Gorilla trekking in Uganda is such a star activity as many tourists pride themselves in completing it. To have a gorilla trekking experience, one must be well prepared, and here are the key tips on what you need for gorilla trekking in Uganda.
The only assurance for you to trek mountain gorillas in Uganda is by purchasing a gorilla trekking permit. A gorilla permit is a document or card issued by the Uganda Wildlife Authority to permit a tourist to have a gorilla trek within the parks of either Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. The permit should be fully booked before you plan to come to your gorilla trek.
A Uganda gorilla trekking permit cost varies for the different categories of travelers that are foreign nonresidents (FNR), Foreign Residents (FR), and East African Residents.
Foreign nonresidents refer to tourists who are not Ugandans and visiting from other countries for Uganda gorilla safaris. Foreign non-residents require US$ 700 to purchase a Uganda gorilla permit.
Foreign residents refer to foreigners who live in Uganda and have a working permit or any other identification as residents of Uganda. Foreign residents will require US$ 600 to buy a Uganda gorilla permit.
East African citizens refer to the people of the East African community countries. East African Residents purchase a gorilla permit at Ugandan shillings 250,000.
For a successful and safe gorilla trekking experience, cross-check your packing list and ensure that these are included.
Face mask: Pack a medically recommended face mask to wear during your trip as it is a measure to curb the widespread of the novel coronavirus. Mountain gorillas are susceptible to these diseases and therefore they should be kept safe and protected from them.
Long-sleeved shirts and trousers. Since you are going to walk in the jungle where insects can give nasty bites, wearing long-sleeved shirts and trousers is recommendable. Wear shirts, long enough to cover your hands to the wrist, and trousers long enough to be tucked into your stocking. Shorts and vests are not anything to think of when planning to go gorilla trekking. The long clothing should also be comfortable and thick with colors that can’t get stained easily.
Hiking shoes. Since you are going to take challenging hiking to an altitude that is raised over 2,000 meters above sea level, you will require sturdy hiking shoes. Ensure to have comfortable sure such that hiking is made easy and you don’t get bruises.
Rain jacket. Whether it’s in the rainy season or in the dry season, you need to pack and wear a rain jacket during gorilla trekking. The southwestern part of the country where the gorilla safari parks of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park experience colder and rain can be expected at any time of the year. A rain jacket will protect you from rain and drizzles.
Hand gloves/gardening gloves. Since you will have your body covered, your hands will too need protection. You will need to wear hand gloves to protect your hands from thorns as you hike. In case you slide and would like to have a firm grip on a tree or any kind of plant, you need to make sure your hands are safe. Wear hand gloves for protection.
Each day 8 tourists are allowed to trek a group of the 18 gorilla families in Bwindi and the 1 family in Mgahinga. However, not anyone is eligible to purchase a gorilla trekking permit. Only persons above the age of 15 are given the opportunity to trek gorillas.
This is so because it is believed that persons below the age of 15 may not be able to adhere to the rules and regulations of gorilla trekking. They may react in ways that may not be comfortable for the gorillas. Individuals above the age of 15 years are thought to be able to follow all the rules and regulations set by the park for trekking.
The best time of the year for Uganda gorilla trekking is supposed during the dry season. There are two dry seasons which are the short and long dry seasons. The long dry season is between the months of June –August and the short dry season is between December –February. These two seasons have fewer rains and generally good for almost all Uganda safari activities.
When planning to have an African safari, gorilla trekking should top your bucket list as it is such a wonderful experience. These tips also apply to other primate tracking safaris as the experience is similar.