Welcome back my dear friends. Yesterday we discovered that Uganda has a total of thirteen (13) habituated mountain gorilla families in the two National Parks called Mgahinga and Bwindi; and twelve of these are open to visitors on Uganda mountain gorilla trekking safaris. We also discovered that only tourists who have purchased mountain gorilla permits can participate in this activity. Today we will continue from where we left off. And we will pick Bwindi Impenetrable National Park for the examples.
With the permit at hand, tourists above
fifteen (15) years can then proceed to Bwindi where the long awaited
adventure will take place. Because Tracking Uganda’s mountain gorillas
starts early in the morning (08:00 am), it is advisable that you travel
to the park at least a night before; especially if you are going to
The night before the actual experience of the mountain gorilla tracking safari in Uganda
often feels longer than normal nights because you are so anxious about
what to experience the following day. When you wake up early in the
morning, the anxiety is even more and all you can think about is seeing
the mountain gorillas.
The time you wake up will be determined by
the distance between your lodge and the trailhead. In mountain gorilla
tracking, a trailhead refers to the place where the path along which
tourists move in search of the mountain gorillas begins. Bwindi
Impenetrable National Park has four (4) sectors (Buhoma, Nkuringo,
Ruhija and Rushaga) and each sector has a trailhead where the tourists
are briefed from.
The briefing starts at 7:45 am by Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) experts and then the Uganda mountain gorilla tracking Safari and tour
in Bwindi will begin at 08:00 am. It is advisable that tourists mark
the name of the habituated family which is indicated on their gorilla
tracking permit and thereafter ascertain the location of the correct
trailhead along which that particular family is tracked (especially if
they are not using a tour operator).
Visitors ought to know that a
purchased gorilla permit can only be used by the person in whose names
it was purchased. Additionally, gorilla permits are non-refundable and
if a tourist fails to show up on the date indicated on his permit, he
can never claim compensation; similar to the fate of a “no-show” for a
flight at an airport. The few cases where tourists might be refunded
include when a tourist is observed to be ill before the Safari to track Uganda’s mountain gorillas
commences; or if tourists fail to find the gorilla family after a
tiresome day of tracking. In these two cases, tourists can get back a
maximum of 50% of the price they had paid for the permit.
If a tourist fulfills all the necessary requirements, then he has a right to enjoy the experience of his life.
Tomorrow we will have our final section of briefly understanding the mountain Gorilla tracking experience.
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