Gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is generally an amazing experience but it requires you to have some physical wellness. It is a distinct primate adventure unlike the unusual game drives or tour at a zoo. Trekking to see gorillas involves holidaymakers navigating through an elevation of between 2500 and 3000 meters.
During gorilla treks, tourists also hike through dense vegetation, steep slopes and the overall experience can be exhausting but so rewarding. A gorilla trek isn’t a mere walk but rather it is unpredictable adventure taking trekkers from 2 to 6 hours. While on gorilla trek, altitude and rain are some factors that one should also put into consideration.
Before considering traveling to Uganda, Rwanda or Congo, we advise all our visitors to be well-prepared. Be ready for the unpredictable weather conditions, challenging altitude among other factors. Although gorilla trekking is considered difficult, at least 98% of trekkers find themselves make a complete trek. Remarkably, some trekkers find gorilla trekking thrilling especially when they venture into lush rain-forest or unknown territory while on a search for gorillas.
While gorilla trek is regarded as difficult, on the other hand it is very interesting. There is opportunity not only to view mountain gorillas but also you get to sight some interesting birds, primates, other mammals and the beautiful sceneries from the different protected areas where gorilla trekking is conducted.
How long does a trek to see gorillas take?
The length of gorilla trek in Uganda, Rwanda or Congo isn’t predictable like it is a case with game drive. In an estimate, the whole trek can take between 2 and 6 hours. This begins immediately you are done with briefing on gorilla trekking rules and after you have been allocated a gorilla group.
When you finally come across a gorilla family then you will have an hour with gorillas, take photos and have an in-depth learning about their behaviors. The longer you stay the higher chances you have to explore different habituated gorilla groups in Uganda, Rwanda or DRC. Uganda alone has 2 gorilla parks with 21 habituated gorilla families set for gorilla tourism. These are distributed within Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Rwanda and DRC comprise of 10 and 8 habituated mountain gorilla groups respectively.
Gorilla trekking in Uganda’s parks like it is in Volcanoes National Park in Northwestern Rwanda and the Virunga National Park in DRC comes with its own difficulties. Trekking gorillas in Bwindi for instance involves navigating through streams, dense vegetation and rivers. The best for you to have unforgettable gorilla trekking experience is to ensure you adequately prepare for your gorilla trek.
Firstly, ensure you pack essential items including hand gloves, rain-jacket, waterproof hiking boots, sun glasses, insect repellents, hat, long-sleeved shirt, daypack, sweater, walking stick (walking sticks are available at the park headquarters). Others include first aid kit, bottle of mineral water, energy giving snacks. For trekkers who are elderly, there are sedan chairs for hire. Porters are available to carry such persons and even persons with disabilities. Generally, this may cost you US Dollars 500 and everyone who is not fit enough, it is advisable that you hire a porter to help in carrying the heavy luggage.
How you can enhance your fitness level for gorilla trekking?
It is possible for you to enhance your fitness level before the actual date of your gorilla trek. Firstly, do some exercises, walk around to ensure you familiarize yourself with the terrain so that you manage to tackle the terrain in Uganda or Rwanda on a gorilla trek.