Practical Gorilla Trekking Information for Uganda
All you need to Know – Practical Gorilla Trekking – Information -Tips – Advice
Practical Gorilla Trekking Information -Tips – Advice for those trekking the Gentle Giants in Uganda and Rwanda. Your Guide to Gorilla Trekking. We cut across the hype and wrong information found on the internet and give you the straight facts. We know Gorillas, all about Gorilla Trekking is what we do, it is our business and passion
Rwanda Gorilla Permits doubled in price to 1500 USD – this is to fund the conservation efforts and aiding the local communities around Volcanoes National Park, it is also part of the country’s effort to market itself as an upmarket destination, especially when it comes to Gorilla Trekking.
When it comes to Gorilla Trekking – Uganda’s Gorilla Permits will remain at 600 USD making it the best safe and affordable country to trek Gorillas in.
Rwanda, though safe, the permit price remains at an out-of-reach 1,500 USD. DR Congo is affordable at 350 USD for permits but comes with the added risk factors that make the Eastern Congo, including Virunga National Park a no-go zone for most unless you are Indiana Jones.Create Link
Practical Gorilla Trekking Information -Tips – Advice-Your Total Guide to Gorilla Trekking. We offer you all the information that you need to maximize your experience as you Encounter the Gentle Giants of the Forest.
Whether you are on a Gorilla Safari with us or not, the Information we offer will put you into the Know. Based on our experience, you will have the best Gorilla Trekking Experience knowing about what is involved in Gorilla Trekking.
It is all about Know before you Go. Knowing means that you will avoid the pitfalls and mistakes commonly made by those who do not Know before they Go.
Gorilla trekking is the most expensive Tourism Activity in Africa, take the Time to get the most return for your money in the form of a Memorable Experience that far exceeds the investment.
Whether you are on Gorilla Safari with us or not, the Gorilla Guide gives you what you will need for a successful Gorilla Trek.
The Gorilla Guide – Practical Gorilla Trekking Information -Tips – Advice
Mountain Gorilla Background Information – Mountain Gorilla Background Information-Facts-History-Behavior of Mountain Gorillas, Habitat and Diet and Predators – chief predator being a man.
The endangered Mountain Gorillas of Uganda will not be found in any zoo in the world (they do not survive in captivity, and there are no surviving mountain gorillas in zoos), you can only find them in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The Mountain Gorillas, thanks to Conservation Efforts supported in large part by Gorilla Tourism and Permit Revenue are dramatically growing in numbers.
Preserving and enlarging their habitat remains the biggest Challenge, Larger buffer zones between parks the local Communities are also a Priority.
The Father of Gorilla Tourism in Uganda– Walter Baumgartel
A South African wrote some time back that he felt that gorilla tracking was not worth it. Too much hassle, too much money, too many bugs, too much effort. How wrong he was and is.
The Thousands that go on a gorilla trek each year will tell otherwise, and one never hears a bit of regret, only wishing that they could track the gorillas once again.
Gorilla Tracking like all priceless things in life has a price – 1500 USD for permits in Rwanda and 600 USD in Uganda, add-on top of that lodging, transport, guides, tips and yes, it is a bundle of money – no one has ever complained but the writer of a blog that I answer in the link above, who never tracked gorillas.
The above is a question one often receives from clients. One also sees such questions on forums, TripAdvisor, and blogs.
Uganda and Rwanda offer similar experiences when it comes time to spend that hour with the Mountain Gorillas.
If you are in doubt regarding which country to visit take a look. Our suggestion – Track the Mountain Gorillas in both Rwanda and Uganda. Even better track the Mountain Gorillas in Rwanda and go on 4 hours with the Gorillas on a Gorilla Habituation Experience.
Gorilla Trekking is expensive. There is no doing a Gorilla Trekking on the Cheap, it is the most costly tourist activity in Africa and most likely beyond.
There are some money-saving choices that you can make. Options that can save you hundreds of dollars. This is where we can be of help and assist you in creating a safari that is within reach, ways of stretching your hard earned money, getting as the Americans say, More Bang for your Buck.
When it comes to Gorilla Safaris, there are no fire sales, no more seasonal discounts, no Black Friday Sales Days, but wise choice, and a Tour Company that understands your needs and wishes can keep within reason. Many potential Trekkers come down with a case of Gorilla Safari Price sticker shock. There is no cheap gorilla Trekking safari in spite of some tour operators using that term. We like to say, remember the Yugo, the cheapest car made in its time.
Is Gorilla Tracking Safe:
Gorilla Tracking – both in Rwanda and in Uganda are safe and secure, and there have no issues with insecurity in either country.
The safest place to be is on a safari in either Uganda or Rwanda. On a gorilla trek, rangers guide you along with an armed military escort. Pretrackers are out in search of your Gorilla Group, and the way is laid out before you hit the trail.
