What is the chance of seeing gorillas in Bwindi impenetrable national park? Gorilla trekking in Bwindi impenetrable national park offers up to 99% chance that you will see gorillas on a one-time trek to the gorillas in Uganda. Each morning all year round the movement of gorillas of each gorilla group is monitored and followed right where the gorillas spend the night which makes it easy for the rangers to lead groups of tourists to where the gorillas are located.
It should be noted that ever since the inception of gorilla trekking in Bwindi impenetrable national park in 1991, there is no single recorded tourist who missed out on seeing the gorillas.
Though it cannot be written off that there might be a situation where one could miss to see the gorillas since they live in the natural environment. The gorillas are also nomadic animals that never settle in one place for a day they keep moving from one place to another looking for food and better shelter.
Therefore, the tour operators and Uganda wildlife authorities always emphasize to the trackers that there is a 98% chance of seeing the gorillas in Bwindi forest. One may ask why there is almost a 100% certainty of seeing the gorillas in Bwindi forest.
Pre-trackers behind scenes work
Before the fog and smoke clears from the Bwindi forest to start the gorilla trekking experience for the expected tourists of the day. There is a team of personnel from the Bwindi management commonly called pre-trackers that lead to the forests of the Bwindi to exactly trace where the gorillas must have spent their night. They are well equipped with GPS devices. These pre-trackers get to the yesterday gorilla location and start searching for the present exact location of the habituated gorilla families. These are very experienced personnel, they follow the footprints of the gorillas and till they find them. What should be noted that the gorillas cannot move more than 2 kilometers away from their yesterday location and so the pre trekker use the normalcy to easily find them.
When the pre-trackers find the gorillas, they will inform the gorilla patrons to lead the gorilla trackers for trekking to the exact location of where the gorillas are. Sometimes the pre-trackers leave a GPS tracker around the place for the patron to easily trace the place when the actual gorilla trekking experience is taking place, What is the chance of seeing gorillas in Bwindi impenetrable national park?.
What is done by the gorilla patrons at the gorilla trekking experience?
After the briefing at the headquarters of Bwindi impenetrable national park headquarters, the patrons allocate the trackers to the gorilla families basing on their physical fitness and also taste and preferences. Remember the gorilla families live in different locales that differ in the distance away from the headquarters and also the gorillas differ in their background of formation, character, dominance and interaction with human beings.
If the briefing and the allocation is done, the gorilla patrons lead the trackers to the starting points of gorilla trekking experience. The patron subsequently leads his envoy to the tropical rain forests of Bwindi in search of the gorillas, remember the gorilla patrons have the idea where the gorillas could be. In the forest there are trails specially demarcated for trackers to trek on while searching the gorillas. The patron uses the previous left footprints of the gorillas and the GPS device trackers to exactly find where the gorillas are. The tracking of the exact point where the gorilla are feeding or sheltering takes about 2-8 hours and this time depends on the accessibility of the locale of the gorillas and also the distance from the starting point.
What happens when the trackers meet the gorillas?
After the long trekking in the forest, the trackers find the gorillas. Here the silverback is normally the first to pop out to check what has intruded their territory, it customarily looks at the trackers to find out whether they mean no harm to its family and then gets back to its normal business. The trackers follow the rules stipulated to them while with the gorillas as they observe them feeding on the tree shoots, leaves and fruits, the young ones playing around. The latter normally break the 7 meter distance rule to come and hangout with the trackers. The trackers also take pictures and videos of the gorillas doing their thing in the wild. After an hour of interaction, the trackers lead out of the forests.
As mentioned above, the work of making the chance of seeing the gorillas almost 100% to every traveler who goes for a gorilla trekking experience is done by a team which consists of pre trackers who the gorilla trackers don’t meet at any one point at all and the patrons who lead the trackers through the forests of Bwindi to make the actual meeting of the gorillas in the wild.
It is should be noted that they reason as to why the tour operators and the Uganda wildlife authority does not to a 100% chance of seeing the gorillas at Bwindi forest and put it on a 98% chance is because the gorillas are in the natural environment and they are left to behavior in their natural way. Therefore some few factors may come into play for one not to see the gorillas on a fateful day. Let me jot them down
The first one is, they would a very heavy rainfalls that would make the trails impassable and also lead the gorilla hidden in the dark forests to protect them from the rain.
A trekker may have taken up a more challenging gorilla trekking families compared to his/her physical ability. However, if the tracker fails to meet the destination, the following day is allocated to a nearby gorilla family to do the trekking again and for free of charge.
There would also be a situation where the trackers find the gorillas in very bad mood and they do not want to meet up with people. It should be noted that this has never happened but you don’t know nature brings tomorrow since it is unpredictable.
At any case where the tracker fails to see the gorillas in Bwindi forest on any day, he/she is taken back the next day to track them again. If time is not on the tracker’s side or chooses not to make any further attempt of the trekking, he/she is refunded a 75% of the total gorilla permit fees.
Gorilla trekking experience in Bwindi is one of those captivating moments, one would not miss in a lifetime. The gorillas are one of our closest relatives in the animal kingdom. Seeing them in the wild gives one a second thought of loving and appreciate nature more and at Bwindi there is lots of certainty or almost a 100% to see them. Don’t hesitate to hang out with the gorillas in Bwindi.