What Are The Chances Of Seeing The Mountain Gorillas?

Chances Of Seeing The Mountain Gorillas

Why are the chances of seeing gorillas so high?

Gorilla trekking both in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo cost travelers a fortune to see the gentle giants in their Natural habitat. Gorilla trekking fees for Uganda for 202-2024 cost $700 per person to see the gorillas either in Mgahinga gorilla national park or in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. Rwanda gorilla trekking costs $1500 per person to track gorillas in Volcanoes national park and Congo gorilla permits cost $400 per person for single tracking. Congo permits are the cheapest among all the three countries, but Congo has got on going rebel infestations that has greatly affected the Normal gorilla trekking.
Whereas Uganda has got the second lowest price compared to Rwanda Gorilla trekking, Gorilla tracking in Bwindi a lot more interesting reason being that, Bwindi impenetrable forest is a home to the biggest population of mountain gorillas with almost half of the worlds remaining population. while the remaining number is found in Volcanoes and Virunga national park respectively. Looking closely at the numbers, there is a much greater percentage of about 98% opportunity of seeing the mountain gorillas despite the time, season of the you decide to go gorilla trekking. Having organized number of safari trips to gorilla trekking destinations, and the results have always been positive, so there is a much chance that if visited Bwindi, Mgahinga and Volcanoes national park today, you will see the gorillas.
Seeing mountain gorillas in the wild is a unique and remarkable experience. However, the mountain gorilla population is small and confined to specific regions, which affects the chances of encountering them. The mountain gorillas are primarily found in two locations: the Virunga Massif, which spans parts of Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda.
To increase the chances of seeing mountain gorillas, you can participate in organized gorilla trekking tours or expeditions led by experienced guides. These tours take you into the gorillas’ natural habitats and offer a higher likelihood of encountering them. However, it’s important to note that even with such tours, sightings cannot be guaranteed although the Conservation efforts have contributed to the increase in the mountain gorilla population in recent years, but they still remain critically endangered. Strict regulations are in place to protect their habitats and minimize disturbances, limiting the number of visitors and the duration of encounters.

Possibility of seeing gorillas in Rwanda, Congo and Uganda

Every visiting Uganda or Rwanda for gorilla trekking, all you need is to purchase a gorilla trekking permit and there is a much guarantee that you will see the primates although it involves trekking on steep and slippery slopes, which requires once physical fitness but at the end of the day, its worth every penny and energy when you set eyes on the first gorilla. The experience is thrilling and enjoyable when you encounter the gorillas.

Why are the chances of seeing gorillas so high?

By Nature, gorillas are wild animals and are not used to having humans in their presence. But with the resent gorilla habituation exercise, several gorilla groups have gone under Habituation which is a process of making them used to having humans around them. The gorilla Habituation involves a team of researchers, Scientists and rangers/trekkers singling out a gorilla family with frequent visits while studying their behaviors, characters and also wining their trust, the activity goes for a period of 2-3 years for the process to be rendered complete and ready for gorilla trekking. These practices have encouraged the conservation process and also improved on the availability of the gorillas which has facilitated gorilla trekking experience. Therefore, with the ongoing gorilla habituation exercise, the chances of seeing the gorillas in the wild, is not bad there is greater chance of having an encounter with the gentle giants.

Advance Team of Trackers: Being wild animals, Gorillas can be very mobile as they feed from one area of the forest to another. In the past, tourists would fail to locate them if they moved deeper into the forests. The park Authorities, brought in advance team of trekkers who would raise very early before day break and go ahead of the trekkers to seek out and find the location of the gorillas. The advanced team are expert animal trackers and are well versed with the movement and the signs of animals are where to locate them using their poop or an abandoned nests from the previous nights. so that when the visitors are ready and have been briefed bout gorilla trekking rules and regulations, the advance team will guide the team leading tourists to where the primates are using radio calls or GPS tracking tools. These behind-the-scenes effort by advance tracking teams is what makes the chances of seeing mountain gorillas very high.

Also, as a result of allocation of Gorilla Groups, Bwindi alone, has several habituated gorilla groups distributed in the four sectors of the park that is Rushaga, Buhoma, Ruhija and Nkuringo sectors while Mgahinga has got one Habituated Gorilla group for gorilla trekking. different gorilla families live in different parts of the forest. Some gorilla groups live in mountainous or heavily forested areas hence resulting in a more difficult trek. Therefore, the allocation of gorilla groups is done in such a way that the fit travelers go after groups living far away from the park offices. Whereas the elderly, those with health conditions or those who are found to be unfit are assigned gorilla groups living close to the starting point so that they do not strain or trek longer distances which may result to other challenges. The allocation of gorilla groups during the early morning briefing is therefore done in such a way that everyone is able to see the primates. Even those who cannot walk most especially the elderly, with the help of porters and Sedan chairs you are arrest assured of seeing the mountain gorillas.

Cases and Situations where one doesn’t see gorillas

The chances of not seeing gorillas are almost next to none. Even for the gorillas that wonder deep into the forest, there is still a huge chance to see the gorillas despite the time it takes and the distance to trek thus requires physical fitness and enough drinking water to keep you hydrated and energy giving snacks to boost your energy and keep you fit. There other simple treks for those who can not trek for much longer time, the Park Rangers will simply take you to another known group closer to the park. But still their other circumstances upon which you not be able to see the gorilla which is, in case of any natural disaster which the park management has no control of that you may be forced to cancel the experience. But such instances are slim and not common, you must be very unlucky for this to occur during your visit because gorilla trekking is done all year round. The activity never stops even during public holidays or even during the wet season with heavy down pour.
Note: The presence of militias/rebels in the gorilla parks can be a threat and may lead to cancellations of gorilla trekking. this is mostly experienced in Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In the past, rebel groups found the dense forests in gorilla parks irresistible. Where as in Uganda and Rwanda, they have been permanently flushed out by the armed forces. The government of Congo and management of Virunga National Park have been in place strict measures and have tried flushing out the rebels by deploying an army of rangers in the National Park. Also, when the visitors visit the park for gorilla trekking, they are always in company of the scouts and armed ranges to ensure the security of the visitors while on gorilla trekking.
Also, as result of infectious or airborne diseases, you are not allowed to see the gorillas in there natura habitat, Gorillas are vulnerable and can easily contract human infections such as cough, flue or cold, you are not allowed to track the gorillas. any person sick, is required to stay behind requested to postpone the trek until you are completely healed. Other arrangements will made for you. The reschedule of the activity is normally done free of charge but you will be inconvenienced – especially if you have to postpone your flight back home.
Overall, while there are no guarantees, the chances of seeing mountain gorillas can be improved by joining guided tours in their native habitats and being prepared for a challenging trek. It’s an extraordinary opportunity to witness these magnificent creatures up close while contributing to their conservation.

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