Gorilla trekking in Bwindi, Mgahinga, Volcanoes and Virunga

Why gorilla trekking is for one hour in Uganda, Rwanda and DR. Congo

Reasons Why Gorilla Trekking Is For One Hour

There are many reasons why gorilla trekking is for one hour and the following are the factors;

Gorilla trekking is carried out through hiking in the lush forest that inhabit the mountain gorillas in their search. Mountain gorillas are under apes and at first, they were not listed as endangered but now they are known as endangered because their population has increased and now, they are about 1,063 worldwide. In the whole world, mountain gorillas are only found in four parks that is, Bwindi impenetrable forest National Park and Mgahinga gorilla National park in Uganda, Virunga National park of the Congo, Volcanoes National park in the Rwanda.  Half of the total world population of gorillas live in Bwindi impenetrable forest National Park of Uganda then the rest of population in the three parks that make part of the Virunga massifs.  Gorilla trekking requires tourists to get a permit and this costs $700 per person, in Congo it costs $400 while in Rwanda it costs $1500. Since there is high demand for mountain gorilla trekking hence travelers who are interested in gorilla trekking are advised to book permits in advance.

Mountain gorilla trekking can take place at any time you want, which is to say from 30 minutes-6 hours, it can also depend to the fitness of traveler and the location of gorillas. Once travelers meet gorilla family are allowed to spend one hour with them, the following are the reasons why mountain gorilla trekking is restricted for one hour;

Mountain gorillas are among the species that can be affected by communicable diseases of humans like cough and flue. They can get them from humans easily because mountain gorillas share 98% DNA with humans. Therefore, that is the one of the reasons why mountain gorilla is for one hour on meeting them.

The bodies want to conserve the endangered mountain gorillas and that is why time spent with gorillas is restricted to one hour. Even though gorillas are habituated they love to be in peace when they are far from human race. When humans stay for long with these animals, they feel uncomfortable and they are stressed out. Therefore, gorilla trekking is for one hour because of the need to conserve mountain gorillas.

Desire to see gorillas continue with their daily activities also requires gorilla trekking to be for one hour once they are encountered. Gorillas start their daily routine as early as 6am up to evening. They spend their time in a scheduled manner and spending too long time with them disturbs their timing schedule and that is the reason why gorilla trekking is for one hour because gorillas need to be allowed to further their daily activities like napping, resting, playing especially the juveniles and also making nets.

Besides allowing only one hour to observe the gorillas, mountain gorilla trekking safari has more regulations and rules specifically to conserve these primates for future generation;

Maintain a social distance of 7 meters from the gorillas when encountered.  This is to reduce the risk of attracting or affecting gorilla with human infectious diseases at the bay. Sick travelers who are suffering from infectious diseases should not go for gorilla trekking since they might put the gorillas at risk of being infected too.  Travelers are not allowed to touch gorillas when trekking.  Noise should be minimized as you are trekking or on nature walk in the forest since the mountain gorillas are not familiar with noise and at same time, they might mistake your noise for something else because they have 25 distinct vocalizations too. Do not dispose litter in the homes of gorillas because litter is mostly like to be harmful to them.  If you want to ease yourself, dig a hole of 35cm deep and later cover it well after using it.

Tourists who love to be with mountain gorillas for an extended/long time can decide to do gorilla habituation rather than gorilla trekking. Gorilla habituation is the procedure in which wild mountain gorillas are skilled to house human interaction. Gorilla families which tourists can trek are habituated for 2-3 years process while some can take a habituation process of 15months. Tourists who opt for gorilla habituation experience take 4 long hours with gorillas and with time, they help researchers and gorilla experts to study and collect data on the behaviors of the gorillas, medical examination, gorilla naming and more so. Gorilla habituation permit cost $1500 and Uganda Wildlife Authority is the only place where it can be purchased. Also tour operators can help you to purchase it. Book you permit in advance because competition is high and only 4 people are allowed in a gorilla family and don’t forget 2 of these families are in are found in Rushaga sector of Bwindi.

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