Are Mountain Gorillas Friendly?
Trekking mountain gorillas is a safari activity worth undertaking because of the fact that walking or hiking within the tropical jungles of Africa offers a great experience of very alive forests. When planning to go gorilla tracking in Uganda or Rwanda, many persons actually wonder whether it is really okay to go to the forests to search for these gentle giants and therefore, are mountain gorillas friendly?
Despite Mountain gorillas being large, they are generally shy, gentle and peaceful in nature. Mountain gorillas are vegetarian in nature a main reason as to why they live in densely forested areas and spend most of their time in the jungle eating. However, mountain gorillas are muscular, intelligent and strong and can be trained and they can get very close to humans.
Mountain gorillas are habituated before they can be visited by tourists for trekking. During habituation, gorillas are taken through a long process where they get familiar with the presence of humans. Conservationists spend time with the gorillas for about 2 years until the gorillas get unbothered with the presence of people.
After the rangers realize that the gorillas are familiar with humans, other people including researchers and guides are brought to meet the gorillas and if the gorillas pass this test then they can be included among families that can be trekked by tourists.
Being habituated gorillas have been carefully exposed to human presence and have learned that humans are not a threat. However, they are still cautious and act according to your reaction to them.
In case the gorillas feel unsafe they may react since they are still wild animals though there are no recorded cases of when mountain gorillas have gone violent on humans during trekking. Your ranger guide will take you through the precautions and what is required of you in case gorillas get upset with your presence
On rare occasions however mountain gorillas can become of great threat most especially when one disturbs say their territories and when they charge, they react in an aggressive way with vigorous bites, thumping, breaking ribs, dragging and if the person is not rescued in time it may lead to loss of life. Tourists are however always required to keep a seven-meter distance while with the gorillas and should not touch the gorilla.
Due to the fact that with gorilla trekking you walk through the jungle, many tourists on either Uganda gorilla safaris, Rwanda gorilla tours or gorilla trekking in Congo, should be aware that mountain gorillas are friendly. If you are still wondering whether are mountain gorillas friendly, yes they can be very friendly but you should always keep your distance and follow the rules and guidelines of gorilla tracking.
Gorilla trekking/tracking in Uganda – Are Mountain Gorillas Friendly?
Uganda gorilla trekking safaris are done in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in South western Uganda.
Gorilla safaris in Uganda started way back in 1993 when gorilla trekking was opened to tourists after a gorilla habituation process. A gorilla trekking permit in Uganda costs USD 600 for each permit sold to only individuals above the age of 15.