Mountain gorillas are some of the world’s most endangered wildlife species. It is only in the recent years that they have surpassed the population mark of 1000 in the whole world. Unlike other gorilla species, the mountain gorillas cannot survive outside their natural habitat.
If you have ever seen a gorilla at a sanctuary or zoo; it must have been a western lowland gorilla not a mountain gorilla. Such and many more are some of the reasons the whole world floods to Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic republic of Congo to see the few remaining mountain gorillas in their nature habitat.
The Value For Money
The gorilla permit is unforgettable. It is very easy to forget what you paid for your flight or any other park entrance that what you spent on gorilla trekking. The amount is often reasonably high. It is actually one of the most expensive one day activity on the African continent.
It is very common for the gorilla trekking discussion to be overtaken by the price tag of the gorilla permits. This is often a misunderstanding caused by people thinking gorilla trekking is simply a fun activity. Though it is a thrilling experience, the mind behind gorilla trekking is conservation. Therefore the right question should be whether the money for the gorilla permits is used appropriately not the price tag.
Every gorilla trekking visit is a contribution to the conservation of mountain gorilla habitats; the protection of mountain gorillas from poachers and those who wish to take them to their homes as pets.
Anyone that trekked the mountain gorillas 15 to 25 years ago would be happy to have contributed to the population growth of the endangered mountain gorillas. Probably they did their trek while the mountain gorilla population was below 650 but because of their visit, they mountain gorillas have been given a chance to multiply even surpassing the 1000 population mark in the recent years.
Contrary to common opinion, your gorilla trekking experience does not start at the park gate or when you meet the rangers. It actually starts the moment you step on the peaceful grounds of Uganda. From the moment, you are organizing for your local sim card at the airport, to the moment you go to bed a night prior your gorilla trek.
Unfortunately, many people put all their focus on meeting the gorillas and miss out the beauty of the trip. It is like opting for death because everyone at one point should die but forgetting that life is about maximizing moments before death.
However, that aside; I strongly agree that the walk to the gorilla families is in itself indelible moment. Based on your trekking sector; the experience is bound to differ. Some trails will give you amazing views for rivers, others will give you encounters with several other wildlife species in the park while others will simply give you an encounter with the mountain gorillas.
Whether it rains or not; whether you see the gorillas within one hour’s walk or five hours walk. The experience in itself remains memorable. You just have to receive it the way it comes so that you can optimally maximize the gorilla trekking experience.
If only there were enough documented stories; the impact of gorilla trekking in Uganda would have been more visible. It is only through gorilla trekking that communities in Ruhija have been able to put up their own community based lodge (Ruhija Rest camp). Lives have been transformed entirely due to gorilla trekking.
A walk through the families and communities that have been impacted by gorilla trekking is an unforgettable experience that does not only inspire you into a gorilla enthusiast but also a life time advocate for gorilla trekking in Uganda.