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Frequently Asked Questions About Gorilla Trekking

Frequently Asked Questions about Gorilla Trekking & Mountain Gorillas

Get answers to the Frequently Asked Questions about Gorilla Trekking in Uganda, Rwanda or the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Frequently Asked Questions About Gorilla Trekking

Mountain Gorilla Trekking is a popular safari activity that many tourists from all over the world undertake to enjoy in the three African countries. There are only 4 mountain gorilla national parks where gorilla tracking takes place throughout the year. And these include Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga National Park in Uganda plus Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and Virunga National Park in Congo. Gorilla Tours being prime safaris in East and Central Africa today, prospective travelers, tourists, researchers and academicians continue to ask many questions about Mountain Gorillas and Gorilla tours in Africa. Speedway Safaris, a gorilla safari company has managed to outline the frequently asked questions with their answers below:-

  • What is Gorilla trekking?
  • How much does it cost to go gorilla trekking?
  • What is a gorilla permit?
  • How much is a Gorilla Permit?
  • How can one Book Gorilla Trekking Permit?
  • When to book for a Gorilla permit?
  • What is the minimum age to go Gorilla trekking?
  • Are there Gorillas in Uganda?
  • When can you see gorillas in Uganda?
  • Is gorilla trekking in Uganda safe?
  • Are Gorillas Safe? 
  • From Where Can I trek Gorillas in Uganda?
  • Are there gorillas in Rwanda?
  • How much does it cost to see the gorillas in Rwanda?
  • What is the best Gorilla Trekking Company?
  • When can you see gorillas in Rwanda?
  • What do I need to bring for gorilla trekking?
  • What gorilla habituation experience?
  • Where can I go for Gorilla Habituation experience?
  • What is the cost of Gorilla Habituation experience?
  • How many mountain gorillas are left in the world?
  • What is being done to protect mountain gorillas?
  • What caused mountain gorillas to become endangered?
  • What are the threats to mountain gorillas?

Answers to the Frequently Asked Queries on Mountain Gorillas and Gorilla Tracking

 What is Gorilla trekking?

Gorilla Trekking is a Tourism activity of walking into the forest in search of the endangered mountain gorillas. Gorillas live in the forests of Bwindi and Mgahinga in Uganda, Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and Virunga National Park in DR Congo. Usually visiting gorillas, a gorilla trekking certificate is awarded to whoever has participated in the adventure.

How much does it cost to go gorilla trekking?

The cost for gorilla trekking vary based on the kind of transport used, the accommodation standard, the number of people you are in a group as well as the country where you want go for gorilla trekking. So there is no specific cost for gorilla trekking. The only known cost is that for the gorilla permits as per the country.

What is a gorilla permit?

A gorilla permit is a document or card given to a tourist granting him entry to the national park to do gorilla trekking. The permit is usually for any of the two gorilla safari activities, that is gorilla trekking or for gorilla habituation experience. In the region, gorilla habituation experience is only offered in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

How much is a Gorilla Permit?

Prices for gorilla permits vary according to countries. In Uganda, a gorilla permit is at $ 600, Rwanda at $ 1500 and Congo at $ 400. The price applies to foreign nationals but always lower based on one’s nationality status. For instance, East African citizens, foreign residents in Uganda and foreign non-residents pay differently.

How can one Book Gorilla Trekking Permit?

You can book gorilla permits through your chosen professional tour operator. If you contact Speedway Safaris, we shall make the gorilla permit booking for you and go ahead to arrange the entire safari. We pay for the permit at the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), a government body responsible for reservations and managing of national parks and wildlife reserves in Uganda. Booking of gorilla permits in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo is done in similar way. A safari booking is done after confirming the gorilla permit availability with the wildlife authority of the country you need to visit.

When to book for a Gorilla permit?

It is worthwhile to book a gorilla permit at least 3 months in advance before the trip dates. Gorilla permits especially in Uganda are very competitive and are sold on first come, first serve basis, so early booking saves you from missing out on your life time safari dream.

What is the minimum age to go Gorilla trekking?

The minimum age for gorilla trekking permission in Uganda or Rwanda is 15 years. For any teenager whose age might be doubted, ensure that you show passport details for confirmation.

Are there Gorillas in Uganda?

Yes there are mountain gorillas in Uganda available for trekking. There are two  gorilla national parks in Uganda and these include Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park only.

When can you see gorillas in Uganda?

You can see gorillas in Uganda in any month of the year. Even though the months of June to October plus December to February are the most ideal for gorilla trekking adventures since the parks are warmer with less rain. Also refer to the best time for gorilla trekking in the wild.

Is gorilla trekking in Uganda safe?

Yes gorilla trekking in Uganda is safe in terms of park security and health wise. There are set gorilla trekking rules and regulations which every visitor is expected to follow strictly for health and bodily safety. In terms of area security, the parks are well protected.

Are Gorillas Safe? 

