Gorilla Trekking: Experience an Ecotour in Africa

The giant mountain gorillas are only found in three African countries; Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Did you know that there are just about 880 mountain gorillas left in the whole world? Though the number is still small, a report of increase in gorilla population has been a great success over the last ten years thanks to sustainable gorilla tourism efforts! Many people from all over the world leave their beautiful offices and homes to visit the mountain gorillas in the thick jungles of Africa on a gorilla trek. This activity is the most popular thing to do on the wishlist of travelers visiting the Eastern and the Central part of Africa.

Most of the visitors to Africa spend at least 1-2 days in the wild watching these giant species face to face in a close distance of about 7-10metres. There are possible day trips to the gorillas in Rwanda while in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, the shortest holiday is a 3 Day Gorilla Tour! Gorilla tracking is a major highlight of most travellers to Rwanda, Uganda or Congo and about 60% of tourists to these countries go for gorilla tracking during their trips.

About Mountain Gorillas

Mountain gorilla are listed endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and these creatures are protected in four gazetted national parks within Africa.

  • Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park – hosting over 400 individuals (nearly half of the remaining population of the gorillas)
  • Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda
  • Mgahinga National Park in Uganda
  • Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Gorillas are the largest apes of all primate species, they are also regarded the second closest relative of man nest to chimpanzee sharing almost 98% of human DNA make up. Tracking these giant is a moment in life no one wish to miss seeing while on a safari in Rwanda they are fabulous fan to watch in their nature habitat. Gorillas live in a group ranging in size from 15- 27 and each group is lead by a dominant silverback who take control of the group, he is responsible for mating, decided on where to feed, where to sleep the following night and also responsible for protecting the group in case of any attack from other animals and if it means dying a silver buck can lose its life when defending the group.  The mighty giants mostly depend on fresh leaves, shoots, fruits and piths but they rarely drink water since most of the food they eat contain water and a lot of moisture. They can be visited anytime of the year and there are several tour operators who offer gorilla safaris to these countries.

Guide to Gorilla Trekking

Most travelers looking for shorter gorilla treks go to Rwanda for gorilla trekking and it is true that this country is the best option for short haul travel. Within Rwanda the mountain gorillas species live in the rain forest of the volcanoes national park, the park is located in Ruhengeri Musanze district. The park can be reached in 2-3 hours drive on a clear weather condition from Kigali Rwanda’s capital and its largest city up to Kinigi park headquarters . Rwanda’s Volcanoes National park is shared by Mgahinga national park in Uganda and Virunga National park in Democratic Republic of Congo. These 3 parks form the greater Virunga Region.

How do you see meeting this giant ape and have a close look as well as taking as many photos as you can (a flash camera is not needed). In fact Mountain gorillas offer the best safaris experiences for ever while on your safaris to Rwanda and Uganda. Many writers contend that, a safari in Africa is only complete when you visit mountain gorillas in their natural habitat, in the true African wilderness, deep in the heart of Africa.

Gorilla tourism was first conducted in Volcanoes national park(Rwanda) in the 1970s. Today, you can’t talk about gorilla tourism without talking about Diane Fossey. This was a prominent primatologist who studied the behaviours of mountain gorillas for a period of 20 years he habituated gorillas to human standards that they can tracked safely in their natural habitat. However she was killed by poachers whom she had made herself very unpopular and she is remembdered for having workedhard in protecting the mountain gorillas.

Gorilla safaris in Uganda can be conducted in both Bwindi and Mgahinga national parks but Bwindi has become a favorite to most travelers. Bwindi Impenetrable national park is located in the south western part of Uganda and this park has 12 habituated gorilla groups that can be visited for gorilla tracking. Uganda also has another group of mountain gorillas known as “Nyakagezi gorilla group” found in Mgahinga National Park, however this group is unstable it still migrate to Rwanda or the Democratic Republic of Congo. If you are looking for new adventure just contact and inquire about taking a responsible trip to the gorillas from one of the gorilla safari companies based in Africa. Gorilla trekking safaris also offer tourists with the additional opportunity to spot different bird species, other animals and other primates like the golden monkeys and the silver monkeys

Leave a reply