Gorilla trekking is a trip that can be done all year round in Uganda and Rwanda. This is because both countries have wet or rainy seasons which allow for forests to develop and encourage gorillas breeding.
There are quite a number of companies that you can use in your journey to gorilla trekking. They include, Wild Whispers Africa, Insight Safari Holidays. Also, most times, you can get access to a lodge around the site or forest where the trek is to happen. Very few people are allowed access to gorilla trek each day. At most, the number of people allowed access is 80 and they are usually made to go in a group of 8.
There is also the case of getting a gorilla trekking permit which costs from $600 up to $1100 in Rwanda and Uganda. The permit allows you to spend an hour with the gorillas in a group of 8 individuals.
In Uganda, gorilla trekking is done by the Bwindi National park, and the Mgahinga National Park and usually sells for $600 while in Rwanda, gorilla trekking is organized by the Virunga highlands of Rwanda. The Bwindi National Park is also called the Place of Darkness. The Mgahinga National Park is in an extinct volcanic region. It is most advisable to do your Gorilla trek with a Safari agent, as doing it alone may lead to you getting lost as it is a remote area and gorillas live in the forest. Safari agents normally charge an extra $100 to $200 fee.
When going gorilla trekking, it is important that you must have been vaccinated against tetanus, rabies, Tdap. It is also important that you wear boots and warm layers of cloth for the cold. The reason why mountain gorillas are left in the forest is the fact that it is not known that mountain gorillas can survive in detention or a zoo. The majority of gorillas seen in the zoo are lowland gorillas of western Africa of which mountain gorillas are a subspecies known as Gorilla Beringei Beringei. Mountain gorillas possess longer dark hair compared to their lowland counterparts because they stay in colder climates and higher altitudes. Mountain gorillas mainly stay on the ground.
Visitors inquire if the gorillas are dangerous, and the answer is that they are not. They have been habituated with humans. Although the gorilla is dominant and strong, they are gentle and shy. Males are 2 times the size of females, and grow up to 6ft tall and weigh 350 to 500 pounds. Their life span is between 40 and 50 years and an adult consumes up to 75 pounds. There are more than seven hundred and eighty six mountain gorillas in the world and the numbers are growing because of the protection offered from the government.