Gorilla trekking is one of the top tourist activities that are done in East and Central Africa which involves travelers hiking thock forests that harbor the amazing endangered Gorilla species. Travelers get a chance to spend time with the gorillas in the forest, usually 1 hour for Gorilla trekking and 4 hours for gorilla habituation.
Gorilla habituation is basically for researchers and those gorilla trekkers who would love to spend more time with the gorilla species in the forest. Gorilla Habituation is done in Uganda in Bwindi Impenetrable forest.
Where can one do Gorilla Trekking?
Gorilla Trekking is done in East and Central Africa in Uganda, Rwanda, and Congo. In Uganda, Gorilla trekking can be done in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park which happens to harbor the largest number of mountain gorillas in the world. In Uganda, travelers can do gorilla trekking in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park also as one of the gorilla destinations. In Rwanda, Gorillas can be seen in Volcanoes National Park the most visited national park in the country and in Congo, Gorilla trekking can be done in Virunga National Park. In Congo, you can find another species of the gorilla beringei beringei which are the Eastern lowland gorillas which can be found in Congo’s Kahuzi Biega National Park. Therefore one can choose to trek eastern lowland gorillas in Kahuzi Biega national park.
Cost of Gorilla Trekking
To trek gorillas in any of the mentioned national parks does not come at a free cost. This activity can only be done once one has purchased a gorilla permit from the concerned authorities. Gorilla permits in Uganda cost USD700, gorilla permits in Rwanda cost USD1,500 and in gorilla permits Congo they cost USD400.
The gorilla trekking experience
This is one of the best safari experiences that a traveler can engage in. On the gorilla safari tour, you are expected to reach the park headquaters as early as 6:30 am. On reaching the park headquaters you will find the park rangers who will take you through a short briefing where they will give you the guidelines, rules, and regulations of the gorilla trekking experience. After the briefing, you will start the trek accompanied by armed rangers and gorilla trackers who know how to find the gorillas.
It usually takes 2-4 hours before you find the gorillas and once you find them, you will be given 1 hour t0 spend with the gorillas. During this hour you will be expected to observe the gorillas, take photos, and enjoy your moment. After the 1 hour, you will be expected to trek back to the starting point where you will meet the driver guides to continue your safari.
Essentials to Carry for the gorilla safari experience
Essentials are those key items one needs to have to be able to go through the gorilla experience successfully. For example one needs to have a gorilla trekking permit, valid VISA, valid Passport, and the yellow fever card as the essential documents.
Other things to carry include, long sleeved trousers and shirts, hiking boots, rain jacket, waterproof backpack, gloves, safari hat/cap, extra snacks and water.