Planning a Gorilla Tour: Do it Yourself Guide
Are you dreaming of a visit to Rwanda for a safari holiday? This blog post will guide on the tips to planning a gorilla tour to Rwanda so you don’t really have to rely on a tour agency. Many visitors fluke in for gorilla trekking adventures in Rwanda and Uganda.
You want to know why? It is simply because an encounter with the mountain gorilla is truly a magical lifetime experience.
Regardless of how you plan to make your safari, whether as an individual or a group. Planning a gorilla tour by yourself will give you the most exceptional safari experience ever.
However, doing it yourself sometimes is as it may dictate and require to do a continuous follow-up with the park authorities.
You will need to do all the necessary work like checking the availability of gorilla permits and tour dates, which may not the case when you use a tour operator.
Similarly, despite the fact that tour companies make it easy to plan your gorilla tour, it is quite expensive in the long run. These companies often add up their commissions, making your trip look enormously expensive especially for budget travelers.
Therefore, think wisely before choosing whether to contact a tour operator or to do the planning for a gorilla tour by yourself. Consider a piece of useful advice from the following useful tips:
1. Make an Inquiry about the availability of Gorilla Permits & Book in Advance
It is very important that when planning a gorilla tour by yourself, you need to be updated about the availability of gorilla permits. The information about the availability of Gorilla Permits can always be accessed from the Uganda wildlife authority (UWA) in Uganda and the Rwanda development board for the basic gorilla permit information in Rwanda.
When you discover that the permits are available, then go ahead and book through any of these bodies and then pay for the deposit in advance.
To avoid last-minute hassles especially in the high season of the gorilla tours, it is advisable to make your booking/reservation at least 6 months before the trekking date. This is due to the amplified demand for these permits and for the purposes of timely allocation of the gorilla families among trekkers.
Make Reservations for your lodge/camp/hotel for the gorilla tour
After knowing which permits available and the location of the gorilla families, then you will need to book for your safari accommodation for the days you will spend during the trek.
To better enjoy the adventure, book the lodge that is nearer to the gorilla trekking starting point so as to ease the movement from the hotel/lodge to the starting point.
Just like with gorilla permits, hotel/lodge booking requires payment of the deposit for the reservation purposes. However, even after booking and payment of the deposit, you need to keep in contact with these lodges for the updates and any changes.
Organize your transportation Means
Having booked for the permit and the lodge, you have to get the means of transport. Many Safari Car Hire companies and agencies are available to book with for the airport pick-ups and transfers.
With Visit and Tour Rwanda car hire services, you can hire a car with any car hire company for all the days you will be on a trip. There are also public means of transport, the buses, Matatus, boda-bodas that can take you to the final destination.
What to pack for your gorilla tour
You have to be well prepared for the gorilla trek since it is a forest adventure. The weather in the forests where mountain gorillas live is very unpredictable weather, slippery grounds and much undergrowth with thorny bushes.
You must, therefore, pack hiking boots, long-sleeved shirts, and panties, a sun hat, hand gloves, and raincoats. These help in case of unpredictable weather changes.
Since photographing is the only activity allowed while with the gorillas, you should not forget a non-flash light camera.
Tipping while on your Gorilla Tour
This is not compulsory to undertake though deemed very helpful and rewarding to the locals, only if you can. You can choose to tip the guide and other service providers or any other service provided, especially in the hotels and lodges. Tipping on a safari is taken as a form of appreciation and motivation to the community.
With all the above, you can now start planning a gorilla tour yourself. We wish you a successful journey to Africa for your safari holiday experience.