Frequently asked questions about gorilla trekking

Gorilla Trekking FAQs Part 4

More gorilla Trekking FAQs

Frequently asked questions (FAQS) about Gorilla Trekking

Below are some Gorilla Trekking FAQs submitted by Green World Safaris

What time of the year should I travel to see the gorillas?

The gorillas can be visited any time of the year. Be aware that it can rain any day of the year due to the rain forest climate in which the gorillas are located. May and April are the rainiest months, so most people avoid travel during those months.

Do I need to be fit to trek or find the gorillas?

A certain level of fitness is needed, as well as the willingness to hike up the muddy slopes and through the varied vegetation and uneven terrain. The gorillas live in the montane forests, which are at a higher elevation, so the treks to view them are at a higher altitude. Being at higher elevation requires more exertion and fitness than lower level treks.

Am I guaranteed to view the gorillas when I set out?

The gorillas live in their natural habitat and there is no guarantee that you will see them. That said, we have never heard any of the travelers regretting their treks. To help ensure visitors will see the gorillas, trackers set off at dawn to locate the gorilla group. The trackers then radio their GPS coordinates to the park headquarters. This means that when you set off on your trek with the guide, you are headed to where the gorillas are located. The trackers stay with the gorillas, even though they are not moving, until the group arrives. 

What type of clothes should I wear?

A water proof jacket is important because mud and rain can be expected. Long trousers are recommended, as well as a T-shirt underneath a long sleeved shirt. These will protect your arms and legs against nettles and other things you might encounter on the trail. It’s also a good idea to bring a water proof day pack to protect your camera and to carry water bottles and snacks. For at a small fee, the porters can be helpful in carrying your items up the steep slopes.

Is there a minimum or maximum age of guests visiting the gorillas?

The minimum age to trek the gorillas is 6 years and older. This rule is the same for both Rwanda and Uganda and is enforced by the national parks. There is no upper age limit.

Do I need a gorilla permit?

You must obtain a gorilla permit in order to visit the gorillas and this must be obtained 4 months prior to your visit. The permits currently cost $600 in Uganda, $1500 in Rwanda and $ 450 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. That price is per person. The money for the permits goes directly towards conservation of the gorillas, anti-poaching efforts and education of the local communities. Permits are limited to 8 visitors per group per day, so be sure you plan in advance.

Will this be covered by my travel insurance?

You may need to pay an additional premium to cover your gorilla trekking. Please check with your travel insurance.

Can you track the gorillas when feeling unwell?

This is a big no, the gorilla are vulnerable to human diseases and something that is small to us can be dangerous to them. You need to take care of yourself before the safari and avoid getting sick. You also need to warn your guide if you aren’t feeling well.

How big are gorilla tracking groups?

There is a maximum of 8 people per group in Uganda or Rwanda.

How far is my lodge to the park headquarters?

You will be located within easy access to the park headquarters, but the distance will depend on which accommodation you chose. Check with your lodge to find out exactly how far it is from park headquarters. The distance to the headquarters is usually within a 1-60 minute walk.

How much time can I spend with the gorillas?

Once you have sighted the gorillas, you will be given one hour to spend with them. We recommend that you track them at least twice. This means that the second time you track them, you can ignore taking photos and concentrate on enjoying the experience.

If you have more questions, please contact Green World Safaris at info@greenworldsafaris.com.

This is part 4 in a series about mountain gorilla trekking. See part 1 about mountain gorilla trekking, part 2 about mountain gorilla safari, and Gorilla Trekking Regulations and Permits Part 3.

This series of blogs was submitted by Green World Safaris. They arrange mountain gorilla tours in Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). They are based out of Uganda.

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