Gorilla Trekking in Africa
The sheer size of mountain gorillas – especially the male silverback – is enough to engender awe, but the first thing you’ll probably notice when you come face to face with these astonishing primates is their intelligence and lack of fear. Unlike other wild animals, which are naturally cautious in the presence of humans, gorillas, along with chimpanzees, have no such fear.
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What You Need To Know
When gorilla trekking, your day usually starts early, as you’ll need to travel to the park headquarters at either Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda or Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda. If you’re on a gorilla safari in Rwanda, you’ll only find out which family you’re going to see on the morning of your trek. On the Ugandan side, your permit will be have been booked in advance to see a specific gorilla family, so you can prepare a little better for the safari.
The thick vegetation and slippery mud in the forests can be hazardous. You should wear strong walking shoes, thick jeans, long-sleeved tops and gloves to protect your skin against the aptly named blister bush, which causes severe blisters. You should also be prepared for rain at any stage, so have waterproofs ready and a case for your camera. Higher-end lodges will provide you with a gorilla-trekking kit, but others will just get you to the park headquarters. Check in advance what you need to pack.
Your rangers and trackers will lead you to where the gorilla family was last noted the day before. However, there’s no way of knowing how long you’ll have to trek to get to the primates, and they could be on the move. Be prepared for quite a hike to get to them and to keep up with them when you do! After each day of gorilla trekking you’ll generally get back to your lodge in the early afternoon, in time for a late lunch.
It’s well worth combining a mountain gorilla safari with a visit to see chimpanzees. The best place for chimps is in Kibale Forest in Uganda, where you can spend an hour or a full day with habituated families. It’s preferable to visit the chimps in the afternoon when they’re likely to be closer to the ground; earlier in the day they feed in the forest canopy.
FAQs about Gorilla Trekking in Africa
Kampala is a relatively safe city with friendly locals who are always willing to help with directions or restaurant recommendations. With that in mind, please take the usual precautions, such as not flashing your expensive belongings and avoiding walking around alone at night.
Uganda's main international airport is Entebbe International Airport. It is about 6 kilometres southwest of Entebbe, on the northern shores of Lake Victoria.
The Ugandan Shilling (UGX) is the official currency, and it is divided into 100 cents. Foreign currency can be exchanged at banks and bureaux de change; the best currencies to exchange are US dollars, Euros, or British pounds sterling, but only at official establishments.
June to August and December to February - during the dry season. Great wildlife viewing - animals congregate around the lake. The Migratory birds are also present.
The best time to visit Rwanda for a gorilla trek is during the long dry season of June to September or during the short dry season of mid-December to early-February. These seasons offer easier hiking conditions.
During the drier season, periods between December to early March and June to September - the excellent weather makes it easier to spot the wildlife and trek gorillas.
The highlight of the Rwandan experience is arguably getting to have a glimpse of the endangered and famed mountain gorillas. However, Rwanda also has some amazingly green areas and boasts forests and a vast array of birdlife. Many people refer to Rwanda as ‘the land of a thousand hills’.
Although some of the game parks have become quite overrun with tourists during certain times of year, there are still many very remote and untouched areas to view game in Africa two examples of this are in Northern Mozambique and Uganda.
Gorilla Trekking in Africa
Each of our popular itineraries can be tailor-made to suit your budget as well as your specific interests.
Each of our popular itineraries can be tailor-made to suit your budget.
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Plan your safari with confidence. Refundable deposits and flexible rebooking terms standard on your Uganda safari.
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