Gorilla Trekking is a unique Wildlife Experience

To begin with, Mountain Gorillas are the largest living primates. Further, they are the closest living relatives to humans after chimpanzees and bonobos, because their DNA is similar from 95-99%. In all, around 900 mountain gorillas are remaining on our earth. Mountain Gorillas can’t survive in captivity. Therefore, if you want to experience them, Gorilla trekking in Uganda or Rwanda is mandatory.

Gorilla trekking locations

Mountain gorillas inhabit the Virunga Volcanoes ranging in altitude from 2,300 to 4,200 metres. You will meet the “gentle giants” on Gorilla trekking in the dense forest of Uganda’s Bwindi Inpenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga National Park. Similarly, you may face them in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park as well as in the Virunga National Park of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Why Gorilla trekking ?

In particular, strong human settlement and the expansion of agricultural areas in the vicinity of the national parks are the main threat to the survival of the mountain gorillas.

Importantly, the trekkers support the local communities assigning jobs such as porters and guides. Creating jobs and income reduces the economic pressure to convert areas of the National Park into agricultural land. Furthermore, the survival of the gorillas is ensured, because the parks are preserved through the financial revenue of the park authority. Moreover, the great biodiversity of the national parks is protected too. For this reason, UNESCO has classified the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest as a World Heritage Site. Trekking the Mountain Gorillas protects this heritage.

Rules of conduct on Gorilla trekking for your own safety

Mountain Gorillas live in family groups numbering from 5-35 members. The head of the gorilla family is the silverback. He is the strongest male animal as well as at the top of the family hierarchy. The silverback is an unchallenged authority.

The authority of a silverback should be recognized by tourist visitors by adhering to fixed Gorilla trekking rules of conduct. As a visitor you are advised to kneel in the grass, bow your head and show yourself submissive! Also, a direct eye contact with a silverback could be interpreted as a social challenge by the silverback. Likewise, fast, abrupt movements or flashing lights should be avoided at all costs. To sum up, if these Gorilla trekking rules of conduct are observed, the human visitor does not have to fear for his safety. However, an armed park ranger is at your side to control the situation and intervene if necessary.

Requirements for Gorilla trekking

Gorilla trekking requires the average physical performance of a fifty year old. The tracker should be able to do five hundred meters in altitude within four hours. Comfortable hiking boots, a rain jacket, a water bottle and a packed lunch should be part of the equipment.

How does Gorilla trekking work?

You are well equipped and prepared? Then get it started! At first, the gorilla trekking starts with a 30-minutes briefing. After that, you follow the ranger in a small group of max. 8 trekkers. Finally, the path disappears completely into the undergrowth. You might feel lost somehow, but please just follow the ranger because he knows what he’s doing!  Your Gorilla Trekking might last between 2 and 6 hours depending on the gorilla family you are heading for.

Finally, you will be rewarded by a life’s privilege to suddenly face a 200 kg ape in the middle of the wild Virunga rainforest. Your surprise – or the fright – is big after all! Now it’s time to remember the Gorilla trekking rules of conduct that were pointed out during the briefing. Look on the floor, sit down and don’t make any hasty movements or shot pictures with flash light!

The Silverback invites you for 1 hour to stay with him, watch his women fur-feed and watch children climb trees. Time flies by. Then it goes back to the starting point of the Gorilla trekking.

Hello, I’m Viriano

My Gorilla Trekking Tour at a glance

  • Itinerary: Entebbe – Entebbe
  • Duration: 11 days
  • Accommodation: Mid-Range (private bathroom)
  • Meals: Full Board
  • Services: All included
  • Tour Price: 240 US/ Per person/ per day

 

How did I become a safari guide?

Since 2009 I have had the classic career from the pick upwards: watchman, material attendant, cook, driver and guide. My career shows that I am ambitious to know more and more and want to get better and better in my job. As the safari guide I am today, I’ve reached the top level I’ve always dreamed of.

What makes a good safari guide?

