Difference between gorilla trekking and tracking
Gorilla trekking or tracking, no matter how you refer to it, in many cases it is interchangeably used to refer to the activity of trekking in search for mountain gorillas within their natural habitat. Mountain gorilla trekking and tracking have a slight difference and here is an explanation of what exactly each of them means;
What is Gorilla Tracking?
Gorilla tracking is a prior trekking activity done by the park rangers alone without the tourists or trekkers in most cases very early before trekking starts to search for where the mountain gorillas spent their previous night. Tracking is done early each morning, using different expert ways to find out where the gorillas are. After finding out where the gorillas are, the ranger guides coordinate with their fellow rangers at the park headquarters to inform them of where the gorillas are such that they can take the tourists to the right place where the gorillas are. Gorilla tracking is really important since it helps find out where the gorillas are and therefore saves time for the trekkers rather than walking through the forest with no clear idea of where the gorillas are. This is what ensures at least a 99.9% percentage of seeing the mountain gorillas with less chances of missing out on spotting the gentle giants.
What is gorilla trekking?
Gorilla trekking has no specific description but can be described as an activity that involves trekking / walking/ hiking through dense tropical forests by tourists in search of gorillas within their natural habitat. Gorilla trekking involves a trek in search of the mountain gorillas to a place where the rangers found out that the gorillas spent their previous night. Trekkers move in a direction where by the rangers have been informed of the presence of mountain gorillas, therefore there is always a high chance of seeing that specific gorilla family.
Each morning, a total of 8 trekkers are allocated 1 gorilla family to trek. All individuals first gather at the park headquarters for a briefing on the rules and regulations of gorilla trekking safaris in Uganda, Rwanda or Congo. Briefing starts at exactly 8:00 am local time, then after individuals are allocated a group with a total of 8 members in each.
Groups are allocated depending on the physical fitness levels of the clients and the group moves depending on the speed of the slowest trekker. Each group of 8 trekkers goes along with 2 armed park rangers for protection and guidance while in the jungle. Trekking lasts an unpredictable time lasting about 2-6 hours depending on where the gorillas spent their previous night.
After trekking and meeting the gorillas, you spend a maximum of 1 hour in the presence of the gorillas. You spend this time taking photos and interacting with gorillas in the bwindi forest.
In case you are looking for a gorilla safari in Uganda, whether you refer to it as trekking or tracking your Uganda gorilla safari company will be able to help since it is meant to be trekking. Each of the activity is named so because of who does it, rangers do tracking whereas tourists go gorilla trekking. The popularly trekked gorilla species include the 2 genus of gorilla which are the Eastern and western gorilla.