UGANDA GORILLA TREKKING IN RAINY SEASON

 

Uganda is unique in its way, hosting lots of beautiful attractions any traveler will enjoy while visiting Africa. It is among the East African countries with a lot of adventurous activities both soft and hard. Among the experiences or activities is gorilla trekking which is done in only two national parks (Mgahinga national park located in the Virunga Mountain ranges with one habituated gorilla family and Bwindi National Park located adjacent to the foothills of Virunga Mountain ranges with 21 habituated gorilla families).

 

Gorilla trekking means the activity of walking in the jungle in search of the rare apes also called primates in the tropical jungle of Africa which is their natural habitat, spending an hour in their presence watching keenly their movements, behaviors and characters, taking memorable photos at a given distance and the overall experience can last for 2 to 8 hours and this depends on the where the gorilla trekked can be located. Gorillas live in groups of about 2 to 30 individuals each group being headed by the silverback which is the alpha male. The silverback plays a big role such as finding food, mating female gorillas, protecting the group and many more.

 

There are different species of gorilla which merge to form subspecies and in Uganda, we have a subspecies that is called the mountain gorilla. As the name suggests, they live in mountains at an altitude of 8,000 to 13,000 feet above sea level and their long and thick fur that protects them from coldness makes them live at high altitudes. Trekking the mountain gorillas in Bwindi and Mgahinga national parks requires one to be physically fit and this calls to prepare in advance since there is a lot of hiking and walking long distances.

 

Gorillas can trek in the rainy season and this has an advantage and disadvantages which are; during the wet season, a tourist interested in trekking the mountain gorilla is less and this means that you choose any gorilla family you are interested in. Also, during the rainy season, trekkers find it easy to meet the gorillas since they keep at one point due to plenty of food not like in the dry season when they move to distant areas in search of food.

 

In addition, during the rainy season/low season, some accommodation facilities give offers and discount rates and for budget tourists, this is the best time to travel. The gorilla trekking permits keep constant and the price cuts across to either budget or luxury travelers this means that a budget tourist can save on accommodation to be able to visit these gentle giants. Also, you cannot be disappointed when you book gorilla trekking permits in the same month of trekking since the permits are in low demand compared to the dry season when you are advised to book your permit at least 3 months before the day trekking.

 

One and the most disadvantage is that, during the rainy season, the trails are impassable because they are muddy and slippery hindering the movement of tourists to penetrate the mountainous jungles where gorillas are located. Mountain gorillas live in higher elevations which receive 1000 to 2000 mm of rain per year.

Mountain gorillas can be trekked throughout the year but the best time is during the dry season of June to September and December to February. Trekking mountain gorillas in Uganda needs a lot of preparation in advance and having proper hiking equipment like gum boots, rain jackets or coats, insect repellent, long-sleeved clothing, garden gloves to protect you from hand scratches, a walking stick and enough drinking water with an energy-giving snack.

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