Meeting the mountain gorillas in the wild is one of the thrilling adventures that you should not miss while in Africa. Since very few countries host the mountain gorillas, meeting these great apes in the wild is a privilege that is popular to tourists visiting Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The adventure activity is popularly referred to as gorilla trekking involves hikes in search for the mountain gorillas in their natural environment. It’s done-on foot and in small groups of not more than eight tourists who trek through the forest under the leadership of game rangers. Its one of the life time events as testified by former Gorilla trekkers.
There are many gorilla destinations by the most popular include Bwindi National Park and Mgahinga National Park in Uganda, Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, Virunga National Park and Kahuzi Biega National Park in Democratic Republic of Congo, Cross River National Park in Nigeria, Monte Alen National Park in Equatorial Guinea, Loango National Park in Gabon among others. Below are some of the reasons why Gorilla trekking is popular:
- Gorillas are few and highly endangered. They are exposed to many dangers especially the poachers and predators. For that case, the gorillas will remain few in number and to make maters worse, they are not found in many countries. Being few in number forces people to look for them hence their popularity.
- Gorilla Trekking is expensive. Gorilla trekking is one of the most expensive tourist activities. In countries like Rwanda, a gorilla permit cost US$1500, Uganda at US$700, DRC costs US$400 among others. Being expensive makes gorilla trekking special and thus forcing many people to go to discover the secret behind Gorilla trekking.
- Gorilla trekking is done in an organized way – it begins with briefing and thereafter, groups of trekkers are led by experience and professional ranger guides to feed the trekkers with necessary information ad to safe guard the lives of the tourists while in the jungles.
- Gorilla trekking is part of conservation – in countries like Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo among others, part of the revenue obtained from Gorilla tourism is put on conservation campaign.
- Unique Natural habitat – The natural environment of gorillas is unique compared to other destinations. Gorillas primarily inhabit tropical forest habitats. Tropical forests are characterized as having little variance in temperature (around 23°C) and length of daylight (around 12 hours). However, rainfall varies considerably in the tropics and is a primary factor as to the type of vegetation that grows in an area. Lowland areas of tropical forests usually have a prolonged dry season and usually consist of thorny shrubs, trees, and succulents (plants that are able to store water in their cells). Other areas that have distinct wet and dry seasons are usually composed of tropical deciduous forests. Deciduous trees and shrubs lose their leaves during the dry season and generate new leaves when it rains.