Gorilla trekking in Uganda is a wonderful experience that allows you to get up close to these gentle giants of the jungle in their natural habitat. Around only 600 mountain gorilla still exist today. Although our closest living relatives, ironically, it is man that poses the greatest threat to their survival. For years gorillas have been ruthlessly hunted for their hands and heads, which are sold on as macabre souvenir ashtrays and lamp shades. Additionally, large numbers have been killed whilst trying to stop poachers stealing babies which are illegally sold on to zoos, where their survival rate is low.
Gorilla trekking is a wonderful experience, allowing you the opportunity to have a close encounter with these gentle giants of the jungle in their natural habitat. The trekking will take place either in Uganda for our Overland Safaris and Rwanda on our Gorilla Express tour. You need not feel that you are exploiting these animals by paying good money to go trek to see them in their natural habitat. In fact the ever-growing number of tourists keen to see the gorilla proves to be an important factor in their survival. The gorilla permit fees (600usdollars) help to set up and finance patrols that are instrumental in protecting the gorillas from poachers and their lethal snares.
The trek starts in the early morning and after border formalities you are transferred to a ranger’s station where the trek commences. Your rangers will lead you through the cultivated lands and then into the dense rain forest and as close as is allowed to a gorilla family. The rangers monitor the gorillas on a daily basis and have a fairly good idea of where they are. However, they are free roaming animals, and their sighting cannot be guaranteed. Therefore for all travelers willing to take Bwindi safaris can ready to travel for 8 – 9 hours and it can be quite strenuous, so a reasonable level of fitness is required.
To ensure the gorillas do not get too used to the presence of humans and because they share many of our genes (and are therefore able to catch our diseases), the maximum time permitted to spend with them is 1 hour. You will have plenty of time to watch their activity and to take photographs. The rangers will be able to provide you with a background to the family you are visiting. Once your hour is up, you trek back out of the rain forest to your meeting point. Clients considering joining this trip should realize the demands and unpredictability of the areas visited.