Uganda prides its self in these mighty and the same time mystical apes- the mountain gorillas. Yes we own almost half of the remaining mountain gorillas in the world. As you plan on your next travel destination Uganda should be on your list. Getting up close to these great apes is an exceptional feeling that wills warm up your life for good.
What are the mountain gorillas
Mountain gorillas are descendants of ancestral monkeys and apes found in Africa and Arabia during the start of the Oligocene epoch (34-24 million years ago).
The endangered impressive Mountain Gorillas in Uganda don’t live in any zoo across the planet since they cannot survive in detention and there, they get their name the mountain gorillas they only survive in the mountains with a very think vegetation that ie. The think tropical rain forests. These can only be found and seen in Africa, in just three countries including Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda. There are more than 1000 Mountain Gorillas remaining in the world with approximately half of them staying within Uganda in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest national park plus the Mgahinga Gorilla Park.
When you talk about Gorillas most people go wild in thinking, what is that? With some thoughts of Tarzan movies and King Kong. Mountain gorillas weren’t known about by the western world until 1902. Rwanda then a German colony, Captain von Berenge was mountaineering Mount Sabinyo on the side of Rwanda together with his friends and at 9300 foot-level where they camped, they spotted a group of Mountain Gorillas and there he shot 2 of them although managed to retrieve just one. The victim was a young-male approximately five years of age, not too big at 220 pounds, however larger than all apes the Germans had ever seen. The Bones plus skin were later forwarded to Berlin and there it was acknowledged as a mountain gorilla.
Nobody had imagined that gorillas could stay in a high and colder environment than West -Africa. The news of gorillas attracted hunters to the region, especially within Congo where most of these apes lost their lives including the 14 that were shot by Prince Wilhelm.
Later Mountain Gorilla preservation’s program was launched by the Belgians which in a short time were joined by the Americans; this was done in Uganda and within this time on one was visiting the gorillas. Walter Baumgärtel was offered permission to establish visits for tourists. He wrote an interesting Book “Up among the Mountain Gorillas” which actually is about his personal encounters with the tranquil giant apes in southern Uganda. We have seen people opening our eyes on protecting the great gorillas and Uganda will still pay a lot of gratitude to them. People like Dian Fossey to George Schaller a many other renowned personalities.
Where and how to find and see mountain gorillas
Within Uganda,mountain gorillas trekking is conducted in Bwindi National Park or in Mgahinga National Park. But because of the inconsistency of gorillas in Mgahinga, majority of the sold permits are for Bwindi NP and most habituation done in mugahinga because they will be their few ad you get time to visit and learn us much as you want about them. In Uganda, every gorilla permit goes for US $ 600. On a single day, nearly 90 people travel into Bwindi to see gorillas and only 8 people are allowed to see a gorilla family we have got 6 families. We strongly encourage you to book your gorillas permit with a safari agent; the most prominent mistake is to book a gorilla family which is far away from your choice of accommodation! The routes to Bwindi and its various regions are often tricky; this is a remote area. If you would like to do the gorilla trek on your own so as to save costs, you might end up incurring more. Safari guides have been trained to help you with this All the gorillas are the same so visiting them will require your provider knowing which accommodation you need and then reserving a pert in that side of the forest.
Several travelers intending to trek mountain gorillas have found this process tiring and they have opted to the quicker less tiring option of reserving their trekking permits through a local safari operators. This is because you cannot pay for the gorillas on ground the bookings and money are paid at the Uganda wildlife authority offices in Kampala, if they do not have your booking and you do not have a permit you will not see mountain gorillas no matter how much you try. These tour operators normally add an extra fee of US$60 to US$100 for each permit. These gorilla tour companies won’t charge you for purchasing a gorilla permit in case you are going to use their other tour services such as transfers however if you simply want only a permit from them then they will put an extra charge of up to US$100 per gorilla permit they book, since they need to make calls, pick the permit, deliver it to you and other administrative costs.
Steps to get a mountain gorillas permit through a tour operator.
You inform them of mountain gorillas trekking dates and month and the number of permits you need,
They will inform you if your preferred dates are available or not and let you know which ones are available for trekking and also temporarily book them.
An invoice will be sent for you to make payments when payments are done you will need to forward your passport details that are used to register and acquire the permit.
The permits will be printed a week to your arrival or some days to your trekking date depending on the season.
Important to note is that tour operators in Uganda through their joint organization of AUTO are all registered and on their website you can check the operator to be sure before you you’re your money. You do not need to be scammed.
What to Wear? Choosing the right Clothing for mountain gorillas
Mountain gorillas trekking gear guide, Good quality walking boots if trying any hikes or even climbs, warm layers of cloth for the cold evenings and clothing for wet weather remember it becomes cold and wet at this high altitude.
The best place to visit and enjoy your journey is in Uganda with the great apes the mountain gorillas for an exceptional feeling.