Frequently Asked Questions About Gorilla Tracking FAQs
Here are all questions and Answers asked about gorilla tracking in Uganda Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, know the best time of year to trek the mountain gorillas
Permits are non-refundable except for medical reasons, in which case you would need to provide a medical certificate.
Once the gorilla tracking permit is paid for it is not refundable but the chances of seeing mountain gorillas are 100% guaranteed provided that you’re fit enough to walk/hiking for about 3 to 6 hours depending on which gorilla family you’re tracking.
Mountain gorilla tracking is walking on foot trekking endangered mountain gorillas experience in rain impenetrable forests of East Africa a maximum of 8 tourists (people) are allowed to visit one habituated gorilla family per day on daily bases through the year.
Yes currently there are few cases of threats to mountain gorillas in Africa which includes losing their habitat to human encroachment, gorillas live in a limited habitat range that is being encroached by growing human populations which puts mountain gorillas habitats under pressure. Poaching is another threat but currently, it’s not a big problem because now day’s mountain gorillas are well protected more especially in Uganda and Rwanda. The biggest threat to mountain gorillas are diseases, despite the park rangers protecting gorillas and the national parks mountain gorillas are still exposed to different diseases which can be got from tourists/visitors tracking as humans we share similar genetic with mountain gorilla but the immune system of the gorillas sometimes cannot cope with human diseases.
In the whole world mountain gorillas can only be found in three countries in Africa, gorilla tracking can only be done in Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park in Uganda, and in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park also found in Uganda.
Because of the gorilla physique definitely, safety will come to your mind but I can guarantee you that yes mountain gorilla tracking in Africa is one the safety if you compare to other wildlife encounter in Africa, gorilla tracking is an amazing activity more especially when you finally catch a glimpse of a mountain gorilla.
Personally, I can assure that gorilla tracking can be done any day throughout the year but some people prefer to go for gorilla trek during the dry season in the month of June, July, August, September, October, December-during Christmas season, January and February.
March, April, May, and November are considered as Rainy seasons which makes some people think that tracking during Rainey season is more challenging but I tell that gorilla tracking experience is the same.
The minimum age limit for gorilla tracking 15 years old and above, there is no maximum age limit on gorilla tracking is if you are 95 years and above you can still trek mountain gorillas as long as you are physically fit enough to walk/hiking in the impenetrable forest of Africa for about 3 to 6 hours.
Apart from frequently asked questions about gorilla tracking FAQs here is a packing list below
- You need long pants and long-sleeved shirts to protect you from insects’ bites, hot vegetation, and thorny trees.
- Insect repellent is a must-have if you’re traveling in Africa because those impenetrable forests apart from mountain gorillas it is also home to different insects, so having insect repellent will be a good idea
- You will also need a Walking stick which is provided at no cost by the park rangers/guides, the walking stick will help when tracking up and down in the forest.
- Drinking water and a packed lunch provided by the lodge or the tour operator you booked your safari with, you cannot afford to miss out on drinking water and packed lunch because you cannot tell how long your trekking will last so food and is a must.
- Walking/hiking boots as you will be walking a forest that is muddy and wet you need waterproof hiking boots which important during your trekking.
- You may need some warm sweater because in the evenings and mornings sometimes Bwindi Forest can be cool so it’s always nice to have a warm sweater with you
- We also recommend that you bring a rain jacket because gorilla tracking is done in the rain forest which means it can rain at any time of the day
- Sunglasses, sunscreen, and hat are also nice to bring with so that they can protect you from strong sun
Gorilla tracking starts every day throughout the day year at 7:30 am with a briefing from the ranger/guides taking through the guidelines you must follow trek gorilla after a briefing at 8:oo am the trekking begins and the time spent in the forest dependents on the movements of the mountain gorillas.
Each country has its own Permit price so it depends on which country want to see mountain gorillas from, below the gorilla permit in its respective country as per 2019
- Uganda gorilla permit costs $700 per person per trek
- Rwanda gorilla permit costs $1500 per person per trek
- Democratic Republic of Congo gorilla permit costs $1032 per person including one-night accommodation and transport from Goma town to Virunga national park and back to Goma
Apart from the permit price differences gorilla tracking experience remains in all s countries, it’s also important to know that when you purchase one gorilla permit it means that you have directly contributed to the conservation of this most endangered species.
Flying into Rwanda and cross the border to Uganda is the easiest way to access the Bwindi impenetrable forest national park of Uganda, it is only 3 to 4 hours drive from Kigali international airport in Rwanda to reach Bwindi forest in Uganda while if you fly to Entebbe international airport of Uganda you need 8 to 9 hours drive from Entebbe to reach Bwindi impenetrable forest. So when you fly to Kigali airport you save about 4 hours on the road, flying to Rwanda you save double 5 hours on traveling time and $900 on a gorilla permit.
Mountain gorilla trekking is limited to 8 people per gorilla family once a day and gorilla permits are also booked on first come first saver bass so we recommend that you book and pay for your trekking permit far in advance to avoid disappointments.
Uganda has two mountain gorilla trekking national parks, Uganda gorillas can trek in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park both parks are located in southwestern Uganda in the districts of Kisoro, Kabale Rubanda, and Kanugu near the Rwanda border and DR-Congo.
