If your safari leaves you with an extra day to explore, a unique and captivating adventure awaits – the chance to trek not only the mighty mountain gorillas but also the enchanting golden monkeys. In this comprehensive blog post, we unveil the intricacies of a gorilla and golden monkey tracking holiday, ensuring your experience is as memorable as it is enlightening.
A gorilla permit holds the key to a precious one-hour encounter with the awe-inspiring mountain gorillas. Covering the cost of park entrance and expert guiding, these permits are exclusive, allowing only eight visitors aged 15 years or above to track each habituated gorilla family per day. Setting off early in the morning, these intrepid adventurers venture into the heart of gorilla territory, returning by midday or late afternoon, their hearts brimming with the majesty of the great apes.
The journey of tracking these majestic creatures ranges from easy to strenuous, depending on the gorillas’ location. With daily tracking of mountain gorilla movements, the chances of an unsuccessful trek are nearly non-existent. In the rare event of such an occurrence, half of the permit fee is refunded, a testament to the commitment to ensuring a fulfilling experience.
In Uganda, the canvas for gorilla tracking unfolds in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla National Parks, with permit costs varying at USD700 for foreigners, USD700 for foreign residents, and UGX 250,000 for East Africans. Across the border in Rwanda, Volcanoes National Park beckons with a permit cost of USD1500 for all visitors.
For those seeking a more immersive encounter, the Gorilla Habituation Experience offers an extended four-hour rendezvous with a semi-habituated gorilla family. Priced at USD1500 for foreigners, USD1000 for foreign residents, and UGX 750,000 for East Africans, this experience involves joining gorilla trackers at 7:00 am, observing the habituation process, and becoming a part of the gorillas’ journey towards acclimatization to human presence. This remarkable opportunity is exclusive to Bwindi Forest’s Rushaga, the southern sector of the National Park.
In Rwanda, permits can be secured through the Rwanda Development Board, while in Uganda, they are obtained from the Uganda Wildlife Authority in Kampala. Given the demand, it’s wise to secure permits months in advance. During the peak season of June to September, obtaining a permit can be challenging, but the expertise of Trek Africa Tours ensures your permits are secured well ahead of time.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park boasts 18 habituated gorilla families ready for tourism and one for research. Spread across four tracking regions, the Buhoma region, the park’s headquarters, is a well-known hub for gorilla encounters, thanks to its accessibility and well-developed tourism infrastructure. However, the other regions, though less frequented, offer a more modestly priced array of accommodations and unique experiences.
In Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, a solitary habituated gorilla family beckons. Renowned for its occasional border-crossing into Rwanda (though this has not happened in years), this park offers the advantage of gorilla sightings in open areas, an unmatched experience compared to Bwindi Forest. Furthermore, Mgahinga presents an exclusive opportunity for both Gorilla and Golden Monkey tracking, making it the sole national park in Uganda where these endangered monkey species can be encountered.
Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park harbors ten habituated gorilla families, with the park gate located in Kinigi near Musanze, a highly accessible entry point to the Gorilla highlands. Within these lush landscapes, the captivating golden monkeys also make their presence felt, offering an additional layer of enchantment to your expedition.
For those captivated by the allure of gorillas and golden monkeys, Trek Africa Tours is your compass to navigate this remarkable terrain. Contact us for comprehensive information, meticulous planning, and an African safari that will etch the spellbinding stories of gorilla and golden monkey tracking into the fabric of your memories.