Gorilla trekking time is restricted to an hour in all gorilla national parks. YES, despite the high cost of gorilla trekking ($1500 in Rwanda, $700 in Uganda, and $450 in Congo), an encounter with the endangered gorillas is restricted to an hour in Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Honestly speaking, an hour with gorillas sounds too short for a first-time visitor who has yearned to meet these endangered species. The one-hour is counted from the time visitors set their eyes on the endangered gorillas. The one hour with gorillas is for taking photographs, capture live videos, and enjoying the human-like characters of gorillas in their family. In this article, we are giving you the details as to why gorilla trekking is for one hour. These include among others;
Mountain gorillas are endangered species
The whole world has 1006 mountain gorillas, which is surely a small number. These species only survive in the jungle forest of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park in southwestern Uganda and the Virunga conservation area shared by Volcanoes Park, Virunga Park, and Mgahinga Gorilla Park in Rwanda, Congo, and Uganda respectively.
The endangered nature of mountain gorillas is, therefore, the major reason for the limited hour of trekking. Altogether 36 gorilla families have been habituated for trekking. 18 gorilla families live in Uganda, 10 gorilla groups in Rwanda, and 8 gorilla families live in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Therefore whoever wishes to visit the gorillas must visit any of the three countries to enjoy this once in a lifetime experience.
Every day, each gorilla family is visited by a group of 8 visitors. Whereas an encounter with gorillas is for a maximum of 60 minutes, the trekking time before meeting these endangered species ranges between 30 minutes to a full day depending on whereas gorillas will be located that day, their speed of movements, and the slowest person in the group.
To allow gorillas to do their daily routine in peace
Gorilla trekking is limited to an hour to allow the endangered species to do their daily works with no disruption. Like in a human home, each gorilla family has a routine it follows each day. The silverback wakes up the entire family early in the morning and they start up their daily work. The day of a gorilla family entails searching for fresh foods, playing, mating, breastfeeding for mothers, and social interactions. When the visitors are around, gorillas feel shy to do certain things such as mating and feeding which in turn disrupts their normal life.
For Conservation Purposes
An encounter with gorillas is also limited to an hour to promote conservation. YES, conservationists, and gorilla doctors need enough time to be with the gorillas in absence of visitors. Gorillas need free time to rest. Conservation is emphasized to promote sustainable gorilla trekking safaris in Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
What to do when the magical hour comes?
After meeting the gorillas, stay calm, keep a distance, and hold your camera tight and make sure you capture the best moments without missing anything. Most visitors get excited when they see the gorillas and they end up not using the one hour appropriately.
Can I spend more than an hour with gorillas?
YES, you can spend more than an hour with gorillas if you book a gorilla habituation experience. Done in the Rushaga sector, south of Bwindi Forest National Park, gorilla habituation experience help you spend four hours with the endangered gorillas.
The experience is about training wild gorillas to make them familiar with people before they are declared free for trekking. Only four visitors are allowed to trek along with conservationists, researchers, and gorilla doctors. The 2-3 years of experience is the first step all gorillas go through. Apparently, Bushaho and Bikyingi gorilla families are the ones undergoing habituation. The experience costs $1500 per permit but the magical feeling that comes with it is worth the penny.
How to plan for a gorilla tour?
Are you getting ready for a gorilla safari, wondering how to prepare for this magical encounter? No worries, visit www.gorillasafariuganda.com for the best advice and excellent safari packages for you. Firstly, check the availability of gorilla permits on your desired date and the availability of your accommodation on your desired date. Also, do physical exercises such as jogging and hiking to ensure physical fitness. Remember to pack the essentials such as hiking boots, garden-gloves, rain jackets, insect repellants, and energy-giving snacks among others.
Conclusively, an hour with the endangered gorillas is a magical experience you will live to remember. Book your gorilla safari today and enjoy the thrilling experience with credible tour operators.