Apart from gorilla tracking, Uganda has introduced a new product of gorilla habituation experience in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, this new product gives a chance to tourists to spend more time with mountain gorillas of Uganda in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, gorilla habituation experience involves spending time with researchers, trackers, ranger guides and gorilla habituation in Bwindi Forest so this means apart from frequently asked questions about gorilla tracking FAQs there is also gorilla habituation experience FAQS to get you can contact our team of experts via email or on phone.
Uganda’s gorilla habituation experience permits cost $1500 per person which includes park entrance fees, ranger guide fees, and a team of researchers who will take through the whole process of gorilla habituation experience.
Kisoro Tours Uganda can book a permit for gorilla habituation for you which will allow you to spend up to four hours with mountain gorillas undergoing the habituation process, the four hours excludes the time you spend before reaching the gorillas so it means four hours with a mountain gorilla.
Unlike gorilla trekking which starts at 8:00 am, mountain gorilla habituation starts at 7:00 am and briefing is done much earlier.
Gorilla habituation experience is currently possible in Rushaga located in the southern part of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. It is thus not possible in Buhoma or Ruhija’s side of the forest. This is because currently, it is only in Rushaga that we have two mountain gorilla families being habituated as compared to other regions that do not have gorilla families under habituation. Those interested in this experience should be ready to go to the south and book accommodation closer to Rushaga since this activity requires an early start.
This includes rangers, researchers, and spending four hours with mountain gorillas under habituation. It also includes park entrance fees for Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
There so many differences between gorilla trekking and gorilla habituation. Gorilla trekking costs USD700.00 and you get to spend only one hour with habituated mountain gorillas. Gorilla habituation costs USD1500.00 allowing you to spend four hours with mountain gorillas still under habituation. It only takes place in regions that have mountain gorillas under habituation and as of now, it’s only in Rushaga where new gorilla groups of Bikingi, Bushaho, and new gorilla groups are under habituation.
The minimum age for gorilla habituation is 15 years and above and all the book guidelines are the same as those for gorilla trekking. In terms of numbers, gorilla habituation is limited to only 4 people per day on a daily basis.
Yes, gorilla trekking permits must be obtained to visit the gorillas, and, as only eight are granted per gorilla group each day, they are extremely limited.
We will secure permits for you as far in advance as possible. Your gorilla permit entitles you to one hour with the mountain gorillas. This money goes toward conservation of the habitat, anti-poaching efforts, and education of the local communities.
Apart from Frequently asked questions about gorilla tracking FAQs, there are other activities that can be done before or after gorilla tracking, most tourists combine Wildlife Viewing Tours with Gorilla Trekking in Uganda and Rwanda. Some love to go rafting on River Nile before they go back home. You can go on a wildlife viewing safari in Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda or Akagera National Park in Rwanda. Queen Elizabeth National Park is understandably Uganda’s most popular tourist destination. It is the home of the famous tree-climbing lion as well as the Uganda Kob, other antelope species, elephants, baboons, hippos, buffalo, and chimpanzees. Over 600 species of birds have been recorded, making the park a magnet for bird watchers. A safari to Queen Elizabeth National Park includes Game drives to see wildlife, exclusive birding tours, launch cruises on the park’s lakes, and cultural tours.
Gorillas, the largest living primates, make their homes in central and east Africa. They function in a well-developed social structure and often exhibit behavior and emotions similar to the human experience, including laughter and sadness. Poaching, disease, and habitat destruction remain threats for gorillas, and WWF is working to designate new protected areas where populations can thrive.
There are two subspecies of the eastern gorilla—the mountain gorilla and the Grauer’s gorilla. Eastern gorillas live in the mountainous forests of the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, northwest Rwanda, and southwest Uganda. The world’s remaining mountain gorillas live in three countries spanning four national parks—Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Volcanoes National Park, and Virunga National Park. The Grauer’s gorillas are endemic to the forests of the Albertine Rift in eastern DRC.
Gorillas stick to a mainly vegetarian diet, feeding on stems, bamboo shoots, and fruits. Western lowland gorillas, however, also have an appetite for termites and ants, and break open termite nests to eat the larvae.
Gorillas move around in family groups that can range from a couple of individuals to more than 40 members. A dominant male leads and holds the position for years.
Charismatic and intelligent animals, gorillas share 98.3% of their DNA with humans. They are our closest cousins after chimpanzees and bonobos.
Females have a gestation period of 8.5 months and nurture their young for several years. Generally, females give birth to one baby every four to six years. This slow population growth makes it harder for gorillas to recover from any population decline.
Kisoro tours Uganda do bookings and purchase gorilla trekking permits chimp permits, golden monkey’s permits, accommodation booking, car hire, transport, and many other travel services in Uganda, Rwanda, and DR-Congo for international Travel Agents, Tour Operators, and individuals travelers. Contact us and we will check for your permit availability and advise you accordingly. We recommend that you book your gorilla permits at least 6 months in advance to avoid disappointments but also those with last mint booking and see how we can help you. for more frequently asked questions about gorilla tracking FAQs or any other question you may have please contact us.