Insight Safari Holidays takes you for personalized gorilla treks in Africa. Currently there are 2 gorilla trekking options, in Uganda and then in Rwanda. About 700 mountain gorillas is all you can see in the world. We have great prices for your Uganda and Rwanda gorilla trek. Our packages range from 2 to several days. Inquire Now..>>
See the very best of Uganda’s tourist attractions, The Mountain gorilla in Bwindi topping the list. Combine your gorilla trek with other wildlife safaris in Uganda.
See the primates of Uganda, the mountain gorillas in Bwindi, the Chimpanzees in Kibale forest as well as baboons and monkey variants in Uganda.
Mountain Gorilla trackng is he major activity done in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. From there you will head for a Chimpanzee tracking in Kibale Forest.
Visit gorillas in Bwindi for easy gorilla trekking, Kibale for primates and other wildlife tours in Uganda. See various monkey species and birds.
Suits those with little time to visit the Mountain Gorillas of Africa. Visit Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park for the exciting gorilla tour in Uganda.
A typical Rwanda gorilla tour ; Trek Parc des Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, see the mountain gorillas and stop by in Kigali for city tours before you head home.
Gorilla trekking or gorilla tracking as it is commonly called is not only a calm walk in the woods and sit to observe a family, it is a challenging trek through the steep muddy and wet rainforest that has numerous bugs.
It also requires good behavior conventions plus utmost respect for the environment and the gorillas. but surely is there any wildlife experience that can beat the privilege of coming face to face with these tranquil giants with whom more than 95% of our dna we share.
It is much more than an exciting experience. To some extent, controversial, regular costs and tightly or nearly obsessively synchronized, the gorilla tracking industry symbolizes possibly the finest chance of surviving to these endangered gorillas. Sadly, there are only seven hundred of them left on earth today.
Their western plus eastern lowland relations do better in Central plus Western Africa rainforests but destiny of mountain gorillas is our responsibility.We are Safari outfitters for gorilla trekking, hunting, fishing and other African safari expeditions.
Conservation organizations such as the renowned Dian Fossey Gorilla Foundation continue to work very hard to encourage locals to participate in Gorilla Conservation and finally make the gorillas’ living profitable instead of killing them and destroying their environ.
Approximate 650 mountain gorillas exist today. Despite them being closely related to us, man is the biggest threat to the survival of these giants. For ages, these primates have been harshly hunted for their heads plus hands that are sold as lamp shade plus horrid souvenir ashtrays. In addition, big numbers have been murdered while trying to prevent poachers from stealing their babies which are unlawfully sold to zoos in which their chances of survival are very minimal.
Gorilla tracking is such a fascinating experience that gives you the chance to have a nearer encounter with the calm primates in their very natural environ. Trekking can be done in Uganda, Democratic republic of Congo, alternatively in Rwanda, basing on the regional conditions and the accessibility of gorilla permits. You shouldn’t think that you are exploiting these animals because you are paying money to see them. Actually the escalating number of tourists yearning to see them verifies to be a vital component to their survival. The gorilla permit fare is used to establish and finance patrols that are relevant in safe guarding these primates from poachers and their dangerous traps.
The availability as well as the cost of permits depends on the country plus the park, however,but currently, Uganda charges $ 500 per person and Rwanda $ 750. All our tour packages include the gorilla trekking permit. The government normally increases the permit plus the transfer charge abruptly so you are requested to budget for the greatest amount so that you needn’t look for additional unplanned for money elsewhere. We suggest that you budget for about 750 USD.
The explanation for the high price permits is because every park only avails ten permits per day for one gorilla family to limit the exposure of primates to humans. One hundred percent of the cost of the permit is utilized by government to maintain the outstanding work they are doing in promoting and safe guarding these gentle primates
Because we don’t have a hand in dictating the cost of Gorilla trekking permits, we shouldn’t be held responsible for any raise in the fee.
The trekking begins very early in the morning and following the border official procedures; you are taken to the rangers’ station where you begin trekking. The ranger will guide you through the farmed lands and then into the thick rainforest and finally to the gorilla family. These rangers observe the gorillas daily and have a clue of where they might be. However, being free moving animals, seeing them is not guaranteed. Trekking can take from one to eight hours and can be very tiring so you need to be physically fit.
To make sure that the gorillas don’t get so habituated to human presence, and also due to their sharing of several genes with us meaning they can catch some of our diseases, the most time people are allowed to be with them is one hour. This is more than enough time to spend with them and take some photographs. The ranger will detail you about the family’s background. Once the hour is over, you will stroll back out of the thick forest and back to your meeting place. People who are interested in this activity should understand the demands and volatility of the areas. These factors may determine the limitations or delays of the tip and even seeing the gorillas. regularly the trekking through the dense jungle may be tedious and seeing the primate be no guarantee.
