillas. There are 96 gorilla permits available daily in Rwanda, 160 in Uganda, and 64 in the Virunga national park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Before beginning the expedition, certain permits must be obtained. Discover Africa Safaris Tours obtains your permits from the Virunga park offices in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Rwanda Development Board in Rwanda, and the Uganda Wildlife Authority. They are scarce, and they frequently sell out months in advance.
Comparison of gorilla trekking in the DR Congo, Uganda, and Rwanda
A unique experience, gorilla trekking in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. The undergrowth in the forest is dense, but as you progress forward, your ranges will clear a route. It adds to the adventure even though it can make the trek a little harder. The hilly terrain gives the woodland additional personality. The trek is easier and less overgrown in Rwanda. Trekking at the Virunga national park in the DR Congo is more simpler because the mountain has less vegetation. The complexity of your journey will depend on the gorilla family you are assigned as well as their whereabouts on the day of your excursion. Of course, cost is a consideration. Ugandan permits cost $700, Rwandan permits cost $1500, and DR Congo permits cost $500.
What are the different species of Gorillas?
The most frequent gorillas to trek on an African safari are mountain gorillas. In Uganda’s Bwindi and Mgahinga national parks, you can find them. They can be seen in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park. Mountain gorillas can be found in the Virunga National Park in the DR Congo. The Kahuzi Biega National Park is home to the eastern lowland gorillas.
Gorilla trekking sectors in Uganda
Guide to Gorilla Trekking (FAQs) : Buhoma Gorilla Trekking sector
The Buhoma section opened for gorilla trekking in 1993. The park’s administrative center is located in this area, which also offers the greatest lodging alternatives. It is almost guaranteed that you will stay at Buhoma if you are visiting Bwindi from the north. The environment around Buhoma may allow for some of the more accessible gorilla hikes because the Rushegura family lives close to the organization’s headquarters. Aside from the forest, Buhoma is home to amazing non-governmental organizations like Bike 4 a Woman and the Batwa Development Project as well as regional artists who provide distinctive and frequently inspiring experiences.
Guide to Gorilla Trekking (FAQs) : Ruhija Gorilla Trekking Sector
45 kilometers separate Buhoma sector from Ruhija sector. One of the most alluring gorilla tracking regions is considered to be Buhoma. At 2,340 meters, it is also one of the highest and most difficult. Since the local roads have been improved, tourists now prefer to stay in Buhoma, where they can select from a wider variety of lodging options, but go trekking in Ruhija. The northern border of the park is served by the Buhoma and Ruhija portions. Due to its bigger accommodation alternatives, Buhoma is often the region of choice for commuters coming down from the north.
Guide to Gorilla Trekking (FAQs) : Rushaga Gorilla Trekking sector
Instead of being completely enveloped in the forest, the environment is more open here, providing hikers with breathtaking views of the highlands. Rushaga has eight gorilla groups and offers 64 permits per day. Additionally, six permits for habituation of gorillas are available. There are lodging alternatives in the area, however hikers in Nkuringo can stay close to Lake Mutanda or the Rushaga district.
Guide to Gorilla Trekking (FAQs) : Nkuringo Gorilla Trekking sector
Location of the Nkuringo sector in Bwindi’s southern region on the
At a height of 2,100 meters, 600 meters above the
The Nkuringo gorilla troop frequents the Kashasha River basin.
As a result, the ascent starts with a strong slope and then levels off.
difficult return journey. Nkuringo is without a doubt the most challenging.
Guide to Gorilla Trekking (FAQs) : Mountain gorilla habitats.
Mountain gorillas are unable to thrive away from their natural environment. In tropical forests with a plenty of food, they flourish. They can be found in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, both of which contain impenetrable forests. They can be found in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park. They can be seen in the Virunga national park in the DR Congo.
possibility of observing mountain gorillas
You have a 95% probability of seeing gorillas on your gorilla trip. Before your hike, trackers are dispatched to locate them from their nest from the night before. Otherwise, you would likely spend the entire day hiking through the forest looking for them.
