Gorilla Trekking Guide, Everything you need to know. Gorilla trekking has become one of the most famous activity in east Africa.
SHORT GORILLA TREKKING TRIPS TO RWANDA, UGANDA AND DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO.
Gorilla trekking has become one of the most famous activity in east Africa. These magnificent creatures live in forests high in the mountains, at elevations of 8,000 to 13,000 feet. They have thicker fur, and more of it, compare to other great apes. The fur helps them to survive in a habitat where temperatures often drop below freezing. There are different kinds of gorilla species in Africa however, Rwanda, Uganda and democratic republic of Congo have only the eastern lowland and western lowland gorillas.
Eastern lowland gorillas.
The eastern lowland gorillas is the largest of the four gorilla sub species. It’s different from the other gorillas by its stocky body, large hands and short muzzle. Despite its size, eastern low land gorillas feast mainly on fruit and other herbaceous materials, just like other gorilla sub-species.
Western lowland gorillas.
The western lowland gorilla is largest and wide spread sub-specie. Populations can be found in democratic republic of Congo (DRC) and other African countries. The number is not known because they inhabit some of the densest forests in Africa. They are usually slightly smaller in size, their brown grey coat auburn chests with wider skulls and smaller ears.
Visa requirements for your gorilla trekking tour in East Africa
You are required to possess a valid passport or travel document valid not lee than 30 days after the expiry of your intended visit. We advise you to inquire more about this depending on the country of entry. Pamoja tours and Travel Company will give you a quick response as you book your tour and entrust in us.
Vaccination, there is a mandatory vaccination cards that are supposed to be presented by all travelers in east Africa like; yellow fever in-caution certificate upon arrival at the airport
Pre-caution vaccinations like mumps, measles, rabbis, polio, rubella, tetanus, diphtheria, whooping cough, hepatitis A and B, typhoid, Covid-19 according to the requirements of your country of destination.
What you need to know before booking a gorilla trekking trip
- Physical fitness. You need to be physically fit as these gorillas live in the hilly parts of the different dense rainy forests of east Africa. This can be attained through walking and running practices before your gorilla trekking date is reached.
- Purchasing travel insurance before travelling to east Africa for gorilla trekking safari, you can further carry a portable medical kit for emergency.
- Bag packs required for hiking activities where a few food stuffs, medical kits, water bottles, cameras etc. can be kept for trekking.
- Energy boosters for your trip is a necessity
- Extra camera butteries
- Quick dry clothes
- Pair of binoculars is a necessity as the wild life you might stop is usually in a distance
TOP DESTINATIONS FOR GORILLA TREKKING
Rwanda the land of a thousand hills.
• Volcanoes gorilla national park which is located in North West Rwanda which is famous for its iconic gorillas with a population over 400 mountain gorillas
Uganda the pearl of Africa
• Bwindi impenetrable forest national park located in the south western part of Uganda with an estimated population of 600 mountain gorillas
• Mgahinga gorilla national park located in the southern part of Uganda near DRC with an estimated population of over 20 individuals
Democratic republic of Congo
• Virunga national park located in the eastern part of DRC with an estimated population of over 200 mountain gorillas.
• Kahuzi- Biega gorilla national park located near Bukavu town in the eastern democratic republic of Congo with an estimated population of 1000 eastern low land gorillas
Gorilla trekking permits in East Africa
It’s important to note that all gorilla parks are owned by their respective governments and therefore no individual company possesses gorilla permits and hence in order to acquire a gorilla permit in east Africa, Pamoja tours and travel company is here to arrange that for you. We can acquire the permit as long as you provide us with all the required information to book you this permit. . Rwanda’s gorilla permit prices for trekking gorillas here cost US 1500$ for foreign non-residents, US 500$ for foreign residents and US 200$ for east African residents. For Democratic Republic of Congo during the months of December to March and June to October when the season is at its peak cost US 400$ for foreign tourists, US 200$ for east African residents and US 20$ for nationals. During the other months of the year, the permit costs US 200$ respectively. For Uganda, the permits cost US 700$, foreign residents US 600$ and 250000 UG shs for East African residents.
Best time for gorilla trekking in Africa.
The best time is during the peak season of months; January, February, June, July, August, September and December where areas have less or no rain at all. A traveler choose these months as the best for gorilla trekking however, there is a high demand for gorilla demand. It should be noted that gorilla trekking is conducted all year around and all of these have their own merit and demerits.
Rules and regulations for gorilla trekking.
Meeting gorillas in their natural habitat is a big deal therefore there are rules and regulations that you should put in mind while trekking.
- You must be at least 15 years of age to engage in the trekking activities.
- You only have one hour of photography and observing once you trace the gorilla group
- You should wash your hands before you head out for trekking the gorillas.
- Do not look directly into their eyes because it upsets them
- Avoid flash photography when taking gorilla pictures and videos.
- Avoid smoking, drinking or eating in a distance of 200 meters or when with the gorillas as you may increase the risk of infections from food droppings and this might attract the gorillas near you due to curiosity
- Avoid dumping any rubbish like bottles, wipers, papers or left overs in the pack.
- Always live a five meter distance when observing the gorillas
- Give chance to the gorillas to pass at their time not you over passing them even if they may be using the designated footpaths. Wait until they give way.
- At times they may get closer to you. Don’t run away, stay calm and follow the guide’s instructions.
- While with and after visiting, keep your voices down until you are 200 meters away from the gorillas
- Do not distance yourself while trekking, keep in your groups while with the gorillas and avoid surrounding them.
- If you feel like coughing or sneezing while with the gorillas, please cover your mouth and nose in order to minimize the spread of viruses or infection.
- Don’t try to touch the gorillas and in case they come to you, please turn away in order to keep the authorized distance of 5 meters.
- When easing yourself, ask a guide to dig for you a hole of 30cms deep for you.
How to pay for these safaris
In this case after confirmation of all your trip plans with our company, you have to make payments in different ways such as;
- Bank transfer
- Credit card payment
How to access gorilla trekking destinations in East Africa
East African countries operate domestic flights from the main international airports to your destinations or airstrips near the gorilla national parks. For more information about scheduled duration flights, contact Pamoja tours and travel
This is the most popular means of transport to access most gorilla national parks in east Africa. A 4wheel Toyota land cruiser/ jeep is the best due to the nature of African roads.
Gorilla trekking activities in Africa are conducted by trained guides and armed personnel which makes it safe for gorilla trekking.
How to book a gorilla trekking safari
You can contact Pamoja tours and travel company to arrange for you a package and this is the easiest way of booking a trekking safari. You are sure of arranged safari from the start of you trip to dot. We can help you book accommodation, secure your trekking permits, arrange different activities (for after trekking) and transport you to your destination. Kindly contact us for more reliable and cheaper rates for a memorable gorilla trekking safari.
What to expect during your gorilla trekking safari
- It can rain even in the drier months of the year in East Africa
- Animals attacks in the rain forests from the wild animals like buffalos, chimpanzees, elephants which can charge while trekking.
- Slippery terrains especially during the rainy season
- Unexpected gorilla movements which happen when silverbacks fight which may also lead to longer treks.
- Long drives especially when going to the gorilla national parks.
- Higher altitudes where some gorilla families live in higher altitudes above sea level like in Uganda and Rwanda of about 2600-3000m above sea level
- Closed group or joining other clients on the gorilla trekking day
- Sedan chair transport is available for the elderly and those with disabilities.
Other activities to do after trekking
- Chimpanzee tracking
- Wildlife viewing
- Mountain hikes
- Cultural visits
- Fishing trips
- Boat cruises
- Walking safaris
- Bird watching
- City tours