As mentioned before, a gorilla trek usually takes 1 to 8 hours (including the trip to the gorillas, the 1 hour spent with them and the return trip back to the briefing point) in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo Africa depends on how far the group has moved since they were last observed watching the previous nesting has observed evening. Although gorilla trekking is considered one of the most fascinating wildlife experiences, it’s not like a normal game drive or a visit to the local zoo. Gorilla trekking involves hiking through difficult terrain, dense vegetation, bodies of water, hills and valleys. The activity can be very challenging and exhausting when you are exhausted and have a sore knee, especially if you’re not used to running for hours.
The activity isn’t just about hiking on well-paved and predictable trails. Once you have to deal with biting insects, thorns and dense forests. Rain and altitude sickness are also a real problem in some parks. When you meet the National Park Rangers for your briefing in the morning, they will already have a rough idea of where the various gorilla troops are.
Visitors can choose between a short, medium or long hike. If you choose a short hike, you can expect to find your troop in about half an hour. If you choose the long hike, it can take two to three hours or longer. Gorilla trekking is a safe company as long as you follow a few basic rules and listen to your trek guide. Gorilla trekking is exhausting and physical exercise is required before the actual hike in the forest.
Regardless of how fit you think you are, it’s not a good idea to underestimate the importance of being mentally prepared before gorilla trekking. It is a conservation success story and ongoing gorilla trekking tourism is critical to the continued existence of the species. Gorilla trekking can also be done in Mgahinga National Park in Uganda, Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and Virunga National Park in Congo. Watch what it’s like to follow Alice on a gorilla trekking to Uganda below and read the full itinerary.
The hike usually takes between 2 and 5 hours, depending on the location of the gorilla family. A maximum of eight visitors are allowed per gorilla family. Uganda and Rwanda share a common climate and although gorilla trekking is considered an activity throughout the year, the best time to visit the rainforests is one of the two dry seasons. Elderly and physically disabled people can also go gorilla trekking if they inform their tour operator in advance for better planning. Through primate research and gorilla trekking tourism, residents of Odzala Kokoua National Park in Congo have begun to attach greater value to nature conservation.
If you are in doubt about your ability to hike long distances but are in relatively good shape, here’s what you should do before your trip to gorilla trekking to improve your stamina. Africa’s mountain gorillas can only survive in the wild — you can’t see these creatures in a zoo — making trekking to see them in their natural habitat a journey of a lifetime. We will introduce you to gorilla trekking safety guidelines so you can be assured of this exceptional adventure. Trekking for gorillas in the mountainous rainforest often means hours of hiking on steep, narrow footpaths and walking through the dense jungle behind a scout snaking a path through the foliage with a machete.