All you need to know about gorilla tracking
Travellers and tourist all around the world have been advised to include gorilla tracking on their bucket list, however the proceeding question usually is; what is gorilla tracking? This is followed by other questions like; what is the difference between gorilla tracking and trekking? Where can I go gorilla trekking? What do I need to track gorillas? What is a gorilla tracking permit? How much is gorilla tracking permit? How many days do I need for gorilla tracking? and so much more.
This article is aimed at answering some of your commonly asked question about gorilla tracking before you make a decision to join some of the famous gorilla safaris.
What is gorilla tracking?
Gorilla tracking is the process through which you search for gorillas in the wilderness that is; in their natural habitat to meet them and spend some time with them as you take pictures. This is done with the help of park rangers, who are familiar with the forest or national park in which the gorillas are habituated. The walk through the forest is informative and interesting in search away that it makes the whole process seem less tiresome.
What is the difference between gorilla track and trekking?
Gorilla tracking and gorilla trekking are pretty much the same as the other comes after the one. During gorilla trekking, you hike and walk through the forest to the last place the gorillas where seen the previous day. Whereas gorilla tracking starts from the point the gorillas where last seen the last evening making nest for their night and then you start tracking them until you meet them. Some safaris like our 2 days’ gorilla trekking safari Rwanda, just mention the word gorilla trekking. However, it’s a combination of both because the reward is to meet the gorillas in the end?
Where can I go gorilla tracking?
Mountain gorilla tracking is done in Uganda, Rwanda and Dr. Congo and therefore there are three options available. In Uganda gorilla trekking can be done in Bwindi Forest National park and Mgahinga national park. Whereas in Rwanda it can be done volcanoes national park. Furthermore, in DR. Congo Mountain gorilla trekking safari take place in Virunga national park. In June 2018, due to insecurities in DR. Congo was closed off for gorilla trekking, however it has now re-opened for business.
What do I need for a gorilla tracking safari?
To go gorilla trekking you will need a gorilla tracking permit and other items like a rain coat hiking shoes, long trousers, a back pack and so much more. Check out our list of items to carry for gorilla trekking. Most importantly, you will need to spare at-least a full day for the actual activity. Gorilla tracking starts at 8am, however you need to be at the park headquarters by 7am for briefing. During briefing you will be allocated a gorilla family to trek. Since Uganda and Rwanda are 80% of the worlds’ remaining mountain gorillas, they have more gorilla families habituated for gorilla trekking. Click here to learn more about the gorilla groups in Rwanda. For more information about gorilla families in Uganda click here. DR. Congo has one gorilla group open for gorilla tracking.
What is a gorilla tracking permit?
A gorilla tracking permit is the card/ receipt issued to a client to allow them enter the park to go track gorillas. Gorilla tracking permits, allow you to enter the park for one day, and they are limited to a particular date. Meaning if you buy a gorilla permit for the 1stJan 2019, you can-not use this permit to trek on the 30thof Dec 2018 or on the 2ndof Jan 2019. Once in the forest you are allowed to spend just one hour following the gorillas and taking pictures. Unless if you are participating in the gorilla habituation experience. This allows you to spend 4 hours with the gorillas once you meet them.
How much does a gorilla trekking permit cost?
Gorilla trekking permits cost different prices in different countries. In Uganda it costs USD 600 each whereas in Rwanda it costs USD 1,500 and USD 400 in DR. Congo. The Uganda gorilla habituation experience permit cost USD 1,500, whereas the Rwanda private gorilla family tracking permit cost USD 15,000.
When is the best time to go gorilla trekking?
Tours to trek gorillas take place all year round, but the best time is during the drier months of the year. These would be between Dec and Feb and June to September. You can also trek gorillas during the other wet seasons. This is because unlike the Americas, Europe and the rest of the world, in these countries (Uganda, Rwanda and DR. Congo) it can rain for just a couple of hours and shines the rest of the day. Therefore, with your rain coat, you will not be soaked in water if you opt to trek in the wet months.
Last but not least, anyone would wish to know whether it is safe to go gorilla trekking in either of the three countries. Currently, I am pleased to inform you that it is safe to visit and see gorillas in all of the three countries (Uganda, Rwanda and DR. Congo). All national parks are well protected by the different government security entities and they have safe and clean accommodations where you can stay before and after the gorilla trek. With this information, you can now go one and make a decision on the gorilla safari you prefer. You can opt for a shorter trip like the 3 days gorilla safari Bwindi or a longer 10 Days Uganda gorilla tracking tour. It’s your choice – Enjoy!