How is the Ultimate Gorilla Trekking Activity Conducted?
How is the Ultimate Gorilla Trekking Activity Conducted? The average mountain gorilla family consists of 20 individuals not every group is hospitable

How is the Ultimate Gorilla Trekking Activity Conducted? In the morning after your breakfast, you will be guided by your driver guide who will be keeping you Gorilla permits that were paid earlier. You will reach the briefing area to clear and you will be introduced to the authorities and get assigned to a group that you will be trekking.

Normally when you get into the group, you will be assigned a group leader who is normally armed with other game rangers. With them, they carry machetes and fire arm basically to clear the thicket for easy passage and to shoot in the sky in case they come across any wild animal along the trekking areas. These operatives will always ask you to a potter who will carry your light luggage with at least 2 liters of water and your packed lunch that you got from your accommodation place.

The average family or group of mountain gorillas consists of 20 individuals. Not every gorilla group welcomes tourists; some gorilla groups prefer to live in the wild. There are currently 34 mountain gorilla families who are acclimated to having people visit them. Ten of them are in Rwanda, fifteen are in Uganda, and eight are in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

How is the Ultimate Gorilla Trekking Activity Conducted

The best gorilla groups to track

Which gorilla group is the simplest to follow? Which family of gorillas is the easiest to track? There are gorilla groups that are simpler to find and groups that are harder to trek in each of the gorilla parks. Certain gorilla groups can be located in as little as thirty minutes, while others may require up to six hours. While certain gorilla families in Bwindi and Virunga National Parks, as well as Mgahinga National Park, may be simpler to monitor than gorilla groups in Rwanda, this is not always the case. The number of habituated gorilla families in Bwindi is about double that in Rwanda. While the majority are simple to locate, the others may be more challenging.

Remembering that gorillas are wild animals is crucial. The composition and conditions surrounding a gorilla group may have changed since your friend or someone you found online discouraged you from tracking them. The group may currently have two silverbacks if it did not have any in 2011. As I write this post, a Gorilla troop that didn’t have any babies at one point might be giving birth to twins. It’s possible that the hard-to-reach gorilla family moved closer to the park headquarters. Let’s talk about the several gorilla groups found in the Congo, Rwanda, and Uganda.

Gorilla groups in Uganda – How to get an easier gorilla family to trek

The two national parks of Mgahinga and Bwindi are home to the gorilla families of Uganda. The Nyakagyezi group of habituated gorillas is the sole group found in Mgahinga. More mountain gorillas can be found in Bwindi forest than in any other national park. The four areas of the park where the gorilla families are distributed are Ruhija, Rushaga, Nkuringo, and Buhoma. The Rushegura, Habiyanja, and Mubare gorilla families are located in the Ruhija area of Bwindi. Bweza, Mishaya, Busingye, Nshongi, and Kahungye are those who are in Buhoma.

The Kyaguliro, Oruzogo, and Bitukura gorilla groups are located in Buhoma. There is the Nkuringo gorilla group in the Nkuringo sector, while Bushaho and Bikyingi are in Rushaga. Rushaga is unique in that it allows guests to participate in the gorilla trekking and habituation experience. The gorilla habituation experience, which entails spending longer time with the gorillas, is exclusive to Uganda.

Which Bwindi gorilla group is the simplest to track? Most people believe that the Rushegura Gorilla Group in the Buhoma area is the easiest to track. But occasionally, the group may choose to relocate farther from the park. Thus, there’s no assurance that your travel will be simpler.

Gorilla families in Rwanda – How are gorilla groups in Rwanda allocated?

After Uganda, Rwanda is home to the second-highest population of mountain gorillas. Ten habituated groupings of gorillas reside there. Rwanda has an edge over Uganda and the Congo because it is easier to get the gorillas—a two-hour trip from the city is all that is required. Agashya, Amahoro, Bwenge, Hirwa, Kwitonda, Sabyinyo, Susa A, Susa B, and Ububano family are among the gorilla groups that inhabit Rwanda. Although the Amahoro gorilla family is thought to be the easiest to monitor, nothing can be assured, as we have already stated. Since Susa A is the group that Dian Fossey studied, it is thought to be the hardest to monitor yet is nevertheless well-liked by tourists.

Gorilla Groups in Congo – The best gorilla group to track

Despite having just eight gorilla groups, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is unique in that it is the only nation where it is possible to see both lowland and mountain gorillas. An incredible experience can be had by combining lowland gorilla trekking, hiking the Nyiragongo volcano, and mountain gorilla trekking in the Virunga mountains. In the Congo, gorilla permits run $400. Compared to the $1500 in Rwanda and the $600 in Uganda, this is extremely little. The gorilla families found in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are Rugendo, Mapuwa, Munyaga, Humba, Kabirizi, Lulengo, and Mapuwa.

How are gorilla groups allocated?

How are travelers divided into gorilla groups? In order to respond to this query, we must first ascertain who is in charge of assigning licenses and gorilla groups. Gorilla licenses are granted by the Rwanda Development Board and the Uganda Wildlife Authority, respectively, in Rwanda and Uganda. The Virunga National Park headquarters in Congo are responsible for issuing gorilla permits. Gorilla groups are assigned by park administration and at the field level.

