“It was their individuality combined with the shyness of their behavior that remained the most captivating impression of this first encounter with the greatest of the great apes.” – Dian Fossey
Mountain gorilla trekking in Uganda or Rwanda is one of the world’s headline wildlife activities, on a level with whale watching, bear safaris, tiger tours or shark diving. A gorilla safari is a memorable experience, and one that a lucky few treasure for the rest of their lives. Mountain gorillas are intelligent, shy and gentle creatures with complex family structures.
Gorilla tracking takes places in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park. These are isolated high-altitude mountain refuges, covered in thick rain forest, and open to just a few dozen visitors every day. a percentage of the gorillas are habituated, which means that over a period of 5 years or more, they have gradually learned to tolerate the presence of humans for about an hour a day.
Options For Gorilla Tracking
There are various different options for gorilla tracking in Rwanda and Uganda, depending on the time you have available and your budget. You could visit the gorillas in one country as an extension to a longer African safari. You could also visit the gorillas in both countries, or do a longer safari in either country, combining gorillas with chimps and other primates. Our Ultimate Primate Safari gives you an in-depth experience of gorillas and chimpanzees and 11 other species of primate in both Uganda and Rwanda.
Preparation And Planning Required
A visit to the gorillas is not to be taken lightly, as it involves booking your tracking permits up to two years in advance. It also involves planning the logistics to travel to remote locations, and preparing the equipment for the challenging conditions of the rain forest. Participants need to be at least reasonably fit, as tracking takes places at high altitude, along steep, slippery slopes.
If you make the effort to track gorillas in Uganda or Rwanda, though, it is well worth it. There are only 880 or so left – less than the number of children in a small school. All of these are found in the wild, as no Mountain gorilla has ever been raised in captivity. The gorillas found in zoos are the more plentiful western lowland variety.
Chimpanzees And Other Primates
Uganda and Rwanda are Africa’s best primate tracking destinations . Murchison Falls National Park and Kibale Forest National Park in Uganda, and Volcanoes National Park and Nyungwe Forest in Rwanda are all great for experiencing apes and monkeys large and small, common and rare.