Guide to Gorilla Trekking (FAQs) : Gorilla trekking age limit
Across the three nations of Uganda, Rwanda, and the DR Congo, there is an age restriction for gorilla trekking. You must be at least 15 years old. It is thought that having maturity is necessary for handling the thrill, adhering to the rules, and reacting appropriately in the unlikely occasion that the gorillas charge.
In Kenya or Tanzania, is it possible to combine gorilla trekking and safari?
Yes. In fact, the majority of visitors to Africa who are interested in seeing gorillas head to South Africa, South Sudan, the Serengeti, and the Masai Mara for wildlife and cultural experiences. Drive or fly across borders while admiring the breathtaking beauty of the East African republics. It will be significantly simpler to cross state lines with an East African visa.
How many individuals make up the group?
One gorilla family can only be trekked by a maximum of 8 individuals. In the forest, this small group is manageable. Furthermore, a large crowd might frighten the gorillas and provoke aggressive behavior. How much time is spent on the gorilla trek?
A gorilla journey might last three to six hours. The hour you spend with the gorillas is included in this. 30 minutes into the hike, gorilla sightings are possible. Before coming across them, others could have to wait up to two hours. This period of time is dependent on a few factors. First, the family of gorillas’ location. More distant from the starting point are some gorilla families. The hike is extended as a result. Additionally, because these gorillas are in their natural environment, they can move around freely while feeding. You can wind yourself getting further away from your starting position by following them. Another factor is the vacationers’ physical condition. The majority of the terrain in this setting is hilly, which could slow down the group if one is not in good physical condition. You will take a detour if you come across woodland elephants because they are hostile. The aforementioned factors could all lengthen your journey.
Gorilla habituation versus gorilla trekking
Gorilla trekking was already discussed in the beginning of the article. A gorilla’s habituation is the process of acclimating them to humans. For two years, researchers and park rangers visit this family of wild gorillas daily to ensure that they are comfortable with people. The main distinction between gorilla trekking and habituation is time. While you are only permitted an hour with the gorillas, you are given four hours for gorilla habituation. Compared to gorilla trekking, which costs $700, gorilla habituation costs $1500, however it is completely worth it. The Rushaga area of Uganda is the only place where you can get this experience.
How safe is it to get close to gorillas?
Since gorillas are typically peaceful primates, they are known as gentle giants. Tourists have seen every gorilla family, and they have all gone through the habituation process. They can, however, charge, just like all wild creatures. The rangers will give you instructions and remain by your side the entire time. It will be useful to review the briefing before the hike. Avoid making extended eye contact, turn down your camera’s flash, and keep about 10 meters away from the gorillas. Avoid getting caught in the center of the gorilla family by remaining in one group.
Are the DR Congo, Rwanda, and Uganda safe places to go gorilla trekking?
Yes. Every location where gorilla trekking is offered is heavily guarded. Your safety is ensured by doing this. You are accompanied on your journey by armed rangers, not only to protect you from potential security concerns but also because these tropical forests are home to other creatures including forest elephants.
What to bring for gorilla trekking?
You must pack sensibly if you want to enjoy your safari. Imagine missing out on the magnificent birds because you forgot your binoculars at home. A broad brimmed hat, a rain jacket, a rucksack, a long-sleeved t-shirt or shirt, pants, sunscreen, and an adventurous attitude are all necessary items for a gorilla walk. Sturdy and comfortable hiking shoes are also recommended.
How is gorilla trekking helping in conservation?
Since gorillas are an endangered species, significant effort is put into their conservation. Your gorilla trek fees pay for the infrastructure of conservation, including the rangers, guides, and staff. To keep these primates safe from poachers, these rangers patrol the forest. The damaged animals are treated with assistance from researchers and veterinarians. A percentage of the permit payments is allocated to local initiatives in the fields of water, education, and health. Local residents were moved to the park’s limits when the parks were gazetted. They depended on the forest to survive and prosper. These initiatives aid them in adjusting to life away from their ancestral homes. Many itineraries incorporate a cultural tour as a way to give back to these communities.
What threats are gorillas facing?
Loss of habitat is one of the biggest dangers facing gorillas. The prospect of the forests being overrun by people is growing as a result of population growth. The gorillas’ natural habitat and food source have been encroached upon by the cutting down of these trees for agricultural land. Another danger facing the gorillas is poaching. Some shady characters get involved in the poaching trade thanks to the black market for bush meat and jewelry.
