Gorilla trekking is a memorable encounter that offers a close encounter with these giants of the forests (natural habitats). Trekking takes place in Uganda, Rwanda and The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Permits are restricted, so booking early is vital.
You shouldn’t feel like you are exploiting the gorillas by paying to see them. You are instead helping them as tourism is an important factor in their survival. The money got from permits is used to protect these gorillas from poachers.
How close do you get to the gorillas?
Officially, seven to eight meters. It is crucial to follow the gorilla trekking rules and guidelines that are laid down by your company, guide during the briefing meeting before your trek. The rules favor both we humans and mountain gorillas and reduces the spread of infection. Whilst it can be difficult to keep to this distance (the gorillas have never been told of this particular rule), please be aware of your guide’s comments and follow these to the letter.
The gorillas are usually spread out in the forest, sometimes out in the open, other times hiding in the shadows, so you may only catch glimpses of them. You may be very lucky and see them all out in the open. Generally, you will have a full hour with the group, although a few extended permits are now available – ask our experts to explain how this works.
Gorillas are the largest of the primates, with two species, the western gorilla and eastern gorilla. These are then divided into four sub-species; western lowland gorilla, eastern lowland gorilla (also known as Grauer’s gorilla), mountain gorilla and Cross River gorilla.
Why Track Gorillas in Uganda and not any other Place?
A gorilla tracking permit in Uganda costs $600 compared to $1500 in Rwanda, that makes it cheaper to track in Uganda than in Rwanda. It is a bit cheaper in DRC but the stability of DRC is never predictable so that leaves Uganda as the best place to track the endangered Gorillas.
Uganda has four tracking points for the Gorillas spread out in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park while Rwanda has one national park with Gorillas and that makes the place a bit competitive for the trackers.
You have high changes of viewing other game while tracking gorillas in Uganda like forest bird, golden monkeys in Mgahinga, Forest Elephants etc.
Therefore if you are thinking Mountain gorilla tracking? Think Uganda and have an experience of a life time.