GORILLA TREKKING IN UGANDA
The majority of mountain gorillas in the world reside in Uganda. One of Africa’s most spectacular wildlife experiences is getting close to these animals in their natural environment. Support for conservation initiatives and population expansion is directly provided by seeing gorillas.
Mountain gorillas are primates that spend about a quarter of their day eating and they mainly feed on plants. Around 85% of the diet is made up of leaves, shoots and the stems. However, gorillas also feed on larvae, snails, ants, roots, barks and sometimes rotting wood. Due to research, it has been agreed that an adult mountain Gorilla takes approximately 18 kilograms of food every day. Surprisingly, mountain gorillas are not funs of water and therefore they don’t always drink it. This is because the plants they consume contain a lot of water in them which helps the gorillas to survive.
Where to trek gorillas from in Uganda?
With the pearl of Africa Uganda, there are two gorilla destinations of Mgahinga gorilla national park which has only one gorilla family of Nyakagyezi and Bwindi Impenetrable national park which is by fur the most popular destination with the highest concentration of gorillas and accommodation. The park has over 22 fully habituated gorilla families that are spread into the 4 different sectors of Rushaga, Nkuringo in the South, Buhoma in the North and Ruhija. Each of these trails has its own gorilla families, characteristics and also levels of difficulty.
Choosing a park to visit in Uganda depends on the travellers plan of travel and the time he or she is willing to spend on the safari. There are no differences in the price of the gorilla permit, so be secure that you will get the same experience from any of the chosen park. Besides, many of Uganda’s safari destinations are also found in the South-west. Because of this, it is simple to combine a gorilla hike with a savannah safari to create a single itinerary packed with once-in-a-lifetime experiences.
Gorilla trekking procedure
The trekking starts very early in the morning with a briefing at the park headquarters with your trained tour guide who will brief you about the rules and the regulations of trekking gorillas. A point incase, do not get closer to the gorillas once you have a cold, do not mimic the gorillas because they may make them more angry and aggressive Avoid feeding the gorillas once you get there and observe them, don’t leave anything behind that the gorillas might find offensive, and don’t create noise around the gorillas because you might provoke them, to name a few.
You will then be led to the jungle to commence your quest for the gorillas. Since the gorillas tend to graze from fur like Habiyanja family in Bwindi, finding them might be hard. However, with the help of a ranger guide, you will be able to find these amazing species.
Once you find these primates, you will be allowed to stay with them for over 1 hour to study them, take photos and record audios. You will be able to watch them go about their daily activities like feeding, mating, taking care of their young ones among others.
After this amazing moment, you will then descend back to the starting point where you will be given given gorilla trekking certificates as you get applauded by fellow trekkers. At this moment, you must have accomplished the trek.
How long is a gorilla trek?
The truth is that no one is certain of the precise period at which gorilla trekking will come to an end. This is due to the fact that some of the gorilla families that have been assigned to a customer’s walk are too far away and remote, making it difficult for the client to see these primates and wearing them out. However, a gorilla expedition in the jungle can last anywhere from two to eight hours.
Cost of a gorilla permit in Uganda.
Ugandan gorilla permits are sold at 700 USD from both parks which is cheaper than that of Rwanda. It is therefore important to secure a permit in time regardless of the season as there are no more discounts given. This is because permits are sold highly during the peak months of January to February and then June to August.
How to get a gorilla permit
In order to book, you have to contact the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) or get in touch with a reputable tour operator to organize your gorilla trekking permit that qualifies you to go for gorilla trekking. Trust Gorilla Safaris Africa about this, you will not be disappointed. Kindly note that only a maximum of 8 individuals are allowed to trek a particular gorilla family and the age limit starts from 15 years .Therefore no one below fifteen years of age is allowed to trek the gorillas.
Best time to visit the gorillas
Visiting of the national parks to trek the mountain gorillas is done throughout the year .But however , the clients are advised to come and trek in the months of between June , to September and December to February. This is because the parks have a conducive climate together with the weather that enables the clients to do their trip well and take the pictures clearly without any disturbance. More so, the jungle is not slippery it is rather very dry and hence enables the clients to perform their activities well without falling down because of the sliding surface
What to wear/ pack on a gorilla safari.
Packing essential things before setting off for gorilla trekking is so important. Among the things not to forget to pack include water proof trekking shoes, long sleeved trouser and shirts, wide brimmed hats to help you from the direct sunshine, drinking water, gloves, the sun glasses to also help you from the direct sunlight, umbrella and rainfall jacket to help you from the rains while in the jungle trekking and so many others.
Where to stay on your gorilla trek.
Depending on what part of the park a guest decides to visit, different types of housing are offered. The Buhoma Community Rest Camp and Buhoma Lodge, Nkuringo Gorilla Camp, Chameleon Hill Lodge, Ruhija Gorilla Safari Lodge, Ruhija Gorilla Mist Camp, and Buhoma Lodge are a few examples. Every one is accessible throughout several sectors.
Within Mgahinga gorilla national park, the accommodations include Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge, Nkuringo Safari Lodge, Traveler’s Nest Hotel, Mount Mgahinga Rest Camp, and Mount Mgahinga Lodge. You now have complete discretion over the matter.