Is Gorilla Trekking Worthy It?

Is gorilla trekking really worth it? This is the first question that comes in someone’s mind when he or she is told about the price of a gorilla permit. I have heard some people say “I can never spend all that money just to see some beast in the jungle” that is normally the opinion of people who don’t know what they would miss by not visiting the so called “beasts of the jungle”. Some people will assure you that they would rather use that money to go shopping, but did you know that someone who tracks the mountain gorillas is more fulfilled that the other one who chooses to go shopping? Mountain gorillas trekking is a once in a lifetime opportunity with the most memorable and exhilarating experiences that can never be compared with anything not even shopping. Interesting, mind-boggling, eye-popping, fascinating or life changing is not enough to describe the entire experience. By the time you finish reading this article, you will have changed your mind (of course if you had the negative perception about gorilla trekking) and agree with me that gorilla trekking is worth every penny. Here is why.

Firstly, there are four sub-species of gorillas that include the western lowland gorillas, the cross river gorillas, the eastern lowland gorillas and the mountains gorillas. Mountain gorillas-scientifically known as Gorilla beringei beringei are critically endangered species of the Eastern Gorillas with only 880 of them remaining in the whole world. These creatures inhabit only three countries in the entire world that include Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Rwanda and are found in only four National Parks-Mgahinga National Park, Volcanoes National Park, Virunga National Park and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. These primates only survive in the mountainous areas and the gorillas you have seen in the zoos are not mountain gorillas. These species have never survived in the zoos. So you will have to travel to Rwanda, Uganda or DRC to be able to encounter them.

The fact that mountain gorillas are found in mountainous areas means that it is challenging to track them. Why would I pay an exorbitant $1500 or $600 to suffer? That is the question some wildlife novices ask. The answer is have is that nothing good comes easily. This is why it is called gorilla trekking and not gorilla walking.

With the threats of conflicts in DRC, most tourists opt to travel to Rwanda and Uganda. Gorilla permits in Rwanda cost $1500 and in Uganda gorilla permits cost $600 for foreign non residents, $500 for foreign residents and Shs 250,000 for East African Community residents. These prices are worth the experience and not high considering the continuous effort put in Mountain gorilla research, conservation and maintenance and the revenue sharing scheme for the local communities surrounding the National Parks. It is because of the tireless efforts of Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) for Uganda and the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) for Rwanda that the number of the mountain gorillas is increasing every year.

When tourists encounter the mountain gorillas, they are allowed to spend only one hour with them. But trust me on this, that the one hour spent with these creatures on a gorilla safari adventure is a very magical, unforgettable, life changing and the best one hour of your life. When you stare into the eyes of these primates, you will be utterly moved/touched and wish to spend more time with them or even travel back to Uganda or Rwanda for gorilla trekking. Tourists are allowed to spend only one hour with mountain gorillas as a way of minimizing risks of spreading diseases such as flue, cough or measles from humans to the mountain gorillas and even avoid stressing them. If you wish to spend more time (at least 4 hours) with the mountain gorillas, visit Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and participate in the captivating Gorilla Habituation Experience at only $1500 per person where you will interact with these mammals as they undergo habituation to make them used to humans.

This activity is for few lucky people and only 96 gorilla permits are sold per day in Uganda, and only 80 gorilla permits per day for Rwanda. Why isn’t the activity worth your time and money?

In conclusion, with all the interesting facts, you can answer the question of whether gorilla trekking is worth the money paid for it. Such rare creatures that offer exceptional experiences do not comer easily.

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