Gorilla Trekking should be on top of your list if you are a traveller with an appreciation of adventure and wildlife. Although, a number of tours are offered to tourists in Africa and most of them tickle the fancy of the adventure traveller but there is hardly anything like gorilla trekking.
We should be aware that mountain gorillas are an endangered species and due to their similarities with humans, they are a very interesting species to observe and study. Wildlife conservationists will enjoy this trip!
The governments of the African countries use part of the permit fees to invest in the continuing conservation of these gentle beasts. Mountain gorillas are only found in the mountainous rain forests of Uganda, Rwanda and DR Congo. Below, we offer some tips to you to have the most memorable experience of your life;
The Right Venue
Rwanda is far more expensive if you are to take up the gorilla trekking at the Volcanoes National Park or Parc Nationale Des Volcans, an extraordinarily beautiful and vast expanse of land where you’ll find dense, rich rain forests, open grasslands, and bamboo forests. Gorilla trekking permit in Rwanda costs 1500 USD/person.
Undoubtedly one of the most mesmerizing experiences for gorilla trekking is offered in Uganda. The Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is home to about 350 gorillas that natively inhabit the mountainous rainforest region. Apart from gorillas, hundreds of rare and beautiful bird and butterfly species also live here. Of all the safaris in Uganda, the gorilla trekking at the Bwindi Park is definitely an experience of a lifetime.
The Right Season
For those who wish to avoid the rainy and wet seasons, the obvious choice is the peak season (dry season) which lasts between December to February and June to September. However, many of the smart tourists opt for the low season (rainy season) which may enhance your experience further. The rainy season in the forests is a treat to experience because all the gorilla families are centred around the lower slopes so the trekking time is not only reduced but you get to spend time with the gorilla families in closer proximity. The low reason also means that you will have smaller groups than groups of 8 people during the peak season which means a more intimate experience.
Both seasons are great for viewing these majestic creatures depending on your preferences.
The Right Gear
Remember, you are trekking in a mountainous forest, there will be slopes, bushes, trees and everything that is a part and parcel of being in the wild. You will have to prepare like you prepare for a trek. This means that you carry a backpack with your essentials. Wear comfortable shoes for trekking, in rainy seasons, you may also opt for rubber boots to avoid getting wet and these will come in handy during slippery slopes. You have to wear clothes that cover your entire body so nettles, shrubs and branches do not harm your skin whilst you trek. You will have to keep ample water as it can sometimes take up to 8 hours during the trek to spot gorillas. Make sure that you are mentally prepared for the experience. With the right gear and mindset, you can have a great time trekking in the woods