Annoying things about gorilla trekking
There are some annoying things about gorilla trekking, Gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda or Volcanoes National park in Rwanda is a dream come true Africa Safari adventure but this doesn’t mean a smooth run all the time.
There is with no doubt that it is one of the best tourism activities in Africa and thousands of tourists flock Uganda and Rwanda to participate in this activity.
A lot of information about gorilla trekking in Africa is out in the public like on websites, tourism magazines, newspapers and others but majority bring out mainly good things about the activity yet, there are some few hitches .
Most Popular Gorilla Safaris
- 3 Day Uganda Gorilla Trekking
- 5 Day Gorilla and Chimp
- 8 Day Gorilla Tracking
- 2 Day Bwindi Gorilla Via Kigali
- 3 Day Uganda Gorilla Via Kigali
- 5 Day Chimp and Gorilla Habituation
- 3 Day Fly in Gorilla Habituation
- 3 Day Fly in Safari to Murchison Falls National Park
- 3 Day Bwindi Double trek via Kigali
- 5 Day Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda
Highlights Of annoying Things about Gorilla Trekking
- Rise up early For gorilla trekking briefing
- Behavior Of Habituated Gorilla Family Allocated
- Annoying gorilla trekkers
- Change of Weather During Gorilla Trekking
- Having Under Age Children For Gorilla trekking
- Gorilla Permit Booking Protocol
- Catching an infectious Disease Before Gorilla Trekking
Rise up early For gorilla trekking briefing
In order to catch up with the early morning timing for gorilla trekking briefing, you need an early rise. Check you packed all the necessary gorilla trekking gears, take breakfast and prepare to head to the ranger station for briefing, do not forget to wear a mask and carry packed lunch.
The early rise may not go well with some tourists especially if they are not pre-briefed about what to expect during gorilla trekking. Sometimes, tourists stay in the Northern part of Bwindi Impenetrable National park (Buhoma Region) and trek gorillas in the Eastern side of the forest. This means that tourists have to wake up at about five am to drive up to two hours to Ruhija.
This is very common because the fact that Buhoma region has got some of the finest lodges such as Silverback Lodge, Gorilla Forest Camp, Buhoma Lodge, Mahogany springs among others. The gorilla permits for this region tend to sell off quickly and so are the accommodations.
The same thing happens when you are tracking in Ruhija and you stay in Kabale. Kabale is 95 km from Ruhija area and the road is marram, which makes it impassable or very slippery at times. You will have to wake up early and drive for about one and half hours to reach the starting point.
In the southern part of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, if you stay in Kisoro town, you will still have to drive up to two hours to reach Nkuringo or Rushaga side of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. the road from Kisoro to Nkuringo is winding for over 35 km which requires you to drive for about 1 hour and 45 minutes to get to the briefing point of Nkuringo area. The roads here are not often in good conditions because of the regular rains in this area yet it receives limited sunshine.
Unpredictable Behavior Of Habituated Gorilla Family Allocated
Although mountain gorilla are habituated to the presence of humans at times, there nature is not altered at all. They get mood swings too just like humans because they have a DNA of about 96% that of humans. The gorillas may show off some unpredictable behaviors to there visitors yet they are allocated that gorilla family for the day.
Each day a group of rangers wakes up earlier than others to follows the gorilla families going to be trekked. They observe there prevailing mood and report to main park office. This helps the ranger guides allocated per tourist group to explain clearly to the clients about what to expect of that particular gorilla family and not get shocked while in there presence.
Tourists are allocated gorilla families on the day of trekking depending on their interests as well as their physical conditions. The elderly are given a chance to trek a closer family compared to those who are physically fit. Being given a family that is closer is never a guarantee that the trek will be simple.
Sometimes a gorilla family can be closer and once gorillas see you, for one reason or the other can decide to start moving and hiding in difficult places that require you to trek for longer times than expected. This is not common but can happen anytime and it annoys.
Difference in Trekking Pace For the Different Tourists
It is annoying if a fellow tourist pace is weighing down on other group members. In your group, you may have people who move first and people who are extremely very slow.
The Uganda Wildlife Authority guide is supposed to direct the whole group to move at the pace of the slowest person in the group. This therefore brings about a difference in opinion amongst the group trek which may create tension later.
A gorilla trek which could have taken two hours may end up taking up to four hours simply because a person was slow. The only remedy is to take porters who may carry such a person or give her a push or a pull during the trek.
Change of Weather During Gorilla Trekking
The Virunga area receives unpredictable weather any time. In most writings about gorilla trekking, the dry months are put to June to September and December to January. One may wish to do there gorilla trekking safari during this time but end up experiencing heavy shower without warning.
In Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Volcanoes National Park, experience variation in seasons. Even during the dry season, rain can decide to fall. Rain can disrupt your gorilla trek as the forest becomes more challenging and you have to trek up and down in a slippery environment making the whole experience challenging but rewarding.