Where to stay during gorilla trekking?
The four gorilla trekking regions of Uganda provide a range of hotel choices. These range from opulent resorts to straightforward but cozy bandas. Clouds, Buhoma Lodge, Volcanoes Bwindi Lodge, Nkuringo Lodge, and Sanctuary Gorilla Lodge are all located in Bwindi. Among the mid-range lodging alternatives are Chameleon Hill Lodge, Bakiga Lodge, Bweza Gorilla Lodge, Mutanda Lake Resort, and more. More on the upper end is Rwanda. Gorilla Mountain View Lodge, Virunga Lodge, Bisate Lodge, and Sabinyo Silverback Lodge. My Hill Eco Lodge, Fraven Eco Resort, Le Bambou Gorilla Lodge, Mountain Gorillas Nest Lodge, and others are mid-range choices.
In the Virunga National Park, lodging options include Kibumba Camp,
Additionally, there are tented camps in Lulimbi, Bukimia, and Mikeno.
May I employ a porter?
You can, indeed. In actuality, it is urged. The hike could be challenging, and you might need assistance to jump over a paddle or go over a fallen log. You should bring ample water, a packed lunch, a rain jacket, and a walking stick for your hike. You will undoubtedly require assistance with all that bags. Additionally, the small fee will enable them to support their families by helping them make a living.
Activities to do After Gorilla Trekking
The journey through the woodland is anything but magical. It’s wonderful to see the mist floating over the woodland canopy. The calming sounds of the birds and crickets can be heard as you stroll through the woodland. You may have the opportunity to spot certain Albertine endemics, like as the Rwenzori turaco, while on the gorilla walk. Start a thorough birding expedition in the forest. You will have more time in the jungle if you take a walk in the forest.
The Batwa people’s cultural tour will teach you about their way of life, which was passed down to them from their ancestors. The beautiful lakes of Mutanda and Bunyonyi are a great place to unwind.
Should I give my gorilla trekking guide a tip?
Tipping on any safari in Africa is not required. However, it is greatly valued. It serves as a source of additional cash for them and a token of appreciation. Tipping is not subject to a set rate. The amount of the tip varies based on the quality of the service.
How Physically fit to be to trek the gorillas?
A certain level of physical fitness is required for gorilla trekking, which requires hiking through difficult terrain and up high slopes. It is advised to work out frequently before starting your adventure. The Nkuringo area is renowned for being challenging to hike.
safety Rules & regulations
Since gorillas are wild animals, certain safety precautions must be taken when trekking with them. Your tour guide, who will be with you the entire journey, will give you these instructions. They include observing the gorillas from a distance of at least 7 meters, turning off your camera’s flash mode, and remaining with your group.
Your ability to fully enjoy your African safari, including any gorilla trekking, is significantly impacted by your choice of clothing. Dress in relaxed, breathable clothing that will wick moisture from your body. It is advised to use hiking boots or sturdy shoes with grippy soles.
What gear should I bring?
Bring a backpack with you to carry snacks, water, and other necessities. In case of rain, a waterproof camera bag is advised. Due to their elevation, these tropical forests produce their unique weather patterns. Even during the dry months of June through August and December through January, it frequently rains. It’s crucial to dress for rain and chilly weather because the environment in gorilla trekking locations can be unpredictable.
Respect for wildlife:
Because gorillas are a threatened and protected species, it is crucial to respect their habitat by not disturbing wildlife or littering. Gather your trash and dispose of it at the park’s main office. Speak with your head guide if you want to relax. He will lead you off the track and provide a hole for you to relieve yourself.
Since gorillas are prone to human diseases, it’s important to keep at least 7 meters between you and them. We can spread the infectious disease to these primates since we have 95% of their DNA. Please refrain from going into the forest if you have a cold or any other respiratory illness.
Any safari activity includes taking pictures and sharing them with your loved ones. Similarly, going on a gorilla trek. While gorilla trekking, photography is permitted but a flash is not. The gorillas could become frightened by the flash and become aggressive. We suggest the gorilla habituation experience to anyone who are interested in photography. You’ll have plenty of time to capture photos and movies here.