What is gorilla trekking? Gorilla trekking is a guided walk through a dense jungle to see a certain group of gorillas in their natural habitat. Seeing these mysterious and beautiful animals in person is a life-changing event. When you see the kids playing, the mothers cooing over their babies, and a silverback acting like a jerk, you’ll start to understand why people are still interested in these human-like creatures. But before you go on your once-in-a-lifetime gorilla trek, there are a few things you should know. Unlike a game drive, a gorilla trek takes place at a much slower pace.

Here’s a list of 19 things you need to know to get ready for your mountain gorilla safari and have a great time there!

  1. Where is the best place for gorilla trekking?

Mountain gorillas live in the Virunga Massif, which is a group of volcanic mountains on the border between Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Uganda.

Mountain gorillas live in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park, both in Uganda, Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, Virunga National Park and Kahuzi Biega National Park in Democratic Republic of Congo, though in Kahuzi there are Eastern Lowland gorillas.

Most people agree that gorilla hiking in Bwindi is better. First of all, being the home of the half remaining gorillas on the planet, it’s a beautiful place that is known to be one of Africa’s most biologically varied forests. Second, there are a lot more gorillas in Bwindi than in Mgahinga. As of 2018, there were 459 mountain gorillas there, but only about 80 on Mgahinga.

  1. What is the habitat of the gorillas?

 Mountain gorillas live in the forests of high mountains. These trees are between 2,500 and 4,000 m (8,000 and 13,000 ft.) above sea level. Mountain gorillas don’t eat meat. They are herbivorous animal species that feed on the Roots, shoots, wild celery, and fruits, all of which grow well in the cool, moist mountain environment, are what they eat.

  1. When is the best time for gоrillа trekking?

 You can go on a gorilla trekking safari at any time of the year, but during certain times of the year, it’s likely to rain a lot. The best times to go are June to September and December to February, which are the high seasons. During these two times, Uganda gets the least amount of rain. It’s also when many people in the Northern Hemisphere take their vacations.

Keep in mind that the jungles where gorillas live never really get completely dry. It rains all year long. During busy times, it’s harder to get trekking passes and more people want them.

  1. How to obtain a gоrillа trekking permit?

You can get a permit to go gorilla trekking online with a trusted tour operator like Focus East Africa Tours. Keep in mind that they sell out early, so plan ahead.

The staff at Bwindi Impenetrable National Park strongly recommends that visitors book their gorilla permits through a safari agent or trip operator like Focus East Africa Tours. One reason for this is that if you don’t know what you’re doing, the roads to Bwindi can be tricky or even dangerous. Bwindi is in a remote area, so figuring out how to get there is a big duty. (It’s also cheaper to go on a trip with a group.)

No matter which gorilla park you choose to visit, when you go gorilla trekking with us, we take care of your gorilla trekking permit, transportation, accommodation, and more.

  1. How much does a trekking permit cost?

 A gorilla trekking pass in Uganda costs $700 per person for Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga National Park. Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda costs $1,500 for a pass to trek with gorillas there. (In Gorilla climbing Rwanda vs. Uganda, and 400 USD in Virunga national park in Congo.

Gorilla trekking permits are used to protect gorillas and keep the number of tourists down. If there were too many people, it would hurt the gorillas’ way of life. The money from trekkers’ permits is also used to help local towns grow and improve.

  1. Am I guaranteed to see mountain gorillas?

As part of the nature of a trip or safari, you have to accept that you can’t be sure of anything.

But we have never heard of a group that was so unlucky that they didn’t see any. Trackers are sent out by the parks before anyone goes on a walk. These trackers are in radio and GPS contact with your guide, so you’ll know you’re going in the right way to find gorillas!

A gorilla journey takes you to see a gorilla family, which is their family group. This means you are likely to see many different kinds of mountain gorillas, including some cute babies.

  1. How many people are in each trekking group?

 Whether you are gorilla trekking in Rwanda or Uganda, each gorilla troop can only have up to eight people per day. This doesn’t include any porters or tour guides. Each hiking group is sent to see a certain gorilla troop. Your guide and a human tracker work together to take you through the forest to your gorilla troop.

Once you get there, you can only stay with the group for one hour. This time limit is in place so that you have as little effect on the monkeys as possible. Each group of mountain gorillas has at least one silverback, which is an older gorilla with silver fur.

 How long does it take to find the gorillas?

When you meet with the park guides in the morning for your briefing, they already have a good idea of where the different gorilla families are.

People can choose between a short, medium, or long walk. If you choose the short walk, it should take you about 30 minutes to 6 hours to find your group. If you choose the long trek, it could take two to three, five, six hours or more.

If you’re in pretty good shape, we suggest going on the long trek. Walking through the dense jungle is a truly unforgettable safari experience in and of itself. The longer walks also make you more excited to meet the gorillas when you get there.

  1. What happens when we find the gorillas?

As soon as your group finds its gorilla family, the game begins: you only have an hour to talk to them. Most people just sit down and enjoy being in the gorilla’s room. You can also take pictures and movies, but you can’t use your flash. You do need to be quiet, move slowly, and try not to make any sudden moves.

  1. Is it safe to be close to mountain gorillas?

 Mountain gorillas in the wild aren’t dangerous as long as they’re happy and healthy. Even though they are strong and dominating, mountain gorillas are shy and gentle. Mountain gorillas that hikers can see have also gotten used to people. The process of getting used to something takes close to two years. Gorillas that have been used to people are especially safe.

What is gorilla trekking?
Gorilla Trek

This doesn’t mean you don’t have to be careful and follow the rules, though. You must obey all instructions given by your guide. Your guide knows the gorillas very well and will show you where you can stand or sit safely.

If these rules are followed, there’s very little chance of any hostile behavior from the gorillas.

