Mountain Gorilla trekking is one of the few life changing adventures that every wildlife enthusiast should enjoy at least one in a lifetime. This rare wild safari is such a thrilling experience on which travelers hike advancing through the Virunga ranges in search for this endangered species of wildlife.
To enjoy this adventure in Africa, you hike deep into the mountain jungles of Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), on a gorilla safari, a journey which in the end rewards you with an interaction with the one of the habituated gorilla family or groups in the specified countries.
Upon booking your safari, you will be taken to one of the four parks that protect the mountain gorillas. on a trek through the Virunga ranges, you will be guided and directed or even rendered any other help from the local tour guides, game rangers and park rangers, who are usually well informed about the proper locations of the gorillas thus simplifying the trekking activity (they know where these animals can be hiding).
Usually, the trekking period is determined by the movement of the gorillas and can range from as low as two hours and more. Mountain gorillas are always on the move, traversing through the Virunga ranges in families and groups, camping out just long enough to clear a wide area of all its fruit, have a nice sleep on nests of leaves, and move on. They do so without keeping in one straight clear route and this can be evidenced when tracking them that they are always meandering.
There are never any proper trails when finding the gorillas; it’s the guides that create a trail with machetes tracing out the previous movements of the gorillas. It is usually a back and forth process, going up and down hill and quite an exhausting activity but very memorable once in contact with these wonderful creatures.
Gorillas are found in areas of higher altitudes and it’s at the top ranges that we find the various gorilla family groups according to their movements. The mother gorillas are always with their baby gorillas while the silverbacks always watch out for their members against any sort of attacks. They are very entertaining creatures, the gorillas are very playful that they even attempt inviting tourists to play with them. At times when ,their invitation is not accepted, the younger gorillas give up on trying to play with the visitors/ humans and just play with each other — rolling, wrestling, swinging on vines, and pounding their chests, just like in the movies. This is such an interesting scene that lasts for only an hour (interacting with these animals).
While with the gorillas, the tour guides explain the gorillas’ behavior which humans can easily interpret as menacing. They help you know more about these animals i.e., they are not threatening but rather as curious about humans as they too with them. When visiting gorilla camps, it is important to wearing surgical masks to prevent any diseases being passed back and forth between our species.