Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of shape do I need to be in? How strenuous is gorilla trekking?
Each gorilla trek is different as some of the gorilla families live in close proximity to the park’s entrances, while others live deep in the forest! You can anticipate between one and eight hours of hiking depending on which family you visit. Bwindi Park in Uganda has some steeper terrain than Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda. You inform us of your physical fitness and desires, and then we can help you select the right viewing experience.
Is there an age limit for gorilla trekking?
The age limit for gorilla trekking in Rwanda and Uganda is 15 years of age and democratic republic of congo is 14 years. While it’s possible for you to have an excellent gorilla safari with your kids, sometimes its rather hard.
Should I visit Rwanda, Uganda, Congo or both?
Bwindi’s gorillas in Uganda live in a high altitude rain forest, while the gorillas in Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda live in a bamboo forest. These habitats result in some behavioral differences and definitely result in different hiking and viewing differences. Budget issues often impact whether our guests visit both parks and only one. If time and budget permit, we recommend that our guests view in both parks.
Are there rules to abide by when gorilla trekking?
Yes, the park rangers are very strict in managing gorilla and human contact. The rules include:
- No more than eight guests are allowed to view each of the habituated gorilla families at any one time.
- You should maintain a distance of at least seven meters or 23 feet from the gorillas. The gorillas will break the rules occasionally. In such cases, one should step back.
- Do not do anything that may cause the gorillas stress or exhibit any behavior that they may see as a challenge. One must respect their space, speak very quietly, and avoid unnecessary movement.
- Do not touch the gorillas or try to make contact.
- Do not use flash cameras.
- Do not eat or smoke.
- Leave nothing behind but footprints.
What type of clothing do I need to bring?
While hiking in the forest, it is best to keep your skin covered. Rain jackets are recommended as afternoon showers can occur any time of the year. We provide our guests with complete packing lists and discuss clothing tips we have learned in hiking these forests over the years.
Can you adopt a gorilla?
You can ‘adopt’ a gorilla in Rwanda or Uganda using the sponsorship projects of conservation organizations such as Friend of the Gorillas and the International Gorilla Conservation Program. Your permit fees directly supports the projection of these animals and their environment through the government.
How much does it cost to see gorillas?
A gorilla permit costs $600 in Uganda, $ 400 in Congo and $750 in Rwanda collected by Park Officials. When you book with us, we handle all permit acquisitions. Our full tour price includes the permit, transportation, accommodations, most meals and excellent service by an English-speaking guide. Some ‘discount’ services you may see will instruct you to procure a permit and your own way via public transportation to Bwindi, Uganda. This is not advisable. Please use a tour operator in order to have a successful safari. You may think it’s a cheap gorilla tour but in the end, it can turn out to be expensive indeed.
What accommodation is like
All of our tours are flexible about a budget, mid-range or luxury accommodation – you can chose what’s right for you for the price. All accommodations have clean and safe running water,Self contained.
“Budget” – Accommodation such as simple guesthouses or dormitory rooms are available in many cities in Rwanda. Service and amenity standards won’t be high and you are likely to share facilities with other guests, but choosing this standard can make a big difference in the price of the tour.
“Mid-range” – Primate safaris Rwanda originally focused mainly on the mid-range market and therefore has a special ability to choose the best accommodation of this standard. This is your best option for comfortable, self-contained (‘en suite’) accommodation set in stunning locations that don’t cost a fortune.
“Semi-luxe” – Accommodation falling in this category is more comfortable than the mid-range. The locations are similar, but the details are further refined. These lodges often have a swimming pool, as well.
“Luxury” – The luxurious accommodation is fully equipped, comfortable and usually more spacious than the mid-range options. They often have facilities like swimming pools, masseurs and sometimes even private butlers.