CHANCES OF SEEING MOUNTAIN GORILLAS ON AN AFRICAN SAFARIS
Being the most exclusive wild animals that any traveler would ever encounter with, thousands of tourists from all over the world wander in different jungles trekking and hunting for the giant apes of the forest.
It is of common knowledge that mountain gorillas are only found in Africa, and not all countries of the continent, but only three African countries of Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Despite these great apes being limited to only three countries, it is still not a guarantee that travelers spot them on every mountain gorilla safari. This imposes a question on the chances of seeing the might giants in their natural habitats; a lifetime experience that a million travelers are looking for.
No tourist will ever dare to pay the 600 USD for a gorilla permit in Uganda, or the 1500 USD for a permit in Rwanda, without being assured of his chances to see the endangered apes. However, while trekking the gorillas in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park or in Volcanoes national park in Rwanda or any other gorilla park, the chances of encountering with the great apes are 99%. It is very rare for trekkers to leave the forest without meeting a gorilla family.
The fact that the endangered apes are always on the move, it is very easy to both encounter the gorillas as well as miss them out because their movements are controlled by neither the travelers, the guides nor the trackers.
However, the pre-trekking check by the park rangers guarantees higher chances of sighting the gorillas. At the start of each trekking day, several rangers wake up very early and hike into the jungle, just to check out where the gorillas spent their night. Having spotted the endangered apes, they call back to the park management to direct them where the gorillas are and which trails the trekkers should use in order for them to see the mountain gorillas.
Also the allocation of gorilla families basing on the trekker’s capability. Different groups of gorillas live on different altitudes. During the gorilla trekking briefing, trekkers are divided into groups of eight, basing on their capability to hike to long altitudes. The young and energetic are allocated to groups that live high in the mountains, and the elderly and weak trek the families that live close to the ground. This way, there are no chances of a trekker getting tired before encountering with the gorillas in the forest.
Still the early preparations for the gorilla trek guarantees encountering with them. All tour consultants normally start advising their clients about gorilla trekking like 3 months back before the actual day. Trekkers are advised on what to pack, doing some exercise for the trek and even on how one can hire porters in case he feels weak to make it to the gorillas.
Equally the fact that these gorillas have been habituated enough for almost two years. So the members of the gorilla families are very familiar to people that it is very hard for a gorilla to run away from the trekkers on spotting them. They will normally continue with their daily routines, playing from tree branch to another, silverbacks watching over their family members and others feeding on the tree leaves and fruits.
Make sure that the travel consultant you are dealing with gives you full information about gorillas in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Otherwise, an encounter with the endangered great apes is a 99% guaranteed on any gorilla safari in Africa.