Mountain gorillas are magical predominant forest creatures ranked as the largest Apes on earth. Half of the mountain gorillas are found in the Virunga Mountains in central Africa and Bwindi impenetrable forests and others in the volcanic slopes of Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic republic of Congo. Mountain gorillas are a sub species of the eastern gorillas.
Mountain gorillas attract the attention of many people hence buying permits to participate in gorilla tracking. Other people carry out gorilla trekking without clear reason and this lives us puzzled why they are so much interested in gorillas
Mountain gorillas are very intelligent, attractive and glorious fur-coated apes possessing the ability to use tools. Gorillas are the second closest cousins of man after the chimpanzees. They have over 98.5% DNA genes of a human walking on their hind legs.
Mountain gorillas inhabit the tropical forests swinging on tree branches. They move in a troop of over 30 members though they spend most of the time on the grounds. It’s fun to watch the gorillas as they move from different trees to other branches at the top.
The social life of gorillas involves feeding, movement from the ground to the top branches, a peaceful interaction though simple conflicts rise up over securing feeding spot. The gorillas being fruvigous, feed on fruits, shoots, seeds, leaves, roots and tree trunks.
The gorillas are aggressive to humans before being habituated. It’s a great experience when carrying out gorilla habituation and people are interested in taming these gorillas making them ready for trekking.
Mountain gorillas are large apes that give birth at the age of 10 years and produce a small youngster which it carries to its back holding onto its hairy fur. It’s much fun to see the mother gorilla running off with the baby also protecting it from predators like the leopards and the humans.
Mountain gorillas offer a dramatic experience to visitors. They get interested in watching how these large ape creatures feed, mate, their communication skills and body gestures to one another. Encountering these creatures makes you understand that humans have no difference from these primates.
Mountain Gorilla trekking offers a great experience and it has a limited extension done in the three east African countries Uganda in Bwindi impenetrable forest and Mgahinga national park, volcanoes national park in Rwanda and Virunga national park in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The best time to go on a gorilla safari in Rwanda or Uganda but it can be done in both dry and rainy season. The best time to take is dry seasons from June to September and December to February. During the rainy seasons of March to May and October to November, it’s challenging to track these gorillas.
The mountain Gorillas are in fear of extinction because of the attacks from predators like the leopards that put the life of the youngsters at stake. The human threat was by they hunt down gorillas for meat and illegal trade, encroachment on the land for settlement and industrial activities.
The money obtained from the sold-off gorilla permits is used to help in gorilla conservation and it’s cheap to track gorillas in Uganda at a cost of US$ 600 valid up to July 2020 and will be increased to US$700 each, Rwanda USD $1500 and the Democratic Republic of Congo at USD $400. The more permits bought, the more chances of conservation to prevent extinction.
Tips to Plan a Gorilla Safari in Rwanda or Uganda
You can plan a gorilla safari individually or through a tour operator. The fact that the demand for gorilla permits is very high throughout the year, tourists are advised to book early at least 3 months in advance to secure your gorilla permit (s). Gorilla permits in Uganda are booked from Uganda Wildlife Authority and Irembo in Rwanda.
Tour operators can assist you to plan a perfect gorilla safari for you, buy arranging all that is required to fulfill your dream of seeing the mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. For example, the tour operator can arrange your transportation and accommodations right from the time you arrive in the country until you fly out, and the quality of service will be determined by your budget.
The total cost of the gorilla safari is determined by a number of factors as below;
- Type of accommodation
This is categorized into 3 namely; Budget, mid-range, and luxury accommodation
- Number of visitors
If you are traveling alone, the gorilla safari will be very expensive. The higher the number of people, the lower the cost of the trip due to shared costs; for example, cost of car, drive, fuel, and accommodations can be shared thus reducing the total cost of the trip.
- Type of Cars Prefered
Your budget determines the type of vehicle to be used for your safari. Low budget travelers can use cheaper cars like Toyota Rav4 or Prado, while high-end travelers can travel in super-luxury jeeps, Land cruiser V8 or extended safari land cruiser.
If you travel in low-season, you may enjoy discounts on car rental and accommodations if you are on a self-drive trip. Tour operators also reduce the price of their tour packages during the low season. (April, May, October, and November)