Even though much has been known about mountain gorillas, both earlier and the ongoing trekkers have asked many questions on how to ensure a unique trekking adventure. The uniqueness of gorilla trekking in Uganda has also drawn many people involving the travellers, school children, researchers and the conservationists that all aim at obtaining the information about the mountain gorillas. There are over 900 mountain gorillas surviving in the whole world, which makes a meeting with these endangered species which is a very unique experience for the tourists.
About the cost of a gorilla permit, each of the country i.e Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo has got different costs for the permits, for Uganda, a gorilla permit is US$700 per person , Rwanda at US$1500 per person and the democratic Republic of Congo, the permit is US$400 per person. If you are looking at gorilla habituation, a permit costs US$1500 and this activity is only done in the Rushaga Sector, South of Bwindi.
Though there is a difference in the costs, the experience of the trek in any country is unique in its own way. There are also discounts on the permits in all the countries.
More on Gorilla Permits
- How to book gorilla permits
- Gorilla Trekking Vs Gorilla Habituation
- Cancellation policy for gorilla permits
- When Should i Book gorilla permits?
Since the mountain gorillas live within the tropical rain forest with the slippery and muddy grounds, dry season is also the best time for gorilla trekking. This is also between the months of June to September and then December to February. However the mountain gorillas can also be trekked with in the wet season to make the tour more adventurous and more memorable. More so trekking is cheaper since the permits are discounted to a cheaper rate.
Which sector is best for Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi Forest?
Many tour operators and tourists choose Rushaga sector as the best sector for gorilla tracking in Bwindi because of the many habituated gorilla families here it is easy to get the gorilla tracking permit here compared to other sectors, however according to the nature/elevation Buhoma is the best sector for gorilla trekking given the fact sometime you can only spend 3-4 hours on your trek and some trackers are already done by 11am in the morning. Among all the sectors it is Nkuringo sector that has a higher elevation making the treks strenuous. For gorilla trekking in Bwindi Forest which ever sector you are booked for your trek you will be able to see the mountain gorillas and you have 99% chances of seeing them on your trek given the fact this is a very well organized activity.
You need to dress for trekking since it’s very helpful for every trekker. This also involves the hiking boots, the long sleeved shirts, the panties, hand gloves, sun glasses, hats, the rain jackets, and the warm light jackets to give warmth in the cold forest weather. You can expect a great experience when you are well dressed.
What are the dos and don’ts of gorilla trekking?
Always to keep 7m distance from the mountain gorillas, this is also compulsory to all the trekkers. The mountain gorillas are known to be the closest relatives to the human beings sharing 99.8 % DNA which makes it so vulnerable to human diseases. The distance is also meant in preventing the spread of diseases like flue and cough. The trekkers should also avoid close contact with the gorillas and no flash light cameras are allowed while taking the photographs.
How Long is a Gorilla Trek
Gorilla trekking starts in the morning after having a briefing by the park rangers/guides. Once the trek has started, there is no specific time to spend in the jungle but this will vary depending on the movement of the gorillas and where they slept last night. This also means that lucky trekkers can meet the gorillas in the first 30 minutes and other can last upto 6 hours, even though it might take long, it’s a 99.9 % sure of meeting with the gorillas.
Where do the gorillas live?
Since there are 900 mountain gorillas that are surviving in the world, these live in Uganda in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, in Volcanoes National park found in Rwanda, and in Mgahinga National park found in Uganda. The other mountain gorillas are found in Virunga National park in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This also means that in order for one to enjoy the gorillas, must visit one of these destinations.
What is included in the Permit?
The permit includes the park entrance fee, the ranger park money who will guide you during the trekking and the services in the national park apart from the accommodation facility. This also means that a permit also covers the park entrance and the park ranger’s money.
What is the age limit for the trekkers?
Only the tourists aged 5 years and above are allowed to trek the mountain gorillas. It’s a mandate that everyone below the age of 15 cannot be allowed to trek when he or she has paid or has travelled with a group of other trekkers.
Why is the 7 Meter Rule Important during the Gorilla Visits?
Endangered mountain gorillas are prone to most of the human diseases. As a result it is very important to note that travelers on gorilla safari in Uganda will keep a distance of about 7 meters to stop the transmission of these diseases. Since they live in cold and wet climate, it makes it them contract and develop diseases like respiratory tract diseases most especially Pneumonia resulting into their death. Sometimes, they do develop teeth cavities and most of free range mountain gorillas feature intestinal worms which affect both man and gorillas.
What is the recommended space needed between the Gorillas and Humans?
Gorilla families do not need independent territories rather they do position themselves to defend their territory from the rest. They roam in ranges of which the size is dependent on the availability of food and their home ranges are noted to be extended in areas of food. Their home range contain differing zones which are utilized seasonally and stretch between 4 and 8 square kilometers.
Do mountain Gorillas fear Water?
Gorillas are not able to swim naturally and as a result they tend to avoid expanse water bodies though the young and adult like playing with water and during their quest for food, gorillas move through swamps on two legs. However when the rains showers are heavy to their surprise, they tend to stay motionless waiting for the rain to end.