Question About Gorilla Trekking in Africa.
The frequently asked questions about Gorilla trekking and answers will guide you on how to plan your gorilla tour and what to expect on your gorilla trek. Read answers given to all the questions about gorilla trekking in Africa and plan your visit to the destination of your choice.
1. Where can I go for mountain gorilla trekking?
Mountain gorillas live in 3 Africa countries and in 4 places in the whole world. In Uganda, trekking the great apes can be done in Bwindi Impenetrable forest national park and Mgahinga gorilla national park, In Rwanda Volcanoes national park and Virunga national park in DR Congo respectively. Each national park among the 4, is unique on its own in terms of Location, habitat, access and the number of habituated gorilla families. Having a combined gorilla safari in both national park will therefore give you a unique experience. For instance, Bwindi impenetrable forest alone hosts a half of the world’s population, with 18 gorilla families habituated, Mgahinga gorilla national park has only one, Volcanoes national park in Rwanda has 12 families while Virunga national park has 8 families. The other questions about gorilla trekking as given below brings explanation on how you can successfully trek gorillas in the indicated 3 countries.
2. When is the best time to trek gorillas?
Gorillas can be trekked whole year round, however there are two seasons. The dry season which is between the months of June, July, August then December January and February and is regarded the best time to do gorilla trekking when there are high chances of best photography and the forest will be less slippery and not so muddy. Low season is September, October, November then march April. The advantages such as Hotels and lodges normally offer discounted room rates in low season and gorilla groups are less congested, giving the best opportunity to see a lot of gorillas and at this times gorillas have enough food to eat which makes them not to move far away.
3. What is the gorilla trekking age limit?
In all the three gorilla trekking destinations, the age limit is 15 years. In other wards Traveler who are below 15 years of age are not allowed to trek mountain gorillas despite the physical appearance and capability of the person. This limit is enforced to ensure visitors safety and the safety of mountain gorillas in the wild habitat. However, if a child is almost making 15 years, his/her parents can request to sign an agreement as to be fully responsible for anything that may happen to the child during the trekking time. The letter is written and signed by Uganda wildlife Authority and parents of the child during the booking process.
4. How much is a Gorilla Trekking Permit?
The cost of Gorilla trekking permit in Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo are different. Rwanda which is becoming a luxury destination has the highest price. The gorilla trekking permit as of 2020 in each country is as follows:
Foreign non Residents $700
Foreign Residents $600
East African Citizen UGX: 250,000.
DR Congo $450
Congolese citizen $150
5. When should a person book gorilla permit?
Gorilla permit should be booked at least 6 months in advance. Due to the high demand for gorilla trekking permit by travelers, it is a requirement to book the permit as early as possible to make it secure in order to avoid inconvenience such as changes in already designed travel plan or embarrassment of the trekking time.
6. What does the cost of the gorilla tour include?
- Gorilla trekking permit
- Ground return transport
- Park entry fees
- Government tax
- Service of an experienced English speaking tour driver/ guide
- Accommodation for tours beyond one day
Excluded on the tour cost are;
- Tips for Driver, rangers and lodge staff
- Expenses like alcoholic beverages, telephone calls
- Flights domestic & international
7. How many people trek gorilla group?
Eight people visit gorilla family each day excluding guide, trackers and porter who escort visitors. This means only 8 gorilla permit are available for each gorilla group in all the 3 countries Uganda, Rwanda and DR Congo. These allocation of Visitors to gorilla families are done based on hiking capabilities.
8. How long do I spend with Gorillas?
The actual time allowed with gorillas is one hour starting from the time you encounter the gorillas and guide allows you to start viewing and taking pictures. However, you may spend more time tracking them by following the gorilla movement. The whole trekking ranges from 2 hours to 8 hours depending on the location and movement of the gorillas.
9. What it different from gorilla Habituation Experience?
Gorilla Habituation allows visitors to spend more time with gorillas starting to count from the time you begin seeing fresh movement to viewing. This activity allows you to participate and learn to train gorillas such that they get used to human presence. Here you move along with researchers, guide and trackers who take you through the whole experience. Because the gorillas group is still under training, a maximum of 4 Visitors are allowed to do this activity on one gorillas family. The gorilla habituation permit fees cost $1500., and it is only in Rushaga sector where a gorilla family is set aside for that research activity.
10. What are the Chances of seeing mountain Gorillas?
Chances of seeing mountain gorillas are 99% to 100%. We guarantee all our clients to see mountain gorillas provided they are fit to Hike the forested mountains. The only scenario where a visitor fails to see gorillas is because of being unfit to make the hiking journey to the gorillas. If a client fails to make it up the gorillas because of age and incapability, we have standby stretchers and team of porters to lift the visitor up to the gorillas and back at an extra small fee of $300.
11. Is it Possible to trek Uganda gorillas from Kigali?
YES, it is very possible you can do you gorilla trekking in Uganda coming from Kigali in Rwanda. It is absolutely possible to do Rwanda Uganda gorilla tours. Nowadays traveling is easier between Uganda and Rwanda, you can have your flight drop you in Kigali and drive for about 4 hours to Bwindi forest, you trek gorillas. After your gorilla trekking in Uganda, you can return back to Kigali Rwanda or continue to visit other beautiful places in Uganda then end your safari in Entebbe depending on your preference.
12. What happens if I don’t see gorillas?
It’s rare failing to see mountain gorillas, if the park management fails to locate the gorilla family group allocated to you, the park management will offer you a second chance on the next day to go trekking again without extra charge but if you fail because of you failing to conquer the hills, you will not be refunded any money or given any further opportunity the next day. Questions about gorilla trekking gives you answers to your comparison between trekking gorillas in Uganda Rwanda and DR Congo.