Gorilla Trekking – must be one of the most humbling experiences imaginable on this planet!
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is one of the most scenically beautiful places in Uganda, if not on this earth. Having tracked a group of 23 Mountain Gorillas, including two silverbacks and two blackbacks, the experience was simply breathtaking. As with the chimps, watching these huge but gentle creatures move and interact with one another, using such human gestures, is a wonderful experience. There are only 320 gorillas left in the park and there is a lovely little owner-managed farmhouse where one can stay with the most incredible views over the nearby lakes.
Another country which offers gorilla safaris but in a different environment is Rwanda. The main difference being that Bwindi is in a primary forest, whereas the Virunga Mountains offer a bamboo forest, with greater clearings for visibility.
There are several groups that one tracks, with no more than six people in a group and maximum time spent with the gorillas is an hour. The time disappears in a flash as one simply absorbs every movement and sound from these gentle primates. The walks too, are an experience in themselves as one walks through gentle, undulating countryside, children rushing up and greeting you, all the time being surrounded by these magnificent mountains.
The main problem is obtaining the permits, but luckily we are able to do so easier than most. The permits have recently increased to $750.00 per person per day and we recommend at least two days of trekking.