Mountain gorillas are critically endangered and, as the name suggests, they are only found high up in the mountains in the Congo Basin. Seeing mountain gorillas isn’t as simple as popping into your local zoo – they can only be found in their native habitat and getting there is quite the hike! So is it worth it?
The short answer is ‘yes’ (the slightly longer answer is ‘definitely, this is a once in a lifetime experience that you will dream about for years to come’).
The gorillas can only survive in two regions – Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and the Virunga Massif which stretches across Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
There are approximately 1,000 mountain gorillas left in the wild. While this might sound like a small number, their population is actually growing. The WWF attributes this growth in numbers to “decades of collaborative conservation work between the three countries and their partners.”
Volunteer and hike
As a volunteer with the Great Gorilla Project, you will be working to help close the gap between the gorillas who roam the forests, and the local indigenous groups who depend on the forest for its resources. But don’t worry, it won’t be all work! Volunteers also go on two hikes to get up close and personal with the gorillas.
If you would rather strap on those hiking boots and focus only on the gorillas, then a longer, four-day hike is the trip for you. An expert local guide will lead you through rugged terrain taking you deep into the Impenetrable National Park to see one of the thirteen mountain gorilla families that live in this area. Now that is a sight that really will take your breath away!
Gorillas and more
Getting to Uganda is a bit of a trek in itself so you might want to combine your hike with a tour of the country. Not only will you hike to see the mountain gorillas, but you will also go to rhino sanctuaries, wildlife reserves and even canoe across Lake Mutanda!
So if you are ready for the adventure of a lifetime then it’s time you packed your bags and booked a trip to Uganda!
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