5 Reasons Gorilla Trekking is Worth It
A permit to spend one hour with these incredible creatures costs $600, or $450 in April, May and November, putting it on the pricier end of activities to do in Uganda. However, in our opinion, this experience is not only worth the money, but is almost priceless. Here are some reasons why.
1. The experience is exhilarating
Most animals tend to fall into one of two categories: those that run away from humans, and those that will attack humans that are unfortunate enough to find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time. Gorillas, however, are fairly calm by nature and will only attack humans if they truly feel threatened. Provided you follow the body-language and distance guidelines carefully explained to you by the park guides, then you will be able to enjoy the rare experience of watching a powerful, wild animal from a close distance in complete safety. There is nothing quite as exciting as watching these animals play, groom each other and engage in other almost human-like behaviours while admiring their immense strength and size.
2. You are directly supporting conservation efforts
Habitat destruction is the biggest threat to the endangered mountain gorilla, as the densely-populated areas on the edges of the national parks have expanded and people have sought to make money from logging and agriculture. However, more recently tourists coming to see the gorillas has lead to tourism being one of the area’s main sources of revenue, making preserving the gorilla’s habitats and protecting their numbers good economic as well as good environmental sense. By, for example, hiring porters you will be helping to keep those in the local economy employed in a manner that is positive for the gorillas, and preventing such individuals from turning to poaching.
Due to COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions, tourist numbers to Uganda have sharply dropped. Therefore, at this time tourism is particularly critical to making sure that conservation efforts for the gorillas continue.
3. It's cheaper than Rwanda
There are a high number of regulations and restrictions in place in order to preserve the health and welfare of the gorillas; this is why the permits are so expensive, as visitor numbers are highly limited.
However, at $450/600, permits in Uganda are nonetheless much more reasonably priced than those in Rwanda, where they are $1,500 year-round. There is little difference between the two: the terrain and the gorillas are ultimately the same. Therefore, we would highly recommend doing the trek in Uganda, given the multitude of other amazing things that there are to do in this country, that can be combined in our tours with gorilla trekking.
4. The scenery is spectacular
A day of gorilla trekking general involves several hours of tough hiking, through terrain that is mountainous with thin air and dense vegetation. However, provided you are fit enough, the challenges of hiking here are part of what makes it such a rewarding adventure. What’s more, it is worth it not only for the experience of seeing the gorillas but also for the fabulous scenery. There are various viewpoints where you can take in fabulous vistas of the thickly-forested, rolling mountains, often shrouded in clouds that make them appear all the more beautiful and enigmatic.
5. Bwindi's flora and fauna
Mountain gorillas are not the only wildlife to be found in the mountains of south-western Uganda. There are also golden monkeys, which dangle high up on the trees of the bamboo forest areas, as well as grey-cheeked mangabeys, L’hoest monkeys (on the lower slopes), and blue monkeys. There are bushbuck and several species of duikers, as well as a rich array of bird species, including Equatorial akalat and greenbulls. There are also believed to possibly be some elephants, although these are rarely spotted.
Ready to meet the gorillas?
Combine chimp trekking in Kibale Forest with mountain gorilla treks in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. A well-paced highlights tour unlocking some of Uganda's most impressive experiences. Consider breaking up the journey from Kibale to Bwindi with a classic safari at…