Gorilla trekking in Uganda 🦍
We started our day very early on this day and arrived to the meeting point at Bwindi Impenetrable Park at 7am. After a short briefing on the do’s and don’ts of the trek, we set off into the jungle. Since we traveled there during a pandemic, we were all required to wear a mask to keep the wildlife and eachother safe. The path was difficult, muddy and slippery, so I was very happy that I borrowed a walking stick and hired a porter – a local man who helps you with your backpack and gives you a hand on the walk. But even despite that, I fell in the first 10 minutes of the trek and 2 more times after that haha!😅
You’ll be walking through the jungle with 2-3 rangers, in non-pandemic times in a group of 8 tourists and as many porters as you decide to pay for. Before you start your trek, there will be trackers already out in the jungle who locate the gorilla family based on yesterday’s location. These gorillas are the 50% of the mountain gorilla population who are used to people. They will not harm you, as long as you behave as instructed 🙂
There are so many tips I could give on this experience, but I will keep it short here and write a longer post on my blog. Good things to know:
– book well in advance and be aware it costs $700 per person for 1 hour with the gorillas. The trek length doesn’t matter, the clock starts ticking once you leave the rangers and join the trackers to see the mountain gorillas from up close.
– If you book a tour with @wildtravelsafaris they will help you with booking this experience at a fee (it’s an arduous task). The Wildlife Authority in Uganda are hard to reach and only take bookings via operators.
– wear comfortable, dark clothing (you WILL get muddy) and trekking shoes
– bring bug repellent
– at least 1L of water and some snacks (take all trash with you)
– see last slide: bring good photo equipment. What no one tells you is that there are those small flies ALL AROUND the gorillas almost constantly. So you’ll need a good zoom lens to capture them properly.
– put the camera down as well and just enjoy yourself. You only experience it once in a lifetime, so don’t spend time thinking only of the photos 🙂