Is Gorilla Trekking In Uganda Safe?

Is gorilla trekking in Uganda safe?

Is gorilla trekking in Uganda safe?

Is gorilla trekking in Uganda safe? : Gorilla trekking is a safe adventure/ safari experience so long as you follow a few basic rules and listed to your guides and rangers on the trek.

Mountain gorilla trekking is a life- changing activity offering visitors a chance to visit the endangered mountain gorillas in their nature habitat, in the whole world mountain gorillas are found in 3 countries (Uganda, Rwanda and DR.Congo) in 4 destinations that is Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, Bwindi impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda and Virunga National Park in Democratic Republic of Congo.

To make gorilla trekking in Uganda safe, there is a set of rules and regulations each and every visitor / trekker should obey on a gorilla trek to ensure your safety. These rules and regulations were put in place to protect both the trekkers and for the well-being of mountain gorillas themselves.

 Mountain gorillas are gentle giants

Mountain gorillas are very shy and gentle creatures, though they are normally considered terrifying creatures because of their huge size, a silverback a dominant male in a gorilla family can weigh around 150 to 180 kg. Mountain gorillas are naturally gentle by nature those they are extremely powerful most especially the fully grown males.

Mountain gorillas are vegetarians feeding mostly on flowers, leaves, barks and stems though they also feed on insects. Because of this, gorillas have no interest in messing with humans even if they are defending themselves if being attacked, gorillas are also not aggressive cultures.

Habituated gorillas are visited during gorilla trekking experience

To stretch more about everyone’s safety while gorilla trekking experience, habituated gorillas are visited. Only habituated mountain gorillas are open for gorilla trekking experience, these gorillas underwent through a 2 years training termed as gorilla habituation process in which they slowly become accustomed to the presence of humans, they are therefore less likely to become alarmed and agitated by your presence.

You trek with a trained guide

While in the thick forests of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park on gorilla trekking, you are accompanied by a trained guide and rangers.

Always and always listen to your ranger and stay with the group while trekking, listen to what you are told to do and not do, poking a silverback’s stomach h for instance is not allowed.

If you follow the rules of your trek guide and act with common sense you are perfectly safe visiting the gorillas.

Gorilla Trekking Safety Guidelines

There are rules to follow when observing the gorillas that are geared towards not angering, frightening or any other way which may upset the gorillas, here are some of the guidelines to follow when in the presence of mountain gorillas to ensure your safety as well as that of gorilla.

  • Don’t use flash photography as it could startle and irritate them
  • Stay at a distance of 8 meters away from the mountain gorillas
  • Do not make sudden movements or loud noises as these could alarm the gorillas
  • Don’t wear bright or neon colors and also do not wear strong cologne or perfume.
  • If a gorilla comes close to you, remain submissive and do not look them in the eyes as this is interpreted as a challenge.

The forest trek is safe but tough

 Mountain gorillas live in Montane forest meaning you have to walk along forest trails to find them, a gorilla trek is all about find these gentle giants and seeing them in their natural habitat.

Every forest trek varies in length and difficulty depending on the park you are visiting (Bwindi or Mgahinga) and the particular gorilla family you are assigned to (the location of these troops are monitored by park rangers and each trek group is assigned a specific troop to visit).

Trekkers can be assigned a troop near or far from the starting point, the less fit trekkers may wish to have a shorter hike. Hikes in Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga Gorilla national park range from half an hour to three or four hours, this is because you hike through the thick, remote and well – preserved indigenous forests. You will encounter towering trees, ancient ferns, butterflies and enjoy bird calls.

You need to be prepared

To have a safe gorilla trekking and to also enjoy it, you need to be prepared, the biggest danger on a gorilla trek is to do with navigating the mountainous and forested terrain. You often walk along narrow or even non- existent trails, you should cover up your arms and legs to avoid being scratched by thorny leaves or being bitten by insects. You should also wear thick gloves as you might hold onto some vegetation for leverage and they can have thorns.

Also note that, the route you walk on is likely to be slippery and steep, muddy and slippery which why you need to have comfortable hiking boots and also consider bringing along trekking poles or a walking stick among others.

Also hire a porter who will assist you to carry your backpack and also help you navigate tricky sections of the trekking route.

It can also be cold in the early morning as well as hot at midday when there is no loud cover, it often rains because of the rainforest so you need to be prepared for all kinds of weather by having warm layers, a waterproof shell, a sunhat and sunscreen.

Uganda is a stable country

 If you are planning to travel to Uganda for gorilla trekking, note that Uganda is a very stable country and is listed among the safest African nations to visit. Also the locals are warm and very welcoming towards visitors.

Uganda’s Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga Gorilla national park are well run national parks by Uganda Wildlife Authority which carries out constant patrols.

The safety of the visitors at both Mgahinga and Bwindi is a top priority and there are experienced trek guides who always accompany every gorilla trekking experience.

When visiting Uganda for gorilla trekking Adventure, to ensure your safety we recommend travelling with a local tour guide to ensure your safety. Regardless of where you go, a local guide will look after you and they know the culture, environment, people and wildlife of the particular place you are visiting.

In conclusion, gorilla trekking in Uganda is a safe and exciting adventure.

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