Technical knowledge of wild animals, birds and botany are basic requirements for a good guide. In addition, a good guide must be available to his guests at all times and be able to give the guests the feeling of being safe and friendly. This social side is just as important as the technical side.

QUALIFICATION

  1. Certificate of basic training in Tour Guiding 2019_ Uganda safari Guides association
  2. Bronze level in Tourist guiding/ Driving 2012- Uganda safari Guides association
  3. Certificate of Tour Guiding and driving 2007/2008- Hotel and Tourism Training institute
  4. Skills in nature interpretation 2008- Mabira forest reserve.

MY LANGUAGES

  • Native: Luganda/Lusoga
  • Tour: English

GUIDING EXPERIENCE

  • Guiding in Uganda and Rwanda since 2009
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My gorilla trekking safari is unique in the world

Gorilla Trekking and the African Big Five – these are the top highlights of my Primate Safari. Trekking Gorillas in the morning and observing lion, leopard, elephant and buffalo in the afternoon – this density of wildlife experience is unique worldwide.

Standard of comfort

You stay in upscale mid-range lodges and hotels. All rooms are equipped with private toilets and showers

 

PRIMATE SAFARI HIGHLIGHTS

Rhino Tracking
Murchison Safari
Chimps Tracking
Queen Elizabeth Safari
Bwindi Gorilla Safari
Mburo Safari
https://www.wayfairertravel.com/inspiration/wildebeest-migration-patterns/
Murchison National Park Queeen Elizabeth National Park Bwindi National Park

Best Travel Season for Gorilla Trekking

Important, the best travel times for Trekking the Gorilla are the dry months of June to October and December to February. However, all other seasons also have their travel advantages.

High and low season in Uganda

Certainly, the main season in Uganda is June to September with dry, pleasant weather. Therefore, there is comparatively more tourism than in the rest of the season. To clarify, Uganda is not counting among the countries of mass tourism. Consequently, don’t expect overcrowded national parks. However, it is possible that you will no longer get a permit for gorilla tracking on Active Safari in high season. That is to say, a long-term reservation is absolutely essential for gorilla permits in the high season in Uganda and Rwanda.

Finally, the months of March to May as well as November are considered the low season in Uganda. Heavy rains occasionally result in some lodges being closed and trails in poor condition. If you wish an adventures Active Safari this is the time of the year, this is the time to come. First, Gorilla Permits are mostly available. Second, due to the daily rain, the air is free of dust and the volcanoes can be photographed crystal clear.

UGANDA Travel News

Day-to-Day Itinerary

Arrival in Entebbe

  • Driving distance 4 km

Meeting with Viriano, airport transfer, briefing

Option for early risers:

Only 10 km as the crow flies from Entebbe you can dive into untouched nature in the Mabamba swamps. On an optional excursion (departure 7:00 am, 200 USD for 1-6 participants) you will travel in a wooden boat, equipped with a sun canopy and electric drive, across Lake Victoria to the breeding area of ​​the shoebill bird. The archaic-looking, strict loner with a wingspan of up to 180 cm lives in an area of ​​around 4 square kilometers. During the breeding season, couples incubate the eggs together, with the nest being built on floating islands or solid ground in dense papyrus. The young hatch after around 30 days and fledge after 100 days. Our trip through the untouched Mabamba swampy landscape is an adventurous bird stalking experience and holds many other surprises for bird lovers! Nature lovers will enjoy papyrus, water salad and the blue Egyptian water lily. In addition to the shoebill, Goliath herons, spurgeons, cormorants, crowned cranes and the African pygmy duck, but also migratory birds from northern Eurasia such as various species of swallow and wood sandpipers can be observed.

Let’s start

Departure from Entebbe in the morning. Over the outskirts of the capital Kampala (1.5 million inhabitants) it goes north to the Ziwa reserve (210 km). There are currently 19 white white rhinos living in the protected area, which armed rangers protect from poachers day and night. While stalking you can get up to 30 meters to these colossi weighing tons. Rhinos do not see well, but their sense of smell is well developed. Therefore, stalking must be done against the wind and can take some time (approx. 2-3 hours). Continue to Masindi (55 km).

