How long does gorilla trekking take? The estimation of how long is a trek to see Gorillas in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo in Africa is unpredictable though roughly it might take 1- 8 hours depending on some factors like the fitness of the people trekking, where the gorillas spent the night, food availability and how far the gorillas move in search of food.

The time taken for the whole gorilla trekking experience includes distance covered to trek to the gorillas, one hour spent with gorillas and time to return back from gorilla trek. Gorilla trekking  is such an exciting adventure that visitors end up not minding the time taken and those that get to the gorillas fast miss out an adventure in forest hiking.

How Long Does Gorilla Trekking Take in Uganda, Rwanda & Congo

Mountain gorillas are found only in four national parks in three countries in the whole world namely Bwindi Impenetrable national park and Mgahinga national park in Uganda, Volcanoes national park in Rwanda and Virunga national park in D R Congo. Anyone interested in gorilla trekking needs to have a gorilla permit that must be booked at least three months in advance. Although similar gorillas are seen in any of the above mentioned countries, the experiences you get while trekking these gentle giants remain different.

Mountain gorilla trekking involves hiking through dense forests, thick vegetation, hills and valleys in search of habituated gorillas families therefore enough a maximum preparation and fitness is needed to undertake this adventure. Gorilla trekking starts with an early morning briefing at the park headquarters on the do’s and don’ts plus what to expect as you head into the forest in search of gorillas. You will then start trekking depending on the gorilla family allocated whereby each family is tracked by 8 people lead by a park guide. Once a habituated family is found visitors are allowed to spend one hour with these beautiful primates taking pictures and videos, observing them and learning about them. After the one hour visitors then return back with great memories that will forever live with them.

Some points to remember are;

  • The visitors will always move at the pace of the slowest person since the eight people per group are guided by one person.
  • Anyone can track the gorillas except those that are sick and children below 15 years old.
  • It’s advisable to hire a porter to help in carrying luggage and offering a pull or push while on the trek. The luggage might appear light on the start of the trek but heavy as the trek gets longer.
  • Always travel light since the gorillas live in mountains which need you to hike a lot. You can always do some practice on trekking before embarking on your journey to the gorillas in Africa.
  • Dress appropriately, that is long sleeved shirts and trousers, Hand gloves for protection in case you fall down or touch vines with thorns, carry a rain jacket, have waterproof light hiking boots and be ready to endure biting ants and other insects, thick forest and unexpected rain at any time.
  • Carry some packed snacks and enough water since time to spend on gorilla trekking isn’t guaranteed.

Finally there is a high percentage of seeing gorillas because the park has ranger guides and trackers that follow and monitor the gorillas on a daily basis so they always know where they are feeding from.



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