How much time is spent with the mountain gorillas?

Trekking gorillas is a regulated activity therefore, how much time is spent with the mountain gorillas? Many travelers wonder how much time is spent in the presence of the mountain gorillas or during gorilla trekking since it is one of the most expensive safari activity. The time spent in the presence of the mountain gorillas is different from the time spent on a gorilla trekking tour.

A maximum of 1 hour (60 minutes) is spent in the presence of the mountain gorillas. This 1 hour is the allocated time spent watching the gorilla group go along with their daily life. The maximum 1 hour spent in the presence of the mountain gorillas is monitored and when it comes to an end, your ranger guide will inform you to leave the group and return to the trek start point. During this 1 hour, you are allowed to take photos and record videos of the gorilla family using your non flash photography camera. Though 60 minutes only can be spent seeing the gorilla group go along with their daily lives, the time can be less if the gorillas show characters of being uncomfortable in the presence of the individuals trekking, however, this is not so common.

The time spent on a gorilla trekking safari, is however different from the time spent in the presence of the gorilla family. Mountain gorilla trekking takes an unpredictable amount of time since the gorillas are always on the move and you have to follow them to where they spent their previous night. It may take about 2-3 hours to and another 2-3 hours from the gorilla family which may be a total of about 6 hours for a gorilla trekking experience. All the time spent in the forest is used for searching for the gorillas and as well seeing the allocated mountain gorilla group.

Are you planning to have a mountain gorilla safari? Be aware that this can only be undertaken in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda, Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda or Virunga National Park in Congo. They are the only 4 national Parks where mountain gorillas live and can be trekked. In each of the parks, you will spend a maximum 1 hour in the presence of 1 gorilla family and unpredictable amount of time trekking/ hiking or walking in search of the allocated gorilla family.

How many Mountain Gorillas are left in the world?

Mountain gorillas are the only apes facing population increase and the progress is a steady one. With strong conservation efforts, Mountain gorillas have increased from about 880 to 1,063 in just two years. After the mountain gorilla population census of Virunga massif in 2018, the total world population of mountain gorillas increased to 1004, this was a step to success. On the 16th of December 2019, the Bwindi population of Mountain gorillas was declared in accordance to the December 2018 census and there was an estimated total of 459 mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park alone. This means an increase of the gorillas to a total of about 1063.

Mountain gorilla families have increased from 36 groups to 50 gorilla families. The total mountain gorillas in Bwindi Forest alone have increased from 400 to 459 as of the December 2018 census.

  • Globally the total of mountain gorillas has increased from an estimate of 1,004 to 1,063 in number.

Thanks to the Uganda Wildlife Authority and conservation partners, this is a success story for the Uganda Tourism industry. If there’s a perfect time to go for a gorilla trekking safari in Uganda then it’s now when the population is much more facing success and no threats are putting them at a high risk of extinction

The amount of time spent in the presence of the mountain gorillas is in many cases thought to be less according to the cost of gorilla trekking which is USD 700 for Uganda and USD 1500 for Rwanda. However, this cost is worth it since it pays for the expensive cost of conserving these endangered species that are just starting their recovery journey. Conserving and retrieving the population of mountain gorillas is expensive and the cost for a permit helps contribute to it.

Plan a Uganda gorilla safari or gorilla trekking tour in Rwanda and have a lifetime experience sharing a gorilla habitat with these giants and enjoying to see their lifestyle. In case you want more wildlife and primate tours contact us to tailor your gorilla safari with a Uganda wildlife safari, wildlife tour in Rwanda, Kenya safari or a Tanzania tour.