If you are planning to take an African Photography safari to the mountain gorillas in Uganda and Rwanda travel with Eco Tours Rwanda, and you will experience the mountain gorillas at your full maximum. These are the world’s most endangered primates and only found in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla Park in southern Uganda, Volcanoes National Park in northwestern Rwanda and Virunga Gorilla National Park in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. The mountain gorillas are divided into two populations, 400 species in the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda, and the other 400 species in the Virunga Volcano Range which is shared by three national parks, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda, Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and Virunga National Park in the Congo.
Gorilla trekking is unforgettable experience that can take you up to 4 hours walk to search for the mountain gorillas with a 1 hour viewing the gorillas and then return to the park head offices for gorilla trekking experience certificate and then to the lodge of your stay. Many tracks can last for only an hour or two however. Experienced guides lead us through the gorilla’s world, explaining aspects of their ecology and behaviour along the way.
November is the month of short rains, so the likelihood of rain is greater than other months. However short rains are typically afternoon affairs and our trekking is done in the morning. A worthwhile advantage to this season is there is less chance of bright sun, the overcast lighting making photographing the black gorillas less difficult, and the presence of rain can add so much to a photograph. In Rwanda the gorilla trekking permit costs $ 750 dollars, Uganda $ 600 dollars and Congo $ 465 dollars but for side of Uganda during the low season (April, May and November, every year the gorilla permits costs $ 350 dollars.
We only have one hour to photograph the gorillas on each trek, so we need to be prepared. Our objective is to maximize your chances of good results, so we discuss equipment and possibilities before the trek begins, and during the encounter I’m on hand to provide guidance as we photograph. After the treks we’ll review what we have before the second trek. Also, I can offer a little tuition to those wishing to learn a bit more about image processing using either Photoshop or Light room.
Each tour holds a maximum of eight people, including myself the African Tour Leader. We stay at Nkuringo Gorilla Camp and Mutanda Lake Resort in Uganda, and at Lebombou Gorilla Lodge, Laplame Hotel in Rwanda.
Gorillas are wild creatures with no fixed routine so success is not 100% guaranteed, but your chances are very good at more than 95%. Because we are offering two or three treks, then your chances of seeing them approach 100%.
Depending on the group we visit, a trek can take anywhere from an hour to three hours, with the equivalent time to return. And depending on the trek, it can be reasonably easy going, or a harder trek through thicker forest and mud. For your successful experience hire a porter for each person to carry your equipment and aid you along the trek. Good waling trouser and waterproof boots (and gaiters) are recommended, as well as gloves as we can encounter thorny bushes along the way.