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Last minute gorilla trekking in Mgahinga national park

Last minute gorilla trekking in Mgahinga national park is normally done by travelers who are in the country for a short period of time

Last minute gorilla trekking in Mgahinga national park

Last minute gorilla trekking in Mgahinga national park: Last minute gorilla trekking is normally done by travelers who are in the country for a short period of time for organizational activities like conferences or meetings. Other travelers who do last minute gorilla trekking in Uganda are those that find themselves in Uganda and don’t want to go back home minus seeing the mountain gorillas. Mountain gorillas are endangered species of primates with more than 98% human DNA so every person would love to see them.

One of the countries where mountain gorillas are found is Uganda and we are so lucky to be hosting them in two national parks. Mountain gorillas in Uganda are seen in Mgahinga national park, and Bwindi impenetrable forest national park all in southwestern Uganda. Last minute gorilla trekking can be done in all two national parks however today we are looking at Mgahinga national park.

Mgahinga national park is a small national park of 33.9 sq. km in the Virunga conservation area. The national park was gazetted in 1991 to protect endangered mountain gorillas and the population is slowly increasing. Over 100 mountain gorillas are living in the slopes of volcanoes park and Mgahinga national park feeding on the bamboo and afro montane vegetation.

When Mgahinga national park had just been gazetted, a mountain gorilla family which was named Nyakagezi started its habituation process which was completed in 1993. It’s still the only family gazetted in Mgahinga national park and it’s open for trekking every day. A maximum of 8 people does trek Nyakagezi mountain gorilla family which means 8 gorilla permits are available on a daily basis.

Booking last minute gorilla permits for Mgahinga national park

It’s always a chance for a traveler to get last minute gorilla permits for Mgahinga national park more so when it’s the high seasons. During the high season permits do sell out because it’s when a lot of travelers are within the country to enjoy the good weather conditions. More chances of getting last minute gorilla permits happen in the low season when a few tourists are visiting the park.

Local tour operators are the best when it comes to booking last-minute gorilla permits for Mgahinga national park. They will talk directly with the people at the reservations office at UWA for any permits available or will talk to fellow tour operators to see if anyone has gotten a gorilla permit they won’t be using as some clients cancel the trips.

Tourists who find gorilla permits still available at last minute are considered the luckiest. When the gorilla permit is available, tourists will be asked to pay and then provide their personal details which are included on the gorilla permit. Last minute gorilla trekking in Mgahinga national park is done 24 hours or a day before the gorilla trekking activity.

Price of the gorilla permit in Mgahinga national park

Last minute gorilla permits in Mgahinga national park cost the same price as though bought earlier unless otherwise. The price of gorilla trekking permits for Mgahinga national park at Uganda Wildlife Authority still stands at $700 for foreign non-residents, $600 for foreign residents, and UGX250,000 citizens of East African member states.

Last minute gorilla trekking

Tourists who are doing last minute gorilla trekking must know that one needs to be fit enough to complete and enjoy the gorilla trekking activity. On must sleep in the lodges inside the park or those not so far away because the gorilla trekking activity starts as early as 7 am. The activity starts at Ntebeko Visitors Centre where rangers teach the rules and regulations of gorilla trekking. After learning the dos and don’ts, armed ranger guides are chosen to take the trekkers into the jungle.

Inside the jungle, ranger guides do use different trekking trails to search for where the mountain gorillas could be. Rangers go following different footprints in case of any and they also look for areas where they left food. Searching goes for so many hours but the time taken usually depends on the location of the mountain gorilla family as well as the speed of trekkers.

When Nyakagezi mountain gorilla family is located, trekkers are given 1 hour to be around the members which give them an opportunity to learn about their behaviors, take photos, and watch the members carry out activities like the silverback patrolling, others nesting, hunting, breastfeeding, coupling, grooming, and playing among others.

After spending time with the beautiful mountain gorillas, next is trekking out of the jungle and then moving to Ntebeko Visitors Centre to collect gorilla trekking certificates. Gorilla trekking is a very interesting activity every traveler would dream to have. After leaving the jungle you will keep talking about how fun mountain gorilla trekking was because many people never want to leave them but want to stay watching.

Best time to go gorilla trekking Mgahinga

Even though last minute gorilla booking can happen at any time, tourists should know that gorilla trekking is best done during the dry seasons. If one goes gorilla trekking during the dry season there will find little or no rainfall in Mgahinga national park. During the dry seasons, the trekking trails are dry and passable, vegetation is short with good views of wildlife and clear photographs are captured while roads leading to the park are in good condition.

The rainy season is not that good for mountain gorilla trekking but tourists who will do last minute booking will end up getting discounted accommodation facilities. The rainy season happens from March to May and October to November when the park is receiving heavy rainfall. Too much rainfall leaves the trekking trails muddy and slippery, vegetation is tall with unclear views of wildlife, and roads leading to the park are in poor states.

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