Terms Used in Gorilla Trekking
Terms Used in Gorilla Trekking are not so technical but a traveler needs to know their meaning and when to use them so they can fit in the groups well. Gorilla trekking safaris are quickly becoming the most sought after safaris in Africa especially in East Africa. Gorillas are found in their natural habitats in three countries in the world that is Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic republic of Congo. All these countries have had gorillas habituated for gorilla trekking safaris that take place throughout the year in the different parks. However, as people seek to book themselves a gorilla trekking safari in one of these countries they wonder at the different terms that are used in gorilla trekking. So in this article, we break down some of the terms that are used in gorilla trekking.
- Gorillas: Gorillas are the largest living primates on earth also known as apes. They are huge herbivores that live naturally in forests of high or low altitudes hence their names mountain gorillas and lowland gorillas. These apes are known to share between 95 to 99 % of human DNA.
- Mountain Gorillas: These are gorillas that live in high altitude mountainous forests. The high altitude contributes to the survival of these endangered apes. Mountain gorillas in the world are found in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic republic of Congo.
- Low land gorillas: these are gorillas that live in low altitude forests. The low altitudes are very key to the survival of these gorillas. Low land gorillas are divided into two eastern and western low land gorillas. Eastern low land gorillas are found in the democratic republic of Congo.
- Gorilla family: This is an important term of all the Terms Used in Gorilla Trekking. just like you belong to a family, gorillas to keep together in families; so gorilla family means a group of related gorillas living together under one silverback’s leadership.
- Silverback: Silverback is a male gorilla that leads a gorilla family; mostly the family has females and younger gorillas living together under the silverback’s leadership and protection.
- Black back: these are younger male gorillas are under the leadership of a silverback in a gorilla family; the black backs may or may not be related to the silverback and they normally act as backup protection for the family.
- Gorilla habitat: This normally refers to the forest where the gorilla lives; which means the home of the gorillas. Gorilla habitats in East Africa are Bwindi Impenetrable rain forest in Bwindi National Park, Mgahinga National Park, Hagenia forest in Volcanoes National Park, Virunga National Park and Kahuzi – Beiga National Park
- Gorilla trekking: this is the process of taking a climb or hiking into the mountainous gorilla habitat to locate the gorillas. The reason this trek is called gorilla trekking is that the main purpose of you taking this climb into the habitat is to find and spend time with the gorillas. Gorilla trekking in any of the gorillas’ habitats involves time for the trek which varies from 5 to 8 hours (to and from combined) and one hour with the gorillas.
- Gorilla trekking permit: this is a document that allows you, to take a trek in the gorilla habitat and then spend one hour with the gorillas. Gorilla trekking permits are acquired at least months before you go for your gorilla trekking experience and the permits cost 700USD in Uganda, 1500USD in Rwanda and 400USD in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
- Gorilla trekking group: A gorilla trekking group is a group of people that are going to trek for gorillas. Gorilla trekking groups are normally made up of 8 people and these eight people trek one gorilla family.
- Gorilla trackers: Gorilla trackers are wildlife staff that locates gorillas and also keeps following the gorillas as they move to info the people trekking where to find the gorillas on their trek.
- Gorilla rangers: these are the wildlife staff that leads the gorilla trekking group into the forest to see the gorillas. The gorilla rangers are always in constant communication with the trackers.
- Trekking sticks: The trekking sticks are normal sticks per se but they are specifically designed for trekking. These sticks are acquired at the trekking offices and they are to help you keep your balance as you trek through the forest.
- Gorilla trekking guidelines: these are guidelines you are to follow as you take you to trek for cases of the safety of the trekkers and continued conservation of the gorillas. The guidelines are normally communicated to you by the wildlife authorities in the different countries or the respective tour operators. They in seven meters between you and the gorillas, avoiding behavior that will irritate the gorillas or threaten them among other things.
- Gorilla trekking attire: this means the clothing you are to wear to go for your trek. Trekking attires may vary but key things to keep in mind are hiking shoes, long sleeved clothes, gloves and water for the trek.