GORILLA TREKKING SAFARIS IN UGANDA.
Have you ever thought of a gorilla trekking safari in Africa? Think no more, Uganda is the best country to trek mountain gorillas.
Uganda is located in East Africa, well known as the Pearl of Africa. Uganda neighbours Kenya to the east, Tanzania in the south, South Sudan in the north, DRC in the west and Rwanda in the south-west. Uganda became famous as a result of numerous attractions that cannot be spotted elsewhere in Africa and the world at large including mountain gorillas that can be found in the Virunga ranges and Bwindi impenetrable forest.
Uganda has the biggest population of mountain gorillas that can be trekked in the two national parks namely Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga, both located in the far southwestern Uganda near D.R. Congo and Rwanda borders. This has given Uganda a chance to receive many tourists to trek these endangered species.
The word gorilla came from the Greek word gorillai meaning ‘’hairy woman’’. They have been observed using tools and their four limbs, making them one of the most intelligent primate species. Therefore, this has made them behave like humans, hence a safari you need not miss out.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.
Bwindi impenetrable national park has four distinct regions where one can trek these man’s closest relatives and these include; Nkuringo, Buhoma, Ruhija and Rushaga. All these sectors have over 19 families according to the research carried in 2018. Trekking one of the families is as rewarding as spotting the silverbacks which is the head male of the family playing with the juveniles and the mothers breastfeeding.
On the other hand, Mgahinga Gorilla national park has only one habituated mountain gorilla families, Nyakagezi. Gorillas are known to be vegetarians and this park gives its best due to the thick rain forest that is found here. This has given Mgahinga national park more chance of being a perfect gorilla trekking hub.
Note that each family has only 8 permits per day and this is the required number each day to trek each family. Therefore, you are required to book your permit earlier with a choice of the family you are interested in visiting.
While on your gorilla trekking safari in Uganda, you must know that trekking these gorillas is rewarding but takes about 2-4 hours depending on how these endangered species have moved and where they spent previous night. They move in search of food and new location to establish their nests. An hour is allocated to trekkers while in the presence of these beautiful creatures.
GORILLA TREKKING EXPERIENCE.
Visitors that are 15 years and above are only allowed to trek mountain gorillas with the help of an armed park ranger guide. The activity starts at the UWA briefing point after checking and verifying gorilla permits and other documentation, followed by a 30-minute briefing about dos and don’ts to abide by during gorilla trekking.
The activity ends with a certificate of appreciation rewarded to visitors who manage to complete this adventurous experience of trekking mountain gorillas.
Trekking also requires a person who is physically fit because it requires a bit of hiking, walking long distances and passing through muddy / rough paths.
Is it safe to trek mountain gorillas in Uganda?
It is very safe to trek gorilla in Uganda because of the peace and security provided by the Uganda peoples defence force (UPDF), Tourism police as well as UWA park rangers. Note that mountain gorillas are habituated and they are used to human presence and this is why there is no incident of mountain gorilla attacks in Uganda.
Best time to trek gorillas in Uganda.
Most tourists wonder about the best time to trek mountain gorillas in Uganda but you should know that trekking can be done all year round. Although, the experience is more fun and enjoyable in the dry season during months of mid-December to the end of February and June to October. During these months, gorilla parks are easily accessed; the paths are not as muddy and the thick vegetation becomes easy to penetrate.