Mountain gorilla trekking is one of the top activities to do in Africa. There are…
Gorilla trekking is one of the most sought after activity in the world. The mountain gorillas are only found in 3 East African countries of Rwanda (Volcanoes national park), Uganda (Bwindi Impenetrable national park and Mgahinga Gorilla national park), D.R.C ( Virunga national park). These are the only countries where the rare mountain gorillas can be visited in their natural habitat in the whole world.
Bwindi Impenetrable national park harbors the largest number of habituated gorilla families (13) compared to other parks. Each gorilla family is visited by a maximum of 8 people per day per trek hence 104 permits are available every day but early booking is required due to the high competition for gorilla trekking permits in Uganda. The gorilla permits are quite expensive but the experience is so interesting. Currently, Uganda’s gorilla trekking permit costs USD 600.00 and Rwanda’s is at USD 1500.00 per person per experience. According to Uganda Wildlife Authority for Bwindi Impenetrable national park and Mgahinga gorilla national park as well as RDB for Volcanoes national park, chances of seeing the mountain on a trek is 95% and above so that is where the gorilla trekking advance team or trackers come in.
Who are these gorilla trackers.
Gorilla trackers or the gorilla trekking advanced team are groups of individuals who are trained by the Uganda Wildlife Authority or RDB in Uganda and Rwanda respectively. They are well trained in allocating mountain gorilla’s movements every day. They start their duty early in the morning and normally start from where these mountain gorillas slept the previous night and follow their trail for that day. Once they see the mountain gorillas, they communicate to their respective park headquarters informing them of the whereabouts of the mountain gorillas using walkie talkies. From here, the guides are informed and they start off the trek with the visitors following the possible shortcuts to reach the gorillas.
Roles of the gorilla trackers or Advance team.
As discussed earlier, the gorilla trackers or advance team are so important in tracking the mountain gorillas. The gorilla trekking activity is thus very organized and one is guaranteed of seeing the mountain gorillas when other factors are constant. Gorilla trekking requires one to be in a good physical condition so as to fully enjoy the experience. For those who are sick, weak or aged, we advise you to hire porters or sedan chairs to assist you during the trek.
The gorilla trackers should not be under looked since they are the ones who first search for the gorillas so as to make your trek easier. Therefore, when giving a tour guide a tip, please consider even the trackers. In most cases a tip that is given to the tour guide is also shared with the gorilla trackers. UWA normally has a central tipping box where you can place your tip. By tipping, you encourage the guides and gorilla trackers to continue carrying out their day today activity of looking for gorillas since it is not an easy task.
At Adventure in the Wild Safaris, we encourage you to provide a tip that should be shared amongst the gorilla trackers and guides accordingly. Tipping is not a MUST but an appreciation of good service provided by the team. Please contact us for more details on the tipping activity in Uganda and Rwanda.