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What are my Chances of seeing the Mountain Gorillas?

Posted by on March 4, 2021

Will I see the Gorillas in the Wild in Uganda? What are my Chances?

A question often asked: What are my chances of seeing the Mountain Gorillas in Uganda?


What are my Chances of seeing the Mountain Gorillas?What are my chances of seeing the Mountain Gorillas? Will I get to see the Gorillas? The answer is that it is most likely that you will see the gentle giants of the Forest.  In over a decade, we have had one client who did not see the gorillas on the first day but did on the second trek.

There is no such thing as an accidental gorilla encounter. A lot of planning has gone into making sure that you have your own gorillas in the mist experience. There is not much left to chance for gorilla trekking in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla Park.

Seeing the Gorillas in the wild of Uganda is an almost sure thing. We based that on over a decade of experience with clients who trekked the Mountain Gorillas. We have had one person that did not see gorillas on the scheduled day of the trek.  They did see them on the make-up or second day.

We can confidently say that 99% plus of trekkers get their hour with a Gorilla Family.


What are my chances of seeing the Mountain Gorillas? in our Experience 99% plus

Reasons why you will most likely see the Gorillas on your Gorilla Trek

1. Why is Gorilla Trekking not a Hit or Miss or Miss Gamble but an almost sure thing?What are my Chances of seeing the Mountain Gorillas?

Gorilla Trekking is important Ugandan Tourism. It is the number one producer of Tourism Dollars. Your permit for the privilege of spending one hour with a gorilla family is $700. The Uganda Wildlife Authority will do everything possible to make your gorilla trek a success.

Things are not left to chance, and UWA has learned over the years how to make the gorilla encounter an almost sure thing. If Gorilla Trekking were a Hit or Miss or Miss Gamble, it would translate into thousands of potential Gorilla Trekkers taking the experience off their bucket list.

You would also find countless complaints on various travel forums. You would also find us, a tour operator not offering an iffy experience.

Gorilla trekking is not a Hit or Miss or Miss Gamble but an almost sure thing. Gorilla Trekking produces needed income that goes to gorilla conservation, salaries, and infrastructure projects in the local communities.

There is too much at stake, including your satisfaction after the trek, to leave it to chance


What are my Chances of seeing the Mountain Gorillas?

2. A Pre-Tracking Team is out locating your Gorilla Family before you hit the trail:

Will I see the Gorillas on my Trek? The answer is Pre-Trackers -Underneath the radar, unknown to most gorilla trekkers, behind the scenes, before the crack of dawn.

While the mist still hangs over the Forest, before you arise on your Gorilla Trekking Day, the Pre-Trackers are hitting the trail to find the habituated Gorilla Families that are being tracked on that day. They are equipped with GPS Devices, have Satellite Phones, and head to yesterday’s Gorilla Group location. Gorillas do not usually move more than 2 to 3 kilometers per day.  The Pre-Trackers are well trained to find today’s path and place of the Gorilla Family you will be visiting later.

Once the Pre-Trackers have located your Gorilla family, they call in the coordinates to Park headquarters, let the Rangers that will lead you to know as to where to go. This takes place while you are still asleep or having a cup of Big Gorilla Coffee and Breakfast at your lodge.


What are my Chances of seeing the Mountain Gorillas?

3. The Uganda Wildlife Authority Ranger Guides will lead you to the Gorilla Encounter:

The rangers are highly trained professionals that will guide you to the spot in the forest given to them by the pre-trackers.

A normal gorilla Trek is three to five hours in length, including the one-hour for your memorable gorilla encounter.

You will credit the Rangers and Trackers on your successful Gorilla Trek. However, the pre-trackers, who are the behind-the-scenes heroes who get little credit for a job well-done, take the chance out of gorilla trekking.

We would suggest that when you tip, you leave something for most often little recognized pre-trackers.

Your Ranger will guide you on the gorilla trek. However, it is the pre-trackers that make seeing a gorilla family a possibility.

It is teamwork that makes your gorilla encounter a possibility


4. Things that will stop you from seeing a Gorilla Family on the Day of the Trek:What are my Chances of seeing the Mountain Gorillas?

Some things will reduce your chances of seeing the Mountain Gorillas in the wild. Your Chances of seeing the Mountain Gorillas go up in smoke if you are ill, have a cold, cough, intestinal ailment. When you are ill, please remove yourself from the trek for the good of other participants and, most of all, the gorillas who can catch your illness.

Gorillas have a DNA that is 98.4% like humans. They can catch ailments from us like the flu or even COVID-19.

If you are ill on the day of your trek, please inform your driver-guide and Uganda Wildlife Authority that you are ill. Efforts will be made to reschedule your trek.

Surveys have shown that trekkers often do not reveal that they are ill on the trek day.

The lack of Physical fitness may reduce your chances of seeing the gorilla, but you can use a porter and walking stick to assist you.


Will I see the Gorillas in the Wild in Uganda? What are my Chances of seeing the Mountain Gorillas?

99% of gorilla trekkers do see their gorilla family on the day of the trek. You are in the wild where the unpredictable can and does happen. The gorillas do not always follow our plans. They can move without notice. That rarely happens, but it can. Each year, one hears of a time when trekkers did not see the gorillas.

The accounts of such times can be and are found in forums such as TripAdvisor. They are not the norm, but the exception. As we stated earlier, we have had one client over a decade of being a tour operator who did not see the gorillas on their appointed day.  It was the exception and not the norm.

We suggest that you focus on the 99% success rate of gorilla trekkers and not the one percent. Be assured that when there is a failure in seeing the gorillas, the Uganda Wildlife Authority will take corrective measures that it does not happen again. That is why there is a 99% success rate seeing the gorillas.