Kеер a minimum diѕtаnсе of 7 m (10 ft) bеtwееn уоu аnd the gorillas аt аll timеѕ.

If the dominant mаlе gorilla (the ѕilvеrbасk) approaches уоu or сhаrgеѕ aggressively, it’s very imроrtаnt thаt уоu not bасk away. Keep whеrе уоu are and lower yourself, adopting a ѕubmiѕѕivе, сrоuсhеd posture.

Nеvеr make аnу ѕuddеn mоvеѕ оr lоud nоiѕеѕ when doing gorilla trekking.

Don’t look into the eyes of the apes, because they might think you’re being mean.

Within 200 metres of an ape troop, you can’t smoke, drink, or eat.

Gorilla trekking is not allowed for kids younger than 15 years old.

  1. Is it safe to visit Uganda or Rwanda?

Uganda and Rwanda are both safe and friendly places for people to visit on a safari. Still, it’s smart to go on a trip with a company like Focus East Africa Tours that hires local tour guides. Locals know everything there is to know about a country, so going with a local guide can help keep you safe.

There are no rebels in any of the three gorilla parks. All of the parks have made safety and security a top concern, so there have been no bad things reported.

  1. Can I take photos of the gorillas?

You can take pictures of mountain gorillas during gorilla trekking safari as long as you stay at least seven meters away from them though with cameras with no flash. Finally, ensure you bring a waterproof bag for your camera in case it rains.

  1. What is the weather like on a gorilla trek?

 Mountain gorillas live in rainforests in the mountains. The weather in these forests is mild and wet. The temperatures are pretty stable throughout the year. Because the parks are close to the Equator, this is the case.

The average daytime temperature is 23° C (73° F), and the average nighttime temperature is 11° C (52° F). There is no real dry season here, because it can rain at any time. So make sure to bring clothes that can keep you dry.

  1. What should I bring on a gorilla trek?

 Everyone’s gorilla trekking safari experience will be different, depending on the weather, how far you walk through the bush, where the gorillas are, and a few other things. It’s important to pack everything you might need so that you can focus on enjoying the jungle walk and your time with the gorillas.

We recommend bringing along the following items:

Camera. You’ll want to take pictures of your gorilla trekking and your time with the gorillas. Bring a bag that will keep the camera dry in case it rains.

Insect repellent. Make sure the bug spray you bring includes DEET, which is the best ingredient for keeping mosquitoes and other annoying bugs away.

A pair of tough gloves. Some of us like to hold on to things when we walk, and if you do too, you should bring a strong pair of gloves to the jungle because there are a lot of thorns there.

A stick to walk with. If you are hiking on a rainy day, you may want a walking stick to help you. Most of the time, you can rent these at the park gate.

A daypack or rucksack. You’ll take things like your camera and rain jacket in this, among other things. We give you water and food, as we will talk about in a bit.

  1. What should I wear for gorilla trekking safari?

 Here’s what to pack to wear on the day of your gorilla trek:

Clothes that are light. Most days in Bwindi are warm to hot, so don’t wear thick clothes that will make you feel uncomfortable.

A shirt with long sleeves and long trousers. During the walk, you’ll want to keep your arms and legs covered so you don’t get scratched or bitten.

A rain jacket. It might rain at some point during the hike, so put a rain jacket in your daypack just in case.

They are long and thick. These things are there to keep bugs from getting too close to your legs and feet.

Strong shoes for walking. In the next point, we’ll talk about your shoes.

Dress in navy or black. Tsetse flies, which have a painful bite, are drawn to dark patterns. Green, tan, grey, or brown clothes are great because they help you fit in with the forest and make you less noticeable to the gorillas.

They also do a good job of hiding the dirt and mud that you will inevitably pick up on the trip.

The trekking group taking a well-deserved rest on the gorilla trek

  1. What footwear is best for the trek?

We suggest that you wear climbing boots that are already broken in. The ground can be very muddy in some places, so it’s best to wear shoes that don’t get wet. At some points, you’ll have to walk through mud up to your ankles or even up to your knees, which could make your boots fall off.

You might even consider wearing gaiters.

Young mountain gorilla eating a shoot

Mountain gorillas are vegetarians, eating things like shoots, roots wild celery and fruit | I

  1. Do I need to be fit for gorilla trekking?

 It’s hard to know exactly how long you’ll have to walk before you find your gorilla group. Some people only have to walk for 30 minutes before they see their gorilla group, while others may have to walk for up to four hours.

You can, however, ask for a shorter or longer walk, and that should be possible, within reason. Mountain gorillas live in montane forests, so the walk to see them takes place at a high altitude and over different landscapes. Because of these things, it is recommended that all people who want to go monkey trekking be in good physical shape. You have to be ready to climb muddy slopes and walk through thick brush.

Also, because gorillas can get sick from humans, you can’t go on a gorilla trek if you’re sick.

Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is full of mountains, trees, and fog.

As the name suggests, you have to walk through mountains to see mountain gorillas.

  1. Can I hire a porter on a gorilla trek?

 If you want to, you can hire a porter from one of the nearby villages, but most people just bring their own stuff in a daypack. Porters in the area usually charge between $20 and $15, which doesn’t include a tip, which is expected. Hiring a porter is a nice way to help the people and business of the area.

  1. Do I need to tip my hiking guide?

If a gorilla hiking guide does a good job, they should always get a tip.

Still, it’s up to you how much you tip. But we know that most people like to know a rough estimate, so we suggest you bring $20 to $40 in cash to tip. You can give this tip to the trek leader in front of everyone, and he can then split it up among the staff.

Still, after you spend time with the gorillas, some guards might not come back with you. Since this is the case, we suggest that you give them a tip before you leave to go home.

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