For all travelers that have ever been in Africa, it is only gorilla trekking and chimpanzee tracking that provides the most enjoyable and memorable experience that a traveler will never forget. No other wildlife encounter in Africa matches the astounding experience of spending time face-to-face with wild gorillas and all primates as well. These endangered species are found in the deep tropical rain forests of Africa but the mountain gorillas are only found in the Virunga conservation area straddling the border of Uganda, Rwanda and the democratic republic of Congo whereas the eastern lowland gorillas are in the kahuzi biega national park in the DRC. Other primates such as monkeys and chimpanzees are found almost in all protected areas and national parks in Africa.
Mountain Gorilla trekking
In all the countries that have the mountain gorillas which are Uganda in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga gorilla national park, Rwanda in the volcanoes national park and DRC in the Virunga national park, gorilla trekking is the main activity in all these countries attracting thousands of travelers to the area all year rounds. Mountain gorillas are the biggest primates in the world living in families with each family headed by the dominant silver back for protection as the mothers in the family feed and nurse the young ones.
Trekking is a real jungle adventure as travelers follow narrow trails hiking through the deep forested areas with much under growth, ground insects and thorny bushes before reaching and encountering the rare species.
In the whole world, there are approximately 10,000 gorilla and 880 of these are mountain gorillas in the virunga conservation area.
For the case of costs, Uganda’s gorilla permit is sold at 600usd, and the activity is done in the Bwindi Impenetrable forest national park and the Mgahinga Gorilla national park both in southern part of the country. In Rwanda, volcanoes national park is the home for the gorillas and the permit is at 750usd, Virunga national park harbors the mountain gorilla s in the DRC and eastern lowland gorilla in the Kahuzi Biega national park.
Trekkers in both countries are reminded that a maximum of 8 people are allowed to interact with the gorilla for a maximum of one hour, no eats, drinks, sicknesses and flash light cameras allowed in the gorilla trekking period. A gorilla trekking safari in Africa can start from either of these countries depending on the program. Gorilla trekking begins very early at 8:00 am after briefing from the ranger who remind trekkers to pack food, walking stick and hire a porter since tracking takes between 4-8 hours and trekkers should be physically fit and well dressed in long trousers and shirts for protection.
All over the world, the other endangered rare species beside the mountain gorillas are the chimpanzees, it is a sad note that these chimpanzees are only found in Uganda in kyambura gorge queen Elizabeth national park, Ngamba islands and kibale national park, Rwanda in Nyungwe forest national park and Tanzania across the whole world, chimpanzees live in the wild but they have been habituated in that they are not hostile to human beings interested in taking their photographs and learning about their behaviors, they are always up in the trees as they feed on leaves and fruits. Chimpanzees also live in families and trekkers often hear them long before reaching them as they whoop and holler and break branches high up in the dense forest canopies they inhabit.
Chimpanzee habituation process
Alongside trekking the chimps, travelers can participate in the chimpanzee habituation experience which is a whole day with the chimpanzees in their natural habitats while participating in the habituation exercise which is more fun though more costly.
Monkeys in Africa can be found almost in all countries in different protected area and national parks, the different types of monkeys include the golden monkeys in Mgahinga Gorilla National park, the black and white colubus, red tailed monkeys, baboons, vervet monkeys in kibale forest national park and all other national parks across African continent.
To end, Gorillas and primates watching is not only about primate watching but it is also the perfect opportunity for a wonderful nature walk, through the bushes, hiking, push through the creeping plants, the sound of the birds is music to the ears, learn about the different plants and so many others that you will find in the jungle. Trekking of all primates is done throughout the year but it is so much better in the dry seasons, it is a memorable experience for travelers never to forget.