Full Day Safari in Murchison Falls National Park 

You cross the first kilometers of the park through increasingly arid savannah landscape and reach the “Top of the Falls”, where the Nile is supported in a deep river basin. On a 1-hour descent along the gorge, you will experience the roaring force of nature of 300 cubic meters of water, which fall through the gorge every second and create a permanent rainbow due to the high humidity. At the bottom of the waterfall, a boat awaits you for the first animal safari. As if lined up in a shop window, you can marvel at the hippos, water snakes and crocodiles in the low river area from a safe distance, behind them elephants, buffalo, giraffes and antelopes line up on the bank for a photo opportunity.

You will leave the ship around noon and drive along the Victoria Track to the northern Tangi Gate. On this section of the route you can mainly find Rotschild giraffes and lions. Warthogs, waterbuck, Uganda Kob, Oribi, bushbuck and the African buffalo are also native here.

ANI GIRAFFE

Murchison Safari –  Budongo Forest

In the early morning you undertake a classic game safari on the Albert Trail along the banks of the Nile. Large herds of giraffes come to water at the open Delta Point. The African buffalo digs its mud holes here to protect itself from the midday heat. Leopards sit in the trees and wait for the nocturnal hunt. The program plans to cross the Nile River in good time to reach the hostel in Budongo Forest at lunchtime.

Chimpanzee tracking in the afternoon (optional).

The Budongo Forest is divided into 3 eco-systems, which are primarily dedicated to the protection of around 53 groups of chimpanzees, 280 species of birds and rare tree species. The majority of the approximately 600 chimpanzees are used for research purposes, only 2 groups of chimpanzees are habituated and the target of your stalking.

Be prepared for the fact that chimpanzees are extremely agile and swing from tree top to tree top and their sighting requires a lot of attention. You should be equipped with drinking water, non-slip shoes and rainwear. The wild cries of the animals will ring in your ears for a long time!

Guided Budongo Forest Walk

Alternatively, you can take a guided walk in the forest (optional US $ 30 pp) and get information about the Budongo eco-system from a ranger. Humid tropical forests like the Budongo Forest are highly productive systems that adapt to nutrient-poor soils. Here leaves, twigs and wood decompose very quickly as soon as they fall on the forest floor, and the nutrients are quickly used again by the plants. In Budongo Forest, you will find that the leaf litter is very thin, which shows the rapid decomposition of organic matter on the forest floor. You will also notice that many trees have shallow root systems (like supported trees), which allows trees to obtain nutrients from freshly decomposed organic matter on the surface of the soil. The influence of nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium can be determined with an accuracy of 0.1 mm using dendrometer tapes attached to trees. Over a period of 3 years, a joint project between the University of Göttingen, the Budongo Conservation Field Station and the Makerere University in Kampala wants to find out what role nutrients play in ecosystem processes with regard to plant growth, nutrient cycle and fruit behavior.
overnight stay

Kibale Forest


Overland trip on partly bumpy slopes to Fort Portal and on to the Kibale Forest (310 KM).

KibaleForest

Chimps Tracking

In the morning chimpanzee tracking in Kibale NP (optional US $ 150 pp). The park is home to one of the highest population densities and biodiversity of primates in Africa. Over 1400 chimpanzees live in the evergreen rainforest, of which around 350 are habituated. Twelve other species of monkey such as Uganda Mangabey, red and black colobus monkey, full-bearded monkey, diadem monkey are native here. Tracking the chimpanzees requires little physical effort. The chimpanzee visibility is 80% and the distances to other tourist highlights such as Queen Elisabeth NP, Semuliki NP and Ruwenzori NP and to Kampala are quite short. All these advantages make the Kibale NP one of the most popular and most visited national parks in Uganda.

