Gorilla tracking in Uganda and Rwanda during the rainy season can be an opportunity to save money spent on accommodation, transport, and gorilla permits because of discounts offered by service providers.
Going for a gorilla trekking safari in Uganda and Rwanda has no specific season because you are sure of seeing the mountain gorillas any time of the year. However, the rainy season in Uganda and Rwanda is usually from March to May or Late October through November, with all factors remaining constant.
This is also the tourism season low season in Uganda. The Virunga area is known for receiving rain all year round. Still, the downpour is intense this season, and even the dense network of Rivers overflows beyond the banks.
Most Popular Safaris
The Virunga area typically receives an average of 2390 mm of rain per year that favors different vegetation zones, which support the lives of many wild animals. Some animals living in the Virunga area are primates, including mountain gorillas, olive baboons, blue monkeys, olive baboons, and others. More forest dwellers include many bird species, including Albertine rift endemics, reptiles, butterflies, a variety of tree species, and others.
The topography of the Virunga area is majorly volcanic, so expect some ragged terrain as you hike to where the mountain gorillas may be lounging or feeding from
The temperature of the severe rainy season of this area may drop up to about 7 degrees centigrade, so expect freezing weather almost the entire day.
Therefore, when packing for gorilla trekking in Uganda and Rwanda in the rainy season, remember to carry some warmers like sweaters, ponchos, and more.
Where To Do Gorilla Trekking In Uganda And Rwanda In the Rainy Season
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
This forested National Park is in the deep southwestern corner of Uganda. This forested National Park covers an area of about 327 square kilometers files with tangled vegetation that has culminated over time.
This vast forest host almost half the total number of mountain gorillas in the world. About 18 gorilla families are currently open for tourism purposes, plus two more are set aside for the gorilla habituation experience.
The long list of fauna and flora so far registered to survive in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is attributed to the many years the forest has survived. Bwindi forest is believed to be about 25,000 years old. It was one of the refugee points for wildlife after the ice age period of the arid conditions that struck Africa.
More forest dwellers in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park include more than 350 bird species, over 200 tree species, 88 months, 51 reptile species, 310 butterflies, and others. In addition, more than ten primates species are residents of Bwindi Impenetrable National park, including chimpanzees, blue monkeys, grey-checked mangabey, vervet monkeys, olive baboons, and others.
Mgahinga National Park
This forested National Park may be small in size but a biosphere reserve. Mgahinga National park hosts some of the leftover mountain gorillas in the world. Still, it so far has only one gorilla family called Nyakagezi. In the past, this family was known to meander into Rwanda.
This National Park lies on the southern slopes of three distinctive volcanoes of the six renowned Virunga Volcanoes. These volcanoes include Mountain Gahinga, Mountain Muhavura, and Mountain Sabyinyo. An excursion hike for about 8 hours return trip is possible on their highlands, but you must request it so that they accord a ranger guide to you to escort you.
Mgahinga National Park has some of the world’s authentic natural sceneries currently limited.
Several other primates are residents here, including golden monkeys, grey-cheeked mangabey, red-tailed monkeys, blue monkeys, black and white colobus, olive baboons, and others.
This forested National Park hosts an array of birds, especially the Gorge trail, which connects to Mountain Sabyinyo. Over 115 bird species have been recorded, but the list is still expanding as more bird research is being done. You may spot birds like Rwenzori Turaco, Kivu Ground Thrush, Malachite birds, Montane Double-collared Sunbird, and others here.
Volcanoes National Park
Volcanoes National Park is the only home for the Rwanda Mountain Gorillas. This national Park lies in North Western part of Rwanda. Its topography comprises five of the six renowned Virunga Volcanoes: Mountain Gahinga, Mountain Muhabura, Mountain Sabyinyo, Mountain Bisoke, and Mountain Karisimbi.
This National Park hosts various other unique primates, including golden, blue, grey-cheeked mangabey, red-tailed, black and white colobus, and others.
Over 200 bird species have been recorded in this forest, including some Albertine Rift endemics.
This forested National Park has about 12 gorilla families open for tourism, some of which include Amahoro gorilla family, Hirwa gorilla Family, Susa gorilla family, and others. It would be best if you got a gorilla trekking permit from Rwanda Development Board to be allowed access to any of these gorilla families.
Why Book Gorilla Trekking Safari For The Rainy Season in Uganda And Rwanda
The competition for gorilla trekking permits is less in the rainy season, so you may have the chance to suggest which gorilla area or group you wish to choose, depending on your interests.
Suppose you wish to close off a gorilla trekking group or family for your personal adventure experience. In that case, you can do this in the rainy season. This is because you may find openings that are not yet booked.
Suppose you wish to have no one obstructing you from enjoying this experience and taking beautiful photos or film without destruction. In that case, you can use the rainy season.
Sometimes service providers offer discounted permits in the rainy season on accommodation, driver guide fees, car hire, and others.
There is more birth expected in the rainy season, even making babies because there is less disturbance from intruders. The mountain gorillas are not so conscience about who is visiting.
What Is the Cost Of Gorilla Trekking Safaris In the Rainy Season
The cost of gorilla trekking permits for the rainy season cuts across all budgets: luxury, mid-range, or modest.
The difference in safari quotation varies for reasons like
The number of days on gorilla trekking
The more days you spend on safari, the higher the gorilla safari cost, where service providers like accommodation, car hire, and others charge per day.
The number of paying people included in the gorilla trekking safari
The more paying people you travel with for gorilla trekking, the less the safari cost per person. You share the cost of most items included in the safari package, like vehicle hire, driver guide fee, gas, and others. When you travel solo, you incur all the expenses of the entire safari package.
