Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo are popularly known because of the shy endangered Mountain and Lowland Gorillas, Uganda and Rwanda are found in the Eastern part of the African Continent with Democratic Republic of Congo being found in the Central part of the African Continent.
Most visitors to Africa come with interest of seeing these interesting shy endangered Mountain gorillas and lowland gorillas, these gorillas are ground dwelling herbivorous apes which feed on young bamboo stem and shoot, tree leaves, foliage, flowers and some fruits like mangoes, oranges and more, they are divided into two species named Mountain Gorillas and Lowland Gorillas which are further divided into subspecies like Eastern Lowland Gorillas, Western Lowland Gorillas and more.
They usually live in groups which is composed of both female and male members, this group is led by a male dominant Silver back which is responsible for protecting its group members, construction of temporary grass thatched shelters, looking for what to eat and more.
What is Gorilla trekking?
Most of those who have not yet done it just hear of it but do not know how exciting it is, this activity involves trekking in a group of eight people following the established trails leading into the jungle in search of these interesting apes, a park ranger guide is assigned to lead you through the jungle since there are always well informed of where these gorillas spent their last night.
After discovering their location, you are allowed to stay in their presence for only one hour while seeing them playing with their young ones, laughing, feeding plus taking photos of these apes for memories.
You are advised to bring your self packed food for lunch since sometimes it takes long to discover these apes in the Jungle thus not being able to go for lunch at your place of residence. Gorilla trekking certificate is awarded at the park offices after the activity for recognition.
Gorilla trekking in Uganda
This destination is known to be hosting the most part of the World’s Gorilla population with almost half of it in its two popular National Parks named to be Bwindi impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, these two destinations are both found in the western part of Uganda with Bwindi hosting the most part of Uganda’s gorilla population with over thirteen gorilla families in its four sectors for trekking and research, these four sectors of Bwindi include Nkuringo, Buhoma, Ruhija and Rushaga sector with each sector having more than two gorilla families offering gorilla safaris apart from Nkuringo which has only one gorilla family.
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is the second gorilla hosting destination in Uganda if not Bwindi but it has less population with only one Gorilla family for trekking named as “Nyakagezi Gorilla family”, if you are interested in doing the Gorilla habituation experience its only done in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
Gorilla trekking and habituation experience in Uganda requires you to buy a permit which costs $700 USD and $1500 USD per person respectively, these permits are always booked in advance before your trekking dates such that it’s processed in time and once money for the permit is paid its non-refundable unless a clear reason is presented to the authorities responsible.
Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda
Rwanda is also known to be among the Gorilla hosting destinations in Africa, it also habits shy endangered Mountain Gorillas which are only found in Volcanoes National Park among its top destinations to visit, Rwanda is ranked to be with the shortest gorilla trekking distances since Volcanoes National Parks is near Kigali when compared to other gorilla hosting parks.
The permit for trekking mountain gorillas in Rwanda costs $1500 USD per person and this seems to be too expensive when compared to Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo.
Gorilla Trekking in Democratic Republic of Congo
This destination is unique from Uganda and Rwanda because it hosts both shy endangered Mountain Gorillas and Lowland Gorillas in its two National Parks named Virunga National Park and Kahuzi Biega National Park, Virunga National Park is ranked to be the oldest National Park in Africa formerly called Albert National Park and its popularly known for the shy endangered Mountain Gorillas only, Eastern Lowland Gorillas of Congo are only found in Kahuzi Biega National Park characterized to be brownish in color and bigger when compared to the shy endangered Mountain Gorillas.
To advise you on the trekking suitability do not forget to bring yourself strong impenetrable hiking shoes, insect repellents, sun glasses, water proof jackets, long sleeved shirts and trouser, shocking and capes to protect yourself from thorns and hooks, biting insects, sunshine, rain fall water, scratching sticks and mud respectively.