Decide when to go Gorilla trekking
While Gorilla trekking in Uganda can be done all year round, it is best to go in the dry season months of June to August and December to February. The trail heads are drier and less challenging to navigate thus making for a good Gorilla trekking experience compared to trekking in the wet season months of March, April and May when the trails are wet, muddy and slippery.
Its obvious many travelers in the past have chosen to come in the dry season for reasons explained above, however Gorilla trekking in the wet season is equally interesting especially for the adventurous photographers looking to capture amazing shots of the mountain Gorillas with varying sheds of greenery in the background. this time is also crowd-free and Gorilla permits are readily available.
How to obtain a Gorilla tracking permit?
If you are planning to visit the Gorillas or Chimpanzees, it is recommended that you reserve the Gorilla permits well in advance. The Uganda Wildlife Authority headquartered in Kampala issues the permits only upon cash payment in full. Permits cost USD700 per person per trek.
Great Adventure Safaris can arrange the Gorilla and Chimpanzee permits for you after you have booked our all-inclusive safari with us. In order to do so, we need your full names corresponding with your passport, nationality, date of birth and passport number of all the people tracking, preferred starting location and date or second best date in case the preferred date is fully booked. Once proof of payment has been sent, we will purchase the permits on your behalf. Note that the minimum age for Gorilla tracking is 15 years.
What to expect on my Gorilla tracking day?
You probably get up very early in the morning to get ready, have breakfast and make sure you arrive at the tracking location at 07:45am. Depending on where you stayed for a night, that can still be an hour’s drive off-road. The Uganda Wildlife Authority guide will give an introduction. Every group consists of maximum 8 tourists and some Uganda Wildlife Authority rangers. You can opt for a porter to help you carry your bag. Don’t feel obliged to ask. These are local men and women who can earn some income by carrying your things while on your Gorilla walk.
The tracking starts at 8.30am. Depending on where the Gorillas were the previous day, the tracking can take 2 to 8 hours. Once the rangers have found the mountain Gorillas, you can spend 1 hour with the Gorilla family. Walk at your own pace. The 1 hour watching starts when the whole group is together, so don’t feel hurried by fellow trekkers who want to reach there quickly. Gorillas are wild animals and the Uganda Wildlife Authority would like to keep it that way. For them not to get too much used to human interaction, Gorillas are left without any human presence for 23 hours a day.
After the Gorilla sighting, you will go back to the starting point where you will celebrate and be rewarded with a certificate in recognition upon your successful and your participation in the conserving for these giant apes.
Some practical tips for your Gorilla tracking day
- Wear long sleeved clothes to protect yourself from scratches and insect bites as you are walking through thick bush.
- Go on good walking/hiking shoes that are comfortable for handling slippery slopes.
- Gloves can be great addition as you need to grab a lot of twigs and trees.
- To put in your bag: waterproof jacket, poncho, insect repellent, sunscreen, enough drinking water ( 2L) and food for during your tracking.
- Has it rained? Grab a walking stick at the beginning of the tracking
- Close-ups are very appealing; try a close-up of a hand, feet or face.
- Take some time to watch the mountain Gorillas without taking pictures.
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