Doing a great and discoverable double Gorilla trek in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo is an ultimate adventure which is ranked to be tremendously experiential and rewarding as far as visiting Gorillas in the top three ranked Gorilla hosting destinations in the African Continent, this adventure will enable you to compare and differentiate which destination is more convenient, and rewarding, differentiate the ease of accessibility of the three destinations, variety of species, the best time to visit, price of Gorilla permits and more thus enabling you to later advise, a friend, family member or your boss who may be interested in a Gorilla trek but very confused on which destination to choose.
Since this experience involves visiting the three Gorilla hosting destinations, you will not only be limited to Gorilla species but rather you will also be exposed to other Wildlife species which are habited in the major tourist sites which provide habitat to Gorilla species plus other associated physical features, opting to doing this amazing experience just get prepared for the amazing climatic conditions of both Eastern and Central part of the African Continent because these popularly known African Gorilla hosting destinations are located in these mentioned regions of Africa.
About Gorillas. Gorillas are shy endangered ground-dwelling apes which usually feed on a young bamboo shoot, stem, tree leaves, flowers, insects, coconuts, and fruits like mangoes, avocadoes, oranges, grapes, pineapples and more, these apes usually live in groups called troops comprising of male and female adults, juveniles and infants but only being led by a male old dominant silverback which is responsible for protecting its group members, looking for what to eat, guiding group members and construction of temporary grass thatched huts for shelter.
A group cannot be with two Silverbacks at once and if it happens they have to go into a fight and the one who wins will be considered as the leader, so the loser is free to remain in the group but the leader or vacate the group.
Species of Gorillas are divided into two including Eastern Gorillas and Lowland Gorillas whereby Eastern Gorilla species are further divided into subspecies including Mountain Gorillas while Lowland Gorilla species are further divided into subspecies including Eastern Lowland Gorillas and Western Lowland Gorillas.
Mountain Gorillas are bigger than Lowland Gorillas when compared in size; Mountain Gorillas are black in colour while Lowland Gorillas have a Goldish and Silvering colour appearance. These species of apes are ranked to be one of the species which are closer to human features after Chimpanzees.
Gorilla trekking. This is an experience which usually involves meeting with the species of Gorillas in the Jungles, it’s usually starts in the morning after conducting of a short briefing highlighting how to behave while in the presence of these apes in the Jungles, after briefing a park ranger guide and armed officers are assigned to a group of eight people to start the journey heading to the Jungle following the well-established routes in search of these apes in the Jungles.
A park ranger is assigned to communicate with the Gorilla trackers via radio calls about the exact location of these apes in the Jungles plus guide the group throughout the Journey, Gorilla trackers are usually the first to go early in the morning to discover where these apes spent their last night.
After discovering these apes in the Jungles you are allowed to stay in their presence for only one hour while seeing them playing with their young ones, feeding, laughing, climbing trees, and dwelling plus taking photos and videos of them after the one-hour session next step is vacating the place such that room is created for these apes to continue with their day to day activities, descending back to Park offices trekkers will be awarded Gorilla trekking certificate which indicates that you have contributed part towards conserving of Gorilla lives.
How to do it? Usually, there are two options for best experiencing this adventure in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, the first option is you land in Rwanda at Kigali International Airport, do a first Gorilla trek in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, cross to Democratic Republic of Congo’s Virunga National Park for the second Gorilla trek, if you are also interested in Lowland Gorillas are found in Kahuzi Biega National Park and after there cross to Uganda for the last Gorilla trek which ends the adventure in Uganda.
Another option is when you land in Uganda at Entebbe International Airport, do your Gorilla trekking either in Bwindi or Mgahinga or both and then cross to Rwanda via Cyanica or Katuna border to Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park for another amazing Gorilla trekking and then cross to Democratic Republic of Congo for the last Gorilla trekking in Virunga National Park where Mountain Gorillas are found and Kahuzi Biega National Park where Lowland Gorillas are found, after Gorilla trekking in DR Congo cross back to Rwanda for your flight back home.
Concerning the Entry visa, for Rwanda and Uganda it’s better you apply for an East African Visa which issues you entry to both countries at once since they are under the East African Community. Then for the Democratic Republic of Congo, you apply for an entry Visa which costs $100 USD per person.
Where to go for Gorillas. There are five known Gorilla hosting National Parks in the African continent which are found in the three Gorilla hosting destinations including Rwanda and Uganda in the Eastern part of the African Continent and the Democratic Republic of Congo in the Central part of Africa.
Uganda is ranked to be hosting the highest percentage of the World’s remaining Gorilla population with almost half of it in its two major Gorilla hosting National Parks which include Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park which are both located in the South Western part of Uganda, among the five Gorilla hosting parks, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is ranked to be with the highest numbers of Gorilla species with over fourteen Gorilla families for trekking and habituation.
In Rwanda “The Land of a Thousand Hills”, the only park to go for species of Mountain Gorillas is Volcanoes National Park which is located in the Northwestern part of Rwanda on Rwanda’s border with the Democratic Republic of Congo near Virunga National Park of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park of Uganda inclusive of the Virunga Massif. There are no species of Lowland Gorillas in Rwanda.
Democratic Republic of Congo is characterised by two species of Gorillas including Mountain Gorilla species and Lowland Gorillas species, while in Democratic Republic of Congo, the only park to go for Mountain Gorillas is Virunga National Park and Lowland Gorillas are found in Kahuzi Biega National Park which are both located in the Eastern part of Democratic Republic of Congo.
What’s required? To be allowed for Gorilla trekking you must buy a Gorilla trekking permit and the price for this permit varies according to destination whereby in Uganda it costs $600 USD per person, in Rwanda, it costs $1500 USD per person and in the Democratic Republic of Congo costs $400USD per person usually book in advance before your trekking dates. Once money for this permit is paid it’s non-refundable.
What to Pack. Planning for a Gorilla trek in Uganda, Rwanda and DR Congo, you are required to pack different protective gear including strong hiking shoes, gloves, head shock, long-sleeved shirt and trousers, shocking, nose capes, sun-glasses, insect repellents, waterproof bags and jackets to protect yourself from mud, thorns and hooks, skin scratches, heavy dust and sunshine, biting insects and rainfall waters respectively.
Where to stay. All these Gorilla hosting destinations are situated with different accommodation facilities reserved for clients to use at affordable prices, they are categorised into three levels including budget facilities, mid-range and luxury facilities all characterised by good services offered with the aim of fulfilling the Clients’ needs.