An encounter with the mountain gorillas in the wild deep in African rain forests is quite ultimate and magical. This experience with the astonishing human like creatures normally lasts for an hour. Mountain gorilla tracking in Africa is only done in three countries inclusive of Uganda, Rwanda, and Democratic Republic of Congo. Only an approximate number of 1000 critically endangered mountain gorillas are known to be thriving in the rain forests of Bwindi impenetrable national park Uganda, Mgahinga national park Uganda, Virunga national park in Congo and volcanoes national park in Rwanda.
For any option you choose, gorilla tracking is extraordinary and unforgettable experience though quite costly in some destinations like Rwanda and has been suspended in Congo’ Virunga national park due to insecurities till 2019. This has given Uganda an opportunity to offer luxury and budget gorilla safaris to travelers who find their way into this country.
Below are the ways on how one can trek gorillas in Africa, with reference to Uganda, giving both luxury and budget alternatives.
At first, consider traveling in the low seasons, since gorilla trekking safaris are expensive which is true, consider traveling in the low seasons where almost all players in the industry mostly those in national parks tend to subsidize their services, these include accommodation facilities, destinations / sites, craft centers, among others.
In the months of April, May and November, these are low season months when the country receives few tourists therefore, most safari lodges in Uganda tend to reduce on their room rates, as well as Rwanda which introduced a 30% discount on its permit cost, but on condition that a visitor spends 3 nights and visits any of the 2 other national parks.
For any traveler to have a successful budget gorilla safari. You have to put it in mind that traveling as a group is better than alone, this is very possible since there is sharing of costs in terms of transport, accommodation, fuel, guides or even individual stuff like souvenirs. But one of the best ways to do it is always to inquire from a genuine travel operator for advice or include you in their scheduled group tours.
Usually, the peak season includes months of January, June, July August and December, so if you intend to travel during this season for gorilla tracking, it is advisable to book your gorilla permit earlier. This will help in making necessary arrangements when it’s early enough. This is due to the fact that in peak season lodging facilities tend to get occupied to full capacity and even hike their prices.
In the essence of traveling, it is well and clear that people travelling in groups face limited costs compared to solo travelers; however much are some cost factors which will always remain constant at an individual basis. To go gorilla trekking on a budget it is recommended to join scheduled groups or come along with friends or family members.
Entrance fees. These are some of the costs one will meet when planning to gorilla trekking in Africa as well as accommodation costs and in most cases these are the constant costs and it’s upon the traveler to understand them. Consider lodges outside national parks so you can cut extra costs when relaxing at the lodge or stay at the lodge when not doing any activity in the park.
In order to enjoy a low budget gorilla safari, take up quite some time on considering the number of other activities you would like to spend time in. This includes categories of accommodation that choose to stay in while at the destination, and other activities you would do after tracking gorillas tracking gorillas and ascertain if they are price affordable, for example, boat cruises, nature walks, evening cultural tours, etc.