Hiring a gorilla trekking sedan chair or stretcher for elders or people with disabilities in Uganda
You can hire a sedan chair for your gorilla trekking safari if you have physical in-capabilities or are physically unfit to walk through the thick jungle. The cost of the sedan chair is off the gorilla permit cost, so you need to bare this cost. Hiring a sedan chair may come with porters who can carry you to where the mountain gorillas may be spending the day or lounging.
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State your physical impairment to the tour operator to secure the appropriate sedan or stretcher. You may need a stretcher or sedan chair if you are an elder seeking to go gorilla trekking in Uganda but need help walking on the slopes and into the deeper valleys of the high plateaus or ridges.
Before you confirm a gorilla safari, you need to reserve a gorilla permit, no matter who you are. Gorilla permits in Uganda are limited to 8 tourists per trek daily. Uganda has two gorilla safari destinations: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park. Each gorilla trekking destination in Uganda has a sedan chair hire service, but booking is required.
To secure the gorilla trekking permit, you must have a date for a gorilla safari and the number of people you hope to tour with. Instead of moving back and forth with checking the availability of gorilla permits, we need to have the important details laid out first.
Note that the gorilla permits for Bwindi Impenetrable National Park are booked according to area. Before securing accommodation at this Park, you must double-check the area where the permit is booked. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is subdivided into four areas: Buhoma in the North, Ruhija in the East, Nkuringo and Rushaga in the South.
When Is The Best Time To Hire A Sedan Chair To Use During Gorilla Trekking In Uganda
During gorilla trekking in Uganda, a Sedan chair or stretcher is a lifting vessel that tourists can hire from the briefing point to where the mountain gorillas spend their day and back. At least four able-bodied porters at a friendly cost lift this chair.
Booking is required since the supply is limited and the demand may be high. Every gorilla safari destination has provision for sedan services.
To be safe, use a tour operator with knowledge of the requirements of booking a Uganda gorilla safari. The tour operator takes the initiative to follow up on the sedan chair availability before starting the gorilla safari.
When Can I Book A Gorilla Permit For Uganda?
Uganda gorilla permits are open all year, but during the peak season, their demand is high, so booking is required for 6 months to a year upfront. The peak Uganda tourism season usually is June, July, August, and September. Most high-season gorilla permits are sold on a first-come, first-served basis. Securing a last-minute Uganda gorilla permit is harder since just a few are open per family.
Last-minute gorilla permit supply may be available during the low season, but this is only sometimes guaranteed. This is because there is less demand for gorilla permits, but still, you must secure your gorilla permit upfront because availability changes time without warning.
How Much Is A Uganda Gorilla Trekking Permit?
The Uganda gorilla trekking permit costs $ 800 per person per trek for foreign non-residents, $700 for foreign residents, and 300000shs for East African residents. The cost of a gorilla trekking permit includes Park entrance fees, security during gorilla safari, mountain gorilla conservation, local community support, government tax, four hours with the mountain gorillas, and ranger guide fees.
Each gorilla trekking permit excludes snacks, porter, drinking water, tips, and any other items of personal nature.
Is The Gorilla Permit Cost Worth The Money?
The main reason for selling the gorilla permits is to support mountain gorilla conservation amidst holiday fun. Mountain gorillas are gentle primates with massive bodies covered in dark fur with a fierce look yet gentle at heart.
On the outlook, the mountain gorillas look aggressive, but you get a deeper connection with these primates in their presence by the close of one hour. For every penny you spend on buying the gorilla permit, you support a noble conservation cause of the sustainable existence of the mountain gorillas.
Can I purchase the gorilla permit in installments?
Uganda Wildlife Authority accepts installment gorilla permit purchases if you book the gorilla permit 90 days before the trekking date and top-up 90 days before the trekking date. Uganda Wildlife Authority accepts gorilla permit purchases of 30% and 70%. When you fail to top up your gorilla permit, it is re-opened to public booking, so you may need to re-buy it if you are still interested.
Purchasing the gorilla permit in full would be the best approach since you do not have to worry about forgetting to top it up.
How sure Can I Be To see the mountain Gorillas in Uganda?
There is a 98% chance of seeing mountain gorillas in the wilderness as they are first habituated to human presence for a certain period. Gorilla habituation is a process where researchers and trackers follow a wild gorilla family to get them used to human presence without altering their nature.
In nature, mountain gorillas live in families under the leadership of an autocratic male called a dominant silverback. Uganda currently has 19 gorilla trekking families and two gorilla habituation families. These occupy a particular location for a certain period and can only move when circumstances prevail.
Each day, a team of trackers wakes up earlier than anyone to follow the gorilla families where they might have spent the night or their possible hangout spot for the day. The clues these trackers give are what rangers leading tourists use to search for the mountain gorillas’ day hangout spots.
Are mountain gorillas aggressive during gorilla trekking?
