Tracking Mountain Gorillas in Africa : Tracking mountain gorillas in Africa is a unique and unforgettable experience that is sure to leave a lasting impression on visitors. These magnificent creatures, found only in a few countries in central and east Africa, are critically endangered and require protection and conservation efforts to ensure their survival.
There are two species of gorillas: the western gorilla and the eastern gorilla. The mountain gorilla is a subspecies of the eastern gorilla and is found in two locations: the Virunga Mountains that stretch across Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda.
The gorillas live in groups led by a dominant male, or silverback, and are known for their social behavior, intelligence, and ability to use tools. Gorilla trekking, or gorilla tracking, is a popular activity in the countries where they live and is considered one of the most exciting wildlife experiences in the world.
To go gorilla trekking, visitors must obtain a permit from the relevant authorities in the country where they plan to visit. These permits are limited and require advanced booking to secure a spot. The cost of the permit varies between countries and can range from $600 to $1,500 per person.
Before embarking on a gorilla trek, visitors receive a briefing from a guide who provides information on the gorillas, their behavior, and safety guidelines. Visitors are also required to wear face masks to prevent the spread of diseases that can be harmful to the gorillas.
Gorilla trekking involves hiking through forests and mountains to reach the gorillas’ location. The trek can take several hours and may involve steep inclines and rugged terrain, so visitors should be in good physical condition. Once the gorillas are located, visitors spend up to one hour observing and taking photos of them from a safe distance.
In addition to gorilla trekking, visitors can also engage in other activities while in the countries where mountain gorillas live. These activities include hiking, bird watching, cultural tours, and visits to other national parks and wildlife reserves.
While gorilla trekking is an exciting and unforgettable experience, it is also important to note that it is a sensitive activity that requires visitors to be respectful of the gorillas’ habitat and well-being. Visitors should follow the guidelines and instructions provided by their guides to ensure that they do not disturb the gorillas or their environment.
which country is best for Tracking Mountain Gorillas in Africa
All of the countries that are home to mountain gorillas – Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo – offer unique and memorable experiences for visitors who want to track these magnificent creatures. The best country for gorilla trekking will depend on factors such as personal preference, budget, and availability of permits.
Rwanda is known for its well-organized gorilla trekking program and the ease of accessibility to the gorillas due to their proximity to the capital city, Kigali. Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park is home to 10 gorilla families that are visited by tourists daily. Rwanda also has a reputation for being a safe and stable country, which may be a factor for some visitors.
Uganda is home to over half of the world’s mountain gorilla population and offers visitors the chance to see these magnificent creatures in two different locations: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Uganda gorilla trekking program is also well-organized and the country is known for its rich biodiversity and stunning landscapes.
The Democratic Republic of Congo, while less visited than Rwanda and Uganda, is home to the largest population of mountain gorillas and offers a more rugged and adventurous gorilla trekking experience. The country’s Virunga National Park is home to around 8 gorilla families, but visitors should note that the park has had periods of instability due to conflict and visitors should exercise caution.
All three countries offer unique and unforgettable experiences for those who want to track mountain gorillas in Africa. It is important for visitors to research and consider factors such as cost, availability of permits, safety, and personal preferences before making a decision on which country to visit.
In conclusion, tracking mountain gorillas in Africa is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that offers visitors a chance to observe these magnificent creatures up close in their natural habitat. While it requires planning and preparation, the experience is worth the effort and cost, and is sure to leave a lasting impression on anyone who embarks on this incredible adventure.