Gorilla trekking is widely known as the best wildlife experience in the world which attracts the highest number of travelers from all parts of the world
For over a decade Great Rafiki Safaris has been making gorilla safari dreams come true. Your tour with us will be characterized by magical moments – You’ll laugh, you’ll cry and you’ll perhaps fall in love with the beautiful wilderness. Get off the beaten track and into the scenery with our 4WD- off-road vehicles with luxury coach seats and air-conditioning. There are no hidden extras.There has been a common report from all travelers who have trekked the gorillas, describing the experience as the best in all wildlife encounters. You will feel inspired, emotional and satisfied after looking into those liquid brown eyes of these human-related apes.
What is Gorilla Trekking ?
The experience is all about getting up close with the endangered mountain gorillas in their natural habitats. Gorilla trekking entails all day search and interaction for mountain gorillas. The encounter is reviewed as magical and the most wonderful wildlife experience in the world.
What about Gorilla Habituation ?
Gorilla Habituation Experience allows you 4 hours or 240 minutes along with researchers and park rangers in the presence of the primates. Visitors are limited to 4 persons which enhances the experience. A visitor is not a mere observer but an active participant in the habituation process. It is only in Rushaga that a gorilla family has been put aside for research purposes and thus open to Gorilla Habituation Experience. A gorilla ticket, in this case, costs $1500.
Where do Gorillas live ?
Mountain gorillas live in the jungles of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and the Virunga conservation area shared by Mgahinga gorilla, Volcanoes and Virunga National parks in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo respectively. A combined gorilla safari to both parks offers you with an exceptional experience. Each park is different from the other in terms of location, access, and the number of habituated gorilla families. Bwindi has the highest number of mountain gorillas with 17 gorilla families habituated for trekking, Volcanoes has 10 gorilla families, Mgahinga has one gorilla family while Virunga national park has 8 gorilla families habituated for trekking.
What time of year should I try to visit the gorillas ?
You can visit the gorillas year-round, and because of the rainforest climate, it can rain any day of the year, so there is not any time of year to particularly avoid travel here. April and May are the rainiest months, so most people avoid travel at these times.
Is Gorilla Trekking Safe?
YES, gorilla tracking in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo is safe and done all year round. Respective governments have deployed tourism police in all gorilla parks to ensure safety of endangered mountain gorillas and travelers in Bwindi, Mgahinga, Volcanoes and Virunga national parks. Also, mountain gorillas have been habituated hence pose no harm to travelers
Is it tiresome or difficult to go Gorilla Trekking ?
One must be able and willing to hike in rough terrain and in any weather to see Mountain Gorillas in the wild. However, many older people who don’t think of themselves as hikers or adventurers can successfully visit the gorillas. Personal assistants can be hired to carry your day-pack and assist you in difficult areas. The local guides will work to make it as easy as possible for one to track and photograph the Mountain Gorillas. We have had numerous clients in their 70’s success in reaching their target Mountain Gorilla groups. But many people return very exhaustedly, muddy and sore if they are not fit enough to go hiking. Altitude sickness is not usually a problem, nor are insects. You will want a pair of gloves and clothing that protects your arms and legs from thorns and nettles. Good balance is helpful in Gorilla trekking as trails may be slippery. And we advise you to hit the gym for a week or two before you embark on this journey.
How Long can I stay with the Gorilla once I find them ?
Once you are on face to face with the gorillas, you are allowed to spend one hour with that specific group of Mountain Gorillas. Sometimes your guide may allow you a few more minutes, especially if you have had a long trek to reach them and the tourist group is not disturbing to the gorillas. But that one hour is always worth because the experience is incomparable.
What is the minimum age limit for Rwanda gorilla trekking ?
In both Uganda and Rwanda, anyone over 15 years of age can be issued a gorilla permit to participate in gorilla trekking activity. You can find the remaining Mountain Gorillas in the volcanic mountain ranges along the borders of Uganda, Rwanda and The Congo. One must not visit Mountain Gorillas alone unless with the assistance of trained guides and tour operators like Great Rafiki Safaris. You can book gorilla permits from our offices, transportation, safari guides and lodging required for Mountain Gorilla trekking Uganda, Rwanda and Congo.
What else can I do in Rwanda besides gorilla trekking ?
Rwanda is a beautiful, green, thriving country, known as the land of a Thousand Hills. The volcanic soil is very rich and subsistence agriculture produces food year around. The genocide of 1994 is powerfully memorialized in a museum in Kigali and at other sites around the country. Visitors are encouraged to partake in these experiences and learn from them. Currently, there is no apparent ethnic conflict or significant insurgent or militant activity. There is a dynamic re-building of the social fabric and a commitment to the youth of the country.
You might wish to hike to Karisoke where Diane Fossey conducted her pioneering research, or take a trek to see Golden Monkeys of Parc des Volcans. This park has the greatest diversity. Other wildlife parks of Rwanda generally do not compare in the diversity of species or quality of management with the parks and reserves of Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania.