Uganda and Rwanda share a common climate so mountain gorilla trekking safari can be done throughout the year, the best time to visit Africa’s tropical rainforests is during one of the two dry seasons. The first dry season last from about mid- December to the end of February and the second longest dry season runs from early June to late September. These dry seasons are the most comfortable for Gorilla trekking.
The equatorial rainforest of the Congo Basin has three distinct seasons that are best described as wet, wetter, and wettest because rain is a crucial component of its delicate ecosystem. Congo’s “low rainfall” season, which lasts from June to September, and the “gentle rainfall” season, which lasts from December to February, are the best times to go gorilla trekking tour. The driest and coolest months of the year are generally considered to be July and August.
1. Will I see gorillas in Uganda and Rwanda?
Park ranger guides generally know where the various mountain gorilla families are because they are so closely monitored and in contact with either researchers or trekkers every day. As a result, you probably have a 99% chance of seeing the gorillas.
Your gorilla ranger will instruct you to leave everything but your camera when you eventually come across a gorilla family. Then, without endangering them, he will bring you close enough to observe the gorillas closely. There are no barriers standing between you, only respect. The gorillas have grown accustomed to human observers and are fearless when engaging in their normal activities, such as foraging, grooming, and napping. In fact, the young ones’ constant curiosity about people and their playful demeanor tries the patience of their teenage gorilla babysitters.
Watching gorillas in their natural environment is so lovely and peaceful, but keep in mind that the gorilla family’s imposing silverback male patriarch is keenly aware of your presence. We advise you to spend some of the time taking pictures but set aside at least 20 minutes to simply observe the gorillas; you’ll feel much more like you’ve seen them in their natural environment.
2. Can I touch gorillas?
Without a doubt, no. Despite the fact that we completely comprehend the urge to reach out and cuddle a cute baby. First off, because they are wild animals, you run the risk of being seriously hurt because they are powerful and unpredictable. In addition to being highly vulnerable to human diseases, gorilla populations are already gravely threatened by logging, poaching, and human encroachment on their natural habitat. You are not only not allowed to interact with them, but you may also be required to wear a face mask in some situations and maintain a constant distance of at least seven meters (22 feet) from them. Make sure you are in excellent health before you travel and take precautions not to pick up any diseases, because you won’t be allowed to go on a gorilla trek if you’re sick.
Remember, once you have located the gorilla family, travelers are only allowed to spend an hour with the gorilla family allocated to them.
3. Do I need to use a porter?
Even if you feel fit enough to handle the terrain, altitude, humidity, and your daypack during your gorilla trek, we strongly advise you to use a porter if their services are made available to you. You will be providing a living for a number of villagers in the neighborhood for a small sum of money—roughly $20.
Keep in mind that every person in Africa with a legal job provides for seven to nine other people. Without as much participation from people as possible, conservation efforts cannot be successful, so the more porters you can recruit, the better.
How Fit Do I Have to Be?
The more fit you are, the better for any strenuous activity. However, this does not imply that in order to go gorilla trekking, you must be able to bench press three times your body weight or compete in a triathlon.
The trekkers will be divided into groups based on their age and fitness level, and those who are older and less fit will typically be assigned to the gorilla family that is closest to the trailhead. You won’t be separated from family or friends, but you will need to slow down to the pace of the slowest hikers in order to maintain the group’s safety. This is the hiking equivalent of the golden rule.
The group that is furthest is allocated to the fittest or youngest members. Your guides will pause when necessary for a break, to drink water, to take in the scenery, or even to have a snack. They are very skilled at gauging how the group is doing. Water and possibly energizing foods like roasted cashews or peanuts, bananas, apples, chocolate bars, muffins, small sandwiches or bread rolls, and regional specialties like “rolled eggs,” a type of cold omelet, are included in packed lunches.
Trekking is always more convenient during the dry season. Mud can make trails slick and the hike more difficult during the rainy season. Additionally, primates may seek shelter from the rain in nests or trees, making them more elusive and difficult to spot. Bring along a pair of compact binoculars to get a clear view of their facial expressions and antics.
Additionally, some gorilla families will be moving rather than lounging around, munching leaves, and soaking up the sun. You’ll need to be able to keep up with them because they are much better suited than we are to moving through their rainforest habitat.