5 Tips for a Great Gorilla Trekking Experience in Uganda

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Gorilla Trekking in Uganda

For beginners, Uganda is remarkably one of the 3 countries in the world where mountain gorillas can be trekked while they are in their natural habitat. The other two include Rwanda (in Volcanoes National Park) and the Democratic Republic of Congo (Virunga National Park). With fewer than 1004 mountain gorillas that are left on earth today, Uganda offers refuge to about half the total number of these endangered species. They are inhabited within the jungles of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga National Park. Gorilla treks in Uganda are conducted in the 15 habituated families.

Best time to go for gorilla trekking in Uganda

What is interesting about Uganda gorilla safaris is that, you can take part in it at any time of the year. However, before you make a trip two seasons must be put into consideration-the dry and wet season. The dry season which is also regarded as the high/peak season usually begins from June to September and the second phase of it starts from December to February. During this season, there is low rainfall amount received at the gorilla parks and the ground remains relatively drier making it easier for you to hike through the rain forest and steep slopes while in search for these creatures in the wild.

The disadvantage with it is that there limited food supply and these creatures always forced to move to far areas in search of what to eat and this means longer hours of trekking.

On the other hand, the wet or rainy season usually begins from March to May and this is the longest rainy season then the second phase of it starts from October to November. The rainy season is always characterized by heavy rainfall and these creatures’ habitat becomes muddy and slippery making it a bit more challenging for one to hike through the jungles to search for these amazing creatures in their natural habitat.

Obtain gorilla permit

Did you know that in order for you to track mountain gorillas in Uganda, it is a must for you to have a gorilla permit? Gorilla permit at hand offers you about 95 percent chances to track mountain gorillas.

At the park headquarters, you will be required to present it before the park official for clarification. You can obtain a permit in Uganda at $600 and you have a chance to track one of the habituated gorilla families in Uganda. You can obtain one through a recognized and registered tour operator or at Uganda Wildlife Authority. For any plans to explore these creatures, make sure that you have booked for your permit as early as possible.

What to pack for Uganda gorilla trek

When you think of gorilla safari, you need to think about which items to pack to make your experience memorable. This is the usual experience you have had but an extra-ordinary one. In your packing list, items not to miss out include waterproof hiking boots, gardening gloves, rain jacket or poncho, long sleeved shirt/t-shirt, trouser, hat, insect repellent, first aid kit, walking stick (this can be obtained at the park headquarters), bottled water, toiletries, camera with no flashlight, sunscreen, waterproof day pack, energy giving snacks and others.

What you need to expect on gorilla trek

Your day starts with breakfast at the lodge then you join other visitors at the park headquarters for briefing on dos and don’ts for gorilla trekking. On this day, make sure that you are ready with your valid passport that you will present before the park official for verification. After the briefing, you will be put in a group of 8 visitors and be allocated to only 1 habituated gorilla family. Every group is assigned to park guide and armed escorts and then you hit the jungles to search for these unique creatures.

Length of gorilla trek

Gorilla treks are strenuous and require some physical wellness in you. It can take you about 4 to 8 hours to trek through the rain forest and steep slopes to search for these creatures. However, this depends on your hiking speed, nature of habitat and location of gorillas. Upon finding a gorilla group, you have only an hour to strike your imaginations with these magnificent creatures while in their natural habitat. While in the wild, always respect these creatures as much as possible. Make sure that you maintain a distance of about 8 meters at all times away from them.

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