The rainy season is low season and may attract discounted services like accommodation, car hire, and others.
The number of activities combined with gorilla trekking
The more activities you combine with gorilla trekking, the higher the safari cost. You can include chimpanzee trekking, birding, game drives, boat safaris, visiting the source of the River Nile, nature walks, and others.
How Much Is The Cost Of a Gorilla Trekking permit for The Rainy Season
Although sometimes-discounted gorilla permits for the low season are open to the public, it is not a guarantee. These gorilla trekking permits typically have terms and conditions around their purchase.
The standard cost for Rwanda gorilla trekking Permits is currently $1500 per person per trek. Uganda gorilla permit cost is presently at $700 per person per trek.
The cost of gorilla trekking permits includes
Ranger guide fees
A ranger guide leads every gorilla trekking adventure. These rangers provide detailed information about the mountain gorilla families, which is accumulated over time. Everybody would wish for a professional and knowledgeable ranger to take them on this jungle expedition. But, unfortunately, these rangers have to be paid to encourage them to continue with this selfless expedition.
Park entrance fees
For every national Park you enter, you must pay park fees, which are included in the gorilla trekking permit cost. This fee is for conservation and also Park maintenance.
The mountain gorillas may be wild, and they should search for their treatment in the jungle, but this is not the case, especially when they are badly injured—the gorilla doctors’ teams chips in to administer therapy to this gorilla so that it can survive.
Sometimes general checkups are given to the mountain gorillas by obtaining samples of their dung or blood to establish their health status. This is done to support the mountain gorillas’ existence.
Mountain Gorilla Research and habituation
More research about mountain gorillas is necessary as the world is evolving. Since the times of American Primatologist Dian Fossey, a lot has been discovered about mountain gorillas.
This is helping to mountain gorilla conservation. Even the process of gorilla habituation requires funding. Gorilla habituation is getting wild mountain gorillas used to the presence of humans.
The more funds added to the gorilla fund, the more search is done. Some of this money is included in the gorilla permit cost.
Support the Local community projects
The local community must be brought on board to conserve the mountain gorillas and other forest habitats. Unfortunately, sometimes the mountain gorillas get into the community and eat their produce. As compensation, they give part of the annual profits from the sale of gorilla permits to the public to support their projects like building water sources, schools, health centers, and others. As a result, the local people support the mountain gorilla conservation campaign.
When Is The Best Time To Book Gorilla Permits For the Rainy Season
Gorilla trekking is open throughout the year, but you can reserve your gorilla permit at least six months before the trekking date. This is to prevent chances of panicking to purchase your gorilla permit.
Although the rainy season is known to have less demand for gorilla permits, it’s only some of the time. Seasons change, so order for your rainy season permit in advance to feel safe.
When you purchase your gorilla permit 90 days before the trekking date, you may be allowed to buy it in installments if you top up 30 days before trekking.
If you can top up your gorilla permit in the given time frame, you may retain it as it is not opened to the public again.
What To Pack For Gorilla Trekking In The Rainy Season
Rainproof gear to wear while moving in the forest to search for the mountain gorillas
Pack Safari boots to protect your feet from sharp items in the jungle that can hurt your feet.
Jack Garden gloves to protect your palms from stinging nettles you may touch.
Pack A torch for lighting when lights run out at night. Most lodges use solar energy for lighting and water heating in this area.
Carry Some cash to exchange into local currency to purchase anything on ground.
Camera to take photos of your experience with the mountain gorillas. These memories are worth enjoying.
Long-sleeved shirts and convertible trousers protect your body from harming surfaces in the jungle.
A backpack to carry with your items while going in the jungle so that they don’t scatter
Sunscreen to protect your body from solid sun rays you may go through on your way to the gorilla trekking destination.
Bug spray in your room in case it is attacked by bugs.
Travel adapter and charger in case you need to recharge your gadgets.
Extra batteries to exchange with in case the ones you have run low while trekking the mountain gorillas.
Some warmers like a sweater or poncho because these areas get cold early morning and late afternoon. To avoid getting cold, you have to be with some warmers.
Flip-flops to change into after a long day in the jungle
Undoubtedly, gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Volcanoes National Park in Uganda and Rwanda, respectively, is one of the commanding tourist activities in Africa. Due to the costs involved in planning a gorilla trekking tour, many tourists whether rich or poor would love to get the best out of it. As such, many people will always look out for the best time to trek mountain gorillas including avoiding gorilla trekking during rainy seasons.
Why avoid gorilla trekking during rainy seasons?
There are many reasons why tourists should avoid gorilla trekking during rainy seasons. Still, before we dig into details, we need to know that Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a tropical rainforest that receives rainfall throughout the whole year. It receives an amount of over 1000mm per annum, and much as we have traditional warm and wet seasons, it can rain at any time, hour, or minute in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. While many tourists try to avoid gorilla trekking in rainy seasons for several reasons, gorilla trekking can be done year-round since gorilla rangers and guides are trained to handle all situations. Reasons, why tourists avoid rainy seasons include slippery grounds. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park environments are hilly, so it becomes tough to hike or trek in search of a given family of habituated gorillas when the grounds are so slippery. Climbing up and down on Bwindi slopes makes the whole process of gorilla trekking hard. Rains may also make the visibility and photography of gorillas a bit hard, and as such, it affects the whole experience.
Gorilla trekking during rainy seasons is further affected and can be annoying due to the slippery roads to and from Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Most roads to Bwindi, especially in the southern sector of Nkuringo and Rushaga become impassable when it rains. The road between Buhoma and Ruhija is also affected during rainy seasons but the government of Uganda is trying to work on infrastructure such that tourist movement becomes easy.