Although all the families that we see during our trekking safaris are habituated, they however have not been disciplined and their behavior is not obviously different from that of those that are not habituated. They are not restrained to remain with us for that one hour, so don’t be surprised when they disappear into the forest on seeing you. In addition, Gorillas are VERY sensitive to any human disease, and the park authorities don’t permit any one with poor health to visit them. Also children below the age of sixteen are not allowed to visit them.
When discussing African safaris, it usually doesn’t last long before anyone talks about the Big Five. The Big Five is a largely regarded list of animal species that you should see while on any safari. This apparently complex list includes lions, elephants, buffalos, leopards and rhinos. I am not saying that these are not gorgeous and fascinating animals, but is say there is one error: and that is number six, the Mountain Gorillas.
To me any complete list of must-look at-animals on a safari should include the impressive Gorillas of East Africa. Seeing a pride of lions tracking and downing an infant buffalo is very dramatic but sincerely it get the adrenaline levels so high plus the heart racing. However, if you are looking for a serene yet memorable experience, then trekking through the thick forests of Uganda’s jungles into the steep dense Bwindi National Park past the thickets growing beneath the tree canopy and finally coming face to face with the long lost evolutionary cousins is quite an adventure. The equally powerful, assertive yet intelligent, vulnerable and very gentle giants will stare deep into your eyes blowing you away to a very fascinating wonder-world and yet reality. With about 650 of these still surviving, you will join a very restricted club if you are lucky enough to see them. Spend the night in the heart of the forests safe and comfortable in a private camp just to be greeted in the morning by the sounds plus sight s of the immaculate wild.
In addition to the gorillas, chimpanzees the curious yet graceful creatures and twelve species of other primates all live in the different habitats across Uganda like Budongo Forest, Kyambura Gorge in Queen Elizabeth National Park and Kibale Forest. Seeing an ape in Uganda’s verdant forests is very magical and will give you a lifetime memorable experience.
In addition to the primates, the fertile soils in Uganda offer an ideal environ for an impressive availability of birds plus animal species. The country actually prides in having the highest avian population with over 400 various species therefore don’t forget to carry your binoculars with you. Close to the lowlands, conservation areas plus the plains additional game safaris can be got, huge zebra and lion populations, and if lucky you may see a leopard as you move around in Queen Elizabeth National Park.
A blending of searching for the renowned Big Five and seeing the Mountain Gorillas population is a good combination. Uganda provides you an exceptional opportunity to marvel at best the African continent has to offer to you. Arrive at your destination knowing that you are fortunate that you are yet to see some of the best sights in the world.
But what are mountain gorillas?
There are 3 types of gorillas, the mountain gorillas, western and the eastern lowland gorillas. they are very large creatures that weigh up to two hundred kilograms. They are very strong and yet peaceful. There are about 50000 to 100000 gorillas all in Central Africa and the largest number of them are the western lowland gorillas. Approximately seven hundred mountain gorillas also called, Gorilla Berengei Berengei, are still surviving in the world hence they are the most endangered among them all. This is so because of the severe poaching and destruction of their natural habitat by humans for agriculture. Today, the chances of these mountain gorillas is depends on the political plus the economic conditions of the area.
On the other hand, this doesn’t call for panic yet, gratitude to the tourism industry, the wide spread awareness campaigns and international support, the population of mountain gorillas is beginning to grow steadily. Although they have not yet been saved from danger yet, the future survival appears much safer than a few years earlier.
Funnily, mountain gorillas remained unveiled to the Europeans not until the start of last century. These were initially discovered in the year 1902, although George Schaller’s systematic behavioral study in the 1950’s plus Dian Fossey’s work in the 1960s and 70s opened all this up.the most renowned literature on gorillas is the book ‘Gorilla in the Mist’ which was Dian Fossey’s diary that actually in 1980 saw a film being shot out of it with the same title.
Along the borders of Uganda, DR Congo and Tanzania dwell some of the Mountain gorillas in Africa. They can be differentiated from the other two species because they posses thicker and longer coats. In general they stay in groups of seven to twenty members although groups of up to fifty individuals are also seen. Their diet is majorly vegetables though also small insects are also eaten for proteins.
Troops are normally formed to one dominant silverback which is a sexually full grown male called so because of its silver fur that grows at fifteen years. The troop includes 1 or 2 inferior silver backs, 3 to 4 females plus young ones. The females easily move from between troops although usually they become loyal to one silver back after having a young one with him. They are not so active and normally walk one kilometer a day. On the other hand, they don’t stay in the same area for over two nights. This is so to conserve their natural habitat and not attract predators such as leopard which may endanger their young ones.