Gorilla Trekking is a significant source of income for both Rwanda and Uganda and both governments have done everything to make it a safe experience for visitors since all it takes is one incident to destroy Gorilla Tourism for a country and that is the last thing Rwanda or Uganda want.
Gorilla Tracking takes place in Uganda and Rwanda all year-long – there are two rainy seasons where the trails become quite muddy. One must also realize that it does not rain all day long during the rainy seasons. Most often it will rain during the night and the early morning hours. The sun will still come out on most days.
In the rainforests of Uganda and Rwanda, it can rain during the dry seasons. When it rains in Uganda and Rwanda – it is mostly during the night or early mornings, and then it clears up once again as the sun comes out.
Luxury lodges in Bwindi Forest offer seasonal discounts. Lodges set their dates, and they most often differ from another.
Road quality, already bad road becomes worse, mainly unpaved roads, we do use 4-wheel drive vehicles that will ease getting around.
This is a frequent question we receive/ At the crack of dawn, which is around 6:30 am, Pre-Trackers head into the forest, to the last GPS location of a Gorilla Family. From there they follow the tracks left by the Gentle Giants.
Gorillas move less than three kilometers a day. When they find a group, the GPS location and other references are communicated to the Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga and Nkuringo UWA Trailhead.
The Rangers and trackers that lead you into the forest on your trek are not the ones to find your group, that has been already done by the pre-tracking team. This is something most Gorilla Trekking do not realize.
Do Visitors ever miss seeing their assigned Gorilla Families? It happened once to one of our clients 8 years ago, the next day the client did.
Here is practical advice about what to wear for a while Gorilla Trekking in Uganda or Rwanda. Often Trekkers are not dressed right for the occasion, and that can spoil your day, and your focus might not be the Gorillas but personal discomfort and misery.
Wearing the right clothing is about protection. There are not many mosquitoes found on a trek, but there are flies and ants. You need protection from nettles, thorns, branches that can scratch you.
This is the day where you need to dress for the occasion, Gorilla Trekking in the African Wild of Volcanoes National Park, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest or Mgahinga Gorilla Park. Just look at what the Rangers are wearing.
One of the complaints that one hears about Gorilla Trekking – actually two. I wish I had hired a porter to free me up for the trek and the second one is – I wish I had used a Walking Stick to steady myself along the steep paths during gorilla trekking.
When you hire a porter, you make it easier for yourself, and it allows you to focus on the trek, it also empowers a Ugandan with an income that exceeds most public servants in government.
A Walking Stick is one of the handiest things you can have along on your gorilla trek. It will steady your hike in and out to your gorilla family and give you the support that you need.
You can even buy a carved walking stick that you can take home as a souvenir of this day.
Porters make a difference in the Quality of your Trek.
What is a Habituated Gorilla Group – what does that mean?
Habituation is a process where a Gorilla Family Group becomes used to Human Visitors and continue with their daily activities while visitors are present. The method of habituation is normally about two years where researchers, trackers, rangers work in getting gorillas ready for visitation.
The Family Groups vary in numbers of family members, and though one could put a number to each family group, by the time you arrive, it can change. There are family feuds that lead to splits in families, and new groups are formed.
There are also birth and deaths take place in the families. Presently they vary in size from 6 to over 20 in number.
You can take part in the Habituation Process by going on a Gorilla Habituation Experience.
In 2013 a 94-year-old woman was carried on a stretcher on her Gorilla trek and fulfilled her lifelong dream to see the Mountain Gorillas in her lifetime – she did. She was transported by 12 men in relay teams and did it – most that go gorilla tracking are a bit younger, though we have clients that were 80 years old and did just fine.
One should be in reasonable shape and state of fitness to track the gorillas. The gorilla group requiring the most stamina and strength is the Nkuringo Gorilla group since you have to ascend and descend 600 at the beginning and the end of the trek – however, Porters can be used to carry your daypack, and walking sticks can be purchased, or some lodges have them available for their guests.
Both Uganda and Rwanda have tough groups to track and easier ones – we will work with you according to your fitness level and stamina.
Gorilla Permits for Uganda and Rwanda are best booked through your Safari Tour Operator such as ourselves. That is the easiest and hassle-free way.
Permits in Uganda are booked through a member of AUTO – The Association of Uganda Tour Operators that work together with the Uganda Wildlife Authority in the promotion and sales of permits.
In Rwanda, Gorilla Permits are booked similarly by Tour Operators who fully understand the routines and ways to obtain permits for your Gorilla Trek in Rwanda.
Discounted Gorilla Permits in Uganda were discontinued at the end of November – 2017 – the reason was one of marketing. Uganda Permits 900 USD less than Rwanda Permits, and no reason for even lower permits was seen as unnecessary. Uganda, unlike Rwanda, offers discounts to Ugandans, Foreign Residents. East African Citizens.
The Number one Gorilla Permit Mistake made by African Travelers is that Gorilla Trekking is an afterthought, an add-on.
Such planning often results in no Gorilla Trekking or Gorilla Habituation Experience Permits.
