How to book Rushaga gorilla permit and safari holidays
If Rushaga area is Bwindi impenetrable national park is your preferred area for gorilla trekking, you must reserve a permit. To succeed with purchasing the Rushaga area gorilla permit, booking is necessary at least 6 months to a year upfront during the high season especially.
Rushaga area lies in the southern part of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, sharing the south with the Nkuringo area. Currently, the Rushaga area has about 8 gorilla families, but the number may change over time as gorilla families keep breaking while others are assimilated.
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Some of the gorilla families in the Rushaga area include the Nshongi family, Kahungye family, Busingye family, Bweza family, Mishaya Family, Mucunguzi family, and Rwigi family.
Currently, only 64 gorilla permits are open for booking in the Rushaga area, but with the ever-increasing demand, these permits sell out quickly. Even the influence of gorilla habituation experience in the southern sector, which offers 4 hours in the presence of the mountain gorillas, is one of the top-selling points for Rushaga gorilla trekking families.
What Is Gorilla Habituation Experience?
The gorilla habituation experience is an adventure where tourists accompany a team of researchers and trackers in the wilderness to follow a semi-habituated group of mountain gorillas to help them get used to human presence without altering their nature.
Two gorilla families in the southern part of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park are open for gorilla habituation experience.
What Is Gorilla Trekking?
Gorilla trekking is an adventure where you follow a fully habituated gorilla family in the wilderness and stay with them for one hour. At the moment, 19 gorilla trekking families are open for public booking.
How To Book a Gorilla Permit For Rushaga Area?
Select a date and people traveling with you for gorilla trekking. This is to avoid moving back and forth with checking gorilla permit availability.
Suggest where your preference for booking the gorilla permit is in the Rushaga area. If you have a genuine reason for choosing the Rushaga area, forward it to support your request.
When the gorilla permit availability status is positive, we advise you to purchase your gorilla permit as soon as possible. This is to prevent chances of last-minute panic trying to get a gorilla permit. The peak season gorilla permits for all Bwindi Impenetrable National Park areas sell out fast in the peak season. The peak Uganda tourism season usually is June, July, August, and September. December, January.
Although the low season gorilla permits are not highly demanded, it is only some of the time. You need to reserve your gorilla permit in time for all the seasons.
Upon purchasing the gorilla permit, forward some personal details to collect the gorilla permit cards. Some details include nationality, date of birth, full name as presented on the passport, passport expiry date.
When Is The Best Time To Book Rushaga Gorilla Permits?
Booking the gorilla permit at least 6 months to a year upfront saves you from last-minute panic as you try to secure the permit. The demand for gorilla permits is high, but the peak season permit demand is overwhelmingly high.
During the low season, that is, March, April, May, and November, last-minute gorilla permits may be available, but only some of the time. The demand for gorilla permits is high, yet a limited number is released per day.
Even other service providers tend to offer discounted prices on services like accommodation, driver guide hire, and others. Someone with a limited budget can use this opportunity to do gorilla trekking, and chances of an upgrade may be available in the low season.
What is the cost of the Uganda gorilla safari?
The cost of gorilla safaris is packaged according to luxury, mid-range, and budget; however, the gorilla permit cost is common amongst all these categories.
When calculating the gorilla permit cost, some of these are considered
The number of people traveling with you, the number of days on a gorilla safari, additional activities to combine with gorilla trekking, the safari package you choose, and so much more.
How Long Is Gorilla Trekking In the Rushaga Area?
The amount of time you spend doing gorilla trekking varies with the prevailing factors in the wilderness like the proximity of the gorilla food, the weather conditions prevailing in case of a strong fight amongst the mountain
gorillas, the death of a family member, the pace of trekkers, and others.
Some tourists have located the mountain gorillas in two hours, while others have spent over three-quarters of the day. It would be best if you had some patience in case you want to succeed in locating the mountain gorillas.
Even having some level of fitness before gorilla trekking protects you from getting muscle pulls while you trek over a number of highlands in the forest.
Why Do I Need A Porter During Gorilla Trekking In Rushaga Area?
A porter helps you carry your gorilla trekking gear while you move on. He or she may give you a push when you get so tired.
Since the way is tedious sometimes, you need to preserve your energy for the moment when you have to hike since, at times, mountain gorillas spend part of their day at the slopes or deep in the valleys.
Even those with altitude sickness need help from a porter to catch up with the rest.
Hiring a porter is one of the ways to directly contribute to the local community as the porter uses funds collected to run their day-to-day life, like health care support for their families.
What Is The Age Limit For Gorilla Trekking?
15 years and beyond is the age limit for gorilla trekking. This is because of reasons like the topography of Bwindi forest, time taken in the forest, the need to hike to locate the mountain gorillas, religiously following the rules of gorilla trekking, the nature of gorilla trekking adventure in the thick wilderness, and other.
