Gorilla safaris are the highly rated trips experienced by most travelers who visit Uganda and Rwanda. This is due to that the endangered mountain gorillas are the major reason as to why very many people visit Uganda and Rwanda.
A gorilla safari is an unforgettable trip of life time. Trekking the mountain gorillas is an incredible captivation search involving walks following gorilla trails in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest which is the major safari destination in Uganda and the scenic Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. These rain forests are spectacular and offer a life time experience to every traveler that visits them.
Trekking mountain gorillas can take between 30 minutes and eight hours depending on where the gorillas spent the night previously and the moment they are sighted, travelers are given only an hour while taking pics, admiring, learning and interacting with the gentle giant apes.
To enjoy a gorilla safari, travelers need to have a gorilla permit which must be bought in advance and the permit gives you the ultimate right to trek gorillas and only a maximum of eight people are allowed to track each gorilla family a day.
In Bwindi impenetrable and Mgahinga gorilla national parks, only 14 gorilla families are open to travelers and travelers are allowed to spend only an hour observing the gorillas. Bwindi impenetrable forest, the home of gorilla tours has 4 sectors; Buhoma sector, Ruhija sector, Nkuringo sector and Rushaga sector. Each sector shelters and protects a given number of gorilla families.
Buhoma sector is the oldest to be established and protects Mubare, Habinyanja and Rushegura gorilla families and it is found in the north.
Rushaga sector protects the largest number of families, which include Nshongi, Kahungye, Bweza, Busingye, Mishaya, as well as Bikingi and Bushaho families which are being habituated. Rushaga region is found in the southern, and it is the only sector where habituation is done in Uganda.
Ruhija sector protects 3 families; Oruzogo, Bitura and Kyaguriro and it is found in eastern part of the park.
Mgahinga gorilla national park has one gorilla family known as Nyakagezi, which can be trekked any time of the year.
However, there some services that are excluded in a gorilla tour such as visas, international air fares, alcoholic beverages and all services of personal nature. A gorilla tour does not involve price for the visa which means travelers have to first reserve their visas, either online or purchase it upon arrival at the airport.
A gorilla safari in Uganda or Rwanda can only involve the gorilla permits, transportation to and from the park, accommodation and meals, drinking water, park entry fees, guide / ranger fees and conservation fees. So anything that is not mentioned is considered as an excursion in a gorilla tour.
International flights. International flight fares are not included on a gorilla tour price. Travelers shouldn’t think that the gorilla tour price involves international flight fares, not even domestic flights, unless requested earlier as a mode of transfer preferred to access different destinations in the country. Travelers who wish to travel by a domestic chartered flight can then inform their tour operator to include it in the gorilla tour price.
When going to trek mountain gorillas, each traveler needs a porter to carry their stuff, including luggage, water, packed lunch, cameras, etc. The porters are always available at the park waiting for any travelers who may need them.
The pottery fee they get is used to support them through school and also support to sustain their families so hiring a porter is a way of indirectly giving back to the community.
Exclusive of a gorilla tour cost are services of personal nature, which may include laundry, alcoholic beverages, insurance cover, tips and buying souvenirs or general shopping, among others.
All the services mentioned above are excluded in a gorilla tour whether in Uganda or Rwanda and other destinations where gorilla trekking is carried out. So be keen on what is included and excluded on a gorilla tour and it will help you to prepare for that life time experience.