06 Mar Gorilla trekking safari: Your once in a lifetime adventure
Gorilla trekking safari:
your once in a lifetime adventure
A gorilla trekking safari is something that dreams are made of. Picture yourself sitting in the lush vegetation, the moisture rising from the earth. Every fibre of your body is tingling. Tiny droplets are forming on the super green foliage surrounding you and the smells of jungle are overwhelming. Sitting opposite you, about ten metres away is a Silverback gorilla. Water beads are gathered on his fur like a silver coat. His intensity is tangible. You are not sure whether you are hallucinating or whether this is the most crystal clear moment of your life.
We all fell in love with the misty mountains and intense gentle giants in the biographical movie about Dian Fossey, Gorilla’s in the mist. Now we have Ellen Degenerous who brought focus back to saving the gorillas by securing a future for wild mountain gorillas by building The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund a permanent home in Rwanda.
A gorilla trekking safari is a very captivating activity, but it is important to plan your trip well. Asante Travel will guide you step by step on this life-changing adventure.
Where should I go?
Even though there are a few places to do Gorilla trekking,
Rwanda is the top of destination in Africa for this exceptional experience. It’s also where the Ellen Fund is concentrating on, has good main roads and is well developed with the sub structure. Volcanoes National Park is a very popular choice for Gorilla trekking. The relaxed gorillas and the open habitat, lush vegetation and stunning views provide fantastic opportunities for great gorilla watching experiences.
Uganda’s Bwindi Forest National Park and Mgahinga National Park are excellent places to visit as well as the top of Mount Sabinio. Here the mountain gorillas are in their kingdom – a island of forest enclosed by a sea of the densely-populated farmland.
When should I go?
If you’re going to Rwanda, gorilla trekking can be done all year round. Trekking in the rainforest can be easier during the dry seasons which are from December to February and June to September. During the wet seasons, the clear skies give you a better view of the stunning volcanoes. The gorillas also tend to stay lower down the slopes of the mountain so, you may not need to trek as far.
If you’re going to Uganda, you’re also good to go throughout the year. The dry seasons between January to February and June to September are popular due to more favourable gorilla trekking conditions. If you choose to visit during the wet seasons, you have the advantage of less competition for gorilla permits, which are issued daily.
What can I expect?
All gorilla trekking safaris call for a long hike into the tropical rain forests.
Carry your gorilla permit | All travelers must carry their valid gorilla permits and other related documents for clarification a pass to see gorillas.
Wake up early and attend the briefing | On the actual trekking day, all travelers must leave their lodges or hotels as early as 4:30am to attend short briefing and divide travelers into small groups who are allocated a gorilla family.
Hiking into the jungle | Immediately after the briefing, travelers start off an actual hike into the jungle in search of the gorillas. Each group of travelers is led an armed ranger and a park guide. It’s not an easy venture, but rather strenuous hiking with slippery muddy grounds, thorny bushes and cold weather inside the dense forests. Hiking time may last 30 minutes to a few hours, depending on the movement and location of the gorillas. This is also an opportunity to encounter other animals such as monkeys, baboons and many bird species.
Meet the gorillas | After hiking you finally meet the gentle giants, relaxed in their families. The clock will start ticking for an hour. A distance of seven meters must be kept away from the gorillas to avoid the spreads of communicable diseases to these critically endangered mountain gorillas. Non-flash light cameras are the only ones allowed for photography.
What must I wear?
Dressing appropriately for the jungle is essential for a successful gorilla trekking safari experience. Light hiking boots for easy movement in slippery muddy grounds, gardening gloves to grab the bushes for support and light rain gear are essential items. Long socks tacked into trousers, long-sleeved shirts, sweaters. Insect repellents, hat, sunglasses, and waterproof bags are very helpful.
Our expert consultant will guide you each step of the way when it comes to visas and other requirements. Let us tailor make this wonderful experience for you.
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