Is gorilla trekking worthwhile? Absolutely! Visitors to Uganda, Rwanda, and Congo can attest to the fact that gorilla trekking is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that is worth every penny, effort, and minute of the journey. Trekking mountain gorillas is a dream come true and Kofi Travel Safaris can make it happen by taking travelers through amazing gorilla tours in Uganda, Rwanda, and the Congo.
Mountain gorillas can only be visited in their natural habitat, with four national parks open for primate adventure. These are Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda, and Virunga National Park in the Congo. With Kofi Travel Safaris, one can be sure to make the most out of the gorillas trekking experience.
Ensuring Conservation Efforts
Facilitating conservation efforts is expensive, as safeguarding mountain gorilla and wildlife populations require extensive research, monitoring, and more. Gorilla permits are issued at varying costs, depending on the destination. For instance, in Uganda, permits are available to anyone over the age of 15 and cost USD 700 for non-resident foreigners, USD 600 for foreign residents, and UGX 250,000 for Ugandans and East African citizens.
The money generated from securing gorilla permits aids numerous conservation practices in the park and within the local tourism communities. Gorilla trekking safaris are the primary funders of gorilla conservation in Uganda, Rwanda, and the Congo. In both Uganda and Rwanda, part of the revenue from tourism is also shared with local communities – 20% in Uganda and 10% in Rwanda. This is intended to limit illegal practices in the national parks and to improve the livelihoods of the locals, such as through providing alternative sources of income and compensating farmers for crop damage caused by wildlife.
Is One Hour with Gorillas Worth It?
Yes, tourists are allotted one hour for a face-to-face encounter with a family of mountain gorillas. To reach this point, visitors must first find a habituated gorilla group that has been assigned to them by park officials. During this magical hour, visitors will be able to witness the unique behaviors of these rare species – ones that can’t be found anywhere else outside the wild. Mountain gorillas are only found in thick forests, like those of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda, Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, and Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
During their hour of up-close interaction, visitors may be surprised to find that mountain gorillas share 98% of their DNA with humans. For those who would like to spend more time with these majestic creatures, gorilla habituation experience is available. This extraordinary journey grants tourists four hours of face-to-face contact with a semi-habituated gorilla family.
Abundant faunal and floral species
The countries hosting mountain gorilla populations are also abundant in unique floral and faunal species. This means that during a gorilla trekking safari, there is more to witness than just the gorillas themselves. Visitors can expect to see l’hoest monkeys, gray-cheeked mangabeys, chimpanzees, baboons, red colobus monkeys, and red-tailed monkeys, as well as a variety of bird species. For those wanting to combine a savanna game safari with gorilla trekking, there are several excellent wildlife safari destinations to consider.
These include Murchison Falls National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Akagera National Park, and Masai Mara National Reserve in Uganda, Tsavo National Parks, Amboseli National Park, and the Northern Circuit of Tanzania to view the wildebeest migration in the Serengeti. In Uganda, visitors may spot tree-climbing lions in Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park during a day game drive or en route to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
What is the Best Time to Visit Uganda/Rwanda for Gorilla Trekking?
The ideal time for gorilla trekking in Uganda and Rwanda is during the dry season – this usually runs from June to August for the long period and December to February for the short period. During this time, low or no rainfall, dry ground and clearer vegetation make for easier navigation in the park and a higher chance of finding a suitably habituated gorilla family. However, gorilla trekking is available all year round, as wet seasons – running from March to May and October to November – also present with good opportunities.
Regardless of the season, visitors need to ensure they are adequately prepared. This includes packing a first-aid kit, a camera without a flashlight, a long-sleeved shirt, a sweather, long trousers, a waterproof and quick-drying rain jacket, quality and waterproof hiking boots, insect repellent, snacks, and bottled water. Additionally, environmentally-blending clothing is also key to ensuring a pleasant gorilla trekking experience.
How Demanding is Gorilla Trekking?
Gorilla trekking is far from an ordinary nature walk in the savanna, as visitors must navigate through thick vegetation and often up steep, slippery terrain. It is generally a demanding endeavor and requires a certain level of physical fitness. Visitors who feel they would not be able to make the journey confidently can hire porters to assist in carrying their day packs and ensure they are able to fully appreciate the experience. Even though the trek may be grueling, meeting mountain gorillas in their natural habitat has a rewarding outcome that will remain in the memories of travelers for years to come.
In conclusion, gorilla trekking is a priceless yet unforgettable experience that is worth every penny spent. From the thrill of trekking through the jungle to the awe-inspiring moment of sighting a mountain gorilla, this is a one-of-kind adventure that will remain with visitors for years to come. Not only can the funds raised from gorilla trekking safaris be put towards conservation efforts, but funds are also often shared with local communities to reduce incidents of illegal practice and to improve the livelihoods of locals. So, join Kofi Travel Safaris and make the most out of your gorilla trekking experience today!