GORILLA TREKKING IN UGANDA, RWANDA & DRCONGO
Gorilla Trekking in Uganda, Rwanda and DRCongo: Gorilla trekking is one of the major and physical activity enjoyed by most of the travelers on a safari to 3 destinations that harbor these endangered primates in their natural habitats in Uganda, Rwanda and DRCongo. Gorilla trekking involves taking a guided walk deep into the forest on a trail to search for the gorillas and upon finding them, tourists spend an hour in their time interacting with them, recording short video clips and taking photographs and many more then exit the forest back to the lodge.
Gorilla trekking destinations/ where to go for a gorilla trekking safari
Mountain gorillas inhabit only 4 destinations within East Africa well distributed in 3 countries of Uganda the pearl of Africa, Rwanda the land of a thousand hills and DRCongo.
Gorilla trekking in Uganda the pearl of Africa: Without any doubt, Gorilla trekking is a top done tourist activity done while on a Uganda safari all year round conducted in Uganda’s 2 stunning forested parks in far south western part of the country and these are Bwindi forest national park and Mgahinga gorilla national park each of which enables travelers to spend only 1 hour in presence of endangered mountain gorillas as they roam their habitats.
Bwindi impenetrable national park is divided into 4 sectors including Rushaga, Buhoma, Ruhija & Nkuringo sectors. Each of these sectors harbor a good number of habituated gorilla families for trekking on a daily basis by a maximum number of 8 trekkers per day. This offers an opportunity to trekkers to choose which sector they intend to visit depending on the availability of the gorilla trekking permits on the at particular date of trekking.
Mgahinga gorilla national park harbors just one Nyakagezi gorilla family thus only 8 persons are allowed to trek gorillas in Mgahinga gorilla national park unlike Bwindi which has several sectors and many habituated gorilla families.
In fact, Bwindi impenetrable national park harbors the largest population of gorillas equating to more than the 50% of the entire population of these primates in the wild.
Gorilla trekking in Rwanda
Rwanda has only one destination for gorilla trekking and that is none other than Volcanoes national park. This is a major and top visited park in Rwanda the land of a thousand hills. Volcanoes national park comes as a 2nd destination in terms of the population and number of habituated gorilla after Uganda’s Bwindi impenetrable national park.
Gorilla trekking in DRCongo
DRCongo is yet another stunning gorilla trekking destination harboring both the Mountain gorillas and the Eastern Lowland gorillas. Mountain gorilla trekking in DRCongo is conducted in Virunga national park where as Eastern lowland gorilla trekking is conducted in Kahuzi Beiga national park. This is a good destination to explore for those who wish to watch both the endangered mountain gorillas and Eastern lowland gorillas.
How much is a gorilla trekking permit?
Different countries offer different rates when it comes to gorilla trekking and these rates usually change after a particular period of time.
A permit to trek gorillas in Uganda either in Bwindi Impenetrable national park or in Mgahinga gorilla national park for 2021 – 2022 costs $700 for Foreign Nonresidents, $600 for Foreign Residents and 250,000Ugx for East African community member states and Ugandans. The permits are issued out by the Uganda Wildlife Authority, a body that is responsible for the management of all protected parks in Uganda.
A permit to trek similar gorillas in Rwanda’s Volcanoes national park costs $1500 per person. The permits are issued out by Rwanda Development Board a body responsible for management of all protected parks in Rwanda.
A permit to trek gorilla in Virunga national park in DRCongo costs $400 and $200 respectively during high and low season. However, most of Congo safaris are done in packages. So it’s always crucial to consult a tour operator while planning your Congo gorilla tours.
Who is eligible for gorilla trekking?
All Persons aged 15 years and above are eligible for gorilla trekking be it in Uganda, Rwanda or DRCongo. This implies that people below 15 years of age are termed as minors and thus cannot participate in this breath taking and life time gorilla trekking adventure. However, being a full day adventure, gorilla trekking safari requires abit of physical fitness to endure the terrains in the habitat of gorillas this as well contributes to the reason as to why children aren’t allowed to trek gorillas. Children also are difficult to control in case the gorilla charges unlike the adults who will strictly follow the gorilla trekking rules and regulations.
What is the best time for Gorilla trekking?
Gorilla trekking is enjoyed all year round thus any time of the year is good for travelers to enjoy a breath taking gorilla trekking safari. However, due to the nature of terrains, dry months are always preferred due to the fact that the walking trials in the forest are passable and dry. This however is quiet challenging as Gorillas tend to move further into the forest in search of food thus takes much time to walk in the forest as you search for these endangered primates unlike in wet months when the gorillas are residing nearer thus takes less time to find them.
Packing list for gorilla trekking
Here is a list of the crucial items you need while on your gorilla trekking safari and they include;
- A Mountain gorilla permit
- A pair of waterproof boats
- A pair of stockings
- A pair of Garden gloves
- A rain Jacket
- Both warm and light clothes
- A pair of Sun glasses
- A hiking stick
- A cap
- Sun screen
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