Can I trek mountain gorillas in May : Yes! You can trek mountain gorillas in May. Mountain gorilla trekking is done whole year round so any month is good for you to trek mountain gorillas.
The month of May in East Africa is usually characterized by rains and generally chilly weather but this weather doesn’t disrupt your mountain gorilla trekking experience. You are still able to have a wonderful and fun filled gorilla trekking experience.
This is due to the fact that though the weather for the month of May has more rainy days than sunny days, it has days that don’t have any rain at all. And it’s very possible to schedule your mountain gorilla trekking days on those days especially if you have access to the weather forecast reports. The other thing is, usually it doesn’t rain for the whole day, and it will rain for a few hours of the day or the night, so you have the rest of the day warm enough for a gorilla trek. On a bright side, on rainy days, the general weather is cool so you are not dealing with heat and sweating on your trek.
A bonus on trekking in May, is that it’s not a peak month, the month doesn’t have a lot of safari bookings, so you’re assured to get a trekking spot on your preferred date. This is unlike during the peak months, where they are many bookings, you are given the trekking spot that is available.
So as you can, it’s very possible to trek mountain gorilla in May.
Mountain gorilla trekking is one of the most sought after safari activities in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The activity is done all year round in all countries in the different mountain gorilla parks that are:- Bwindi National Park and Mgahinga National Park for Uganda, Volcanoes National Park for Rwanda and Virunga National Park for the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Of all the three countries Uganda has the highest number of mountain gorillas and some of the most adventurous trekking trails. Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo have nearly an equal number of mountain gorillas. Rwanda has smoother trekking trails compared to the DRC and Uganda.
Mountain gorilla trekking is done in groups of 8 and they normally start in the morning at 7am with a briefing before you head into the forest to look for the gorillas. This is what happens across the three countries. A group of 8 individuals treks one family of mountain gorillas. The trekking time varies depending on the country or park you are trekking and sometimes the gorilla family; but usually it takes between 5 to 8 hours with one hour spent in the presence of the mountain gorillas and the other hours spent searching for the gorillas and exiting the forest.
To go for a mountain gorilla trekking experience, trekkers will have to obtain trekking permits beforehand. These permits allow you to access the forested mountain and give you a chance to spend an hour with the mountain gorillas.
Permit fees range from 400 USD to 1500 USD depending on the country you choose to trek in. The DRC permits cost 400 USD, Uganda 700 USD and Rwanda 1500 USD. In Some seasons the permit prices are lower than stated especially when countries have promotional rates for the season. Also some countries offer discounts to bookings in groups, so the prices can be lower than stated. Before booking your permit we advise you consult with your tour operator to find out about the promotional rates if any.