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Why Gorilla Trekking Should Be Your Bucket List 2024

A Guide to Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi Forest National Park 2025

Long gone are the days when a safari had to mean roughing it in the wilds. If you’re pointing the compass to East Africa, about gorilla trekking In our Previous write-up about Gorilla families we are kicking off with the new gorilla trekking families in Uganda, gorilla trekking is one not to miss in 2024! The Buhoma sector has the Bunyindo and Muyambi gorilla families, the Rushaga sector has the Rwigi and Tindatine gorilla families, and the Nkuringo sector with the new Posho gorilla family.

Gorilla tracking involves hiking on foot in search of gorillas in their natural habitat. This wildlife tourism activity takes place in remote tropical mountainous forests of Africa. There are four African gorilla species of which mountain gorillas are the most popular among travellers. There are several reasons for the rapid growth of mountain gorilla tourism, the first one being conservation. Unlike their western gorilla, mountain gorillas don’t survive in captivity or zoos. To visit them, you can only take a gorilla safari to Uganda, Rwanda, or the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo). Since you can’t find them anywhere else, gorilla tracking nowadays is considered to be such an outstanding activity. Let’s examine a few of the reasons why gorilla tracking needs to be on your bucket list in 2024.

However, a trip to see gorillas requires planning regarding choosing the trekking destination, knowing the best time for gorilla tracking as well as, and booking gorilla permits. Gorilla trekking is available to children above 15 years of age. Given the demands of the nature of the terrain, trekking to see gorillas requires physical fitness. Visitors should be in good health. However, there’s a way to help disabled travelers see gorillas by carrying them on sedan chairs or carrying them on a stretcher made with local bamboo.

Gorilla Conservation

About 1063 mountain gorilla population is currently estimated in the world of which 459 individuals which is almost half of their numbers are found in Uganda’s 331 sq. km Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. The rest live in the Virunga area including Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, Mgahinga Gorilla, and Virunga National Parks. The human population around both of these protected areas is ever-increasing putting pressure on the natural forests in the form of poaching and encroachment. There are also negative impacts associated with daily tourist visits to gorillas such as the risk of human diseases transmission including the common cold and COVID-19 which can kill gorillas. All these put the lives of gorillas at risk of extinction. In that regard, the top priority for gorilla tracking safaris is to raise enough money to fund for protection of natural areas and carry out research to further understand and take better care of them in the wild. By visiting gorillas, you will be contributing to their conservation. For instance, gorilla trekking in Rwanda has recently helped in securing more land to expand Volcanoes National Park.

Gorilla Tracking

Gorilla tracking is a true natural trekking challenge as it involves hiking on foot through tropical forests such as Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and the Virunga Volcanoes whilst trekking in Mgahinga and Volcanoes National Park. The guided treks led by expert local rangers and trackers allow you to discover and learn about the rich biodiversity of these natural areas. Besides the face-to-face encounter with a mountain gorilla family including silverback and infants, you might spot other primate species, birds, and plant species.

Gorilla Trekking Experience in Uganda and Rwanda

Unlike Rwanda, gorilla trekking in Uganda can be done on a budget trip. Uganda gorilla trekking permit currently costs $800 for foreign non-residents. This includes the park entrance and guided trek fee to see gorillas. There’s also a wide range of accommodations to suit every travel taste and style, especially in the four Bwindi gorilla trekking centers. Guided gorilla safaris will ensure to cater for booking permits, accommodation, transport, and other activities altogether into a single itinerary. One is a guaranteed gorilla trip to all gorilla destinations at GoExplore Safaris.

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On the other hand, Rwanda offers a luxurious gorilla tracking experience with assorted matching accommodations in Volcanoes National Park. The gorilla permit cost for Rwanda is $1500 per person available for booking through the Rwanda Development Board and GoExplore safari experts will guide you on how to obtain these permits.

Safety and Security While Tracking Gorillas

Through the ranger monitoring program, the rangers can keep track of the daily movements of gorillas using GPS. This puts an assurance to locate them no matter how long it takes to see gorillas. In history, no tourist has ever missed seeing gorillas on a trek. The maximum number of people allowed to visit a single gorilla group is 8 visitors per day. The small group also ensures that you get plenty of individual attention from the rangers and trackers.

Gorilla Habituation Experience 2024

Gorilla tracking offers the opportunity to spend 1 hour with the gorilla family assigned to you. However, with gorilla habituation experience you can spend 4 hours with a semi-habituated gorilla family. This activity allows only 4 people to visit one of the two families in Rushaga’s southern sector of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. Gorilla habituation facilitates important research on gorillas which helps further in understanding their ecology and behavior in the wild. Therefore, tourists can learn the practical knowledge it takes to habituate gorillas.

Cultural Encounters

There is a rich cultural diversity with more than 50 indigenous tribes in Uganda. Your gorilla tour can be a tour of the local community or a campfire storytelling experience at the lodge. Some of the Uganda cultural tour highlights to add to your gorilla trek include visiting Batwa also known as the pygmies

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Your Safari/trip Includes

  • All relevant Government taxes
  • Park fees
  • Domestic flights as per the itinerary
  • Ground transportation
  • Gorilla permits
  • Water in the vehicle for all overland sectors
  • Services of a qualified English-Speaking Driver Guide
  • Meals as showed in the itinerary
  • Accommodation as showed in the itinerary
  • Arrival and departure airport transfers