There are only +/- 700 Mountain Gorillas left in the wild and only three locations in the world where you can see them, so if Gorilla Trekking (or tracking!) is sitting on your holiday wish list, now is the time to book.
A thrilling experience that everyone should do at least once in their lifetime, gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda or Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda is one the most exhilarating safaris one can take, but it is strictly limited to help preserve the natural habitat and the health of these magnificent creatures.
If you are thinking about Gorilla Trekking in 2014, here are 10 reasons to help you make up your mind…
- Only eight people can visit a given gorilla family each day, and permits are strictly limited to 80 per day in both Bwindi and Volcanoes National Parks
- Gorilla Trekking permits currently cost US$750 per person per day in Rwanda, and US$600 per person per day in Uganda – this is a 50% increase on 2012 rates and could increase at anytime, so why wait!
- It is also possible to go Gorilla Trekking in the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The current price of a day permit is US$495.
- Volcanoes National Park is located just over 100km from Kigali, Rwanda’s capital city, so you can drive there in just two hours.
- Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is 500km from Kampala/Entebbe Airport, so you should really only consider Gorilla Trekking in Uganda if you have a least a week to spend with these gentle giants.
- There are seven Gorilla groups in Bwindi, called the Mubare, the Habinyanja, the Rushegura, the Bitukura, the Mishaya, the Nshongi and the Nkuringo group.
- Volcanoes National Park currently has ten Gorilla groups, the Susa, the Sabinyo, the Amahoro, the Umubano, the Hirwa, the Kwitonda, the Bwengye, the Karinsimbi, the Ugenda and Group Thirteen. Each group has between nine and forty individuals.
- You will be trekking up mountains through thick vegetation and mud, so you need to be relatively fit to go Gorilla Tracking.
- Due to the central locations of Uganda and Rwanda, you can easily combine your Gorilla Trekking tour with a Kilimanjaro climb, a beach break in Mauritius or a Safari in South Africa.
- You can go Gorilla Trekking at any time of the year, although April and May can be pretty wet!
If that hasn’t got you packing your “old kit bag”, I don’t know what will!