What are the chances of seeing mountain gorillas? – This is one of the most asked questions when it comes to gorilla tracking in Rwanda. Gorillas are wild apes living in Rwanda’s volcanoes national park located 2 hours away from the Rwandan capital Kigali.
Volcanoes national park forms the great Virunga Trans- boundary tourism zone consisting of Uganda’s Mgahinga gorilla national park and DR Congo’s Virunga national park.
Volcanoes national park covers an area of 160 sq kms and it’s a home to one of the endangered mountain gorillas. There are about 11 gorilla families available for tracking in Rwanda.
Rwanda’s gorilla national park is managed by Rwanda Development Board (RDB) and tourism is the biggest income earner for the Rwandan economy.
Other national parks in Rwanda include Nyungwe forest national park which is famous for chimpanzee tracking and canopy walks, Akagera national park which is famous for boat safaris, game drives, walking safaris and birding safaris lastly is Gishwati national park which is yet to be opened for tourism is a home to chimpanzees and golden monkeys.
Rwanda’s gorilla permits cost USD 1500 per permit that allows you spent 1 hour with the endangered mountain gorillas in their natural habitat.
It’s important to note that the gorilla tracking process starts with the trackers who enter the rain forest early in the morning before the tourists have a briefing at the park headquarters before they are slit in to different family groups and maximum of 8 people before you start the trek so as you start your trek your led ranger guide will communicate with the trackers about where the gorillas spent the night and then you walk towards the direction of the gorillas and the walk will entirely depend on the location of the gorillas.
In reality the chances are over 99% that you will see the gorillas in your gorilla tracking safari.
What may make the chances of seeing gorillas reduce below 99%.?
Availability of food.
Gorilla movements are largely dependent on the availability of food meaning during dry season there is less food distribution so the unfit tourists may struggle to walk faster hence aborting the trek.
Interaction with another gorilla group.
Gorillas are territorial and the territories are dominated by adult males who may be silverback or black back gorillas so if two gorilla families meet the weaker silverback or black back may move very far beyond their home range of 1 sq km radius range per day so this may be change and that means the trackers may fail to find the gorillas easily.Great Adventure safaris gives you details on what are the chances of seeing mountain gorillas and with the help of an advance team, travelers always see the gorillas.