Best place for gorilla trekking
Best place for gorilla trekking: Have you have asked a question regarding the best place for gorilla trekking ; Gorilla trekking is the most popular activity that gives travelers an opportunity to move into the forest / jungles in search of the endangered mountain gorillas and once found spend one hour with them in their natural habitat learning more about their habits, behaviors, take photos, record videos hence offering you breathtaking and unforgettable experiences. The endangered mountain gorillas are the most visited attractions and they are found in three African countries namely Uganda with two gorilla destinations which include Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga gorilla national park, Democratic Republic of Congo with two gorilla destinations which are Virunga national park and Kahuzi Biega national park, Rwanda which has one gorilla destination called Volcanoes national park.
Destinations for gorilla trekking
Gorilla trekking in Uganda
Uganda is one of the best destinations for gorilla trekking in Africa in that it harbors about 459 mountain gorillas and its half of the world’s mountain gorilla population. Gorilla trekking in Uganda is done in two national parks including.
Bwindi impenetrable national park, the national park is located in southwestern Uganda and it’s the most visited gorilla destination in Uganda in that it harbors the highest number of mountain gorillas. Bwindi impenetrable national park is a home of about 18 habituated gorilla families and gorilla trekking in done in four sectors namely Buhoma sector in the north harboring four gorilla families which include Mubare, Habinyanja, Rushegura and Katwe families, Rushaga sector in the south harboring 8 gorilla families which include Mishaya, Nshongi, Kahungye, Bweza, Busingye, Kutu, Bikyingi and Mucunguzi families , Ruhija sector in the east harboring four gorilla families including Bitukura, Oruzogo, Mukiza and Kyaguriro and Nkuringo sector in the south harboring three gorilla families namely Nkuringo, Christmas and Bushaho families .
Bwindi impenetrable national park also offers gorilla habituation experience which is an extraordinary adventure that allows you to participate in the habituation process where the wild mountain gorillas are trained to get used to human presence for trekking. The habituation process involves researchers, conservationists, gorilla doctors, park guides, trackers among others and takes a period of 2 to 3 years to be complete. Visitors who engage in gorilla habituation experience will get an opportunity to spend four hours with the gorillas compared to the one hour given during gorilla trekking.
Mgahinga gorilla national park, this is another gorilla destination in Uganda that offers gorilla trekking activity. The national park is located in southwestern Uganda in Kisoro district and harbors two habituated gorilla families namely Nyakagezi family and Hirwa gorilla family which migrated from the neighboring Volcanoes national park in Rwanda. Both gorilla families are available for trekking daily and give you interesting experiences as you spend time with the gorillas in their natural environment.
Gorilla trekking in Rwanda
Gorilla trekking in Rwanda is done in Volcanoes national park which is located in north western Rwanda in Musanze village bordering with Virunga national park in Democratic Republic of Congo and Mgahinga gorilla national park in Uganda. Volcanoes national park is a home of over 400 mountain gorillas and about 18 habituated gorilla families where 12 families including Susa, Sabyinyo, Amahoro, Agashya, Umubano, Kwitonda, Hirwa, Karisimbi, Ugenda, Bwenge, Titus and Pablo families are available for trekking on a daily basis and others set aside for research.
Gorilla trekking in Democratic Republic of Congo
Gorilla trekking in Congo is the most popular activity and it’s carried out in two national parks that is Virunga national park and Kahuzi Biega national park
Virunga national park is one of the oldest protected areas in Africa located in Eastern part of Democratic Republic of Congo and is the most visited gorilla destination in the country due to the endangered mountain gorillas. Virunga national park is a home of 8 habituated gorilla families including Humba, Kabirizi, Lulengo, Rugendo, Mapuwa, Nyakamwe, Munyaga and Bageni families.
Kahuzi Biega national park is another gorilla destination situated in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo at the border of Rwanda and near the western bank of Lake Kivu. Kahuzi Biega national park is a home of the Eastern lowland gorillas which are bigger than the mountain gorillas and it’s the only national park in Africa harboring the Eastern lowland gorillas. The national park harbors about 9 gorilla families though 5 gorilla families have been habituated for trekking and they include Chimanuka, Mugahuka, Mpungwe, Nganwa and Bonnani families which are available for trekking on a daily basis.
Gorilla trekking experience
Gorilla trekking in Bwindi impenetrable national park, Mgahinga gorilla national park, Volcanoes national park, Virunga national park and Kahuzi Biega national park starts in the morning with a briefing at the park headquarters where after visitors will be grouped into 8 people, allocated a gorilla family to trek and a park guide that is well conversant with trails in the jungle. Trekking of the mountain gorillas takes 30 minutes to 7 hours depending on where they are located and once found you will be allowed to spend one hour with the gorillas in their natural habitat which gives you an opportunity to learn more about their lifestyle, habits, behaviors, take photos and record the moments to show people back home after the gorilla trekking safari.
Cost of a gorilla trekking permit
A gorilla trekking permit is a legal document that is issued by Uganda Wildlife Authority a tourism body in Uganda, Rwanda Development Board a tourism body in Rwanda and Virunga foundation to any visitor above the age of fifteen years allowing him or her to visit a gorilla family in any of the national parks. Price of a gorilla trekking permit varies according to the destination where you will be trekking from for example a gorilla trekking permit in Uganda costs $600 for foreign non residents, $500 for foreign residents and UGX 250,000 for East African citizens. A gorilla trekking permit in Rwanda costs $1500 per person for all citizens and a gorilla trekking permit in Democratic Republic of Congo costs $400 for foreign non residents and $200 discounted gorilla permit during the low season.
A gorilla trekking permit should however be booked 3 to 6 months in advance before the trekking date because the permits are competitive and usually get sold out quickly especially during the peak season in the months of June, July, August, September, December, January and February therefore in order to avoid last minute disappointments you are advised to book in advance.
Best time to go for gorilla trekking
Gorilla trekking can be done anytime throughout the year though the best time is during the dry season in the months of June to September and December to February. The dry season is also known as the peak season and during this period there is less rainfall in the gorilla destinations therefore access roads to the national parks will be passable, the gorilla trekking trails will be dry and passable and there will be short shrubs in the forest which allows you to have clear views of the mountain gorillas so as to take great photos.
Gorilla trekking is an exciting and adventurous activity that shouldn’t be missed on your safari and in order to know the best place for gorilla trekking you can do a combined gorilla trekking safari in Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo because all the gorilla destinations offer different gorilla trekking experiences.