By Azure Lee
Mountain gorillas, the most visited Gorilla sub-species, inhabit Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. According to the 2018 Gorilla Census, there are roughly 1063 individuals belonging to this sub-species.
Embarking on a gorilla trekking adventure in Uganda promises an unparalleled journey. This experience encompasses not only gorilla trekking but also the chance to encounter chimpanzees amidst breathtaking landscapes. Here are invaluable tips to ensure a seamless and unforgettable Uganda gorilla trekking experience.
Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda
Use a trustworthy tour operator to reserve your trekking safaris in Uganda
Undoubtedly, going on a gorilla and chimpanzee trekking in Uganda is an amazing way to see wildlife, but it can also be very expensive, especially if you want to stay in a luxurious lodge. To ensure that your gorilla safari is perfect, we recommend researching reputable tour operators before making your reservation.
It is highly advisable to spend time researching feedback before selecting a tour operator because several services out there will take your money in exchange for a high level of service only to deliver mediocre service.
By opting for a reputable company, every aspect of your gorilla safari – including permits, accommodations, transportation, and logistics – will be meticulously arranged. All you have to do is pay on time and be ready to enjoy your time with the enormous apes.
Book Your Trip In advance
Gorilla Trekking is done in only three countries, and each of them has a limited number of gorilla permits issued each day. The best way to guarantee a perfect gorilla safari is by booking permits in advance, preferably 3 to 6 months in advance, since during this peak season, permits tend to run out quickly, especially in June, July, August, September, December, January, and February, which are considered to be the peak season or the dry season.
Usually, authorized tour companies or national park officials are the ones that secure these permits. It is important to learn that just 96 gorilla permits are provided daily for Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, and approximately 160 permits for trekking Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda. To avoid last-minute disappointment, it's crucial not to delay booking your gorilla permits.
Embarking on a gorilla trekking adventure in Uganda promises an unparalleled journey
What is the cost of gorilla entry?
A gorilla trekking permit in Uganda costs $600 for visitors who do not intend to stay in Uganda or any of the other East African Community member states, $500 for visitors who do stay in one of the partner states, and Shs250,000 for indigenous people who do stay in the region.
You need to know that going on a gorilla trekking expedition is not possible without a gorilla trekking permit. To obtain one, you must provide your name, nationality, passport number, and birthdate. In addition, since gorilla trekking permits cannot be transferred to another individual, you will need to present your passport and other forms of identification during the pre-trekking briefing.’
In addition, you will need to submit your payment information and the dates you would like to go gorilla trekking. If the dates you have selected are already taken, you will need to inquire with the person handling your permit about the next available dates, which may serve as alternate options.
Read more about Uganda Trekking Cost In 2024: What You Need To Know
Plan For A Gorilla Trek
Being physically fit for the experience is essential for experiencing the ideal gorilla trek because it involves traveling through thick foliage at high altitudes (2500–4000 meters above sea level).
These treks also entail traversing steep slopes, navigating muddy terrains, and crossing streams, demanding a certain level of physical capability. You can train by hiking hills, climbing stairs, or jogging. However, this doesn't mean that older individuals, those with limited mobility, or travelers who are not physically fit cannot fulfill their dream of encountering the Giant Apes in their natural habitats.
There have been instances of 80-year-old participants joining the adventure, facilitated by Sedan Chairs (available for hire at $300 to $500 per person) carried by four capable porters.
Going on a gorilla and chimpanzee trekking in Uganda is an amazing way to see wildlife
Packing For A Gorilla Trek
Keep in mind that the mountain gorilla habitats consist of hilly terrain, dense forests, and typically cooler temperatures ranging from 17 to 23 degrees Celsius. Moreover, you might encounter rain showers or intense sunlight during your gorilla trek.
Generally, gorilla tracking locations, like Uganda's Mgahinga National Park and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, are typically higher up. Because of this, these locations are frequently cold, wet, and humid. When trekking with gorillas, you should wear appropriate clothing to protect yourself from thorns, insects, weather, and slippery surfaces.
To prepare adequately, it's advisable to wear long-sleeved shirts, breathable and lightweight safari pants, sturdy hiking boots, a lightweight rain jacket, gaiters, a safari hat, and sunglasses. Additionally, bring along insect repellent, sufficient drinking water, energy-boosting snacks, sunscreen, your camera, and binoculars.
We always emphasize the importance of a camera to capture your gorilla trekking adventure, so ensure you have plenty of batteries and memory space, as sightings are often amazing.
Conserve Wildlife And Follow Guidelines
When going on a Uganda gorilla trekking adventure, it is important to practice responsible tourism. Once you are in the company of these amazing primates, you should follow the rules set forth by park officials and guides. These rules aim to keep the gorillas safe and reduce the impact that humans have on their natural habitat.
But don't worry. Before starting your gorilla trekking expedition, you will receive guidelines that you need to follow both during your trek and throughout your time with the mountain gorillas.
For your safety as well as the safety of the wildlife, always abide by these guidelines. Some of these include: refraining from using flash cameras for photography; not feeding or handling the Giant Apes; keeping a 7-meter distance when observing or taking photos of them; not making noise while trekking; leaving no trace/not littering; only spending the allotted one hour; not coughing or sneezing in the Great Apes' presence; and avoiding direct eye contact.
In conclusion, organizing the ideal gorilla trek is a fascinating and fulfilling undertaking. By paying attention to these crucial pointers, you may guarantee a wonderful and fulfilling encounter with the magnificent mountain gorillas.
Start your gorilla safari by reserving it through a reliable tour operator responsible for all arrangements. Ensure you secure your gorilla permits early to prevent any letdowns. Physically prepare for the trek and understand that provisions can be made for those with limited mobility. Pack accordingly for a day in the forest, considering the rugged terrain, thick foliage, and varying weather. Lastly, strictly follow the guidelines provided to ensure the safety of both yourself and the mountain gorillas.
Travelers may promptly and efficiently apply for a Uganda eVisa to begin this fantastic adventure. Uganda Immigration Services offers a simple application process and affordable costs, allowing tourists to acquire a visa online effortlessly. Begin your trip today and unlock memorable experiences in Uganda.