Frequently asked questions about Mountain Gorilla Trekking – Uganda Safari News
Mountain Gorilla tracking is a top African safari activity and there frequently asked questions about Mountain Gorilla trekking. Whether you know it as tracking or trekking, here are responses to the frequently asked questions about Mountain Gorilla trekking;
Where can I see Mountain Gorillas?
In the whole of the world, Mountain Gorillas are only existent in the tropical forests of Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Uganda gorilla trekking safaris, gorilla safari Rwanda or a Congo gorilla trekking safari is definitely the only way for one to get so close to these human-like apes (because of their social character and about 98.67% DNA) surviving in habitats with an altitude ranging from 1,190m-5,109m above sea level. Mountain Gorillas are found in 4 national parks which are Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda. In Rwanda the only gorilla safari Rwanda destination is Volcanoes National Park. In Congo, Virunga National Park is the only Mountain Gorilla trekking habitat in the country.
How many Mountain Gorillas are still surviving in the wild?
Mountain Gorilla numbers now surpass 1000! The number of the mountain gorillas in the Virunga massif on 31st May 2018 was announced to have increased from the previous 480 to 604. With about 400 gorillas (2011 census) in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National park, the total is approximately 1004. This means more gorilla encounters for tourists on Uganda safaris or those who take either Rwanda gorilla trekking safaris or Congo gorilla safaris.
Are there Mountain Gorillas in Zoos?
No, there no Mountain Gorillas in Zoos. The reason why Mountain Gorillas failed to survive in captivity is unclear but most probably the main reason is because of the gorilla diet. The dietary needs of a mountain gorilla are too specific based almost exclusively on foliage. Mountain Gorillas are primarily herbivores; the majority of their diet is composed of the leaves, shoots and stems (85.8%) of 142 plant species. It also feeds on bark (6.9%), roots (3.3%), flowers (2.3%), and fruit (1.7%), as well as small invertebrates. (0.1%). Adult males can eat up to 34 kilograms (75 lb.) of vegetation a day, while a female can eat as much as 18 kilograms (40 lb.). This rate of consumption and variety in feeds makes it difficult for the gorillas to survive in captivity. Their natural habitat offers a variety of desired feed taken at their own will. The other reasons are heart disease because in captivity, they eat and exercise less.
What is the best time for Mountain Gorilla trekking?
- Best Time for Uganda Gorilla Trekking Safaris
Gorilla trekking safaris in Uganda or Uganda gorilla tours are an all year round activity though just like any other activity there’s always the best time. The best time for a Uganda gorilla trekking safari is determined by the weather and climate of the country. The fact is that, gorilla trekking in Uganda is an all year activity and clients get almost the same satisfaction. However the dry season with less time is the most recommendable best time to trek gorillas in Uganda. The months of June – September and December – February are recommend ably the best time for gorilla trekking.
- Best Time for Congo Gorilla Trekking Safaris
Congo gorilla safaris are an all year round activity however, just like any other activity there is always a recommendable time for Congo tours to the gorilla homeland. The months between June to October are preferably the best time for Congo gorilla safaris tours since the rains are less.
- Best time for Mountain Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda
Although Rwanda gorilla trekking safaris are regarded as a year-round activity, the best time to visit Rwanda for a Rwanda gorilla tour is during the short dry season in Rwanda which are June – September and Late December to early February. However, take note that the gorillas are present all year round; with a great record of sightings that give you chance to interact with these gorillas for a maximum of an hour.
How much does it cost to go for Mountain Gorilla trekking?
In Uganda, a gorilla trekking permit for both Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park costs USD 600 per person per trek for foreign non-residents. Foreign residents pay USD 500 for their gorilla trekking permit and Ugandans/East Africans by UGX 250,000 for mountain gorilla trekking.
A Rwanda gorilla trekking permit to Volcanoes National Park costs USD 1500 per person per trek. However, if you visit 3 safari parks in Rwanda, you get a 30% discount for your permit. For instance, if you visited Akagera National Park, Nyungwe Forest National Park and Volcanoes National Park on a single trip.
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, a gorilla trekking permit cost USD 400 per person per trek. Last year 2018 low season discounted gorilla trekking permits for Congo gorilla trekking safari tourists at USD 200.
Can a disabled person trek Mountain Gorillas?
Yes a physically unfit person can see mountain gorillas though not basically by trekking. For a special needs gorilla trekking safari, a traditional bamboo stretcher-like carrier (made with ease to maneuver in the forest), or the creatively built steel-base, sedan chairs with seat belts and handles is used to ferry trekkers through the forest. The sedan chair is made up of metal poles with a seat slugging between them. The bamboo stretchers are made of bamboo trees, the common tree species in gorilla habits.
The trekker has the chance to choose between a trencher or a sedan chair. Sedan chairs are borrowed from the park headquarters and the cost of carrying a trekker is roughly 300USD though determined by the distance, terrain and weight of the client. Four porters carry the client from each corner of the chair.
What are the chances of seeing Mountain Gorillas in Uganda?
However, the chances of tracking mountain gorillas and interacting with them is about 99% assured due to the fact that the gorillas are known to live in specific places and conserved. As long as you book either a gorilla tour Uganda, Rwanda gorilla tour or Congo gorilla trekking tour permit you have high chances of seeing gorillas.
Sample Gorilla trekking safari packages
Planning a gorilla trekking safari can be hectic but for a gorilla tour Uganda, gorilla tour Rwanda and Congo gorilla tours these tours are the popular one’s that offer great safari memories;
- 3 Days Gorilla tour Uganda Bwindi
- 3 Days Uganda Gorilla Trekking Safari to Bwindi
- 3 Days Uganda Gorilla tour to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
- 5 Days Gorilla and Wildlife Safari in Uganda
- 12 Days Gorilla Safari in Uganda
- 10 Days Uganda Gorilla safari Bwindi
- 4 Days Uganda Gorilla Trekking
- 6 Days Uganda Gorilla safari tour in Uganda
- 6 Days Uganda Gorilla Tracking safari
- 13 Days Uganda Rwanda Safari
- 7 days Congo gorilla safari
- 6 days Congo mountain gorilla trekking safari