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What To Expect on a Gorilla Trekking Safari

African Safari Journeys > What To Expect on a Gorilla Trekking Safari

What To Expect on a Typical Gorilla Trekking Day

What to expect on a gorilla trekking safari? On the day of your gorilla trekking with your gorilla permit ready at hand, we assume that you as well packed all the necessary gorilla trekking gear like gloves, trekking boots, long sleeved wear, rain jackets, snacks and packed lunch, walking stick (if necessary), among others with much anticipation for the trekking experience in Uganda and Rwanda. Our driver assigned for your transfers and get around will pick you very early in the morning from your hotel and drive you to the starting point or park offices in the respective countries. At around 8am, you will be briefed on the gorilla trekking rules and requirements. These briefings are usually led by the head park and cover issues like not smoking, keeping a distance from the mountain gorillas and not running away if one of the gorillas charges. You should be aware that the trekking experiences in both Uganda and Rwanda do not differ apart from the gorilla permits cost.

Divided groups of Gorilla Trekkers getting ready to embark on a hike and search for the gorillas

Upon completion of the briefing, and entertainment, you will be divided into groups of 8 and each group assigned a gorilla family to track. If it’s a full house, there will be ten groups of 8, since Rwanda has 10 groups of habituated gorillas, and the maximum number of people per group is 8. Led by your guide, you will stride along generally clear paths up into the forest, in radio communication with the trackers that stay with the group so that they can be located. The altitude is over 2,500m, so although the pace is unhurried, the hike is tiring and can be steep in parts, taking from 30 minutes to a few hours. Don’t be surprised if you feel a bit breathless at this altitude – this is perfectly normal.

During the Gorilla Trekking – A Hike and search for the Gorillas

The search for mountain gorillas at times takes between 2-8 hours and this can be very strenuous, therefore, Amazing Gorilla Safaris highly recommends to that you hire a porter at a small fee to help carry your luggage as you walk through the steep slopes, muddy terrain (especially when it rains), and for longer hours until you find the gorilla family you are trekking. A hired porter will help carry your luggage, snacks, cameras, packed lunch and other things you may want take with you, check here for the packing list of all thing you need to bring with you and this is indirectly seen as another way of giving back directly to the local communities living around the park,

Hikers in the hunt and search for the gorilla families in the Mgahinga Highlands

As you hike through the forest, you are strictly advised to follow the lead and rules of your assigned guide, dont disperse off from the group you are trekking with, as you may get lost, or even something dangerous may happen to you when you are lone ranging in the jungle. As you climb up the steep slopes of the gorilla habitats, and through the forest, you will need to pull your self up steep paths by grasping onto plant roots, branches, bushes, etc. a walking stick could also come in handy. You will get thirsty, so be sure to carry enough water. The trek through the forest can be tiring but the encounter with the gorillas is worth all the effort.

Each gorilla tracking group consists of a main guide and two scouts who carry AK-47 guns, one walking in front and another behind the group. The reason for armed scouts is for protection in the forest against wild elephants or angry, wild gorillas. The scouts are trained to fire shots into the air first in order to scare away the animals but this is only done on rarest occasions when all other options like hiding away from such dangerous animals have been done. We’ve never heard of any case where such animals attacked the tourists and the scouts had to fire bullets though on many occasions, they advise to hide or remain still until the animals go away..

Finally, an encounter with the mountain gorillas is here!

After the short or long trek, you will be relieved and happy to find the gorillas. You may find the gorillas, either feeding, grooming, playing, or just resting. The trackers will clear the brush away so you can get a clear view of these magnificent creatures. It is truly an amazing experience. You are advised to stay quiet, move slowly and avoid sudden movements in order not to irritate the gorillas. Instead sit down and avoid looking directly into the eyes of the gorillas as this may also irritate them thinking that you want to fight them.

It’s not a problem to look a gorilla in the eye, but if he begins charging at you, hold your ground but lower your eyes to indicate that you do not want a confrontation but rather you are submissive. Prepare your cameras and get ready to take as many photos as you want but please remember to remove the flash lights and sounds.

How Much time Do you Spend with the Gorillas?

It is very unfortunate that such an amazing activity is restricted to only one hour with these magnificent creatures. During this one hour, you can ask your guide questions about how the gorillas behave, feed, react, their predators, and all the questions you may have on your list.  Take as many videos and photos as you can to keep lasting memories about the amazing gorilla safaris adventure in Uganda. After tracking your guide will bring you back at the starting point where you will also be rewarded with gorilla trekking certificate to show that you have successful completed mountain gorilla trekking activity.

Why You should choose Amazing Gorilla Safaris?

Now that you are equipped with the basic adventures and the whole process of gorilla trekking, Plan and book a tour with Amazing Gorilla Safaris provides you with all information you need in planning your gorilla safari to Uganda, Rwanda and D.R-Congo, we have for over the years organized memorable gorilla safaris and other wildlife safaris. We are highly unmatched in gorilla trekking safaris in East Africa and the best recommended tour company on TripAdvisor and Safari bookings. Write to us or spare a time and read reviews from our past clients on TripAdvisor and Safari Bookings.

If you need additional insights about what to expect on a  gorilla Trekking safari? contact us as you are planning your trip.