Yes gorillas are safe as long as you don’t confront them or do things that may irritate them to react negatively. The gorilla trekking rules and guidelines are all meant to keep safety and harmony, so following them is the best answer to the gorilla safety question. Gorillas are organized into habituated gorilla groups. Gorilla habituation means the primates are trained by conservationists to get used to human beings. So by the time a gorilla family is availed for tracking, it meets all the standards of human interactions.

From Where Can I trek Gorillas in Uganda?

To trek gorillas in Uganda, you may go through Entebbe/Kampala or from Kigali in Rwanda. Most gorilla safaris in Uganda start from Entebbe or Kampala by road or air to Bwindi or Mgahinga National Park. Similarly, gorilla trekking in Uganda from Kigali is also taking a trend. Kigali being near Bwindi and Mgahinga than Kampala, it is shorter and cheaper to drive from Rwanda to the gorilla parks in Uganda.

Are there gorillas in Rwanda?

Yes there are mountain gorillas in Rwanda. They are found in the Volcanoes National Park, the only gorilla habitat in that tiny African country. There are various gorilla safari packages for seeing gorillas in Rwanda. Like in Uganda, there are Gorilla families in Rwanda that visitors trek. These include Susa group, Sabyinyo group, Amahoro family, Group 13, Kwitonda, Umubano and Hirwa groups among others.

How much does it cost to see the gorillas in Rwanda?

A Rwanda gorilla permit is at USD 1500. But the general trip costs vary depending on the duration (number of days), accommodation category, transport means plus any additional tour activities to trekking gorillas.

What is the best Gorilla Trekking Company?

Speedway Safaris is among the best gorilla trekking companies in the region. The best company should be able to organise gorilla safaris in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo. Its strength should be on the vehicles it uses, the well-selected accommodations plus the activities as well as the driver guides that steer the tours to the successful completion.

When can you see gorillas in Rwanda?

One can trek gorillas in Rwanda throughout the year. However months from June to September and December to February remain the most ideal.

What do I need to bring for gorilla trekking?

You need safari clothes with camouflaging neutral colors. Green is the best match in this case. You need good Walking boots or shoe, long-sleeved tops to guard against insect bites or thorns. Come along also with nice walking trousers, hiking socks that are long enough to tuck into the trousers, gloves, ideally gardening gloves for body protections.  Do not forget a Waterproof jacket, Water bottle, insect repellants, Snacks for the hike, walking sticks (provided on ground) plus a camera with strong batteries among others. Further on what to bring, refer to the gorilla trekking packing List and get a complete safari guide on gorilla adventure plus Africans safaris and tours.

What is Gorilla Habituation Experience?

Gorilla habituation experience is a gorilla trekking experience that involves being close to the Mountain gorillas in the forests for longer hours, commonly four hours. This kind of gorilla experience is only done in the southern Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda. With this gorilla encounter, visitors are allowed to stay with gorillas for four hours unlike the ordinary trekking where only an hour is granted to the trekkers to be with the gorillas. Read more about Gorilla Habituation Experience

Where can I go for Gorilla Habituation experience?

Gorilla Habituation Experience is only offered in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, the park with half the number of mountain gorillas in the world. Rwanda and Congo do not have this package even though they have mountain gorillas. Apart from Uganda, other countries include Rwanda and Congo only offer ordinary gorilla trekking tours in their parks.

What is the cost of Gorilla Habituation experience?

A Gorilla Habituation Experience permit costs USD 1500. The ordinary gorilla trekking permit in Uganda is at USD 600, USD 1500 in Rwanda and $400 in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

How many Mountain Gorillas are left in the world?

At present, there are approximately 1000 endangered mountain gorillas left in the world. Almost half the number live in the Virunga Volcanoes which encompass the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, Virunga National Park in Congo and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda is the habitat for about half of the number of the world gorilla population. These figures are according to the recent mountain gorilla census.

What is being done to protect mountain gorillas?

Various organisations are involved in the conservation of mountain gorillas in the wild. There are various organizations and agencies making efforts in saving the endangered Mountain Gorillas. For instance the African Great Apes Programme is actively working to protect the four gorilla subspecies including the mountain gorillas by improving the effectiveness of protected areas, stopping the illegal trade in gorilla products and increasing support for gorilla conservation among communities. The Gorilla Organization is also working towards the protection of mountain gorillas and their habitats. Governments in collaboration with communities are working on the conservation of the parks through sensitization and patrols. Besides protecting gorillas, the Gorilla conservation programs also aid in the conservation of hundreds of other animal, bird and plant species that dwell in the gorilla habitats.

What caused mountain gorillas to become endangered?

The main threats to mountain gorillas are mainly man-made. Asresult of the detrimental human activities like wars, poaching and habitat destruction for agriculture and logging, the mountain gorillas, the subspecies of the eastern gorilla, became the most endangered category of gorilla. Presently, the habitat to mountain gorillas is limited to protected national parks in two regions of Africa (East and Central Africa). When the gorilla lives were affected, they were put on the list endangered species which needed human conservation efforts to survive.