last modified: July, 05 2020 · 3 min read ·
Dream Treks Africa is here to answer some of most frequently asked questions about Gorilla Trekking in Uganda, Rwanda, Congo! Questions such as; when is the best time to visit for Mountain Gorilla trekking? How to find them while on the trek? where to find them? How to act and behave when with the gorillas? are prevalent and will be answered below.
What are Mountain Gorillas?
The mountain gorilla (Gorilla beringei beringei) is one of two subspecies of the eastern gorilla (Gorilla beringei). It is listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List, as the total population is estimated to comprise 1,004 individuals in two populations as of 2018.
One population lives in Uganda's Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, and the other in the Virunga Mountains in three adjacent national parks, namely Uganda's Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Rwanda's Volcanoes National Park, and Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Uganda’s dense forests are home to over half the world’s 1004 or so mountain gorillas (as of May 2018) - the rest live in the neighboring Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. As they do not survive in captivity, preservation of these fragile habitats is essential for their survival.
A fully grown male mountain gorilla is called a silverback weighs on average 140-180kg. Females weigh much less than males.
Gorillas live in families or groups led by one or more silverback.
What do mountain Gorillas eat?
Mountain Gorillas feed mainly on leaves, shoots and stems. However, what they lack in variety, they make up for in quantity as they spend over half their time foraging!
When is the best time of year for mountain gorilla trekking?
Gorilla trekking is an all year round activity as it rains almost daily in the tropical rainforest where these gorillas are found. Even though it may not be a heavy rain downpour at all times, you should majorly expect that most gorilla treks and trails lead you to muddier landscapes than often.
How much do mountain gorilla trekking permits cost?
In Uganda, a gorilla permit costs $600 for both high and low seasons whereas in Rwanda the price is at $1500. DRC’s Virunga, their gorilla permit is the cheapest in the region at $450. If you want to visit any of the countries for this amazing trekking adventure, it is advisable to book the permits in advance, at least 2 months before you travel.
Are Mountain Gorillas dangerous?
Habituated Mountain Gorillas are not aggressive to tourists because they are used to being in the presence of humans. Mountain Gorillas seem to ignore the tourists in their midst completely but there’re a couple of rules that ought to be followed. One should not get between a mother and a baby or tease animals, use a flash, make distracting noises or move quickly.
What to wear when Gorila Trekking
You are advised to wear long pants and a long-sleeved shirt made of light-weight material. It is also wise to wear a hat to prevent ticks from getting in your hair. A rain jacket and rain pants, as well as an extra t-shirt and a sweater may be desirable when the tracking gets long and the forest gets cooler. Good hiking shoes are a must.