Gorilla Trekking in Africa – A Beginners Guide
Are you a first timer looking to tracking the mountain gorillas in Africa? Are you wondering how to get the best out of your gorilla trek. This beginner’s guide to gorilla trekking will help you plan a perfect holiday in Africa. ut all the worries away and get prepared for an exhilarating gorilla watching trip using the informative piece of advise below;
Mountain gorilla safaris are currently the most trending wildlife activities done in southwestern Uganda in the forested mountains of Bwindi Forest and Mgahinga gorilla national parks. Mountain gorillas are very rare primates that can only be found in 3 countries on the entire planet Uganda inclusive.
A walk through the forested on a gorilla safari to encounter these primates brings tourists close to nature with sightings of a variety of wildlife species that the forests have in stock.
Mountain gorilla tracking does not require any hiking experience and therefore all those going for mountain gorilla safaris for the first time have nothing to afraid of.
Uganda has over 450 mountain gorillas with the highest number living in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park that has 11 habituated mountain gorilla groups whereas Mgahinga gorilla national park only has one mountain gorilla group. Mountain gorillas in Uganda can be tracked throughout the year however lets look at what it takes to go tracking these primates especially if its your first time.
Make A Little Research About The Mountain Gorillas
Its always better to do some research about the mountain gorillas especially on the habituated mountain gorillas groups. This is important because it gives you an insight on how the tracking will be and besides tracking to get to an allocated mountain gorilla group takes about 1 to 8 hours of hike however there are mountain gorilla groups that can be got to after short hours of hike and in case you are not physically fit or cannot hike through the forest for 8 hours you can request your tour operator to book for you a permit of the mountain gorilla group that can be to after shorter hours of hike.
Making research also enables one to decide when he/she is determined to go to any of the two gorilla national parks to track the gorillas, which can be done at anytime of the year depending on one’s preference.
Start Planning Your Safari With Your Tour Operator
After knowing about the gorilla group you may prefer to hike and the time to go on your mountain gorilla safari you can then start planning your trip with your tour operator so that you know the total cost of the safari. One should however ensure to make a deposit of the safari so that the mountain gorilla permit is arranged as soon as possible. That is because mountain gorilla tracking is a highly demanded activity and the mountain gorilla permits available per day are limited (88 permits for Bwindi impenetrable national park and 8 permits for Mgahinga gorilla national park) and therefore it is very important for one to secure the gorilla permit early enough to avoid missing out.
Pack The Necessities You Will Need While On The Safari
The mountain gorilla-packing list is usually given to tourists by tour operators giving guidance on what he/she might need for a very successful and enjoyable gorilla safari in Uganda. Some of the items that a tourist should pack while going on a mountain gorilla safari include long sleeved shirts/trousers, at least a pair of shorts, a waterproof jacket, gardening gloves, waterproof and good hiking shoes, a pair of sandals, a good camera for taking photographs, extra camera batteries, sunglasses, insect repellant, a first aid kit among others. These are very useful while on a gorilla safari however you can also include in some of your personal preferred items you think maybe helpful while on a mountain gorilla safari.
Ensure To Follow The Guide’s Instructions Especially While In The Forest
On the day of tracking the gorillas, tourists are expected to arrive at the national park headquarters very early in the morning for a briefing before embarking on the hike. While here they are given guidelines and safety procedures to follow while in the forest a measure taken to ensure the safety of the tourists and the well being of the mountain gorillas. The major instructions given out include always following the guide’s instructions, keeping in the tourist’s tracking groups to avoid getting lost, minimizing noise, keeping at least a 7 meters distance a way from the gorillas, not using flash photography among others.