There are countless trips that adventurous travellers can choose to take in a world where there has never been a better choice of alternatives to mundane beach holidays or standard city breaks. There are few, however, that can compare with the life-changing effect of spending some of your holiday looking into the “human” eyes of a huge and endangered mountain gorilla. So much so that you may want to consider a Bronze Animal Sculpture as a memento of your trip.
Gorilla trekking is such an outstanding experience that it is almost impossible to narrow down the superlatives, although life-changing, emotional and unforgettable more than fit the bill. Add to this the economic benefits of such trips to these endangered gorillas – there are thought to be less than 900 left in the wild – and it is no surprise that a gorilla trekking holiday is an increasingly popular choice amongst vacation adventurers.
What does it involve?
Choose a gorilla trekking vacation and you could find yourself hiking into the jungles of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Rwanda, or Uganda to observe gorillas in their natural habitat. More information about the planet’s biggest primates and their homelands can be found on the World Wildlife Fund website at https://www.worldwildlife.org/species/mountain-gorilla or on the site of the African Wildlife Foundation at http://www.awf.org/wildlife-conservation/mountain-gorilla.
What you need
Booking to go gorilla trekking should only be considered if you have plenty of patience and a reasonable degree of physical fitness. How long you will have to trek will normally depend on the gorillas. The species is nomadic, so you will have to rely on the knowledge and experience of your guides to find a family for you to watch and to clear the way for you to make it through the jungle.
On a practical level, you will also need to ensure that you have the correct trekking permit, secure the right visas, get the recommended immunisations before you go, and have the appropriate equipment, including trekking footwear and clothes, a first aid kit, and a waterproof camera.
There are times when you will feel tired and maybe a little disheartened, especially if you find yourself beneath a good African downpour, but hearing the first low gruntings and seeing the gorillas as they were meant to be seen will make all the negatives disappear in a flash of fur.