Gorilla-chimp trekking experience compared when compared, gorilla tracking is a more organized activity both in Uganda and Rwanda, and chances of seeing gorillas is above 90%. This is because gorillas live in families each headed by a dominant silverback. In Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, the activity is so organized in such a way that early in the morning, there is an advanced team that goes to the forest to look for where the Uganda gorillas would have slept and once they find them, then they communicate to the park headquarters to inform the guides where gorillas are.
It’s from here that tourists plus their guide will start the trek to look for gorillas starting from where they slept the previous night until they find them. Once they have found them, they are given one hour to observe and take photographs.
Chimpanzee trekking on the other hand is not as organized as gorilla trekking and chances are high in Kibale National Park and Budongo forest to other places such as Kyambura Gorge and Kalinzu forest. The same process of having an advanced team applies to chimps but chimpanzees, on the other hand, live in communities of around 100 individuals or more and during the day, these communities break up into small parties to reduce food competition. Each party is therefore tracked by 8 people. Once you have found the chimpanzees, you are allowed only one hour to view and photograph them.
A family of habituated gorillas is trekked by a maximum of 8 people in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga while Chimpanzee parties in Kibale National Park are restricted to only 6 people. While a habituated gorilla family can only be seen by a maximum of 8 people per day, chimpanzee parties trek twice a day (morning and afternoon). Taking a close look at chimp trekking in Kibale National Park, a maximum of 18 people do trek chimps both in the morning and in the afternoon.
It is arranged in such a way that each chimpanzee party is trekked by 6 people thus 3 parties for 18 people. The fact that chimpanzees keep on breaking into small parties and regrouping, at a given point, you might find yourselves trekking the same party (18 people) they can join together. This tends to cause confusion among the tourists if not briefed very well. This sometimes leads to congestion and kills the whole Eco experience as expected by clients.
Mountain gorillas tend to be on the ground in most cases and depending on the height of the vegetation, they are better seen compared to chimpanzees which are in most cases up in the trees (Not all the time though as so many people have found them on the ground).
Gorilla-chimp trekking experience compared