Most of your visitors connect Uganda Safari Tour with a Gorilla Tracking, a visit to the mountain gorilla. This encounter with the endangered giants, who live only here, in the mountain forests in the Southwest of Uganda and in the border region of Uganda/Rwanda and DRCongo , is a breathtaking, unforgettable experience. In addition, every visitor supports the conservation of nature and the peaceful coexistence of inhabitants and rare animals by the payment of entrance fees and a „Gorilla Permit“.
The approximately 1000 existing gorillas live in groups (families) in the wild mountain forests. to Each family consists of a grown male “Silverback”, at least one sexually mature females, as well as several young members. Gorillas become mature not before the the age of 8 (females) or 10 (males).
A total of 17 of these groups, have gently and carefully been habituated to people over several years. Each family can be visited not more than one hour per day and the group of visitors must not be larger than 8 persons.
Strict rules, such as health of the participants, 7m minimum distance to the animals, calmness, no food or drink within a radius of 200m to protect and preserve the integrity and authenticity of the animals. Photos and videos without flash are welcome..
Because of the strict limitation of the Gorilla Permits (personalized permission to a gorilla encounter), it is advisable to book it several months in advance, especially if you are traveling in one of the two dry seasons (high season). Gorilla Tracking Permit costs 600 US Dollars in Uganda (700US Dollar from July2020), 1500 US Dollars in Rwanda. This price seems at first glance to be very high, but the efforts required for each tracking are very high. A large portion of the money flows into the protection and conservation of the gorillas, as well as in the support of the surrounding villages.
The participants of a gorilla tracking must be of good health and physical fitness. Gorillas are very similar to humans and easily susceptible to diseases. Even a “harmless” cold can be fatal the gorillas. Anyone who feels unwell on the day of tracking, is obliged to inform the guides.
A hike through the dense jungle can take several hours and can be exhausting for heart and circulatory system because of the altitude in which a gorilla tracking takes place. Moreover the railings can be steep and very slippery. In general the tours have different degrees of difficulty and will be selected depending on the condition of the participants. One can choose between hikes of about 45 minutes without large height differences up to 6 hours or longer and 2000m altitude difference.
Persons with reduced mobility therefore may not take part in Gorilla Trackings. However one can hire a stretcher and will be carried by some portes. This service costs 300USD.
The minimum age for young participants is 15 years. Lodges offer childcare for the time of the trackings.
Usually a Gorilla Tracking takes place in a relaxed atmosphere. The Silverback has the group in view, young members frolic about and you can watch the mother with her offspring.
From arrival at the gorillas, for one hour you can take pictures and enjoy as a silent observer the everyday life of the forest dwellers, while they are eating, sleeping, playing games, grooming and other interactions. In case the gorillas move on, the rangers try to keep up and provide you the best possible view of the animals.
After having experienced a successful Gorilla Tracking you will receive a certificate.
In the unlikely event that there should be no encounter with the gentle giants, you will receive half of the permit fees. The prices are uniformly regulated. In the rainy season, the permit can be more redcuced.