Mountain gorilla trekking has a lot of facts that are amazing and useful to any kind of traveler planning to go gorilla trekking in Uganda or Rwanda. Many tourists wish to have a perfect mountain gorilla trekking experience but then a few know what they have to know.
Here we give you a guide on all the facts you need to know about mountain gorilla trekking Uganda and Rwanda. These include the cost of a gorilla trekking permit, the best time to visit, accommodation, and all you need to know.
Before you book a gorilla safari, you must definitely be aware of how much you will need to have your dream safari.
The cost of a Rwanda gorilla trekking permit is USD 1500 each. Each Rwanda gorilla trekking permit is valid for a single gorilla trekking experience. The cost is general for foreign nonresidents, residents as well as Rwandese.
In Uganda, Foreign non-residents will require US$ 700 to purchase a Uganda gorilla permit. Foreign residents will require US$ 600 to buy the Uganda gorilla permit. East African Residents pay 250,000 Ugandan Shillings (UGX).
Only persons above the age of 15 are allowed to purchase the cost of a gorilla trekking permit in Rwanda.
A maximum of 1 hour is what you can spend seeing the gorillas, this is to keep the gorillas safe since they are susceptible to catching the human disease. However, the time spent during the gorilla trekking safari isn’t one hour, more than one hour is spent trekking about 1 hour – 2 hours to and another 1 hour or 2 hours from the trek.
It gets to a total of about 3-4 hours to go gorilla trekking and return, however, this isn’t the static number of hours spent during the gorilla trekking experience, and it depends on where the mountain gorillas spent their previous night.
It is referred to as a year-round activity but the best time to go gorilla trekking in Rwanda and Uganda is during the short and long dry seasons. These are almost during the same months of the year.
The short dry season is from the time of mid-December to early February. The long dry season is from June to September. Both the short and long dry seasons are the best times for gorilla trekking.
June – September: The period between June to September is the longest dry season in Rwanda and the best time to trek gorillas. During this time hiking is easier as the trails are not so muddy and slippery.
There are also few chances of rain pouring during this season of the year but since it is a tropical jungle anything can happen and it can rain.
December – February: This is the short dry season and also the best time to visit Rwanda for gorilla trekking. During the dry season, it offers the easiest hiking or walking conditions in the forest. The malaria risk is also low during this time.
Due to the fact that with gorilla trekking you walk through the jungle, many tourists on either Uganda gorilla safaris or Rwanda gorilla tours, wonder whether gorillas are dangerous to humans, the answer is NO. Mountain gorillas are habituated before they are opened to tourists for trekking.
During habituation, gorillas are taken through a long process where they get familiar with the presence of humans as rangers 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 are opened up to tourists for trekking.
When you go for a trekking safari in Uganda or Rwanda, the ranger guides go with you to the jungle to ensure that you are safe since they are much familiar with the gorillas. A total of 8 tourists are allocated 2 armed ranger guides to ensure their safety in the forest.
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
The most appropriate reaction when a gorilla charges towards you is that you crouch down slowly, look away and act casual/with no intentions of threat. In this way, the gorilla will see you as non-threatening and therefore will move away and return to their family.
For the fact, both Uganda gorilla safaris and Rwanda gorilla tours offer lifetime experiences. Since we plan gorilla safaris, we know best and here we do not offer a conclusive view on whether you should take Uganda gorilla safari or Rwanda gorilla trekking safari. We give you an insight into what it is like to trek gorillas in both countries such that you can choose what is best;
Uganda is home to more than half of the world’s remaining mountain gorillas. It hosts the single largest gorilla population without about 19 habituated gorilla families in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
The disadvantage with the Uganda gorilla habitats is that they are distant from the national airport and therefore requires a long drive on a safari vehicle to get to the park.
It’s about 470km to reach Bwindi and this lasts more than 8 hours, therefore, you need a whole day to reach the park and another to return.
The Mountain gorilla population of Volcanoes National Park is said to move for shorter distances than those in Bwindi Forest. For intending trekkers who would not wish to trek for long, then Rwanda is that high-end option.
Volcanoes National Park is a favorable trekking destination since it’s just 2 hours from the airport which is not the same as other national parks. This is an advantage to those travelers who want to take a short trip like a 1 day and 2 days gorilla safari.
It’s all upon you to choose your gorilla trekking destination whether you choose Uganda or Rwanda. Choose your desired gorilla safari destination and we help you with all the bookings at an affordable cost.
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