What is the distribution of Gorilla groups? During the early days of gorilla trekking’s popularity, gorilla groups in Uganda were reserved months in advance, first come, first served. After reading up on the many gorilla families, a tourist might make up their mind to see a certain one. They would know precisely which group they would be tracking when they arrived at the park. Uganda discovered that it wasn’t feasible since certain gorilla populations received more tourists and were more well-known than others. Families of gorillas without Silverbacks or babies saw a decrease in visitation. Because of their close proximity to the starting site, permits for the Rushegura group in Uganda were in high demand, while Mubare was typically avoided.

Following Rwanda’s lead, Uganda chose to assign gorilla groups on the day of the hike and within the park. The names of the gorilla groups would no longer be on gorilla permits; only sectors would. The park officials would subsequently be in charge of assigning the groups according to the following criteria:

Level of fitness: Mountain gorillas inhabit forests and occasionally very high altitude regions. It takes a strenuous hike through dense jungle, hills, and valleys to reach some of the gorilla communities. The fact that several gorilla populations reside distant from the beginning site exacerbates the situation. Thus, gorilla groups are assigned according to the passengers’ general level of fitness. Less physically fit travelers will be placed in close proximity to gorilla populations. Instead of using a fitness test, park officials determine who gets to go on the simpler journey based just on appearance. For this reason, if you would like a simpler trip, it is crucial that you inform park officials of your fitness problems.

If you consider yourself fit and want a group that is more challenging, you need to let the officials know. If you are a senior or disabled, you can be provided with a Sedan chairs and a group of porters. You can read more about the Sedan chairs in our article about gorilla trekking for the people with disability and older people.

Which is the hardest and easiest gorilla group to trek?

Age of Travelers: This has to do with one’s degree of fitness. When assigning gorilla families to tourists, age is one of the elements taken into account. Using information from passports or based on visitors’ looks, park officials will attempt to determine the age of each visitor. Age isn’t a reliable predictor of hiking skill overall. A sixty-year-old may be in better physical condition than a twenty-three-year-old. Tell park officials if, as an older hiker, you think you are fit enough for a more strenuous hike. The same holds true for young people who are unsuited.

Because they are typically less focused and mentally prepared for the activity, younger travelers (those under 19) are typically assigned to easy or medium treks. They might have just stopped by to visit with their parents.

Gorilla permits and sector of the park: The paperwork needed to follow a specific Gorilla troop is called a gorilla permit. On the tracking day, you will be requested for this paperwork. The gorilla group you are assigned to in Uganda is determined by your gorilla permit. In Uganda, gorilla permits bear an indication of the park’s sector. You can only be assigned a gorilla group within the Rushaga sector if you have a permission for that particular area, for example.

The preference of the traveler: Traveler preferences are still taken into account when allocating gorilla families. Notifying your tour operator that you have a gorilla group in mind or that you are focusing on a certain area is crucial. This will enable the tour operator to make appropriate plans. Certain powerful tour operators can help you locate the desired group. Even when everyone says they are over, they can still obtain the permissions for you.

Season of the year: Gorilla permits are extremely hard to get by during the busiest time of year. Getting into your preferred gorilla group could be somewhat challenging. To acquire your favorite family, you have to be extremely fortunate. On the other hand, there’s a greater likelihood of tracking your preferred groups during the off-season. Less people are visiting, and park rangers are more receptive to conversation.

Number of times you have already tracked: In the event that you have double gorilla trekking, where you follow a certain family the day before, park officials will be forced to allocate you to the gorilla group of your choosing. This is a crucial consideration if you wish to observe or record a certain gorilla group. Since you will have developed a rapport with the ranger, tracking multiple times increases your chances of finding your next family. If you tipped the rangers during your first hike, you will have unrivaled negotiating power.

Note: If you are tracking gorillas in Bwindi on your own, it is imperative that you book your accommodations in the approved region. Because Bwindi is a large forest, you don’t want to miss the activity because your lodging was too far from the starting point. Make travel plans in advance. Your tour operator will be able to schedule the permits in advance thanks to this. It’s also important to keep in mind that, depending on the gorilla group you are placed with, you will have distinct experiences. You have a very good chance of seeing the gorillas because a team of scouts is sent before dawn to determine their exact location.

How to cope with a difficult trek and gorilla group

What if I get a harder trek? Provided, for whatever reason, your excursion turns out to be more challenging, you can still have fun with it provided you prepare both physically and emotionally. Walk a long way around your house before you arrive for the activity. Use your surroundings as a practice ground if you reside in a forested or high-altitude area. Make sure you have brought every essential item included on the packing list for gorilla trekking.

These consist of mud-resistant hiking boots, long sleeve shirts, sun glasses, a hat, rain jackets, sweaters, and bug repellents. In order to combat hunger and thirst, you should also make sure that you move with a walking stick, plenty of water, and energy snacks. Remember to bring toiletries, a binocular, and your camera. If you bring the aforementioned goods, you should have no trouble finishing the hike.

Additionally, porters can be hired at the trek’s beginning for a nominal fee to assist you with any heavy equipment. Even though you think you don’t need a porter, you should nevertheless hire one. They will assist you with the challenging portions of the hike as well. Adding to their financial security is one way to hire a porter. Actually, a few of them are students who want to save some cash before returning to school.


Leave a Reply