Gorilla Trekking and Safaris in Africa

Every one has of course heard about the Mountain gorillas. Yes, the Mountain Gorilla is no longer a mythical species today. ‘King Kong’ the movie must have either have introduced you to the gentle apes found in East and Central Africa.

FACTS ABOUT MOUNTAIN GORILLAS

rwanda-gorillasThe population of the mountain gorillas is rapidly declining and they are considered to be endangered Species that is jealously protected around the World. In fact there are less than  700 surviving gorillas in Africa. More than half of them reside in Uganda- Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, to be specific. In Rwanda the population of the gorillas is clustered in and around Volcanoes National Park in north western Rwanda and the rest in Democratic Republic of Congo and Central Africa Republic.

The fur of the mountain gorilla, often thicker and longer than that of other gorilla species, enables them to live in colder temperatures. Gorillas can be identified by nose prints unique to each individual. Males, at a mean weight of 195 kg (430 lb) and upright standing height of 150 cm (59 in) usually weigh twice as much as the females, at a mean of 100 kg (220 lb) and a height of 130 cm (51 in). This subspecies is on average the second largest species of primate; only the Eastern Lowland Gorilla, the other subspecies of Eastern Gorilla, is larger.
Adult males are called silverbacks because a saddle of gray or silver-colored hair develops on their backs with age. The hair on their backs is shorter than on most other body parts, and their arm hair is especially long. The dominant silverback generally determines the movements of the group, leading it to appropriate feeding sites throughout the year. He also mediates conflicts within the group and protects it from external threats..

Gorilla Trekking in Africa

Tracking gorillas is not a mere adventure…it is one of those incredible activities you must do before you die! However  you need to be prepared for hours of arduous climbing and enormous patience to find these primates that roam around the forests during the night!

Bwindi-park Rwanda as well as Uganda Safaris is known for various wildlife safaris but the Gorilla Safaris are the best holiday package these countries can offer. It is up to you which one to choose. Both of them have many lucrative offers and it may be a herculean task for a tourist to choose one from the other.

A maximum number of 6 visitors may visit a group of habituated gorillas in a day. This minimizes behavioral disturbance to the gorillas and the risk of their exposure to human-borne diseases.

Identifying the spoors and trails of the gorillas from their previous night spots and then track them is not an easy task. The guides will take you to where they found the gorillas the day before. From there you will follow the gorilla’s trail to find them. Look out for the gorilla’s nesting sites along the way

Gorilla trekking tips

Pack your lunch boxes, rain coat, wear boots and then set off to the forest with your armed ranger guide. The trek experience can proceed for more than 2 hours but it is worthwhile when you meet a family that you been tracking for a long time.

There is so much to enjoy on this adventure; gorilla trails, unique forest vegetation, birds and other animals, all this, your ranger guide will gladly point it out and explain.

The age limit for gorilla safaris in Uganda and Rwanda is 15 years old and it is important to be fairly fit you are walking up and down hills at quite an altitude.

You’ll need ranger or porter to carry your large luggage on the trek  except the camera and water bottle. A walking stick is also useful. It is bound to be wet, so do take a rain coat, umbrellas are useful to protect your camera when trying to take photos of gorillas in the rain or mist! Good hiking boots and long trousers would be sensible.

Finding the gorillas is quite an anxious feeling, you have only 1 hour to enjoy the amazing creatures as they feed and grumble with their little ones. Take pictures of them as your tour guide identifies for you this particular family, its name and usual behavior. The tracking sometimes lasts several hours (normally 2-7 hour) thus the need to pack your lunch for the adventure.

The Price

Gorilla trekking permits are a must if you intend to go mountain gorilla tracking. These trekking are highly demanded an must be booked 2-3 months prior to the set gorilla safari date.

The price for Uganda and Rwanda Gorilla safaris range between $400-$600 per person.Except a hike in the price of gorilla permits in Rwanda, to $750, tracking mountain gorillas in the Congo, which costs only $400 a day during the peak summer season.

The most important thing about these prices is that you are not only paying for the adventure ahead but you are giving a hand in conservation of the Gorilla habitats and other duties related to preserve the pride of Africa for more generations to come.

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Tips on Spending Safari holidays in East Africa

What is your typical itinerary for an African safari or holiday? One thing you need to focus on before identifying the African safari is adventure. There are many countries that make adventures come true on safari holidays among which is the East African safari. Think of luxury, warmth, romance, fun and pleasure-this is what Africa and East Africa offers on every safari tour or holiday. It makes sense whether it is with family or just a group of close friends looking for holidays to relax at the end of the year!

The most preferred safari destinations in East Africa include Tanzania, Kenya and then the other countries like Uganda and Rwanda to highlight your safari holiday. The safaris in Kenya or Tanzania are a wild adventure like no other.

Safaris in Tanzania

Like seen in many wildlife documentaries, Tanzania is the best good for game drives and safari walks. There are 50,000sq km of vast savannah plains and woodland forests which are a lush habitat for several species of mammals and wild birds.

The Serengeti Safari is the highlight of safaris, game drives and adventures in East and Central Africa. This Tanzania national park is home to large prides of lions, more 30,000 wildebeests, zebras, leopards, antelopes, elephants and other wild animals. Experience the beauty of this safari home on a hot air balloon ride or just a drive through the tall grasses.

Before you leave Tanzania, make sure you stop at the Kilimanjaro-which is the highest mountain in Africa and then spend the evenings at the lake Victoria shores or cool off at the beaches of the Indian ocean coast and enjoy the breeze from the turquoise ocean. Tour operators in Tanzania can arrange exclusive packages include these prominent safari destination and other interesting tourist attractions in Tanzania

The Ideal Kenya safari

The trail of an east African safari will have a stop in Kenya. The safari capital of Nairobi is your first stop being home to the Nairobi National Park and Animal Orphanage. Yet still a Kenya safari is not complete without a trip to the famed Masai Mara Game reserve which is the route of the Great Wildebeest Migration– one of the seven natural wonders of the World. Several animals trail from the Serengeti plains in Tanzania on the hunt for lush pastures in the Mara plains in July.

Explore the best of Masai Mara on a luxury hot balloon safari ride and spend a night in one of the five star safari lodges or camps. The choice of wild adventures in Kenya brings you to the rift valley lakes of Lake Nakuru and Naivasha where flamingos camouflage the lakes into a pulsating pink mass. The road to the countryside is breathtaking crossing from the green plains of Mount Kenya to the low lying plains of northern Kenya.

While organizing an east African safari, take some time off to find the charm in Gorilla Trekking adventures that drives more than 5000 tourists every year to Uganda and Rwanda. The mountain gorillas that live in mountains of south western Uganda and northern Rwanda are half of the population of this species of endangered primates you will find no where else but in East Africa.

Getting the most of it all-

The trick to enjoying such a fun packed safari itinerary and more is getting in touch with a reliable tour operator. There are many travel and safari packages but the difference is with customized holiday packages for safari honeymoons, family holidays, beach holidays or just safaris with close friends. To get a memorable safari holiday in Kenya, make sure you consider reputable tour operators recommended by previous travelers in Kenya.