Gorilla trekking is one of the extraordinary tourist activities you will enjoy when you visit Africa, especially Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. It’s a one of a kind activity that every tourist dreams of fulfilling in a lifetime. Meeting face to face with the giant Apes is an extraordinary feeling but there are many mistakes tourists make when tracking these unique animals.
Therefore, this article provides information on some of the common mistakes you must avoid (as tourists or travel agents) when undertaking a gorilla trekking safari in any of the three mentioned African countries;
Forgetting to carry the gorilla permit
Many tourists forget to carry gorilla tracking permits and yet it is the most important requirement for engaging in this life changing activity. There is no way you will be allowed to meet face to face with the critically endangered mountain gorillas without gorilla permits no matter what excuse you give. Due to the high demand for this adventure, tourists are advised to book for permits at least 6 months in advance for the high seasons and 3 months in advance for the low season.
Forgetting the gorilla trekking date
This is another common mistake committed by intending gorilla trekkers yet should always be avoided because the permit is only valid for the date indicated and if you appear a day after, there is no way you will be allowed to track the mountain gorillas. However, booking through a tour and travel company will solve such mistakes because you will be reminded a day before the actual tracking date.
Not paying attention to what is indicated on the gorilla permit
Many gorilla trekkers pay less attention to what is indicated on the gorilla permits. Read thoroughly to know the gorilla family you are attached to, and you are allowed only one hour with the family and permit fees also include the ranger guide and park entry fees. Anything else such as transfers to and from the starting point for gorilla trekking are not included thus have to budget and plan for such extra costs.
For tourists tracking from Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, the common mistake committed is not knowing or paying attention to the fact that the destination has different sectors or regions.
It is always important to pay attention to this before booking for the permit because every sector has different gorilla families/groups which you will be attached to, accommodation facilities have to be booked form within then sometimes transportation from one region to the other may be difficult if you track from a different one yet spending overnights from another sector.
Therefore, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a divided into four regions/sectors that include Buhoma (north), Ruhija in Eastern side, Rushaga and Nkuringo within the southern part of the park. To avoid all these common mistakes, intending trackers are advised to book through reliable tour operators.
In conclusion, some of the common mistakes to avoid during gorilla trekking safaris include forgetting the date of tracking, not paying attention to what is indicted in the gorilla permits and not knowing that Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is divided into four different sectors and forgetting to carry your gorilla permit.