After a brief briefing from your ranger, the guide will go ahead and take you through the rainforest. Chimpanzees are very mobile and prefer to swing from tree to tree, which is why their sighting is not one hundred percent certain. Rain showers can occur all year round. Rain protection and good footwear are advisable all year round.

Bigodi Nature Walk

Alternatively, you can go on a nature hike in the Bigodi swamps (US $ 40 pp). The approximately 5 km long tour south of the Kibale Forest not only leads around the Bigodi swamp. After a short walk through the arable area, wooden footbridges lead into the middle of the swamp. Dense papyrus populations dominate the flora and are an ideal breeding area for tortoiseshell turaco, bearded birds, woodpeckers, parrots, bronze nectar birds, nuns’ reeds, grosbeak, hornbills, weavers etc.
In addition to all kinds of bird species, there are also mongoose, serval (gorse cat) and all kinds of monkey species such as the red colobus, the Congo white-nosed monkey, the eastern full-bearded monkey (L’Hoest monkey), the black-and-white colobus, Gray Cheecked Mangabey and sometimes even chimpanzees migrating from Kibale Forest to buy wild fruits.
The tour through the swamp goes back to a community initiative of the Dofes Bigodi. A small library and a school have now been set up with his proceeds. The local guides are accordingly committed. They are true amateur ornithologists and discover species of birds that would never come to an unknown place.

Queen Elizabeth National Park

After lunch drive to Queen Elisabeth NP (130 km). The scenic drive leads first on a secluded slope through the Kasenda Crater Lakes. From a bird’s eye view, the surface of the earth, which was formed 11,000 years ago, looks like an egg carton filled with puddles of water: picturesque lakes in all shades of color from emerald green to deep blue lie in a random arrangement embedded in a wild relief of crater heights. The extremely fertile soil gives people tea and coffee, bananas, avocados and mangoes.
Up to the equator in the geographic depression of the Queen Elizabeth National Park, the route continues along the more than five thousand meter high Ruwenzori Mountains, which are “adorned” with glacier ice and known as geological faults under the technical term “Great African Rift Valley” or “Rift Valley” . Their emergence is explained by the drifting apart of the African and Arab continental plates. Here you can experience the history of the earth up close!

  • Meals: Full Board
  • Overnight stay in Park View Safari Lodge

 

 

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SAFARI RATES PER PERSON

5000 USD one single room

3800 USD sharing one double room

4500 USD one SINGLE ROOM

3600 USD sharing one double room

4400 USD one SINGLE ROOM

3300 USD sharing one double room

4300 USD one SINGLE ROOM

3200 USD sharing one double room

4200 USD one SINGLE ROOM

3000 USD sharing one double room

4000 USD one SINGLE ROOM

Included services

  • 13 Days guiding by David
  • Safari in a four-wheel drive vehicle with guaranteed window seats
  • All transfers and trips according to program and itinerary
  • Boat excursion on Lake Victoria
  • All national park fees according to the program
  • Two bottles of mineral water per person per day on safari
  • 6 nights: Tented Camp (spacious house tent with private bathroom)
  • 4 nights: Lodge in a double room
  • 1 night: Hotel in a double room
  • Meals: 12x Full Board

NOT INCLUDED

  • International flights
  • Tips and drinks
  • Visa Fees
  • Vaccination and Health Care (incl. Covid-19 health measurements)

OPTIONALS

  • Air-conditioned safari vehicle
  • Extensions (safari, activities, leisure)
  • Domestic flights for transfers

Booking Procedure

Please fill out our booking request and we will respond with a tailor-made travel offer.

Insurances

Please take out luggage insurance, travel cancellation insurance and travel repatriation insurance.

Cancellation

We charge the following cancellation fees
1. 50 days and before – no cancellation fees
2. 40-50 days – 10% cancellation fee of the travel price
3. 30-40 days – 20% cancellation fee of the travel price
4. 10-30 days – 50% cancellation fee of the travel price
5. 5-10 days – 80% cancellation fee of the travel price
6. No show – 5 days – 95% cancellation fee of the travel price

 

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