How Difficult is Gorilla Trekking?
Gorilla trekking has a numerical rating of 50 to 100
Difficult rating: moderate hike
There are many factors that influence the gorilla trekking difficulty and commonest is your physical fitness. Others include weather conditions and your pack weight. It is possible to ask for a gorilla group that will march your fitness levels. A porter is important, gorilla Trekking is not very hard, some people in their 60’s and 70’s have done it
So how strenuous is the hike?
To begin with 60% of Bwindi Forest National Park has an elevation of over 6,600 ft. elevation of the entire park is from 3,904 to 8,553 ft. it has steep slopes in some areas. The experience takes between 2 to 6 hours depending on the gorilla family
Gorilla Trekking Rules for post covid Visitors
With these apes sharing 98% of our genes, its possible that gorillas can get corona virus. Gorilla can catch flu and other airborne diseases making covid 19 a big threat to the survival of the Gorillas
- Observe a distance of 7 meters away from the gorillas
- Age limit of 15 years or more stands
- You are allowed only 1 hour to see the gorillas
- Wearing of masks is important
- Avoid sneezing
- Sanitize and observe other SOP guidelines
What to Expect on A Gorilla Safari?
On the day of your trek, expect to leave your comfortable bed early enough, a briefing you have to arrive by 7:30 am. After briefing, tourists will be allocated different tracking routes, each 8 tourists. Head to the forest accompanied by guides and rangers as you begin your search for Gorillas
In the forest, you may see monkey species, butterfly species, mammals and so much more. Sometimes the forest is challenging and a good level of fitness will be required.
At the end of the day, expect to be muddy and sweaty. Once you see the gorillas, its okay to take photos with your camera or iPhone but avoid flash or else the gorillas might charge.
You will spend between 40 minutes to an hour in a company of these gentle giants. It will be such a life changing experience. After the trek, head back to your accommodation or opt for a cultural village experience of the Batwa pygmies
Are there other primate safaris in Africa?
Besides the mountain gorillas, you can track the chimpanzees in Kibale Forest National Park or golden monkey in chimpanzee trekking, golden monkey trekking in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and a number of other monkey species in Uganda
After your Gorilla safari, you can visit the tree climbing lions of ishasha,in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Murchison Falls National Park, Kidepo Valley National Park and PianUpe Reserve for the very best of wildlife Safaris in Uganda
How About Gorilla Habituation Experience?
Gorilla habituation is the training of wild gorillas to get used to humankind. Gorillas are trained by researchers and park rangers for a period of 3 years. Its during the training that you can join the group of researchers and park rangers.
Only 4 visitors are allowed. This makes it special. The cost of gorilla habituation is $1500 per person per day. The most exciting reality about this experience is that you actively engage in the gorilla habituation
How to Get a Gorilla Trekking Permit in Uganda?
Within Uganda, Gorilla trekking is conducted in Bwindi National Park or in Mgahinga National Park. But because of the inconsistency of gorillas in Mgahinga, majority of the sold permits are for Bwindi National Park.
In Uganda, every gorilla permit goes for $700. In the past years, April, May and November used to cost $450. Please note that this offers no longer exits. On a single day, nearly 72 people travel into Bwindi to see Gorillas and only 8 people are allowed to see a gorilla family.
Butthis is usually encouraged that you book your gorilla permits through a safari agent. The most prominent mistake is to book a gorilla family which is far away from your choice of accommodation.
The routes to Bwindi and its various regions are often tricky; this is a remote area. If you would like to do the gorilla trek on your own so as to save costs, you may end up incurring more. Safari guides have been trained to help you with this.
Gorilla permits price
- Uganda gorilla permit costs $700 (1 hour with gorillas)
- Uganda gorilla habituation permit costs $1500 (a full day experience)
- Rwanda gorilla permits costs $1500
- Congo gorilla trekking permit costs $400
- East African citizen pay ugx 250,000 shillings for the permit