THE MOUNTAIN GORILLAS OF RWANDA AND UGANDA

Meeting the majestic gorillas in their natural habitat has to be one of the most humbling, privileged magical experiences one can have in a lifetime. Found in the high altitude forests of Rwanda, Uganda, and The Democratic Republic of Cong (Congo has the highest amount of lowland gorillas), there are just over 1000 gorillas in existence though the numbers are rising especially in Uganda, according to the latest reports. They are located primarily in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda and throughout the Virunga Volcanoes, which form the border between Uganda, Rwanda and DRC. The best time to go gorilla trekking is during the months of June, July, August, September, and December. This is because there are fewer rains and the parks are drier, making it simple to hike and see the gorillas. In Bwindi, the average temperature throughout the year is 11°C/52°F in the morning and 23°C/73°F in the afternoon.

You may wonder why gorilla trekking is expensive and whether it is worth the money.

A Gorilla trekking permit in Uganda costs $ 700 and 1,500 in Rwanda.  Most of this goes towards the conservation of this endangered species’ surviving population. A small percentage also goes towards the local communities around the parks. As you purchase the permit, note that the cost includes park entrance fees, gorilla watching for an hour, advance trackers, and ranger fees.

KEY FACTS TO REMEMBER

  • You must be 15 years or older to track the gorillas
  • You are not allowed to track gorillas if you have an ailment such as a cold, cough, fever, flu, etc. Humans tend to carry many diseases, which are a health hazard to gorillas and entire clans.
  • Flash photography is forbidden

A limited number of gorilla permits are available each day, for the high season it is necessary to book well in advance