Last weekend I was fortunate enough to go Gorilla Trekking in the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda to visit one of the five families of gorillas that are habituated to tourists visiting them in their natural habit. Trackers are in the jungle daily keeping tabs from a distance where each family travels throughout the day, they leave the National Park by roughly 3pm in hopes to relocate the gorillas tomorrow. The next day, the trackers will begin searching for the gorillas where they last saw them the previous day. Gorillas can move many kilometers daily in search of food or different lodging, or they may also move if they sense another family nearby. The family we visited consisted of 17 gorillas. Three of them are Silverbacks. A male gorilla becomes a silverback at the mature age of 13. Although there are three silverbacks in this family, there is only ever one dominant gorilla in a family. The dominant silverback has complete control of the family, he decides where they rest, eat, and regulates the mating in the family. The other silverbacks may also mate with the females in the group, although it's highly likely most of the baby gorillas will
belong to the dominant silverback as he does most of the mating in the group. There are other gorillas in this National Park that are not habituated to people in their forest, and they can become defensive towards people. There are also elephants in this National Park, who can also be aggressive if they cross paths with tourists.
Gorilla trekking is highly regulated in Uganda and Congo in the best interest of the gorillas. For this reason, you must obtain a permit before visiting these beautiful gorillas and in Uganda, these permits cost 600 USD per person. This money is used in various ways, roughly 20% goes back to the communities that surround the National Park. Some of the money is used to pay for the trackers, guides, and guards that accompany each group. A large amount of the money is used to habituated the gorillas to tourists, as this process can take a couple of years for the family to feel comfortable with humans. The visits are highly regulated by the government, each family of gorillas can only be visited once daily with a maximum of 8 people for only 1 hour. These regulations are in the best
interest of the gorillas, as we are entering their homes to observe them in their natural environment. We were fortunate and trekked only two hours to find this family, which I was thankful for, as trekking through this forest is no easy feat. Trekking to locate the families of gorillas can be anywhere from 1-7 hours of trekking each way. You are not guaranteed to see a family of gorillas, as this is nature and nothing is guaranteed. However, if the trackers are unable to locate the family of gorillas, you have given a second chance the following day to trek again, although this does not happen very often. Overall, this experience was well worth it, I enjoyed every minute with these beautiful gorillas in Bwindi National Park in Uganda.
Along the way, we stayed in furnished tents, the first one was Broadbill forest Camp and the second one Bunyonyi Overland Camp on Lake Bunyonyi. Both these accommodations were very welcoming and comfortable. I would highly recommend either place!
Tot: 2.504s; Tpl: 0.079s; cc: 9; qc: 28; dbt: 0.0277s; 2; m:saturn w:www (184.108.40.206); sld: 3;
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