Why Tourists Spend only one hour with Gorillas – Trek Guide
Tourists spend only one hour with gorilla family the fact that the mountain gorillas still feature among a few most endangered species on earth. Mountain gorillas are restricted to only Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and remain fewer than 1004 in the world. Their current status still requires more efforts to conserve these creatures and their habitat. Spending more time with these creatures on a face to face encounter, photo taking can stress them. Not to the stress factor, Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), Rwanda Development Board (RDB) and the Congolese Institute for Nature Conservation (ICCN) give visitors only one hour to catch a glimpse at mountain gorillas in their natural habitat, explore their behavior and body gestures; take as many photos as possible.
Tourists spend only one hour with a habituated gorilla group as way to avoid distracting their daily behavior or destabilizing their habitat. Mountain gorillas live in a group which makes them more organized, a good reason why tourists spend only one hour with them. They have time to go to feed, rest, couple, make new nests and also do other things.
Spending more hours with mountain gorillas exposes these creatures to human infectious diseases a reason why tourists spend only one hour with them in the wild. Mountain gorillas share about 98 percent of their DNA with human beings making them our closest relatives and also very susceptible to human diseases. To reduce the risk of human infectious diseases from spreading to these creatures, respective park authorities agreed that only 1 hour of magical encounter. This is done at a distance of 8 meters away from gorillas at all times while on a trek.
Gorilla trekking in Uganda, Rwanda and DR Congo is conducted in habituated families. The habituated mountain gorillas are familiar to human presence and this means, spending more hours may mean more impacts. Note, mountain gorillas live in only Bwindi National Park, Mgahinga National Park in southwestern Uganda; Volcanoes National Park in northwestern Rwanda and the Virunga National Park in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Besides, the 1 hour of magical encounter is aimed at providing authentic experiences to visitors.
To trek mountain gorillas in Uganda, you need $700 to help you book a gorilla permit which you can obtain through a trustworthy ground tour operator or reservationist at Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA); in Rwanda, gorilla permits cost $1500 per person and you can purchase one through a ground tour operator or reservationist at Rwanda Development Board (RDB) and in DR Congo, permits cost $450 per person. A permit at hand allows you to track only 1 habituated gorilla family in Uganda (about 20 groups are ready for trekking in Uganda), Rwanda (about 10 gorilla families have been habituated) or DRC where 8 gorilla groups are readily available for trekking.
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