What to expect on a gorilla trekking safari in Mgahinga
What to expect on a gorilla trekking safari in Mgahinga national park?: Mountain gorilla trekking is every traveler’s dream come true and a one in a lifetime activity. It’s one of the most thrilling travel experiences in the world only experienced in the Virunga conservation area and Bwindi impenetrable forest national park. Mgahinga national park being one of the areas where mountain gorilla trekking safaris can happen we are going to look at a few things to expect on the day of trekking.
Mountain gorilla trekking is a day activity that starts early in the morning and ends at any time of the year after seeing the mountain gorillas. Locating the mountain gorillas of Mgahinga national park takes 2 to 7 hours and trekkers do get 1 hour to be around a mountain gorilla family. Nyakagezi mountain gorilla family is the only one available in Mgahunga national park and we are going to look at what to expect from the start to the end of the trekking session.
On the very day of mountain gorilla trekking, you will wake up very early in the morning and have breakfast at your lodge. Your safari drive will transfer you to the park headquarters which are at Ntebeko for a briefing that starts at 7:30 am. At the briefing centre, you must have a gorilla trekking permit to be taught about the rules and regulations of the trekking activity to ensure the safety of the wild animals and the trekkers while in the jungle.
What to expect on a gorilla trekking safari in Mgahinga national park?
In Mgahinga national park, only 8 people do trek a mountain gorilla family so there is nothing like forming groups. Only one group not exceeding 8 people goes into the jungle and it’s led by armed ranger guides who know the best routes to use while searching. Uganda Wildlife Authority chooses 8 people to trek a mountain gorilla family because of different reasons.
After the briefing, it’s always time to hike into the jungle where searching for mountain gorillas does take place. Rangers with firearms get into the safari vehicle of one o the trekkers and drive to the starting point of the trekking. For travelers who want porters, you book them right at the briefing centre to help in carrying excess luggage.
At the starting point of the trek, the guide reminds you about a few of the rules to follow and then asks trekkers to follow him. The ranger guide will always tell you to inform him in cause his speed is much so that he does reduce. Inside the jungle, you start moving to different trees where they pick fruits and you also start tracing them by their voices.
Still excited to see the mountain gorillas, trekkers, and ranger guides starting following footprints in case they come across them and they also start following food left behind. There is no guaranteed time taken to locate the mountain gorillas but you must leave the jungle happily after seeing them. It always takes 2 to 7 hours to meet the mountain gorilla family and time taken depends on the location of the family as well as the speed of the trekkers.
Mgahinga Gorilla safari at some point might look difficult but the good thing is that there are over 95% chances of seeing the apes. One needs high levels of fitness to complete the hike because it is not that easy to go through the thick jungle on the slopes of Virunga volcanoes. Even when one gets tired, they are greatly assured of meeting the mountain gorillas.
The best point of trekking comes when a mountain gorilla family is located, the trekkers pull out their cameras and phones to record videos and photographs. In the one hour given, trekkers can learn different behaviors of the mountain gorillas and also ask as many questions as they can but in a low voice. The trekkers are also able to watch the mountain gorillas carry out different activities among which include nesting, coupling, playing, eating, grooming, breastfeeding, and much more.
After an hour with the mountain gorillas, you must leave the mountain gorilla family to continue carrying out its activities. You descend back to the starting point where you get into your car and then drive to Ntebeko Visitors Centre again where awarding of trekking certificates is done.