Gorilla Trekking in Uganda
No doubt, the highlight of going on a safari in Uganda is seeing mountain gorillas.
In natural conditions, they live in only three countries: Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. There are about 740 of these gorillas in the wild, half of them living in Uganda.
The Ugandan authorities issue a very limited number of permits to visit the gorillas: maximum group size allowed into the park is 8 people. Each visitor pays $600. There are 12 groups of gorillas that can be visited in Uganda, but the allowed time for observation is not more than one hour. There are numerous companies whose safari tours include a visit to the gorillas. For example, Assured Uganda Safari have several great multi-day tour options that include gorilla trekking and they take take both able-bodied as well as disabled people on tours.
It’s difficult to predict how quickly you will be able to reach the gorillas: it can take 30 min or it could take 5 hours or more. One often needs to cover a lot of mountainous terrain covered with rain forest. The guides know all the gorillas by their names. It’s possible to approach gorillas real close, but it is safer to stay at a distance of at least 7 meters.
Everyone venturing on such an unusual and fascinating journey, must observe certain rules. You can’t look the gorillas in the eyes, especially the males. Flash photography is strictly forbidden – it can scare gorillas or provoke aggression. One must not talk loudly or smoke in their presence – for some reason they have a weakness for this human habit and snatch cigarettes straight from people’s mouthes. There are also age restrictions – visitors must be over 15 years old.