A child below 15 years cannot withstand most of the above since they get tired very fast, yet you can never stop gorilla trekking until you are done. Mountain gorillas may be habituated to human presence, but they are very fragile and sensitive primates; you need to follow gorilla trekking rules to succeed. Children below 15 may only be able to hold on at the end of the gorilla trekking adventure.
How Safe Is Gorilla Trekking In the Rushaga Area?
Gorilla trekking is a safe adventure, even though it is done in the thick wilderness. Wild mountain gorillas are habituated to human presence for a particular period until they are accustomed to altering their nature.
Each day, a team of ranger guides and trackers wakes up early to follow the gorilla families and provide a report of where they are expected to spend the day. They help patrol the forest and report to the ranger station if they notice something odd.
It is these clues that rangers guiding the gorilla trekkers use during gorilla trekking. Sometimes, the mountain gorillas may move far from their expected location or closer to the starting point of the trek.
The ranger guides escorting tourists during gorilla trekking are equipped with a rifle, while another carries a machete to trim vines to create a way through. The ranger also follows the pace of the slowest trekker, not to forget anyone in the wilderness.
As a tourist, personal security is required, and you have to follow gorilla trekking rules and not sneak away from the rest of the group. The forest is vast, and chances of encountering unhabituated dwellers are high, yet you have nothing to defend you.
Only enter the forest with an escorting ranger guide, no matter what you wish to do. You may encounter many hurtful things, and besides, the forest has other dwellers that may pounce on you without defense.
How difficult is gorilla trekking in Rushaga area?
Gorilla trekking areas generally have a ragged terrain due to volcanic action. There are ridges, plateaus, and deep valleys where mountain gorillas spend part of their time. You may be required to hike to find them. Although gorilla trekking is tedious, when you finally find the mountain gorillas, you truly feel the worthiness of taking this adventure.
We advise clients to do simple exercises before gorilla trekking to keep the body fit for hiking.
In case you are physically impaired, hire a sedan chair from the park, but this special arrangement needs to be prepared for upfront because even a porter has to carry you have to be arranged for in advance.
Wearing the right gorilla trekking gear like safari boots and long-sleeved shirts, apply insect repellant for a better trek.
How Aggressive Are Mountain Gorillas
In nature, mountain gorillas are calm primates despite their huge size. Their body is covered in dark fur from head to toe, and they walk by knuckle locomotion. At a glance, the mountain gorillas look scary but are very composed.
Before being presented to the public, mountain gorillas undergo gorilla habituation for about 2 years or more, depending on how fast they adopt.
When you locate the mountain gorillas, they keep munching at their vines as though they mind you; however, you need to follow all the guidelines given during the briefing. The gorilla families operate a spy network that warns others if they notice something odd.
Sometimes, the mountain gorillas show angry signs like thumping their chests hard, fighting, pulling the grass around them, and others. Mountain gorillas also get agitated, so try not to test their patience, although they may not confront you. You do not have to rash away because you may cause a stampede in the wilderness.
Wait for the ranger guide to establish what the matter is the cause of this anger.
Sometimes, you may be required to show the dominant silverback that you respect his sovereignty in order to calm the situation.
In the history of gorilla trekking, no person has ever been attacked by the mountain gorillas.
What Can I Pack For Gorilla Trekking Safari?
- Packing light but relevant for gorilla trekking gives you comfort while you trek to find the mountain gorillas.
- Extra batteries in case you run low with one. Taking photos for your gorilla trekking safari is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
- Extra fully charged batteries to exchange with in case one runs low, especially with a camera.
- Travel Insurance. Buying travel insurance before the safari saves you during times of uncertainty. You need to know what the insurance coverage is.
- Toiletries in case your lodge doesn’t provide them.
- Tracking boots that are comfortable to wear during gorilla trekking or habituation makes the trip so fun. Hiking the slippery slopes and walking through the soggy mud gets challenging sometimes, but with the right footwear, you overcome them.
- Sunscreen to use en route to the mountain gorilla’s destination.
- A foldable water bottle to carry drinking water in to quench thirst during gorilla trekking.
- A torch to use for lighting in the night when lights run low.
- Safari clothes, especially long trousers, and long-sleeved shirts, protect the skin from wilderness bugs.
- Insect repellants to apply to your skin to keep away stinging insects.
- Rainproof gears in case it falls without warning.
- A pair of stockings to tack in your trousers and keep away biting insects that would walk into your pants.
- First aid kit with emergency medication
- Camera to keep memories of your gorilla trekking or gorilla habituation experience.
- Garden gloves to protect your palms from rough surfaces in the wilderness.
- Backpack with your belongings while you trek to find the mountain gorillas.
- Safari hat to protect your hair from buzzing insects in the wilderness.
Contact us for more information if you are interested in trekking the rushaga sector.