A gorilla trek is a once in a lifetime wildlife activity taking you trekking deep in Africa’s Virunga conservation region and Bwindi impenetrable forest in search for the rare mountain gorillas.
Trekking the Virungas in search of mountain gorillas is such an amazing experience that involves walking and coming into contact with mountain gorillas. Uganda offers a safe and secure surrounding to be able to see the mountain gorillas.
Where and when to go gorilla trekking
Gorilla trekking is mainly witnessed around two countries which are Rwanda and Uganda and can take place all year round, however the major suitable seasons being in June and September, as well as December and February. Bwindi can be visited anytime of the year. It’s advisable to make bookings within 3 months to a year prior to the visit.
Bwindi is the major habit for the mountain gorillas. In order for visitors to be able to see the gorillas in Bwindi they need to obtain a gorilla trekking permit while goes for USD 600 in the peak seasons and USD 450 in the low seasons, the permits can be obtained from UWA Uganda Wildlife Authority.
When going on a gorilla safari, you are required to acquire a gorilla trekking permit to be able to visit the gorillas, the permits cost about USD 500. Safari tours are charged separately from the gorilla trekking permits. The charge varies, and depends on how many people are booked on a tour -- the more people, the cheaper the tour will be. There are a number of tour operators in Uganda that can offer different prices, with an option to book online or directly with the operator.
A typical gorilla trekking experience in Bwindi forest involves a game ranger taking visitors on a guided 4 - 5 hour trek to find the gorillas. Visitors are given a short briefing beforehand on what and what not to do while on the trek.
What you need on a gorilla trek
Those going on a gorilla trek need to be physically fit, must have comfortable shoes, a jacket, sunscreen, an insect repellant, and no infectious diseases. The tourists are not allowed to get too close to the gorillas, and are advised to stay as a group, not to use flash light cameras, not to eat or smoke when near the gorillas, and lastly to avoid making loud noises.
Some lucky tourists may be able to find the gorillas in less than 40 minutes while others can take up to 3 days. The gorillas are not harmful at all, but the silverback can easily injure you if it’s provoked.
It’s a breathtaking experience for anyone who is an adventure lover.