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The Best Way of Planning for a Gorilla Trekking Safari


7 Days Congo Safari- Gorilla Trekking Nyiragongo Volcano Trek

Planning is key in all aspects of a safari and for gorilla trekking too. Gorilla trekking is one kind of safari that can be referred to as an active safari, you are fully involved in the activity and experience the real aliveness of the African bush.

The best way of planning for a gorilla trekking safari isn’t just about what to wear but the whole process, what you need to do before during and after all planned for prior.

Here are key points each tourist planning to go for a gorilla trekking safari should know;

  • Book with a Tour Operator

Whether for a Uganda gorilla trekking safari, gorilla safari Rwanda or a Congo gorilla trekking safari remember to book with a gorilla trekking safari tour operator.

The advantage of booking with a tour operator who is on ground is that all of the bookings are done prior the safari for instance accommodation facilities, permits safari vehicle and all activities that need prior booking either to be done before or after the trekking activity.

Organizing a safari isn’t an easy task, doing it for yourself could be one stressful thing and could lead to disappointments during your long awaited safari.

  • Book a Gorilla Trekking Permit Prior the Safari

To have a gorilla trekking experience in any of the three countries where trekking is done a tourist needs to book a gorilla trekking permit.

This is the only way you can be let to spend a maximum of 1 hour in the presence of the gentle giants. In Uganda a gorilla trekking permit as of now is  USD 800 per person per trek, a Rwanda gorilla trekking safari permit costs USD 1500 per person per trek and USD 400 for a Congo gorilla safari.

In all of the countries, you need to book a permit at least 6 months prior the safari or earlier and make payment at least 2 months or 1 prior the trip, they permits are on high demand and can easily be booked for the day you need one.

Booking therefore is best done by a tour operator who is familiar with the process. As a trekker, you are therefore advised to pay your safari costs early to ease booking and make sure to be assured that your permit was booked before you jet in for your flight. You need to present your permit on the day of the trek.

  • Be Fit for the Hike or Book a Sedan Chair Early

Mountain gorillas live in high steep mountain forests of up to 8000–13,000ft (1,500m-4000m above sea level) therefore be ready for the hike.

It could seem not to be so high but it could actually be challenging, you need to be ready if you really need to go through the whole of your safari no matter the time you have.

Even if it were our popular 3 days gorilla safari Bwindi, you wouldn’t want to go back home with an aching body.

To get ready for the hike, you can start by taking evening walks and get the body used for an adjustment. You can also opt for a one day hike.

The height of the gorilla habitats should not scare away either the elderly or un fit tourists from enjoying either Uganda gorilla trekking tours, Congo gorilla safaris or a Rwanda gorilla safari since a sedan chair can be hired from the park headquarters with 4 porters ready to carry the trekker along. This comes with an extra cost possible on a Uganda and Rwanda gorilla trekking safaris.

  • Choose the Best Gorilla Family to Trek

On the morning of the trek, you are allocated a gorilla family to trek and therefore you need to be aware of what is suitable for you.

Allocation is done by the park headquarters but then a trekker is also given the chance to choose which gorilla family they would love to trek.

Mountain gorillas live in different altitudes and if you feel you can’t hike too far then you can request to be allocated a gorilla family that resides at the foothills of the habitat.

  • Book the Right Safari Vehicle

The mountain gorillas as said live in high altitudes which means there is need for a good safari vehicle to travel in to the highlands.

4×4 land cruisers for hire in Uganda or Rwanda can be hired with an expert driver for a comfortable safari. If a tourist prefers to have a self-drive safari, the tourist can hire a car and have their safari though this is recommendable when there’s knowledge of the roads and expertise in driving.

  • Book Accommodation Facilities Prior

When an individual travels, they wish to have a lot of comfort during their safari. This is only possible when there’s comfortable accommodation booked prior the safari. Safari accommodation caters for all tourist budgets ranging from Luxury/up-market, mid-range to budget/basic accommodation.

Hotel bookings can best be done by your tour operator. During the best time for gorilla trekking hotels and lodges can be flooded and therefore being disappointed on arrival at the hotel can’t be a surprise.

  • Pack the Right Clothes and Gadgets

Since you are going to the jungle, you need to plan right with clothing. Carry long sleeved shirts and trousers.

Carry socks and good quality hiking shoes, a hat, hand gloves and insect repellent. Your camera shouldn’t be even forgotten at all, carry a flashlight free camera with all the required equipment like batteries.

Mountain Gorillas are known to be in only three African countries of Uganda, Rwanda and Congo (both mountain and lowland gorillas) with a total number of up to 1,004 gorillas. Don’t miss the chance to have a good experience by going wrong with the planning process.

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