In a lifetime everyone has the right to encounter something out of the world, an experience that they will wish to take home with them, and just boastfully narrate to their relatives and friends in form of a deeply captivating story. Deciding to embark on a gorilla safari results in one of the few experiences that many people desire to have. The few who have experienced this still tell the same story but in different versions every day.
Yes for many, the climax of the trip to the gorillas is standing still and looking into the dark pensive eyes of the mountain gorillas is such a magical experience that will never fade off your memory! some travelers try to take a “selfie” with the mountain gorillas in the background, and share it with jealous friends. At that point, all your preparations have held truth; and all the nights of anxiety are no more. But what are those little things that might make the entire safari even more gratifying? Here is my short list;
- Make sure you travel at the right time of the year. If you are not so sure about your fitness levels, I advise travelling during the dry season when the soils aren’t boggy. The best months of the year to track the gorillas would be December to late February and from June to September during the dry season.
- Remember to book your permit in time, preferably before you set off. Due to the high demand, over 70 people travel to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park daily for the Uganda Gorilla Safari experience, while others are placed on hold. You surely don’t want to be among the miserable lot that has to wait.
- All Uganda’s gorilla tracking trailheads are traversed on foot, with some hikes lasting 8 hours. As humans are playful, the gorillas might decide to play hide and seek so hikers should check that they are basically fit to climb through the jungle even for long duration like these.
- The rains are rarely predictable, so tourists should pack a pair of solid shoes, preferably jungle boots, a jacket and an umbrella. On a sunny day I would advise you to travel with a fine cap or hat, sun glasses (in case you find that you need them), smear yourself with sunburn lotion, and also come along with a good insect repellant.
- The other thing to mind about when planning your safari is choosing the right tour operator. The criterion for choosing the tour operator is somewhat crazy, but basically a company with a good customer reputation would be a good choice. With the right tour operator you won’t have to worry about sleeping uncomfortably, or arriving later than 8am when the gorilla trekking exercise has commenced. These are just a few things that will complement your holiday and make it more enjoyable. A hint to search for the specialty tour operators who may know better about the process of organising a gorilla safari, choices of lodges and campsites where to stay and how to craft tour itineraries.