Mountain gorillas may look scary because of their dark-furred body and knuckle locomotion style. When you immerse in their life, you realize how calm the mountain gorillas are despite their fierce outlook.
So far in the history of gorilla trekking adventure, no one has ever been reported to have been attacked by mountain gorillas. Tourists must attend a briefing before heading for gorilla trekking to reduce the chances of agitating the mountain gorillas.
Even when angry with their visitors, mountain gorillas counteract by moving into the deeper ends of the forest rather than fighting. During gorilla trekking, you may notice some odd behavior with the mountain gorillas, like hooting, thumping their chests, and pulling grass around them. Stay calm, but wait for the ranger guide to establish the action’s root cause.
Sometimes, the mountain gorillas may fight or have a family feud. Do as instructed by the ranger guide to avoid causing further unrest in the forest.
How Safe Is Gorilla Trekking In Uganda On A Sedan Chair Or Stretcher?
Uganda is safe for gorilla trekking as mountain gorillas are first habituated for a reasonable time until they are ready to be opened for public viewing. Each sedan chair is carried by able-bodied men with experience in the jungle.
The way may be quite slippery from the regular rains that fall without warning and decomposing matter however, wearing the right gorilla trekking gear gives you comfort while in the jungle.
Each tourist group is guided by a ranger guide with a rifle and another holding a machete to trim vegetation that overgrows to cover the trails and obstruct your way.
Tourists are implored to follow gorilla trekking rules and try not to provoke the mountain gorillas, which may cause a stampede in the forest. For personal safety, tourists must stay closer to the group they are trekking the mountain gorillas. Ranger guides follow the slowest trekker so that everything is remembered in the wilderness.
How Long Is Gorilla Trekking Safari In Uganda?
The time taken on gorilla trekking safari in Uganda is not easy to predict, but some tourists have taken two hours to find the mountain gorillas while others have spent over three-quarters of the day. Different factors prevailing in the forest may delay or make the gorilla trek quicker. Some of the factors that determine when to find mountain gorillas include:
Weather conditions prevailing in the day, in case of a fight, the pace of other trekkers, the mountain gorillas’ feeding area, the gorilla family’s adventurous nature, and others.
Upon finding the mountain gorillas, only an hour is allowed before them as a conservation measure to let them continue their day-to-day life. Mountain gorillas are naturally vegetarians who must look for food to support their bodies throughout the night and day. A fully-grown male mountain gorilla weighs about 300 kilograms, while a full-grown female maybe half this weight. The more time humans are in the forest, the more foliage is trampled on, yet this is food for the mountain gorillas.
Human presence disrupts the daily life of mountain gorillas as they cannot feed enough, groom their infants, have naptime, and much more.
Keep your mind open during the gorilla safari to enjoy other beauties in the forest besides just fixing your mind on locating the mountain gorillas. The forest has other primates like the blue monkeys, grey-cheeked mangabey, blue monkeys, olive baboon, and red-tailed mangabey. Look out for sparkling waterfalls, a dense network of rivers, and a rich avian life.
Some patience is required to find the mountain gorillas because they are wild primates whose lives depend on the forest for survival. The wilderness has a lot to see and widen your wildlife photo collection.
What are the rules of gorilla trekking in Uganda?
- No flash photography is allowed when taking photos for the gorilla trekking adventure. This scares the mountain gorillas.
- Never eat or smoke before the mountain gorillas because it may harm their health.
- Littering in the forest is forbidden because it alters the natural setting where mountain gorillas feed. The mountain gorillas are vegetarian, and this may slowly reduce their food.
- When you locate the mountain gorillas, do not surround them. This makes them feel ambushed.
- Ask the ranger guide to dig about 30 cm deep if you wish to do a long call. It would be best if you did everything beyond recognition.
- Anyone below 15 years is not allowed to do gorilla trekking because the time of locating the mountain gorillas has yet to be discovered, and some patience is needed to complete this trek.
- Volunteer to stay behind if you catch any communicable infection like coronavirus, flu, cough, or cholera. This is because the mountain gorillas can catch human infections easily. They have a DNA of about 96% to that of humans.
- When you locate the mountain gorillas, keep a distance of about 8 meters from them. To reduce the chances of passing a communicable infection to them.
- Never spit on the vegetation because it’s food for the mountain gorillas. It is unhealthy and disgusting too.
- Wear a mask and hand sanitize as an after-coronavirus period precaution. Changing into a clean mask as you approach the mountain gorillas would be best.
- Do not make noise and sudden movement with the mountain gorillas because it may scare them. The gorillas are often scared of unfamiliar noise in their presence.
- Only one hour is allowed with the mountain gorillas when you locate them. This is because they are habituated to be in the presence of human beings for just that hour.
Do you want to trek but are unable to do it on your own, contact us for more information on how to make this possible for you to visit the mountain gorillas.