A once-in-a-lifetime chance, gorilla trekking allows visitors to encounter these magnificent animals up close and in their natural environment. With chances to see both mountain gorillas and eastern lowland gorillas, Rwanda and Uganda are two of the finest places in Africa for gorilla trekking. What you should know about gorilla hiking in Rwanda and Uganda is provided below.
- What is gorilla trekking?
Hiking through thick forests is required for gorilla trekking in order to locate and observe gorillas in their natural habitat. Treks can last anywhere from one to eight hours and call for a moderate degree of fitness. You will be escorted on the trek by knowledgeable guides who will look out for your safety and assist you in finding the gorillas.
- When can you go for gorilla trekking?
In Rwanda and Uganda, gorilla trekking is possible all year round, but the ideal times to go are from June to September and December to February during the dry season. During these times, the hiking paths are less muddy and the gorillas are more likely to be visible during the dry season.
- How do you obtain a gorilla trekking permit?
A gorilla trekking permit is required to visit the gorillas in both Rwanda and Uganda. Permits can be obtained through the respective national park authorities or through licensed tour operators. It’s important to book your permit in advance, as they can sell out quickly.
- What are the rules for gorilla trekking?
There are strict guidelines put in place that must be followed during the trek in order to safeguard the gorillas and their habitat. The gorillas must be kept at least 7 meters away from you, and you must also refrain from feeding or petting them and speak quietly. Since gorillas are prone to human diseases, visitors with colds or other illnesses are not permitted to go on a trek.
6. The Experience
Gorilla trekking is a unique and unforgettable experience, but it can also be physically challenging. The terrain can be steep and the altitude can make it difficult to breathe. However, the reward of seeing the gorillas in their natural habitat is worth the effort. During the trek, you will also have the opportunity to see other wildlife and plant species.
7. The Location
Rwanda and Uganda are both great destinations for gorilla trekking, but each offers a slightly different experience. Rwanda is known for its well-organized and highly regulated gorilla trekking experience. The gorillas are found in the Volcanoes National Park, which is located in the northern part of the country. The park is easily accessible and only a few hours’ drive from Kigali, the capital city.
Uganda, on the other hand, offers a more rugged and adventurous gorilla trekking experience. The gorillas are found in the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, which is located in southwestern Uganda. The park is more remote and requires a longer drive to reach, but it offers a more immersive experience in the wilderness.
8. The Cost
Although gorilla climbing is expensive, it is completely worthwhile. Currently, a gorilla trekking permit in Rwanda costs $1,500 per individual, compared to $700 in Uganda. A qualified guide and park ranger, park admission, and an hour of gorilla viewing are all included in the price of the permit.
Guidelines for a Fruitful Gorilla Trek
- Be physically prepared because going on a gorilla trek requires hiking through challenging topography. Before starting the trek, make sure you are in excellent physical condition.
- Dress appropriately: To avoid cuts and insect bites, bring sturdy hiking footwear, long trousers, and long-sleeved shirts. Bring layers of warm apparel because the forest can get chilly as well.
- Gorillas should be handled with respect because they are wild animals. Follow the guide’s directions and maintain a constant distance from the gorillas of at least 7 meters (23 feet).
- Bring a good camera with a zoom lens to record the experience. Gorilla trekking provides the chance to take incredible pictures.
In summation, going gorilla trekking in Rwanda and Uganda is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to get up close and personal with these incredible animals in their natural habitat. You can maximize your gorilla trekking experience and make priceless memories if you are prepared and knowledgeable.