Mountain gorilla trekking has become a must to do adventure in the travelers buck list, featured to the world through the famous film of the Virunga. Gorilla trekking has circulated world wide, impacted conservation and protected the critically endangered mountain gorillas.
What is gorilla tracking in reality?
The endangered mountain gorillas are undoubtedly Great apes, larger than the lowlands, incredibly the biggest primates in the entire world. Due to deforestation and development, their natural habitats have been limited to only three protected areas of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, Mgahinga National Park in Uganda and the Virunga National Park in DR Congo and Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda. They count not more than 900 species in the entire world. Unlike other tours, gorilla trekking is an opportunity for tourists to encounter the world’s incomparably charismatic wild creature while they are in their natural habitat. A trek to see them involves hiking through the jungles of Africa to view a gorilla group meaning trekkers have to be physically well and plan appropriately in order to enjoy the most exceptional adventures with the endangered primates while in the wild. Though it is a strenuous hike, the experiences thereafter are exceptionally of a life time.
Gorilla trekking permit is a must to have as well as a guide to direct you for a fascinating adventure with these rare apes. Africa offers refuge to these iconic apes besides the big game. Think about great wildlife species in the jungles and thick of watching Gorillas in the Mist. Gorillas are the main target for hunters and as a result, they are most likely to get extinct. Thanks to gorilla trekking in Uganda and Rwanda that these critically endangered apes now have some hope of thriving once again in the wild compared to the previous days.
Gorilla trekking is a one to two hour hike for trekkers to see them in their natural habitat. With your permit at hand, you have about 95% chances of trekking them in the wild with a well trained guide. In Uganda, the permits are obtainable at $600, in Rwanda $1500 and in DR Congo at $400. The forest can be thick and the path at times slippery and muddy and people have achieved their dreams still. A face to face encounter with these intelligent apes allows visitors to spend only one hour. Gorilla adventures are unique as they support local economies, prevent poaching, save them and witness one of the most remarkable species in the planet.
The critically endangered mountain gorillas are only inhabited in the thick tropical rain forest of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Southwestern Uganda, the Virunga National Park in Eastern DR Congo and Volcanoes National Park in North-western Rwanda. In the whole world, there only 900 mountain gorillas left in the wild. In Uganda, there are 12 habituated gorilla groups that are set for visitors to trek, in Rwanda there are ten gorilla families set for tourism purposes while in DR Congo you have eight habituated groups.
Gorilla trekking involves hiking through the steep terrains and higher altitudes to sight the critically endangered gorillas. The hike through the jungles of Africa can be challenging and strenuous but it is within reach from anyone with a reasonable level physical wellness. Some times, it can be rain and the gorilla habitat can be muddy and slippery and this means that you have to be prepared with your water proof hiking boots and a bottle of water. The guide and trackers will be clearing for you the path through using machete. When you meet a gorilla family, you have only one hour to be with the apes at a distance of 8 meters. The Great apes stay on dense forest at an altitude of about 2200 meters to 4300 meters. The vegetation on the lower slopes is thick and usually comes with bamboo, ferns and gallium vines. The vegetation zone where these species stay is mostly misty, damp and cold depending on the weather condition. These primates have a tendency of roaming around based on the season; spend time in the sub alpine regions to feed on senecio trees during certain times of the year.
The trek takes about two to four hours for visitors to track gorillas. Both Uganda and Rwanda the trek can be full day hike and it keeps varying depending on where the primates will be found or spent their previous night as well as location of group that you will be assigned to track.