Rwanda is one of the three gifted countries to host the rare endangered mountain gorillas the other two are Uganda and the democratic republic of Congo. These close relatives to man are found in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park (PNV) the only protected area where these primate species can be seen safely. Tracking gorillas is regarded the most done interesting activities in Rwanda which has attracted hundred thousands of people whole over the world who come to this small country to see gorillas in their natural habitat. Over 80% of travelers who come to Rwanda go for gorilla tracking and over 95% of visitors to the park see these giants in the tropical or in the volcanoes.
Gorilla tracking has made Rwanda very popular and it’s regarded the best destination for gorilla safaris in the world housing almost a half of the worlds remaining mountain gorilla population. There are strict rules and guidelines that have been put in place to protect the endangered mountain gorillas. You are not allowed to enter the forest without a ranger guide as these are all the time around to take you through the forest. The rangers will lead your in searching the endangered primates within the forest. They also help in habituating these giants to human standards that they can be seen without any harm. They most of the time know where to allocate them since they can tell where they slept the last night, where they feed among others. They look out for signs on where the gorillas last spent the night from.
The success rate for observing the mountain is over 95%, so don’t be scare that you may pay your money to see gorillas. Records show very low number of tourists who fail to allocate them. It depends on the gorilla group you trek as there some groups where it does not need to move a lot in the forest while searching these giants whereas there some gorillas groups in volcanoes national park which requires a lot of physical fitness in the order to meet these giants and even you can spend the whole day in the jungle searching for them like the Karisimbi gorilla group. However in each Rwanda gorilla group it’s not easy not these giants as you may expect you are reminded not to forget your tracking gears such as strong shoes/ boots, long sleeved shirts/blouses, bottled water and sometimes packed lunch.
The actual hour to meet the gorillas is unpredictable as it can go a half or full hour it’s not a guarantee that ife and I were recently inspired to look into taking a trip to Uganda after watching an online video of a tourist who had a close encounter with mountain gorillas in one of Uganda gorilla national park. We looked up all kinds of information on the gorilla treks offered in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest like being in a distance of over 10-12km away from them, do not attempt to touch the gorillas it will charge on you. When with the gorillas avoid making sudden movements or making loud noises. Flash photography is strictly forbidden among others.
We loved the idea of being able to see the gorillas up close, especially since we’ve been involved in trying to help save too. We found a company that offers at a reasonable cost that includes a gorilla trek permit at a cost of $ USD 600 per person per tracking. Since booking our trip, we’ve gathered a lot of information on how we should prepare for our trip and what we should bring. We’ve also read other people’s experiences with this tour so that we know what to expect. We can’t wait to get there and start our adventure. We’re really hoping to be able to see a family of mountain gorillas like that other tourist did. I know its going to be an exciting moment we should never for get.
Tips for gorilla tracking
- Stay together in a tight group while with the gorillas, don’t surround them
- Don’t get closer than five meters to the gorillas
- Don’t make any loud noises or sudden movements
- Turn away from the gorillas if you have to sneeze or cough
- Don’t use a flash when taking photography
- Don’t eat or smoke near the gorillas
- Don’t litter
- Don’t split on ground in the park
- Bury any excrement deep and cover properly
- Maximum one hour per gorilla tracking
- No one with a communicable disease can visit the gorillas
- No one under 15 years of age is can be allowed to track gorillas