Mountain gorillas are on top list of the most attractions in Uganda and gorilla trekking in the pearl of Africa is a bucket list trip of which every traveler yearns to experience, though many don’t go for it thinking it is an expensive experience. However it is possible to have an affordable gorilla trekking safari in Uganda or Rwanda, which typically fits your budget as well as interests.
Travelers can experience a budget gorilla trekking safari when they visit Uganda or book during the low season. Normally low season months in Uganda and Rwanda, include April, May and November and during this low season it becomes easy to reserve gorilla permits than in the high season hence saving precious time for travelers while booking.
One of the rules of gorilla trekking in Uganda and Rwanda is that only eight people are allowed to trek the each gorilla family on a given a day, however during low season chances are high that your trekking group will comprise of few members which means more personal interaction with the gorillas.
Besides having a smaller group when trekking the gorillas, during the low season the cost of services in lodges and hotels are reduced due to the low occupancy rates and guests receive high quality services at a reduced price, which is not always the case during the peak season. And even the air tickets during this season are always offered at a low rate.
Low season is greatly characterized by rain, during months of February through to May and November, however rain does not affect trekking and on another hand mountain gorillas live in tropical rain forests where rain can occur any time despite the season. Still during rainy season, forest vegetation becomes very green and lush during this time making it a perfect setting for some great photographs.
Another great way to have an affordable gorilla trekking tour is by booking as a group. Large groups of travelers often get discounts from tour operators, lodges and other services. Additionally, since most costs are shared, this makes costs per person cheaper and affordable.
Reserving gorilla permits through an accredited tour agency is also another fantastic way to enjoy a budget gorilla tour. Tour operators occasionally extend seasonal offers to their clients and this reduces total costs that ought to be spent on a given gorilla safari.
Uganda has two destinations where mountain gorillas can be trekked in the jungle; Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga gorilla national park. Bwindi impenetrable national park has four sectors where 12 habituated families are habituated. The gorilla sectors include, Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga and Nkuringo.
The famed Bwindi Forest protects half of the world’s gorilla population and it is the only park where gorilla habituation can be experienced in Africa. Mgahinga gorilla national park is the other destination in Uganda where gorillas can be trekked. It only has one gorilla family with five adult silverbacks, making this park home to the highest concentration of silverbacks in any gorilla family in the entire world.
Gorilla trekking in Uganda can last between 30 minutes to 6 hours and once travelers spot the gorillas, they are given up to one hour to observe them and take pictures. Sometimes the young juveniles will get pretty close to visitors as they are curious and playful. And after the one hour elapsing, travelers trek back to the park headquarters.
Considering all these factors, gorilla trekking in Uganda and Rwanda can definitely be done on a budget. Therefore visitors should take the advantage of this and book gorilla trekking safari during the low season, in addition to all other alternatives, in order to enjoy this unforgettable experience.