ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT TREKKING GORILLAS
What time of the year should I travel to see the gorillas?
The mountain gorillas can be visited any time of the year though it can rain any day of the year due to the rain forest climate, therefore there is no time of the year to avoid traveling. May and April are also the rainiest months, so most people avoid travel during these months.
Do I require to be fit to trek or find the gorillas?
All the guests need a level of fitness and willingness to hike up the muddy slopes and through the varied vegetation and the terrain. The mountain gorillas live in montane forests, so the treks to view them are at a higher altitude.
Is it guaranteed to see the gorillas when you set out?
The mountain gorillas live in their natural habitants so it’s not a guarantee that you will sight them though, we have never heard any of the tourists regretting their treks. To help in ensuring this, the trackers set off at dawn and then locate the gorilla groups and then radio their GPS coordinates to the park headquarters, so this means that when you set off for the trek with the guide, you know where you are headed. The trackers also stay with the gorillas even though they are not moving.
What type of clothing should I wear?
For the safety of the camera, a water proofed day pack is so vital. Always pack water bottles and snacks as well. Just for a small fee, porters can be so helpful in carrying the luggage to the steep slopes. The waterproof jacket is also important since when setting out you get to expect the muddy and rained on. Always wear long trousers to be able to guard your legs against the nettles and a T-shirt with a long sleeved shirt over the top.
Is there a minimum or maximum age of visiting the gorillas?
Trekking is mostly done by the people with 6 years and above and there is no elasticity to this rule. This is the same for both Rwanda and Uganda and its being enforced by the national parks. There is also no upper age limit!
Do I need a gorilla permit?
You must obtain a gorilla permit to be able to visit the gorillas. Its only 8 visitors that are allowed to see the gorillas per group per day. You must secure a gorilla permit 4 months before you intend to travel and we can ensure that you have a permit in advance before you travel. The permits currently in Uganda cost $600, $1500 in Rwanda and the price is per person. This money goes directly towards conservation of the habitants, anti-poaching efforts and education of the local communities.
Will this be covered by my travel insurance?
It’s also important that your travel insurance does cover you for gorilla trekking as they may need an additional premium to be paid.
Can you track the gorillas when feeling un well?
This is a big NO, the gorillas are vulnerable to human diseases and even something that is minor to us can be very dangerous to them. You need to take care of yourself before the safari and avoid getting sick. You need to warn your guide in case you are feeling un well.
How big are the gorilla tracking groups?
There is also a maximum of 8 people per group in Rwanda or Uganda.
How much distance is my accommodation to the park headquarters?
You will be located within the easy access to the park headquarters, but the distance will depend on which accommodation you chose. The distance to the headquarters will vary from a one minute walk to an hour.
How long can I spend with the gorillas.
Once you have sighted the gorillas, you will be given one hour to spend with them. We also recommend that you track them at least twice. This also means that the second time, you can ignore taking the photos and then concentrate on enjoying the experience.