The way to avoid hearing that Permits are sold out is simple. For the African, it means reverse planning, not beginning with the Serengeti or Masai Mara that can be done anytime but starting with the Gorilla Trekking part of your time in Africa.
Avoid hearing the permits are sold out on the dates you gave us. Read our suggestions.
Things you did now know about Gorilla Trekking
The Gorilla Tracking Safari has some rules, guidelines, etiquette that go along with it, and it is best to know about them before the gorilla safari in Uganda or Rwanda.
The rules for Gorilla Tracking are most similar, and the Rangers strictly enforce them in both countries.
They range as to how much time you will have with the mountain gorillas, to rules about your health and well-being so that you do not infect a gorilla with the flu or a cold, for example.
The distance you will have to be from the gorillas, the use of a camera without flash and more. Simple things that are good to know. In both countries taking our Ultimate Gorilla Challenge.
Always follow the instructions of the Rangers leading your Trekking Party.
Taking great pictures while Gorilla Tracking:
Gorilla Photography is a bit different, at times it can be the lighting since often you will have you’re one hour encounter in the forest where the conditions are a bit different.
Here is practical advice for you to get the best results while taking pictures of the Mountain Gorillas while tracking them in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Mgahinga Gorilla Park in Uganda or Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda.
Photography of gorillas made a bit easier for you…enjoy your Trek while taking some great photos of the mountain gorillas in both Rwanda and Uganda.
Best Tip – take many pictures – keep the best ones.
A Gorilla Habituation Experience is being for four hours with the Mountain Gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest on an all-day trek.
Here you will find all that you need to know about the Gorilla Habituation Experience in Uganda
You can only have the Experience in Uganda, not any other Country. There are only two gorilla families that you can visit on a Habituation Experience in the Rushaga area of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
The number of participants is limited to 4 per day, per group, which means that only 8 participants are allowed each day in total for two groups. Permits cost 1,500 USD per person and are obtained through the warden of the Rushaga area of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. This is an excellent opportunity for those that want to spend more time with the Gentle Giants of the Forest.
Comparing the Gorilla Habituation Experience with regular Gorilla Trekking
You can fly into Kigali, Rwanda and then trek Gorillas in Uganda. It is a 4 hour plus scenic drive through the beautiful highlands of Rwanda and Uganda to the southern area of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. It is only 3 hours to Mgahinga Gorilla Park.
The drive from Entebbe in Uganda to Bwindi Forest is 9 to 10 hours. This is much more convenient for many of our Clients and saves you a lot of wear and tear unless you are visiting other Parks in Western Uganda. you might also want to check out “The easiest ways of getting to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.”
Kigali has become not only the gateway to Rwanda but the gateway to Southwest Uganda. The border crossing has become more relaxed, especially with the East African Tourist Visa that you can obtain. You can also get a Rwandan Visa on arrival and a Ugandan Visa at the Border.
Lodging for your Gorilla Trek in Rwanda or Uganda:
In Rwanda Lodging for your gorilla is often right in town except for upmarket and exclusive Lodging. In Uganda, you need to have your tour operator put you into a lodge near to where you will be trekking Gorillas. Lodging for Mgahinga Gorilla Park can be near the park, along Lake Mutanda or in the town of Kisoro.
If you are going on a Gorilla Habituation Experience, then you need to stay in a lodge near Rushaga, in Nkuringo or along Lake Mutanda. A Tour Operator such as ourselves best handles this.
Rwanda has more exclusive Lodges for Gorilla Trekking while Uganda gives you a more excellent choice and a broader range of prices from Budget to Luxury and exclusive Lodges. There are now four exclusive Lodges in Buhoma and Nkuringo areas of Bwindi Forest.
The Parks where Gorilla Trekking takes Place:
In Rwanda Gorilla Trekking takes place in Volcanoes National Park – yet there is much more to do there then to track Gorillas.
In Uganda, the primary Gorilla Trekking Park is in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest where you have 12 Groups that can be tracked. There are also two groups that are undergoing habituation, and you can see them in Rushaga.
Mgahinga Gorilla Park is the other park for Gorilla Trekking with one Gorilla Family open for visitation. There are 100 plus gorillas that live in the park, and the trek takes place on the sides of the Virunga Volcanoes which is very similar to treks in Rwanda but at a 900 USD savings on permits.
Uganda in 2019 remains the Best Gorilla Trekking option for most Trekkers.
Kabiza Wilderness Safaris – Your one-stop Gorilla Tour Operator:
Gorilla Trekking and Gorilla Trekking Safaris are what we do best. We know all about the Gentle Giants of the Forest.
We use tried and proven quality mid-range and luxury Lodges, and most of all we as a member of the Association of Ugandan Tour Operators we partner with Uganda Wildlife Authority as an authorized Sales Agents. All of our Primate come with permits, and AUTO Members have the first access to the permits.
Over a Decade we have taken Clients on their Incredible Up-Close Encounter with the Gentle Giants of the Forest.