Gorilla trekking is an activity where tourists are allowed to spend one hour in the presence of gorillas in their natural habitats. One must buy a permit in advance to have this experience and in Uganda it costs $700 per person.
Gorilla trekking is done when gorillas have fully undergone through habituation process. Gorilla habituation is a process of making gorillas get used to the presence of humans. Habituation process can take up to two years. Tourists who wish to do gorilla habituation can also book their permits at $1500 and are allowed to spend four hours with one gorilla family.
Mountain gorillas feed on leaves, stems, berries and flowers. They like fresh shoots in plants and that is why they are are herbivores. Gorillas are listed as endangered by the International Union Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
This treasure therefore is not for only Uganda but a world heritage. Primate Gorilla Beringei is the scientific name of this gentle giant. Just like other primates, their arms are longer than their legs and they survive only in the national habitats.
They live in the misty cloud forests with dense vegetation. They have thick and long fur which enable them survive in the coldness and this also distinguishes them from other gorilla species. Mountain gorilla weighs 70-100kg for females and 120-200 kgs for males.
This males are larger and taller than females. As humans are distinguished by their fingerprints, gorillas are also distinguished by their nose prints. Each has a unique nose.
Mountain gorillas live in families and highly social. Each Family is headed by a senior and dominant male called Silverback. The name is due to the color of the hair that grows at the back with age. Silverback is undisputed leader of the family, which cohesively keep the family together with long term bond. Silverback is the only male that can mate with the females.
However other males can sneak and mate with the females. When silverback is dead, his young brother or eldest son can take over as the dominant head. However when the succession is not clear, the family can disintegrate and it takes about five years for one member to be fully accepted in a different family.
Midday break is taken seriously in gorillas like because they use the time to bond and socialize. It’s time for grooming young ones. One should remember that gorillas make their nests (bed) every day.
The role of the silverback is to determine the direction for feeding, mating with all the females and solving the family wrangles.
More than 900 mountain gorillas are in existence in the world and 54% of the total population is in Uganda. Mountain gorillas are only found at Virunga Mountains which are shared by in Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and then Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park in Uganda.
If you are primate lover, Uganda is a great destination because besides gorillas, you can also view golden monkeys and black and white Columbus monkeys and chimpanzees. Which will make you appreciate that they are closest animals to humans in terms of DNA.
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There are 18 family gorillas in Uganda and 17 of them are all in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. Up to Eight people are allowed to visit one gorilla family in a day. The number of people is restricted in order to protect gorillas from being overwhelmed by the presence of people which can easily affect their behaviors like feeding routine and social interactions.
If gorilla trekking is your dream or area of interest, Uganda is the best option. Each trekking permit costs $700 and 10% goes to the local community. Therefore, booking a gorilla’s trip to Uganda means directly supporting the local community surrounding the conservative areas.
To get the best experience, you are advised to book your safari with trusted and reliable your operators. In Uganda, Alps Trendy Safaris is the best company that can meet your expectations. Gorilla safari can be a budget trip starting from $1200 for one day to $1500 for three days. You can even have a luxurious trip at as much as $2500 per person per day.
Gorilla trekking is not relatively not a demanding activity in terms of physical energy. The distance to where gorillas are is normally short. One hour in the presence of gorillas is a thrilling experience that one can never forget. Therefore these amazing and gentle giants should make Uganda be a must visit destination on your travel plans.