Gorilla trekking Safaris in Uganda
Gorilla trekking safaris in Uganda are magnificent and exhilarating experiences. Hanging out with mountain gorillas is one of the most thrilling wildlife encounters in the world. These endangered species are only found in 3 Countries in the world namely Uganda, Rwanda, and DR Congo. Uganda is blessed with half of the total remaining gorillas being harbored at Bwindi Impenetrable national park. Additionally, the pearl of Africa still shares the remaining g half with DR Congo and Rwanda. Hanging out with these incredible creatures is a magical experience watching them interact as they do their daily routines. The other three trekking points include Virunga national park in DR Congo, Volcanoes national park in Rwanda, and Mgahinga gorilla national park in Uganda.
Gorilla trekking safaris in Uganda are conducted every day starting with a briefing from a ranger guide at 0700hrs. This is then followed by popping into the jungle in search of the gorilla as your guide clearing your way by slicing off the excess bushes, tree branches as well as bamboo to open your path. You follow some kind of trail climbing up the mountains and falling into valleys with magnificent views of the forest touching you on both sides. This is a huge nature experience of the thick, untouched landscape with beautiful music from various bird species echoing directly into your ears.
Tracking is done in groups of up to 8 members are maximum escorted by armed rangers and guides. After some time following their footsteps, you will find a troop of gorillas. This is however not the end of the tracking. Since it’s feeding time, they are still on the move, so for the next hour, you must follow their footprints in the mud. Eventually, they will stop, and you will approach one step after another and now around a slight bend, and a gorilla will stand before you. Don’t move, and don’t back off as the gorilla gets closer to perform her inspection to check you out. There is no thought of grabbing your camera as this first interaction is all about the gorilla’s inspiring power.
As this mother turns, you will follow the trail a little further, and boom, the whole family of lots of members is scattered under the tree shade with babies above your head. The giant silverback who is also the head of the family will be on guard to protect the family members. They are relaxed and will start to surround you until you are not quite sure which way to turn. This will be the opportune time for your cameras to come out and snap those signature photographs and videos as your guide narrates a few more details about the individual family members including their names, history, and what they like at a close range of seven meters away. Please remember to keep all the small rules that were given to you in the beginning most especially keeping the 7 Meters and turning off the flashlights of your cameras. After an hour of watching, Goodbye is the saddest word to say at this time, but nonetheless, you will say goodbye with your last photos and snapshots.
Are Gorilla Trekking Safaris in Uganda Limited by Age?
Gorilla trekking safaris in Uganda are limited by age. One has to be 15 years and above to trek these ever-surprising creatures. Plus one needs a very high degree of fitness as it involves hiking and different levels of altitude. Bwindi ranges from 1,160m – 2,607m above sea level with most parts of the park standing at an elevation exceeding 2,000 meters while volcanoes national park’s altitude ranges from 2,400m to 4,507m above sea level. Prior fitness and meditation classes are highly recommended for you to keep your body in proper shape and fit to conquer the elevation and hike at ease to successfully meet up with the gorillas.
Packing Tips for a gorilla trekking safari in Uganda
After confirming your Gorilla trekking safari, the next question that keeps running in your mind is, DO I NEED SPECIFIC CLOTHES AND SHOES ON A GORILLA TREKKING SAFARI IN UGANDA? I wouldn’t say there are specific clothing lines but yes for a more comfortable and convenient gorilla tour, below is a packing list to give you a picture of what you should bring on your gorilla tour.
- Waterproof lightweight hiking boots separate from your daily regular wear to help you maneuver through the slippery terrains of the Impenetrable Forest.
- Gloves to protect hands from holding thorns, brush, and stinging nettles
- Lightweight long socks to protect you from African Safari Ants
- Cotton t-shirts in neutral colors. Kindly note that bright and shouting colors are discouraged. Furthermore, blue and black colored fabrics are discouraged due to their tendency to attract Tsetse flies.
- Outdoor/waterproof and breathable pants and insulated jacket (preferably Gortex) with a hood to wear on top of your quick dry undershirt. Poncho is a good lightweight alternative to a waterproof jacket.
- Lightweight fleece sweater.
- Soft, long-sleeved shirts
- Good size bottled water
- Fully-wrapped energy snack bars
- Hat, sunblock, and sunglasses with neck strap
- Lightweight backpack bag to carry your gear, snacks, and water while on the tour
- Insect repellants, Anti-malarial tablets, and any other prescribed medication from your physician.