Gorilla trekking is one of the best adventure tourist activities in the world. Uganda and Rwanda are some of the world’s best destinations for gorilla trekking safaris in Africa. The Volcanoes National park in Rwanda, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga National Park in Uganda hosts the largest number of mountain gorillas hence the biggest gorilla trekking experience.
Here are 10 things to know about gorilla trekking in Africa:
- The experience is expensive
Gorilla Trekking is an expensive activity. In Uganda , the permit to see the mountain gorillas cost US$ 600 while in Rwanda it costs US$ 750. To that note therefore, many clients find it hard to pay for gorilla trekking permit, Air ticket, Visa and so on.
- The trekking requires maximum level of fitness – many people likes gorilla trekking but experience is strenuous and it involves climbing mountains and sloping down, crossing rivers and moving through slippery trails among others.
- Some forests habour dangerous insects, animals and reptiles. The fact that Gorilla trekking is conducted in Forested areas, trekkers stand higher chances of getting Malaria from Mosquitoes, Sleeping sickness from Tsetse flies among others. However, we advise all our clients to move with mosquito repellent.
- Gorilla trekking is tiresome – trekking involves moving through the forest while searching for the mountain Gorilla and the time to meet Gorillas in unpredictable and some times takes a full day.
- Gorilla permits are on a very high demand and are booked in advance yet some clients prefer paying on arrival. Any delay to pay for the permits can make a client miss trekking when all gorilla permits are sold out.
- Gorilla permits are non refundable -once the client has paid for the gorilla permit and misses to come on the safari then, the Uganda wildlife Authority (UWA) OR Rwanda development Board (RDB) will not make refund by can only allow rescheduling.
- Gorilla tracking starts early morning yet some people find it hard to wake up early especially on cold days. Early in the morning, Gorilla trekking trails are filled with fog and dew which hinders visibility and smooth walking to meet Mountain Gorillas.
- Gorilla trekking is strictly done under instructions – only one hour is given to stay with Gorillas, No flash cameras, 7 metres distance must be left between Gorillas and the trekkers among others. Some people are not used to strict instructions.
- Gorilla Tracking is Safe!
Many travelers think that gorillas are violent creatures and thus can cause harm to human beings. However, gorillas are peaceable animals unless provoked. once you follow the set gorilla watching rules, you will definitely enjoy the company of these great apes safely.
- There are strict rules to gorilla tracking that follow ecotourism. Children below 16years are not allowed to trek Gorillas yet some parents prefer trekking Gorillas with their children. Only one hour is allowed to stay with Gorillas –some clients find it less to maximally view gorillas and take photos.