How is Gorilla Trekking Done in Uganda
Gorilla trekking is the top tourist activity in Uganda. In Uganda, a gorilla trekking permit goes up to US$700 per permit making it the most expensive activity in Uganda. Gorilla trekking is a daily activity in Uganda and it’s done in two destinations namely; Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park. The two gorilla parks are found far south western Uganda and its recommended to spend the night near or in the park to be able to encounter Mountain Gorillas, the next day.
In Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, you can choose to go on a gorilla safari trek in Buhoma sector, Ruhija sector, Rushaga sector or Nkuringo sector. Basing on which Gorilla permit the client purchased, he or she Must spend the previous night in that particular location to be able to trek Gorillas, the next day.
In Mgahinga national Park, there is only one gorilla family so, you must buy a gorilla permit to trek Nyakagezi Gorilla Family.
Note: Currently, Uganda protects over 18 habituated gorilla families –the number of un habituated Gorilla groups is not yet known.
In the morning, clients are supposed to report to the park headquarters for briefing at around 7:30am. Briefing is done by the rangers of the park from Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA). The 30 minutes briefing aims at equipping tourists with the rules and regulations governing Gorilla trekking exercise.
Below are some of the Dos and Don’ts for Gorilla trekking in Uganda
- Guests are supposed to maintain a distance of 7metres between them and Gorillas. It minimizes the spread of infectious diseases like cough, Tuberculosis and so on.
- Visitors are supposed to keep low voices when with or near Gorillas.
- When taking photos/ Films- remove flash. Flashing cameras may upset Gorillas hence disorganizing Gorilla trekking process.
- Do not litter in the park.
- Do not carry pet animals with you.
- A maximum of one hour is given to the guests to stay with Mountain Gorillas.
- Dig a hole and after easing yourself, please cover.
- When Gorillas charge or exhibits signs of upset, please leave them.
- Keep in tight group when with or near gorillas
- Do not eat, smoke or eat when near Gorillas
After briefing, the guests are grouped into a maximum of eight people to visit each gorilla family. Two or more rangers guide each group and among them is an armed ranger who follow the group from behind to offer maximum security. Another ranger leads the group to the colonies of Mountain Gorillas. The time spend while searching for Mountain Gorillas in their natural habitat is unpredictable but sometimes range between 2-6hours and on a bad day, it can take a full day.
In order to minimize speculations, some ranger do advance surveillance and inform groups of guests where Gorillas are, basing on where they were spotted the previous day.
- While in the forest, rangers keep on communicating via radio calls to facilitate team work. Rangers ensures informative and memorable Gorilla trek by answering all questions raised by the guests, teaching guests about other attractions found on the way and alerts guests about dangers which can arise as a result of violating Gorilla trekking Rules and Regulations.
- When about to meet a gorilla group, rangers alert guests to prepare for the amazing experience of meeting Gorillas Face- to – Face!
When with Mountain Gorillas – take photos/ Films – stay with them for an hour and leave them. Its advisable to keep low voices until you are 200 meters a way from mountain gorillas.