Uganda Travel News

The one thing you will not miss if you book a gorilla trekking holiday in Uganda and Rwanda is gorilla trekking briefing. No one can be allowed to go for gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Mgahinga National Park and or Volcanoes National Park without being briefed about the dos and don’ts while with mountain gorillas. Gorilla trekking briefing is very important and it’s a normal for each country that is home to the rare mountain gorillas to have it before going to the forest for their mountain gorilla trek.

When is gorilla trekking briefing

Gorilla trekking briefing both in Uganda and Rwanda takes place early in the morning at the respective park headquarters. In Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park, gorilla trekking briefing takes place at 8:30am every morning of each gorilla trekking day. This therefore means that all those to trek mountain gorillas should be at the park headquarters at exactly 8:30 am in time for gorilla trekking briefing. When you book a gorilla trek in Uganda and or Rwanda with Encounter Africa safaris, we will provide you with all documents about mountain gorillas in Uganda and Rwanda and also do what we call pre gorilla tour briefing. This pre tour briefing may be done by one of our safari consultant that was working on your tour or your assigned driver guide. This guide will be with you throughout the time you will spend in any of the mountain gorilla country and He will make sure that he drives you to the park headquarters in time for briefing. Please note that once at the Park headquarters, our guide (Encounter Africa guide) will hand you over to Uganda Wildlife Authority ranger guide who will take you through his routine gorilla trekking briefing

Before gorilla trekking briefing in Uganda and Rwanda

Before gorilla trekking briefing in Uganda, you will be welcomed by a Uganda Wildlife Authority ranger guide who will allocate you where to sit. Normally there is always a documentary that is showed to you before briefing so that you pick the basics about mountain gorillas in the so called gorilla highlands. While you guys will be watching TV and interacting with other people, UWA representative will cross check all details about your passports, gorilla permits and anything that may require approval before you are allowed to go for your gorilla trek in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Mgahinga National Park or Volcanoes National Park. Passports are checked to establish the nationality as well as age of each individual. These statistics are used to determine who and from which country sends more tourists to Uganda. This is for marketing purposes. Age is very important due to gorilla trekking minimum age limit for gorilla trekking. In both Uganda and Rwanda where we Encounter Africa safaris operates gorilla safari holidays to visit Uganda and Rwanda gorillas, the current age limit is 15 years and above. If it is discovered that one of the people present for gorilla trekking is below the minimum age, then he/she will not be allowed to trek gorillas. At Encounter Africa safaris we advise you this before booking your gorilla permit. Its for this reason that at the time of booking your gorilla permit, any tour operator has to establish the age of his clients to avoid disappointment.

The other importance of establishing age of each participant is that if there many elderly people who have come to trek gorillas. Advice is given to them to take enough porters or sedan chairs to help them achieve their dream of seeing mountain gorillas. At Encounter Africa safaris, we normally give advice on porters as well as a sedan chair for those that cannot walk to gorillas. If your age does not allow you to walk well to the mountain gorillas then request for porters or sedan chairs.

Checking of gorilla permits before gorilla trekking briefing is make sure that whoever is present on that particular day possess a gorilla permit which is valid for that trekking day/date. Gorilla permits are issued for a specific date and one should plan to come on that particular date. Make sure that you note the date when you intend to trek so that you don’t come after or before. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has many gorilla trekking starting points or regions and gorilla permits are sold per the four regions of Buhoma, Rushija, Rushaga and Nkuringo. This therefore means that if you book gorilla permits for Buhoma, you must stay closer to buhoma park headquarters. The same applies to gorilla permits of other regions. This therefore implies that if you book Buhoma gorilla permits and you end up in Rushaga, you will not be allowed to trek gorillas in this region because you will be in the wrong place. At Encounter Africa Safaris, we advise our clients the region where they will be tracking and the possible lodges to book way in advance.

Gorilla trekking briefing in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park takes place at Kinigi park headquarters at 8:30am Rwanda time. Unlike Bwindi Impenetrable National Park where we have different regions and gorilla starting points, this is not the case with Volcanoes National Park where all tourists trekking different families meet at one point (Kinigi) for gorilla tracking briefing. Unlike Uganda, Gorilla tracking briefing in Rwanda is very exciting as cultural and traditional performances help you enjoy and start the day in high gear. A cup of coffee or tea is normally provided during and as you wait for gorilla trekking briefing. This is not the case with Uganda where none of the above is provided

More about gorilla trekking briefing and where does it take place

As earlier noted, gorilla trekking briefing takes place at the park headquarters of each gorilla trekking trial head in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Mgahinga National Park and or Volcanoes National Park. At Encounter Africa Safaris, we make sure that when you book with us you gorilla trek in Uganda or Bwindi, we book you in a lodge closer to the starting point so that our guide drives you and you arrive in time for briefing. After registration and approval of all requirements, one of the ranger guides will take you through gorilla trekking briefing and all the does and don’ts while on and with the mountain gorillas. For details please watch our gorilla trekking briefing video here

Frequently asked questions and answers

During your gorilla trekking briefing, the guide in charge of briefing will point out how gorilla families are allocated, how many people will be allocated to each gorilla family, how long the trek might take, importance of taking a porter or hiring a sedan chair for the elderly or those who are not physically fit. He will also mention the dos and don’ts while on the trek and when with the mountain gorillas and its at this point that you will be required to ask any question about gorilla trekking. For details please watch our gorilla trekking briefing video

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