10 Facts About Mountain Gorilla Trekking
Among the 10 Facts About Mountain Gorilla Trekking, there are also facts you are yet to find about mountain gorilla trekking, besides being the most exhilarating safari activity. Visiting the enigmatic mountain gorillas in the natural habitat in which they dwell, will highlight all the journeys you have ever made to the jungles of Africa. These short journeys in the thick, some even impenetrable, forests of Africa, are worthy immediately you find the mountain gorilla family to interact with. Mountain gorilla trekking is not some kind of hide and sick in the forest, the journey of trekkers is led by forest mean, game rangers who are well versed with all the forest tracks, they are the one to track down the mountain gorilla family that you and your mates intend to visit for a one hour of a life-changing experience.
What are mountain gorillas?
They are some unique but endangered primate species; about two classifications to the edge of the extinction of the mountain gorillas. The fact that the mountain gorillas are an endangered species, makes the mountain gorillas really rare and not found in many parts of the world. The mountain gorillas are subspecies of the big gorilla family which includes two subspecies; Berengei Berengei, which are the mountain gorillas, and the low land mountain gorillas. The recent statistics show that there is a population of about 900 mountain gorillas left in the entire world. The mountain gorillas are only found in specific places in the east and part of central Africa. The mountain gorillas are mainly found in Uganda and Rwanda.
The biggest population of the mountain gorillas is found in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, and the one other family called Nyakagezi in Mgahinga Gorilla national park. In Rwanda the mountain gorillas are only found in Volcanoes national park, however, there are only a few families of mountain gorillas. You can also find them in Virunga national park within the Democratic Republic of Congo.
To note; something about all these places is; they are all an extension of the vast Virunga conservation area. However, the number of mountain gorillas in Congo is sketchy and they are hard to find; but you can easily find the low land gorillas in Kahuzi Beiga National Park.
If you are planning a good and memorable gorilla trekking safari, Bwindi impenetrable national park is recommended. Bwindi impenetrable national park holds half of the world’s population of mountain gorillas. Bwindi impenetrable national park has over 12 families of mountain gorillas some of which are even habituated families. The habituated mountain gorillas prove that despite the fact that the mountain gorillas are wild animals, they are now accustomed to human encounters.
Mountain gorilla trekking facts
Before you embark on your one-time life-changing experience of mountain gorillas trekking with in the jungles of Africa, there are about 10 Facts About Mountain Gorilla Trekking that you need to know, regardless of the numbers you have so far been to Africa for primate safaris. Mountain gorilla trekking is not different form the game drives in the open savannahs of Africa: they both get you closer to the action, interaction with the wildlife. The following are the facts about mountain gorilla trekking which you need to know, despite the times you have trekked for the mountain gorillas:
- Mountain gorilla trekking is a sensitive activity done by a limited number of people. At maximum, only 8 people are allowed to trek for the mountain gorillas in any of the jungles of Africa; Bwindi impenetrable national park, mgahinga national park, volcanoes national park, and mgahinga national park. Each mountain gorilla group is only visited once by a group of 8 people, for just 1-hour duration of the interaction.
- Trekking for mountain gorillas starts in the morning hours with the briefing done by the game rangers in bwindi impenetrable national park; it is the forest rangers and guides who know where the different mountain gorilla can be found within bwindi impenetrable national park. There is just a little more 30 minutes of trekking until you find the gorilla family you booked for; you don’t have to get scared of the trekking time, the forest will give you all the memorable experience, from the tweeting birds to the flowing streams and waterfalls.
- The mountain gorillas stay in the wild and that makes them wild animals, therefore, you have to know that they are dangerous and remember to keep a safe distance. It is good to always keep a distance of about 3 to 4 meters between you and the mountain gorillas. You should also remember not to imitate the mountain gorillas, especially, the silverbacks, but when it approaches you do not run away but bend low in a submissive position.
- It is not advisable to smoke or drink or eat during the mountain gorilla trekking, especially when near the mountain gorillas. You can only eat and drink within a distance of about 200 meters from the mountain gorilla family.
- People under the age of 15 years are not allowed to trek for mountain gorillas. The persons under that age limit are considered so young for mountain gorilla trekking, and it is indeed not safe because sometimes the trekking distance is long.
- Flash photographs are not goodwill trekking the mountain gorillas in bwindi impenetrable national park. Flash photography are not allowed because it may trigger the aggressive nature of the mountain gorillas.
- Mountain gorilla trekking is mainly done in the dry season when there is less or no rainfall. However, the habitats of the mountain gorillas are thick tropical rain forest of Africa, therefore the tropical climate is dominant and it can rain any time of the year. For the reason, you should carry a raincoat at all-time just in case of abrupt showers.
- When planning for gorilla trekking, remember to carry certain items for a memorable experience. it is important to be prepared at all times because, the gorilla trekking experience is dependent on a number of factors like weather, depth of the jungle hike to meet the gorillas and other factors. It is recommended that you carry insect repellants, a pair of gloves, walking sticks (can also be given to you at the park offices), and automatically a camera.
- The dress code is an issue when trekking for the mountain gorillas in bwindi impenetrable national park. bwindi impenetrable national park experiences warm temperatures, therefore, it is good to wear light clothes during the day. However, the night gets very cold and a good jumper of the warm shoal is required. Also remember to carry colored clothes for safari, like khakis, green, these help you to blend in the jungle environment.
- Lastly, the mountain gorilla trekking permits are charity and conservation funds in disguise. The mountain gorillas permits are sold to the tourists to allow them to enjoy the activity. The money got from the sale of permits; it is used to help out the nearby communities like the Batwa and the Bakiga who live near Bwindi impenetrable national park. Therefore, if you visit Bwindi Forest for a mountain gorilla trekking safari, you will add a lot to the existence of the mountain gorillas, plus provide a living for a peasant or orphan, living near the park.