Is gorilla trekking worth the money?
Gorilla trekking is an adventurous activity where visitors move into the forest in search of the habituated gorilla families and once found spend one hour with them in their natural habitat. Travellers often ask the question if gorilla trekking is worth the money paid and the answer is yes, gorilla trekking is worth the money due to various reasons.
Despite the cost of a gorilla trekking permit, time spent with the gorillas, strenuous trekking among others, gorilla trekking is the most interesting activity in Africa in that it offers you with breathtaking and unforgettable experiences as you spend time with the gentle giants in their natural habitat. Gorilla trekking gives you an opportunity to learn more about the gorillas, their lifestyle, behaviors, habits, take photos and record the moments to show people back home after your gorilla trekking safari.
Gorilla trekking is worth the money in that after the strenuous trek you will have an encounter with the gorillas which is full of excitement and lifetime memories as you watch the gorillas carrying out their daily duties, juveniles entertaining the gorilla family, females breastfeeding, their social interaction, the dominant silverback taking care of the family among others which makes you forget the amount paid for the gorilla permit.
Travellers who have engaged in gorilla trekking say that it’s the most exciting, adventurous and exceptional activity that shouldn’t be missed on your safari in Africa. Therefore in order you can visit Achieve Global Safaris website on trip adviser to see the reviews of the previous visitors who participated in gorilla trekking activity. Due to magical and thrilling experiences, some visitors carry out double gorilla trekking, others carry out gorillas in all the three countries so as to compare experiences in all the destinations and others want to participate in gorilla trekking over again because they can’t get enough of the interesting gentle giants.
Gorilla trekking in Africa
Gorillas are endangered primates that are found in five African destinations namely Bwindi impenetrable national park which is located in southwestern Uganda and harbors about 19 habituated mountain gorillas and the only gorilla destination harboring the highest number of the mountain gorillas in the world, Mgahinga gorilla national park which is located in southwestern Uganda harboring two habituated gorilla families, Volcanoes national park in Rwanda which harbors over 14 habituated gorilla families, Virunga national park which is located in Democratic Republic of Congo harboring 8 habituated gorilla families and Kahuzi biega national park harboring 5 habituated gorilla families.
Number of people allowed to trek the gorillas
Gorilla trekking in all destinations allows a maximum number of 8 people to trek each habituated family and people are grouped depending on their physical fitness, age, hiking abilities among others. Therefore visitors are advised to communicate with their guides on the hiking abilities so that they are allocated a gorilla family that is easy to trek.
How long does gorilla trekking take
Gorilla trekking takes about 2 to 7 hours depending on the location of the mountain gorillas and once found you will have an opportunity to spend one hour in the presence of the gorillas taking photos, recording the moments, learning about their lifestyles, behaviors, habits among others.
Visitors who want to spend more hours with the gorillas can opt for gorilla habituation experience a process where the gorillas are trained to get used to human presence. Gorilla habituation process takes a period of 2 to 3 years and is carried out by a team of researcher, trackers, park guides among others. Gorilla habituation experience allows a maximum of 4 visitors to engage in the habituation process and spend four hours with the gorillas in their natural habitat. Gorilla habituation experience is only carried out in Rushaga sector in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park.
Gorilla trekking permit in Uganda
A single gorilla trekking permit in Uganda costs $600 for foreign non-residents, $500 for foreign residents, UGX 250,000 for East African citizens. The permit was however increased by $100 therefore effective 1st July 2020 a gorilla trekking permit for foreign non-residents will cost $700 and $600 for foreign residents.
A gorilla habituation permit in Uganda costs $1500 for foreign non-residents, $1000 for foreign residents and UGX 750,000 for East African citizens for visitors who want to spend more time with the mountain gorillas.
Gorilla trekking permit in Rwanda
A gorilla trekking permit in Rwanda costs $1500 for all nationalities. This is the most expensive gorilla trekking permit among the three countries. The prices were doubled in May 2017 so as to improve on the standards of living of the local people who live around Volcanoes national park and also to conserve the mountain gorillas in the park.
Gorilla trekking permit in Democratic Republic of Congo
A single gorilla trekking permit in Democratic Republic of Congo costs $400 for foreign non-residents and a discounted gorilla trekking permit which costs $200 during the low season. Congo is the only destination with the cheap gorilla trekking permit and this is due to political fights in the country which make it insecure for gorilla trekking therefore in order to market and attract more visitors they introduced a discounted gorilla trekking permit during the low season.
Visitors can therefore choose the destination where they want to trek the gorillas whether they want a luxury gorilla trekking safari in Rwanda, budget gorilla trekking destination in Congo or an affordable gorilla trekking destination with the highest number of gorillas because all destinations offer unique and exceptional gorilla trekking experiences.
When to book a gorilla trekking permit
A gorilla trekking permit should be booked 3 to 6 months in advance before the trekking date in order to avoid disappointments because the permits are competitive are usually get sold out especially during the peak season in the months of June to September and December to February.
Best time to go for gorilla trekking in Africa
Gorilla trekking in Bwindi impenetrable national park, Mgahinga gorilla national park, Volcanoes national park, Virunga national park and kahuzi Biega national park can be done anytime throughout the year though the best period is during the dry season in the months of June to September and December to February. The dry season is also known as the peak season and visitors prefer travelling in the peak season because there is less rainfall in the national parks therefore access roads will be passable and gorilla trekking trails will be dry and passable hence making gorilla trekking successful compared to the rainy season when there is heavy rainfall which makes gorilla trekking trails muddy and slippery.
Visitors can also visit during the wet/rainy season in the months of march to May and October to November because there will be less crowds in the gorilla destinations, luxury lodges will offer discounts which favors the budget travellers and last minute visitors will be able to acquire a gorilla trekking permit compared to the dry season when the permits are competitive.
What to pack for your gorilla trekking safari
there are various essentials that visitors on a gorilla trekking safari can pack including hiking shoes which are comfortable to enable you walk in the jungle, garden gloves to protect you from the germs and thorny trees, long sleeved shirt and trousers to keep you warm, insect repellent to protect you from biting insects, waterproof rain jacket, warm sweater, energy snacks, backpack, walking stick to give you support while trekking in the jungle among others.
Gorilla trekking is a magical and incredible activity that is worth the money paid therefore in case you are interested in gorilla trekking safaris you can contact our tour consultants or visit our website for gorilla trekking packages in Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo.