How long does Gorilla Trekking last?

How long does Gorilla Trekking last? Gorilla trekking is one of the best primates’ safaris in Uganda, Rwanda and the democratic Republic of Congo. Mountain gorillas can only be found in Bwindi Impenetrable national park and Mgahinga Gorilla national park in Uganda with half of the remaining mountain gorillas’ population in the world. While Volcanoes national park in Rwanda and Virunga national park in the Democratic Republic of Congo share the other half of the population. The time taken on both gorilla trekking and gorilla habituation is a usually asked question among travellers who are time conscious. 

How long does Gorilla Trekking last?

Mountain gorilla trekking is the process of hiking in the forest in order to find mountain gorillas. Visitors are advised to purchase permits in advance before travelling to secure your place for the activity. Gorilla trekking only starts in the morning. Visitors are briefed about the experience or the activity before entering the forest to trek. The time taken for gorilla trekking in all the national park is allocated a full day because finding the gorillas depends on the movement of the creatures. In Bwindi impenetrable national park, there are four gorilla trekking sectors each with over 5 gorilla families. All gorilla families do move in different directions. The rangers always visitors about their ability to trek and the gorilla family will be allocated according your ability to trek according to the location of the gorillas. Mountain gorilla trekking gives a chance to the travellers to walk through the forest searching for the gorillas and this activity is only done in Africa, that is in Uganda, Congo and Rwanda. Trekking mountain gorillas involves hiking to up to an altitude of about 2500-3000 metres, meaning the air will be thinner and the demands on the lungs greater. In Bwindi Impenetrable national park which is the primary gorilla trekking destination in Uganda, the terrain is mountainous and the vegetation is thick, so hiking in Bwindi forest requires some stamina. 

After breaking, visitors are put in groups of 8 people per gorilla family and visitors can only enter the forest with the guidance of the park officials, and armed rangers. You will walk straight to the forest wild to watch mountain gorillas. Gorilla trekking may take about 2 to 8 hours beyond depending on the movement of the allocated gorilla family. Only one hour is given to visitors to interact with mountain gorillas once they meet them. 

Gorilla habituation is only done in Bwindi impenetrable national park in the Rushaga sector. There are available groups of gorillas that have been reserved for habituation. Gorilla habituation lasts for the whole day in the forest and visitors are allowed to spend 4 hours with gorillas while studying their behaviour.  That is you can watch the gorillas for 4 hours instead of 1 hour. Gorilla habituation is more physically demanding than the standard gorilla treks. Gorillas who are still being habituated can take longer to track down, as they are shyer and more wary of human contact.

The park rangers track these primates according to where they were last seen a day before, where they last slept, their movements, last constructed their nests and last ate. Visitors are advised to carry long sleeved cloths like blouses, long socks, long sleeved shirts, hat, hiking boots, garden gloves, repellent, sun glasses, water, packed food and many others. Gorilla trekking permits very from the three trekking permits, in Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga national park, gorilla permits go for US$700 per person. In Volcanoes national park, permits go for US$1,500 per person while in Virunga national park, permits go for US$400 per person. 

The best time for mountain gorilla trekking is not known because the experience can be done at any time throughout the year however, the dry seasons are best recommended for visitors that is in the dry months of July, June, August, September, December and February. Gorilla trekking is 99% guaranteed throughout the year. Visitors are also required to have a moderate level of physical fitness, but most healthy individuals should be more than up to the challenge. Those who are worried about the difficulty of the terrain should also opt to go trekking in the dry season, which runs from June to September and December to February, as the ground can become very muddy during the wet season. That said, keen photographers should note that rain clears away the dust in the air, which makes for better visibility and better photos of the gorillas. For visitors with hiking challenges, you can book sufficiently in advance and arrange to take porters, or sedan chairs and hiking sticks. You can also join groups that are doing easier and shorter treks. Having porters carry a sedan chair will add to the cost of the trek, but can be a really helpful for those who need it. 

Even though gorilla trekking can be tiring, encountering gorillas is worthwhile. Catching a glimpse of a wild gorilla deep in the forests feels particularly good when you have worked to get there. The challenges of the trek are easier to manage if you come well-prepared. Good hiking boots, comfortable clothing, a rain jacket, a hat, gloves, insect repellents and sunglasses are all recommended, as is bringing plenty of water and some healthy, energising snacks. It is also a good idea to prepare yourself by doing some trekking and other forms of cardio before coming out to Uganda. If you build up your fitness, then the challenges of the gorilla trek will be much easier to handle. Seeing these primates up close is an exhilarating and unforgettable experience, and the trek itself, passing through beautiful, biodiverse landscapes is one of the best parts of the experience.

In conclusion, it’s impossible to say how long your trek will be. Some groups make contact within 45 minutes, others can take 6 hours or more before finding a habituated group. If you’re interested in gorilla trekking, you should be prepared to work for it. The amount of time spent on the gorilla trek can vary a lot from day to day, depending on where the gorillas have settled, as well as on how many clues they’ve left behind. The amount of time spent trekking could be anything from 30 minutes to several hours.

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