Are you planning to visit Uganda, Rwanda or Congo for Gorilla Trekking and you are based or you want to start the tour from South Africa? Gorilla Trekking from South Africa, Gorilla Trekking in Africa is one of the once in a lifetime experience that attracts many travelers to do during their visit to Africa. Despite the high costs, time and discomfort from booking to doing the hike through the forest to search for these endangered apes watching gorillas in their natural habitat in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo is one of the best wildlife experiences every traveler would do on his/her safari. Gorilla Trekking involves hiking/walking through the forest and at some point difficult terrain, thick vegetation, crossing rivers and swamps in search for gorillas, this activity is challenging and it requires one to be fit at the time of the trek. Gorilla trekking gives you an opportunity to encounter and watch the gorillas in their natural habitat for one hour in Rwanda, Uganda and Congo. For solo travelers who would like to spend more time with the gorillas in their natural habitat can opt to visit Bwindi Forest for Gorilla Habituation experience which gives you 4 hours encounter with the gorillas.
Where is Gorilla Trekking Done in Africa?
Gorilla Trekking is done in Uganda, Rwanda and DR Congo which host the four national parks that are home the only remaining mountain gorillas. These include Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National in Uganda, Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and Virunga National Park in Congo. In Congo you as well have an opportunity to see the Lowland gorillas which are found in Kahuzi Beiga National Park. In order to trek at any of the mentioned national park a gorilla permit is required for you to be allowed to go for gorilla trekking. With this once you have you planned dates of gorilla trekking we recommend you start booking your gorilla trip immediately given the fact services and permits sell out very quickly especially if you plan to do the trek in the peak season of June to September, it is always better to book atleast 5 months in advance prior travelling. Gorilla Trekking at the mentioned parks can be booked directly or through a trusted Tour Operator.
Cost and Getting Gorilla permits in Uganda
The Gorilla permit in Uganda Costs $700 Per person per trek for the Foreign non residents, $600 Per person for residents and $70 for East African Citizens (Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya, Burundi and South Sudan), this gives you an opportunity to spend one hour encounter with the mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park or Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Uganda has 17 habituated gorilla family groups with 16 found in Bwindi and 1 in Mgahinga this means 136 Gorilla permits are available every day for gorilla trekking in Uganda. Gorilla trekking in Uganda also gives you an option to spend more time with the mountain gorillas through Gorilla habituation experience which is only done in Bwindi forest, a gorilla habituation permit costs $1500 per person giving you an opportunity to spend 4 hours encounter with the semi habituated mountain gorillas under the guidance of trackers and researchers as opposed to one hour for the normal trekking. Getting gorilla permits in Uganda can be done directly by booking them through Uganda Wildlife Authority or through a trusted tour operator in Uganda like Eco Adventure Safaris.
Cost and Getting Gorilla Permits in Rwanda
The Gorilla permit in Rwanda Costs $1500 Per person per trek for the Foreign nonresidents, $500 Per person for foreign residents and $200 for East African Citizens (Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya, Burundi and South Sudan), this gives you an opportunity to spend one hour encounter with the mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park. Rwanda has 12 Gorilla families hence 96 Gorilla permits are available each day for gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park. Getting gorilla permits in Rwanda can be done directly by booking them through Rwanda Development Board or through a trusted tour operator in Rwanda like Eco Adventure Safaris.
Cost and Getting Gorilla Permits in DR Congo
Gorilla tracking in Congo is done in Virunga National Park for Mountain Gorillas and Kahuzi Beiga National Park for Lowland gorillas. A gorilla permit in Virunga National Park costs $400 per person per trek for the high season months of Mid-December to mid-march then June to October and then $200 for the low season months of mid-march to mid-May and then mid-October to mid-December every year. A gorilla permit in Kahuzi Beiga National Park costs $400 for foreign non residents, $200 for East Africa Residents and $20 national resident. Getting gorilla permits in Congo can be done directly by booking them through Virunga National Park or through a trusted tour operator like Eco Adventure Safaris.
P.S When booking your gorilla permit it is important to note that the gorilla permit price excludes accommodation, air tickets, ground transport, meals and other expenses, you will need to get more details of the package you are booking with your tour operator.
What is the age limit for Gorilla Trekking in Africa?
The minimum age limit for Gorilla Trekking is 15 years and the maximum age is 85 years depending on fitness levels. Gorilla trekking for elders is now made possible especially in Bwindi forest through provision of sedan chair carriers, these chairs are used to carry those who feel unfit and are unable to walk into the forest at the time of their trek, you will be carried by potters to and from the forest during your trek, hiring the sedan chair can done in advance or at the day of the trek and price ranges from 400-500 dollars.
Gorilla Permit cancellation penalties and policy in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo
To go Gorilla Trekking for a solo traveler you are required to have a gorilla permit, with this it is preferred that an one who books a gorilla permit should be able to utilize it for the trek on a given date. Gorilla permit cancellations penalties and policy in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo are the same when you fail to make it to the date of the trek from 0 to 8 days, to the day of tracking and with this you don’t get the refund for the permits. For the last 6 months gorilla permits cancellation policies have changed a lot due to the outbreak of Corona Virus which has forced both countries to relax the cancellation policies, in Uganda all gorilla treks that were affected by the pandemic have been given an opportunity to changed their dates of trekking twice.
What is the best time for Gorilla Trekking in Africa?
Gorilla Trekking for a solo traveler in done throughout the year and the best time to do a gorilla trekking in Africa is during the drier months of January, February, June to early September, this is makes it easier to travel to the park and gives a clear view of gorillas given the vegetation cover is not too much high grown.
What to pack for Gorilla Trekking
During gorilla tracking you will need a comfortable, hard wearing, pair of walking shoes or boots. Conditions are generally very muddy in the forest when it is raining. There are uphill sections which may be quite steep and strenuous. It is also advisable to wear a long sleeve cotton shirt and lightweight long trousers to protect yourself from the undergrowth, stinging nettles and biting ants. Suggested Items to pack for Gorilla trekking;
• Insect Repellent
• Torch/Flashlight – and Spare Batteries
• Wet Wipes
• Water Bottle
• Camera, lenses etc
• Comfortable walking/hiking boots & socks
• Gardening gloves for gorilla tracking
• Sandals/strops/walking shoes
• Hat and Sunscreen
• Rain Jacket
• Binoculars (game/bird watching)
Why book with Eco Adventure Safaris your Gorilla Trekking from South Africa
Eco Adventure Safaris will help you book your Gorilla Trekking in Uganda Rwanda Africa and DR Congo contact us and we advise you on the booking process. We as well have different gorilla trekking safari packages ranging from budget, mid-range to luxury options that we can book for you including the gorilla permits. Feel free to checkout our trip advisor reviews and read from a community of happy satisfied clients. With us, you can be rest assured of a memorable Uganda safari holiday. We are devoted to providing excellent service and customer satisfaction. Our team of excellent tour consultants is always willing to help answer all your safari questions. We guarantee you a great gorilla tour in Uganda, Rwanda and DR Congo with us. Gorilla Trekking from South Africa