That’s why tourists are encouraged to pack the right gorilla trekking gears including rain jackets or poncho as well as energy giving foods.
Annoying Gorilla Trekker
Every tourists in the group wants the best position to take photographs during gorilla trekking. The maximum number of people allowed to do gorilla trekking per family is 8 people which at times may be overwhelming depending on the position and location of the mountain gorillas.
There can be excitement once you have found your gorilla family. Everyone stretches out to get his or her own camera to capture gorilla moments and many of your group mates will end up obstructing you as well as denying you space to have good shorts. While this is not common, it may happen and can be annoying. You have only one hour allocated to you when you trace the mountain gorillas and must use it profitably
Having Under Age Children For Gorilla trekking
Its also annoying when one wants to trek gorillas with his/her children and he is told that the child is under age. For anyone to trek gorillas, he/she must be 15 years and above.
If Authorities doubt the age of someone, they might need proof to make sure that indeed you have the minimum age required. This requires providing the Authority with your birth certificate or Passport and this can be lengthy and annoying.
The children below this age may not withstand the forest condition and therefore its best not to allow them into the forest. Sometimes the mountain gorillas tease there visitors which may not go well with a child below this age.
Even the way to locate the gorillas may be very steep for the child below 15 years to hike. Time of finding the gorillas is unpredictable because of the prevailing conditions in the forest.
A child below this age may not be in position to complete the trek because of fatigue especially if not physically fit. The first glance at the mountain gorillas is frightening which may cause one to shout. Mountain gorillas are scared of unfamiliar noise in there environments and so this may cause a rampage.
Gorilla Permit Booking Protocol
Booking gorilla permits directly from Uganda Wildlife Authority can be annoying as well. If you are not in Uganda with a chance of physically going to their office, you will need to write emails to the booking office which may be replied to or not, when you call their office, your call may never be picked but when you eventually pass through, you will be told to wire funds to their account but should their be any slight difference brought about by the transfer, you will need to pay it before you get your permits. While Uganda Wildlife Authority has improved on their services, it is recommended that you book your gorilla permit and tour through a local tour operator especially those under AUTO (The association of Uganda Tour Operators).
Catching an infectious Disease Before Gorilla Trekking
For conservation purpose of the mountain gorillas, no one with an infectious disease is allowed to do gorilla trekking. Corona Virus is one of those communicable infections that can catch the mountain gorillas so you must wear a mask before coming face to face with the mountain gorillas.
Volunteering to stay behind when you realize you are infected by any communicable disease is a noble act and call for permit refund in case reported before the start of the trek. The refund is processed according to the Uganda Wildlife Authority terms and conditions for gorilla trekking or Rwanda Development Board Rules.
Mountain gorilla conservation has come a long way so no chance of causing massive death must be given chance. A number of local and international organizations have participated in this conservation venture and so there efforts must not be washed down by careless mistakes.
How To Book Gorilla Trekking Permits
Whether trekking gorillas in Uganda or Rwanda you need advance purchase of the gorilla permits. In case you have selected a date when you wish to do the gorilla trek, then the consultants has to check availability.
In case it is positive availability, you are required to purchase your permit as soon as you can because they get sold off as soon as possible. Its also the only sign to show your commitment to taking the gorilla trekking safari.
When you book the gorilla trekking permit, other components of gorilla trekking safari package are booked too before the best get occupied.
You are later required to provide some details to add to your gorilla permit card in Uganda that is the full names on your passport, nationality, date of birth, passport expiry date and others.
What Are the Rules Of Gorilla Trekking
- Never surround the mountain gorillas when you are with them because they feel ambushed.
- Leave a space of about 8 meters between you and the gorilla when you find them to reduce on the chances of spreading any infection to them and them to you.
- Flash photography is prohibited because the mountain gorillas are scared of unfamiliar light in there presence.
- Do not eat or smoke while in front of the mountain gorillas as they may be forced to grab everything from you.
- In case you want to cough or sneeze do it away from the mountain gorillas with your mouth covered or cough from your elbow.
- Securely cover all faeces in a hole of about 30 meters deep to allow to prevent the mountain gorillas from excavating them.
- Avoid spitting on vegetation which is food for the mountain gorillas. It is unhygienic too especially to other trekker.
- No one below the age 15 is allowed to do gorilla trekking because of the unpredictable timing of locating the mountain gorillas or conditions in the forest.
- Keep your voices low or making unnecessary movements when with the gorillas so as not to look suspicious when you locate the mountain gorillas.
- Only one hour is allowed when you locate the mountain gorillas. This is to allow them go on with feeding as they have to look for own meal for the day. use every minute profitably and take as many photos as you can for memories.
- Volunteer to stay behind in case you catch an infectious disease like flu, cough, covid 19 because these may not go well with the mountain gorillas. They have about 96% human DNA making them susptible to human infections