Bwindi gorilla trekking tours for the elderly
Bwindi gorilla trekking tours for the elderly: Mountain gorilla trekking continues to be the most done activity for travelers that are visiting Uganda. Bwindi impenetrable forest national park in the southwestern part of Uganda is among the few places where mountain gorillas do live in the world. The national park attracts the highest number of travelers among which include the elderly people that would want to be part of the once in a lifetime activity.
Bwindi impenetrable forest national park has the highest population of mountain gorillas that even exceeds those living in Mgahinga national park, Virunga national park, and volcanoes national park combined. The mountain gorillas do live in 4 trekking sectors which are Nkuringo, Buhoma, Ruhija, and Rushaga. When it comes to gorilla trekking tours for the elderly, the local tour operator should choose for you the best sector with the easiest mountain gorilla families to trek.
Elderly people are not physically fit and there are those that can’t even walk but would love to trek mountain gorillas. The gorilla trekking activity requires one to be physically fit especially if they are going to trek mountain gorillas that live on high altitudes. Park wardens normally allocate elderly people the mountain gorillas that are easy to trek and locate because they get information from the trackers who go early in the jungle to see where the gorilla family last nested.
Booking Bwindi gorilla trekking tours for elderly seniors
Africa adventure vacations is one of the best local tour companies in Uganda that can help elderly travelers to organize successful safaris to Bwindi. To book gorilla trekking tours with us, you need to contact us via email and let us know that you are an elder person so that we organize accordingly. When booking for the elderly, we look at taking them to the sectors with the easiest families to trek and then booking for them sedan chairs.
Elderly travelers will contact us via email with the dates of the month and year they want to travel and we shall first check for the availability of the gorilla permits at the Uganda Wildlife Authority. Once the permits are available, we shall calculate how much the whole safari would take you and thereafter send you to total via email. If you look at the total and you can afford to travel with us then you will let us know and we start planning your safari.
You will be asked to pay some of the money for the safari and part of it will be used to book gorilla permits from Uganda Wildlife Authority, the other money shall be used to book accommodation as well as the transport to and from the park. We shall also need to book the sedan chairs in case you are very old and can’t trek on foot.
Gorilla trekking exercise for the elderly seniors
The gorilla trekking exercise will start with the elderly waking up early in the morning for breakfast and thereafter meet their driver guide to transfer them to the sector offices. At the sector offices, they will meet other trekkers and park wardens who will group trekkers not exceeding 89. The elderly trekkers are given gorilla families that are easy to trek. The park wardens do teach about the dos and don’ts of gorilla trekking and then each group of trekkers is allocated armed ranger guides to lead them into the jungle.
The elderly that can’t even walk will be carried by the porters on sedan chairs which they must book earlier in advance before the trekking date. The armed ranger guides lead trekkers through different trails of the park till they meet mountain gorillas. To locate the mountain gorilla family assigned can take 2-7 hours and this depends on the speed of the trekkers and the location of the gorilla family assigned.
The moment the mountain gorilla family is located, the elderly that were carried on sedan chairs will be put on the ground to join other trekkers and armed ranger guides will give you 1 hour to be around the gorilla family which will give you an opportunity to encounter the mountain gorillas do daily activities such as hunting, nesting, playing, coupling, nesting among others. You will be able to learn about different mountain gorilla habits, take photos, and record videos among others.
Where to stay
The elderly travelers visiting Bwindi impenetrable forest national park for gorilla trekking are advised to book accommodation facilities that are located near the briefing points to avoid traveling for long distances very early in the morning. Accommodation facilities in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park do range from budget to mid-range to luxury options and where to stay depends on the travel budget.
Accommodation facilities to use while on a Bwindi gorilla tour for the elderly include Buhoma Lodge, Engagi Lodge, Rushaga Gorilla Lodge, Four Gorillas Lodge, Ruhija Gorilla Safari Lodge, Ichumbi Gorilla Lodge, Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp, Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge, Gorilla Heights Lodge, Bwindi Forest Lodge, Bakiga Lodge, Ruhija Gorilla Safari Lodge, Ruhija Community Rest Camp, Agandi Lodge, and Lake Mulehe Gorilla Lodge among others.
How much are Bwindi gorilla permits for the elderly?
Gorilla permits for Bwindi impenetrable forest national park are not sold according to age. The elderly people will get the gorilla trekking permits at a fee of $700 for foreign non-residents, $600 for foreign residents, and UGX250,000 citizens of East Africa. The elderly that would want to be with mountain gorillas for 4 hours will buy gorilla habituation permits at a fee of $1500 for foreign non-residents, $1000 foreign residents, and UGX750,000 citizens of East Africa. Elderly travelers are advised to book their permits in advance to avoid last-minute booking disappointments as well as missing their favorite trekking sector.
Best time to have Bwindi gorilla trekking tours for elderly seniors
Bwindi gorilla trekking tours for elderly seniors can be done at any time of the year however there are months that are better than the rest. The dry months are best to have gorilla trekking tours for the elderly in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and they occur from June to September and December to February. They are characterized by little or no rainfall that keeps the trekking trails dry, the vegetation is short and thin with good views of the mountain gorillas and other park animals, and lastly, the roads leading to the park are in good condition.
Elderly travelers can still have Bwindi gorilla trekking tours in the rainy season of March to May and October to November and those that will visit the park in that period will enjoy huge discounts on accommodation facilities. The lodges reduce prices to attract the few travelers that are visiting the park. the rainy season is however characterized by little or no rainfall that makes the trekking trails muddy and slippery, vegetation is short and thick with unclear views of the mountain gorillas and the roads leading to the park are in poor conditions.
What to carry
Elderly travelers visiting Bwindi for gorilla trekking tours should pack waterproof hiking shoes, long cotton stocks, gardening gloves, a pair of gaiters, long-sleeved shirts, long-sleeved pants, a rain jacket, a sweater, a hat, sunscreen, a camera, a pair of binoculars, insect repellents, face mask, sanitizer, drinking water bottle and energy-giving snacks among others.
Getting to Bwindi
Elderly travelers have two ways they can get to Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and these are by air transport or road transport. What to use to get to the park depends on their choice and their travel budget. The best way elderly travelers would get to Bwindi is by using air transport because it is very quick and safe. Air transport to Bwindi starts from Kajjansi airstrip or Entebbe international port to Kihihi airstrip for those visiting the Buhoma region and Kisoro airstrip for those that are visiting Ruhija, Rushaga, and Nkuringo region
Elderly travelers that are visiting Bwindi but can’t afford air transport can use Kigali international port and thereafter drive to Uganda using Katuna border in Kabale or Cyanika border in Kisoro and then drive to the sector of the park where they are going to trek mountain gorillas. Elderly travelers using Entebbe international airport can drive from Kampala/ Entebbe via Masaka, Mbarara, Kabale, and Kisoro and then connect to the sectors where they are to trek mountain gorillas.