Preparing for Gorilla Trekking in Uganda
Preparing for Gorilla Trekking in Uganda: Before starting your gorilla trial to Uganda always first book your safari with a gorilla permit, check your body fitness as gorilla trekking involves in climbing mountainous landscapes in search for the gorillas while sloping down. As you prepare for a gorilla trek in Africa some of the items must be not forgot on your trip such as; Cameras, Carry Sun screen, Check the medical requirements as well as the trekking dates and region you’re to trek in among others. But all item listed under to carry for gorilla trekking in Uganda/Africa by your tour operator carry them and always ensure that you are in touch with trustable, dependable, registered safari company.
Gorilla trekking in Uganda is an interesting trip that makes one’s dream to come to pass because it’s quite adventurous you will never forget. Of course with great experience, comes great responsibility. For this reason, you need to be prepared and below are the tips to follow on how to prepare for your gorilla trekking experience in Uganda.
1. Know where to Trek the Gorillas in Uganda
First all, the world has a total of about 1065 mountain gorillas that split between Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. While Uganda hosts half of the world’s Mountain Gorillas.
Bwindi Impenetrable national park is a world Heritage Site home to more than 550 individuals which live in families.
Bwindi has 21 habituated gorilla families already set for tourism purposes.
Mgahinga Gorilla national park also home to several gorilla families but only one has been habituated for trekking. Please note one to visit one of these gorilla families must be above 15 years to trek the gorillas.
2. Book a Gorilla Permit Before You Arrive
To most of travelers might ask what is the purpose of the gorilla permit, gorilla permit is a document that permits you access the gorillas. It is issued out by Uganda Wildlife Authority a body that governs all Uganda’s national park. The fact is that, to trek Uganda gorillas, you must have a gorilla trekking permit. Remember it has 21 habituated gorilla families and each family trekked by 8 visitors a day and over 160 gorilla trekking permits available each day.
We strongly advise travelers to always book your gorilla permits in advance. This is because the demand for gorilla permits always exceeds the total of permits available each day, most especially during peak/high season ‘’June –August and December –February’’. Book your gorilla permits 6 months earlier if you’re planning to visit gorillas in Uganda during one of these months.
However, some may plan their gorilla safari in Uganda during low season; March –May and October to November ‘’the rainiest months’’, at least this season you can book your gorilla permits 4 months earlier. The earlier you book, the more choice you have where to trek and where to stay.
Uganda gorilla permit cost USD700 per person to spend one-hour with a gorilla family. However, a trek to see gorillas can take about 2 to 7 hours or even a full day depending on the movement of the gorilla family you’re trekking.
If you want to spend more hours with our close lovely relatives, book a Gorilla habituation experience tour at fee of USD1500 per person to Rushaga region in the south of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and have four hours with them in the midst of the forest.
Gorilla habituation experience is a process of encouraging wild gorillas to feel comfortable in the presence of human.
3. Choose Your Gorilla Trekking Company Carefully
You’re strongly advised to book your Uganda gorilla safari through a trustworthy tour operator.
Key Things to Consider on How to Choose a Reputable Tour Operator
Always consider membership to Local tourism associations
You will search for tour operators for gorilla tour in Uganda over 200 tour and travel companies in Uganda. But some are Briefcase companies.
A fraction of those is officially recognized partners in the marketing and selling gorilla permits. But the Best Uganda gorilla trekking companies are those that are members of the Association of Uganda Tour Operators ‘’Auto’’.
It is easier to raise a complain about a company if it is under a member of a tour operator association.
Look for company Online reputation and reviews
This is the best way to know a reputable and a recognized safari company. Best tour and travel companies have good reviews from their past clients. You can get these reviews from trip advisor. This will prove you right whether a company delivers to clients what it says.
Explore the Company website to read the information provided on gorilla trekking experience, permits and other aspects of gorilla tour. Also check out if the company has an [About Us] page. If they have one, look at what they do, their motivation and for how long it has been serving. Do they have permanent offices.
Consider the response time to your inquiry; This matters on how long does it take for the gorilla trekking company to reply your email! A good tour company will attend to your first inquiry in a timely manner, this shows how quick response from a safari operator with correct information how serous they are.
4. How fitness preparations for your Uganda gorilla safari
It’s important to know about, mountain gorilla trekking is a walking adventurous experience in the park’s forest. This activity requires one at least have a physical fitness.
Note that, searching for gorilla trekking can last up to 8 hours, scrambling through dense vegetation up steep, muddy hillsides.
Most tourists plan their gorilla trips in advance 6 months before the safari begin. This is the perfect time to get your physically fit for your Uganda gorilla tour.
The recommended body physical fit for your Uganda gorilla tour are walking, jogging, sit-ups, hiking, stair masters and downhill lunges and more.
If you’re not physically fit, you can ask for closer gorilla family to trek.
5. Know what to pack for your gorilla trekking tour in Uganda
Knowing what to carry for your Uganda gorilla trek is important because the park is a rain tropical forest so you need to pack items that will fit with the climate. Carry the right gear that makes all the difference, so remember to bring;
- Hand sanitizer; it must be an alcohol-based hand rub with 60% alcohol.
- Face masks ‘’N-95’’ and surgical Masks
- Waterproof day pack
- Lightweight waterproof, rain jackets
- Hiking shoes
- Lightweight long-sleeved shirt.t-shirt/blouses
- Hiking trousers
- Gardening gloves which supports in slippery areas, tree branches
- Sunhat or cap
- Sunglasses and sunscreen
- Light-wool sweater or for cold mornings
- Insect repellents
- Energy giving snacks
- Bottled water
- Binocular and Camera with on flash
- Medical kit
- Walking stick
- Porters are available and you’re advised to carry light items to minimize the use of porter during this period of COVID-19.
6. Consider the gorilla trekking dressing code
When choosing what to wear on a gorilla trek, avoid bright colors inclusive with sandals and shorts. Neutral color clothes are highly recommended.
7. Know the gorilla trekking rules
Before heading on the actual trek, you will be briefed on the about gorilla trekking rules and regulations that you have to observe. Such rules include;
- All the visitors, staff and trackers must wear masks
- At the briefing points visitors and staff members must wash hands or sanitize and body temperature taken.
- Visitors, staff and porters observed to be sick are not allowed to trek. With signs of flu, malaria and those who report to have diarrheas and stomach upset.
- Social distancing of 2 meters away from each other’s.
- Gorilla trekking is limited to 8 people per group.
- Always follow your guide through the trekking trails
- Stay in the group when you are with gorillas
- You must keep 6 to 7 meters away from gorillas
- Always use lower voice
- Do not litter in the park
- Do not smoke, drink or eat when you are with gorillas
- Do not touch the gorillas because they are wild animals
- If you are to cough turn away and cover your mouth.
8.Find the best time to trek gorillas
Though it’s a yearly but always find out the best time to trek gorillas in Uganda. The best time for gorilla trekking is during drier season ‘’June to September and December to February’ ’In dry season trekking isn’t difficult. Forest trails are drier and easy to be accessed.
Wet seasons begin in March, April, May and October to November. During this season accommodation prices becomes low for upmarket lodges.
9. Find out some facts about mountain gorillas
- Around 1065 mountain gorillas are left on Earth
- They are the most powerful and biggest primates in the world, weighing over 200kilogrames.
- They live in families of 5 to 30 individuals lead by one dominant adult male’ ’silverback’’ which signal full adulthood.
- They are very gentle and shy
- They do not have tails
- They are endangered species but only subspecies of gorillas whose population is increasing.
- They have thicker and longer hair than other gorilla subspecies.