Gorilla trekking is a life thrilling experience that can be done in Virunga national park in the Democratic republic of Congo, Volcanoes national park in Rwanda, Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and Mgahinga national park in Uganda.
Gorilla trekking starts with booking and buying a gorilla permit and flying into Rwanda, Uganda or the Congo for the activity. The trekking starts very early in the morning at a given park headquarters with a briefing about the gorilla trekking rules and regulations and allocation of gorilla families depending on age, physical ability and so much more.
Visitors with infections will not be allowed to trek mountain gorillas because gorillas vulnerable to human diseases any infection on them can easily lead to death and they have low birth rates. Children under the age of 15 years will also not be allowed to trek mountain gorillas.
There are rangers who always go ahead to trace for the location of the gorilla family and communicate to the park headquarters before the trekking starts, once they have communicated you will set off to trek gorillas but keep in mind mountain gorillas live on higher elevations so you will need to do some hiking before finding gorillas.
As you trek gorillas your guide will show you different plant species and you will also be able to spot lots of birds and other primate species, when you find the mountain gorilla family an hour of observation is given to tourists to encounter the great apes.
While in the presence of mountain gorillas, ensure to follow rules and regulations like; do not use flash cameras, never look at a gorilla direct in the eyes, keep low voices, keep a distance of at least 7 meters while with mountain gorillas and so much more.
Mountain gorillas are gentile and shy animals but can sometimes become extremely aggressive when they feel disturbed or insecure, but before gorillas attack they will show threatening signs like beating chests, throwing vegetation, making loud hoots and so forth. A gorilla visit might end early if the gorillas show such behaviours.
In case a mountain gorilla charges at you, try to humble yourself by crouching down, pretending to eat vegetation and this will calm the visitation. Mountain gorilla trekking is a common tourists activity and the most expensive in Africa but those who have encountered the great apes have never regretted.
Gorilla habituation is the process of making mountain gorillas get used to human presence, this usually takes about 2-3 years of researchers and rangers visiting a given gorilla family daily and observing each individuals behaviour and later naming each of them according to their characters. When researchers are convinced that the family is ready for trekking then they undergo through a mocking exercise and if they pass they are opened for trekking.
Gorilla habituation involves joining this researchers and scientists in the habituation process, you will spend 4 hours with gorillas unlike trekking which is only an hour and the maximum number of people allowed for habituation are limited to four people compared to trekking which is 8 people. The cost of gorilla habituation is $1500 per person and can only be done in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park in Uganda.
Cost of gorilla trekking permits
Gorilla trekking permits cost $600 in Uganda, $1500 in Rwanda and $400 in the Democratic republic of Congo.
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