Ultimate Guide to Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda Uganda and Congo: This is what you’ve come to Africa to see: a family of gorillas led by a vigilant but kind silverback male, gleaming black against the bright green of the rainforest. Your gorilla trek’s efforts vanish in a moment, and a strange sense of familiarity falls on you during the one lovely hour you spend with them. Young gorillas wrestle like wrestlers, while mother females assemble in grooming groups, occasionally reprimanding the young, while the patriarchal silverback maintains a vigilant eye on the surroundings.
Gorilla trekking provides one of Africa’s most profound animal experiences; their populations are reckoned in hundreds rather than thousands, even in protected areas. Gorillas are so scarce that trackers can readily distinguish their looks and personalities and give them individual names.
Africa’s big apes live in what little of their native environment exists, in the final portions of the continent’s core rainforests and gorilla parks. Populations are progressively increasing as a result of the cash generated by gorilla trekking tourists, and scouts who were previously poachers of gorillas and other primates are now their defenders and make their living by protecting what they once murdered. It’s a conservation success story, and gorilla trekking tourism is critical to the species’ survival.
Spending time in the wild with gorillas is by far the most transformative and up-close wildlife experience available in Africa. A close experience with these enormous creatures in the gorilla parks of Uganda, Rwanda, and Congo will leave you with unforgettable memories. If you’re considering about going gorilla trekking and want to know what to anticipate, here’s our helpful guide to everything you need to know:
Why you should go Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda, Uganda and Congo.
Because mountain gorillas can only live in the wild and cannot be seen in zoos, hiking to view them in their natural habitat is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Mountain gorillas may be found in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park. Their number has fallen to an estimated 900 individuals, clinging to existence in these two distant sanctuaries due to deforestation and poaching.
Bush meat hunting and wood harvesting in Congo have reduced the likelihood of the survival of the western lowland gorilla. Lowland gorillas, the smaller and less hairy cousins of mountain gorillas, are severely endangered and reside in lowland swampland, primary and secondary forests. Those who live near Congo’s Odzala-Kokoua National Park have begun to regard conservation more as a result of primate research and gorilla trekking tourism, Ultimate Guide to Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda Uganda and Congo
Communities are cooperating with research and tourism initiatives to build a better future for the Congo Basin and all of its residents as a result of job development and investment in the area. Odzala-Kokoua National Park is home to over 100 animal species as well as one of Africa’s most diversified monkey populations.
Sitting a few meters away from a gorilla family and witnessing your humanity reflected in their social rituals and loving brown eyes is one of the most therapeutic and personal animal interactions you can have in Africa, if not the world.
Gorilla Trekking Experience in Rwanda, Uganda and Congo.
Trekking for gorillas in the mountains frequently entails hours of climbing on steep, narrow pathways and traveling through dense jungle behind a scout who chops a passage through the bush with a machete. You must be at least walking fit (the guides will make sure you take lots of breaks) and appropriately suited for a challenging climate.
We recommend broken-in ankle-protecting hiking boots, double-layered socks (cotton inners and thick ousters), and knee-high gaiters. Please be warned that gorillas are particularly vulnerable to human illnesses; if you have a cold or any other infectious sickness, you will not be permitted to go on a gorilla trek.
When to go for Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda, Uganda and Congo.
Although gorilla trekking is a year-round sport in Uganda and Rwanda, the optimum time to explore the rainforests is during one of the two dry seasons. The first lasts from around the middle of December to the end of February, whereas the second lasts from early June to late September. These are the best times to go hiking, although conditions are still damp and rainy, with plenty of mud (so bring your gaiters!).
Rain is a crucial component of the Congo Basin’s delicate environment, and its seasons are accurately defined as wet, wetter, and wettest. The ‘low rainfall’ season, which goes from June to September, and the ‘gentle rainfall’ season, which runs from December to February, are the best times to go gorilla trekking in Congo. July and August are generally the least rainy and coldest months of the year, Ultimate Guide to Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda Uganda and Congo
How much is a gorilla trekking permit in Rwanda, Uganda and Congo?
A gorilla trekking permit costs 1500 USD in Rwanda, 700 USD in Uganda and 400 USD in Congo. I recommend you get your gorilla permit from a trusted tour operator company like Explore Rwanda Tours which will make the booking process much easier and hustle free for you.
Can one see gorillas during gorilla trekking in Rwanda, Uganda and Congo.
Because they are so constantly watched, and researchers or trekkers communicate with them on a daily basis, guides know roughly where the different families are, and you have a 99% chance of seeing them. Of course, there are no guarantees with wild animals, and a night-time rainstorm or an unforeseen encounter with a predator may drive a flock to relocate in an unexpected direction, but scouts will usually pick up their path again shortly. During a gorilla trekking adventure, it is rare that visitors do not encounter the apes.
When you do come across a gorilla family, your ranger will urge you to leave everything but your camera. He will then get you near enough to watch the gorillas without endangering them. You have no barriers between you; simply mutual respect. The gorillas are unafraid of human spectators and go about their usual job of foraging, grooming, and resting. Indeed, the youngsters are frequently interested about humans and have a highly lively attitude that puts their adolescent gorilla babysitters to the test. The peaceful atmosphere of the gorilla family is delightful to see, but keep in mind that your presence is being monitored by the family’s patriarch: the big silverback male.
We recommend that you spend some of your time shooting shots, but at least 20 minutes just observing – you’ll have a far better sense of having seen a troop of gorillas in their natural habitat if you do.