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African Guide Travel Blog

Track Gorillas In Uganda This Year!

So, you’ve been on safari have you? You say you’ve seen the ‘Big Five,’ so named because they are supposed to be the hardest wild animals in Africa to spot? I think not!

Without a doubt, one of the most magnificent animals living in Africa’s wilds is to be found in the hills of primarily Uganda and Rwanda. The Silverback Gorilla. This is a different experience altogether. This is a tracking or ‘Trekking’ experience (as Africans prefer to call it) – this is not a luxury safari or guided tour, this is well supervised and safe, but an Experience with a capital ‘E!’ Come and do it – go one better than a luxury African safari – come Track Gorillas in Uganda this year!


Why Uganda?

Uganda simply offers the best tours and Gorilla tracking experiences that are to be had along with other sightings and activities. Treks are a bit longer, but the place is friendlier from a tourist perspective.

We at Jewel of Africa safaris offer this tour only to Uganda for various reasons. One of our three pillars of excellence is Safety and given its past and less favourable circumstances, we don’t see Rwanda as an ideal option.

Secondly, Jewel of Africa’s Operations manager Neil has been to Uganda recently and as your guide can offer expert advice and impart knowledge surrounding the country – always useful when visiting as a tourist.


Advantages of Gorilla trekking in Uganda

As already mentioned, the advantages of visiting Uganda for Gorilla trekking as opposed to the alternate Rwanda and the DRC are numerous and include:

You can see more – You can combine Gorilla tracking with Chimpanzee tracking and see the tree climbing Lions of Ishasha. Also, because there are two National parks that access the treks and because the treks are longer, you get to see more in the National Parks. You can choose game drive options to combine this major experience with the usual Safari experience!

You live better – There is a wider choice of accommodation and the choices are excellent!

You combine the experience – Because of its situation, Uganda is more accessible to surrounding and adjacent popular tourist destinations, so package tours to wildlife and even beach areas are easier.

It is an adventure – Possibly because the trek is longer here and you go through the parks and see so much, there is a real sense of having had a total adventure.


When To Go

The very best time to go is right now in February and September, but it is a year-round experience providing you don’t mind trekking in the rain. This too has its advantages though for photography, as the overcast conditions provide better lighting and a different feel.


What’s It Like?

Well the experience is surreal and sublime. You head off early and see much along the way. The trek can be taxing but the sights and smells keep you going until there’s that moment – the guide pulls back a branch of the thick undergrowth and you are suddenly face to face with one of these magnificent creatures.

More often than not you come upon a whole family. You are humbled as their gentleness and innocent curiosity belies their size and strength. The babies are playful and real show-offs. Your heart skips a beat as one of the Silverbacks beat their chest as a sign of dominance or even stage a mock charge! Don’t worry you’re safe, but it is an exhilarating experience!

You have just an hour of being part of these sadly now almost extinct creature’s family life and reluctantly you wind your way back to camp. A warm fire awaits as you each relate your own feelings about this incredible encounter. Now you know you’ve seen the real big one – gorillas in the mist – you’ve done it!


Trekking Permits – And How To Get Them

To track the mountain gorillas in Uganda you need a permit. They are purchased on a per-person, per-trek basis and a percentage of each permit goes back into the local community and park infrastructure.

JOA Safaris can organize your gorilla permits for you, as obtaining it directly with the park can be hard work … and this is just one of the many things we do to ensure that this is an amazing, but well organized experience.

Useful advice like recommending that you get 2 permits to do 2 trips because the first time you do so much photography that you miss half the experience, comes as part of the package, so contact us and let us create a specifically designed Uganda and surrounds experience that will see you accomplish what most people only dream about – you will Track Gorillas in Uganda this year!

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