The common questions are; when is the best time to track the mountain gorillas? is it guarantee that I will see the mountain gorillas? . Find the answers to the common questions below.
Travelers on gorilla trekking often think that when one has purchased gorilla permit ,he/ she is guaranteed to see the mountain gorillas. Purchasing gorilla permit is not guarantee that you will see the mountain gorillas but there is 95% opportunity of seeing these endangered species in their natural habitat. With the help of the rangers and the tour guides who keep monitoring the gorillas regularly to make sure that they are available for tracking and help you to locate the gorillas on your trekking day.
Gorilla tracking permits for Uganda are issued by Uganda wildlife Authority and for Rwanda is issued by the Rwanda Development Board. Gorilla tracking permits posses the exact date you are supposed to track the gorillas and in case you miss tracking the gorillas, permits are non-refundable except for medical reasons, in which you will need to provide a medical report then arrangements will be made for you to track the gorillas.
When is the best time of the year to track the mountain gorillas in Uganda and Rwanda?
Gorilla trekking in Rwanda or Uganda, is all year round . personally I wouldn’t let the weather forecast decide when is the best time to see the mountain gorillas. Since the tropical rain forest experiences rainfall at anytime,the rain may not be heavy, but certainly, there will be low-mist and vegetation with possibility that some trails and treks will become muddy and slippery.therefore, you will require proper equipment for these activity.
The wet seasons in Uganda are experienced during the month of March, April to October to November,predicting the rainy season these days, may not be so proper since rain can drop at any time you less expect. The perfect time to visit Uganda or Rwanda , depends entirely on the interest of the traveler most especially when visiting East Africa and you would like to combine you safari as part of your travel to Uganda or Rwanda. Visting the volcanoes national park in Rwanda, is best during the month of September, it’s a celebration of Rwandas progress in gorilla trekking conservation,and the challenges these primates continue to face. There is no charge for these ceremony, but the event is only by invitation but in case your touring Rwanda, you are therefore invited .your tour operator will secure your invitation in advance in case you have interest in taking part in this activity.
Uganda and Rwanda experience temperature ranging from 21 degrees and 30 degrees celicious through out the year. In the higher altitude, as you trek in the forest in search for the gorillas, in their habitats, the temperatures drop below to 10 degrees celicious this means that the higher you go the cooler it becomes.
Minimum number of days recommended for gorilla trekking tour?
A proper gorilla trekking tour in Uganda is at least three days to see the mountain gorillas, any traveler to Uganda gorilla trekking safari, should set aside at least three day for these tour. This is because the first day is you travel day to your accommodation for relaxation and rest after the long travel as you prepare for your gorilla trekking adventure on the second day and other optional activities to enhance your gorilla trekking, the third day is your travel day back to Kampala or Entebbe airport for your departure flight. It all depend on the choose of the travelers , its is also possible to reduce the gorilla safari to two days in case of Rwanda but wouldn’t recommend travelers to opt for that. But in case you have few days on your safari according to the budget, you can choose the best gorilla trekking safari.
During your gorilla trekking, traveler are advised to raise up early for their gorilla trek. With briefing at the park headquarters at about 6 or 7 am so you will need to arrive at the park early enough and have some rest before the next day of your gorilla trekking. Gorilla trekking requires physical fitness to hike on the steep slopes.
After the gorilla trekking, during evening hours, you will retire to the lodge for relaxation in one of the lodges near the gorilla trekking area or you can go for an optional Batwa community walk to the near by villages around the park before travelling back the next day.
Combining your gorilla trekking safari with some hiking, bird watching or wildlife safari are very popular, Bwindi is bird paradise you can opt for bird watching activities in Bwindi and Mgahinga national park with over 360 recorded bird species. Bird watching is done along the trails and the swampy areas. Also the areas around Bwindi, Mgahinga national park and the virunga national park,offer fantastic forest walks, volcanoe hiking. Canoeing and community tours, for primate lovers, kibale forest is the best place to visit and trek the chimpanzee and the kyambura gearge best known for harboring chimpanzee and other primate sighted here include; the golden monkeys and others.
Hiring a porter for your gorilla trekking adventure
Hiring a Porters is highly recommended. They help in carrying your bags a long the steep slopes ad also keep your property for you while you are with the gorillas. Hiring a porter means income generation to this remote areas , by employing them to carry you luggage means that they should learn to conserve and protect the gorillas and their natural habitat. Due to the existence of these gorillas, the locals are able to get employment and gain some little income to help in their basic needs. These employment opportunities help in reducing encroachment of people in to the forests to cut trees for timber and firewood.which is home to the mountain gorillas and other primate species. Hiring porter is like a form of charity you are extending to them although your helping your self too. But the fees paid for these porters helps in supporting the community and to pay their school fees since many of these workers are school going children but droped out due to lack of school fees.
The cost of hiring porter is normally $10 -15 or alternatively Uganda shilling or Rwanda franc these depends on the country you are tracking the gorillas from. Also you can offer some small tip to the porters or the tour guides and the rangers, its all up to your interest according to the service you have received . it’s not must that client should tip them, but its out of his/ her willingness and interest.