Gorilla trekking is an experience like no other. This is a safari holiday that sees visitors getting up close to some of the most magnificent creatures on the planet. It is possible to visit the gorillas in their natural habitats to see families of apes living, eating and socialising in harmony with nature.
Where to go for gorilla trekking
There are various trekking holidays available and it is important to research exactly what you are looking for from a safari to find the right gorilla trekking holiday for you. Places where these types of safaris are popular include Rwanda and Uganda; in fact, there are only about 700 mountain gorillas left in the wild and half of these can be found in the Virunga Mountains of central Africa.
Individual gorilla treks tend to take place over half a day or a full day. You do not need to be super-fit to undertake a trek; however, it helps if you are capable of walking for long periods over difficult terrain, such as muddy paths, forests and hills. The fitter you are, the more you will be able to get out of the experience. The weather is likely to be cold and damp on a mountain trail tracking gorillas; therefore, it is best to dress accordingly in warm layers and waterproofs.
What to take on your trek
Various operators run gorilla trekking holidays, such as steppestravel.co.uk, meaning that it is easy to find the right safari for you. Whichever operator you choose, it is a good idea to prepare well before departure so that you can enjoy your holiday to the maximum. This means taking a good backpack that can hold your clothes, water bottle, food, camera and any other items you need for your trek. The gorilla families are spread out; therefore, it may take a few hours to see plenty of these creatures.
You will be allocated a group on the morning of your gorilla trek and you will have a guide to help you. When you see the gorillas, it is best to keep about seven metres away; however, the animals may move close than this, especially the curious youngsters.
Rwanda is a great choice for gorilla treks, as the terrain is easier than Uganda; however, the permits cost a little more.