It is alleged that gorillas have no natural humans except human being who have continuously hunted them for souvenirs and food. For this reason, as you trek gorillas, you are limited only to the habituated groups. There are close to fifteen mountain gorilla troops habituated to humans. Tracking them is not very challenging and anybody who is physically fit can do it. Chances are high of seeing them although this may be after long hours of trekking basing on how fast the gorillas are moving; however, generally it may take an average of two hour too see them.
The trekking normally begins at eight in the morning with a briefing by the rangers detailing you on the basic rules. These include: keeping a distance of at least eight meters from the gorillas, not sneezing while facing them and not drinking or eating in their midst. The rules are very important for safe guarding the gorillas because they are very vulnerable to any human disease. Fortunately no case of humans wounding a habituated gorilla has been reported yet.
Today gorillas are a vital component in Uganda’s tourism industry. Ten percent of the charge collected from trekking permits is allocated to the neighboring local communities, however, gorilla trekking calls for improved infrastructures like hotels that will generate more income. So it is far from becoming an exploitive profitable attraction such as a zoo. Nevertheless gorilla trekking is the leading aspect contributing toward the primates’ survival and yet assisting the local communities to develop and improve their living conditions.
There are currently four places where you can trek gorillas:
Bwindi National Park
Mgahinga National Park
Virunga National Park on the Rwandan side
Virunga National Park on the Congolese side.
The first thing to do when going gorilla trekking is to acquire a permit. These permits are not so cheap, costing about 500 US dollars however worth the price as no one has ever regretted this expedition. But getting these permits is very challenging.
In the Bwindi, it is far much difficult to acquire one because the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) sells them to three year earlier and in other situations not easy to get them in less than 3 or 4 months before.
Uganda’s border to Congo is Mgahinga which sadly doesn’t have a permanent population since the gorillas keep crossing the border and trekking is prohibited while they are in the adjacent Congo.
Acquiring permits to Virunga is much easier while in Rwanda although making it may be quite challenging.
Lastly a new alternative is booking them in the Congo section of the Virunga National Park. This is the easiest way to get to the park because it is just sixteen kilometers from the town of Kisoro found in Uganda. it is also the most affordable and easiest place to acquire a permit since it was established in 2004 and the request for permits is still minimal in this area.
Mountain gorillas are much fascinated by humans and they become very curios and observe anything humans do possibly wondering how strange we look. When I set out trekking in Mgahinga, I was confronted by a female gorilla that gazed straight in my eyes for some minutes. I wondered several times what was running in her mind and I guess she was thinking the same for me… “What is he thinking about and why did he come all the way to stare at me?”up to date, that stands as the most sensational and yet very memorable day in my entire life.
To wind up, gorilla trekking is a very perfect instance of flourishing and sustainable tourism and is among the most astonishing experiences in the world.
Bwindi Forest National Park is a dense forest with an area of about 200 sq miles, apart from the gorilla apes adventure, there are lots of wildlife safaris for you, birdwatching tours and chimpanzee trekking is done in this forest, see other primates like the baboon and monkey species, no oratungans or lemurs here.Getting to Bwindi requires about 6 hours drive from the Entebbe airport. You can as well hire a chartered plane to get there. There are lots of accommodation options available, from luxury to simple guest houses but we particulary encourage you to choose luxury or midrange. We strongly advise you to take on the gorilla resort.
There are various trekking families, such as the Nkuringo gorilla family which is very famous. Every gorilla family is headed by the silver back gorilla who owns several wives. You wont find any other male in a family apart from the young. You can combine your gorilla trekking to Uganda with visits to other National parks such as Queen Elizabeth, Murchison Falls, Lake Mburo and Rwenzori mountains national park for game viewing, bird watching, and other guided Wildlife holidays in Africa.
Rwanda is perhaps the best country where you can see the Mountain gorilla with ease. The good infrastructure and travel options are suitable for a gorilla trek. If you enjoy photographic safaris, its easier to take gorilla pictures in Rwanda than in Uganda. The gorilla permit costs the same for this African safari adventure. Dian fossey, the primates legend set up her base here and her foundation is still running here. Other primate conservation societies and organisations exist, such as the International Gorilla Conservation Program.
What Else after visiting the Gorillas ?
You can visit wildlife in national parks or engage in Volunteer work, helping children, community building, medical volunteering, teaching in schools and so much more.
There are many types of gorillas, the mountain gorilla, lowland and western lowland gorillas within the natural wildlife sorroundings of Africa. You can take a gorilla trek in Gabon for other endangered gorilla species.
Best time to go for gorilla trekking ?
You can take on a gorilla trek almost throught the year but during rain seasons, the trails are harder..but adventurous lol! Booking gorilla tours during the months of July and August is harder because most tourists travel to East Africa around this time.
By Calah Moira