Sanctuary Retreats, a London based tour operator, is presently offering a four day, three nights, Mountain Gorilla tracking experience at the company’s Gorilla Forest Camp in Uganda, Africa.
Attracting four to six monthly visits from the indigenous primates, the exclusive Sanctuary Retreat’s Gorilla Forest Camp is located within the heart of the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park’s verdant, bio-diverse terrain.
Buttressing up against the Virunga Mountains, the Albertine Rift Valley, Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, the park is home to eleven different types of primates including four sects of Mountain Gorillas; Nkuringo, Mubare, Rushegura and Habinyanja.
These four sects purportedly comprise slightly more than 50 percent of the world’s 786 remaining Mountain Gorillas.
It is only one of four places on earth where the Mountain Gorillas may still be seen in their natural surroundings.
Decidedly congenial herbivores, these massive primates prefer communal living in the dense vegetation of the rain forest over anything else.
The impetus behind the species decreasing numbers has to do with both the actions of mankind and the creature’s slow reproduction rate.
Many people became familiar with the plight of these incredible, endangered primates after the release of the 1988 blockbuster movie Gorillas in the Mist.
The Gorillas in the Mist movie was a non-fictional narration of the Doctor Dian Fossey story. A renowned zoologist, Doctor Fossey was brutally murdered in 1985 while engaging in gorilla conservation work in Rwanda.
Prior to her murder, Doctor Fossey’s venerable work with the creatures had brought her to many places, including Uganda’s Virunga Mountains region in the fall of 1959.
As such, fans of the Gorillas in the Mist movie will no doubt find Sanctuary Retreats Gorilla Tracking Experience doubly inviting.
What follows is a short summary of Sanctuary Retreats Mountain Gorilla tracking experience as well as travel planning trips and reservation information.
Adventure travelers partaking of the four day, three nights, Gorilla Tracking Safari will fly into Uganda and land at the Kayonza Airstrip in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
Once inside the park travelers will be escorted to their accommodations; a deceptively opulent tent.
The first evening in Bwindi travelers are allowed to get acclimated to their surroundings and enjoy dining ala fresco.
Bright and early the next morning the adventure continues with a day long trek into the deeply forested regions of the park to track the Mountain Gorillas.
Once the Mountain Gorillas are located, tour participants are then permitted sixty, uninterrupted minutes to engage in one-on-one interaction with them.
Afterward, participants are led back to their accommodations where they may partake of a wonderful meal and relax in their luxurious tent.
The remaining day and a half is spent in Bwindi exploring either the indigenous communities or forested terrain surrounding the lodge.
During that time tour participants may encounter over 350 species of birds, over 200 species of butterflies, varieties of antelope, elephants, wild boars and an authentic medicine man.
As of early 2011, travelers may expect to pay a minimum of $1,970 per person for the experience. The purchase price generally includes lodging, meals, guide service, applicable fees, permits and air transportation into and out of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
As package prices, policies and components are subject to change without advance notice, travelers are encouraged to confirm all details with the Sanctuary Retreats staff at the time of booking.
Advance reservations for this excursion are required and may be made by contacting Sanctuary Retreats either by phone or online.
Travel Planning Trips
When planning a trip to Uganda, one should take into consideration that the region experiences two rainy seasons a year; April through May and October through December.
As the rain may be especially problematic when gorilla tracking, travel during those months should be avoided if at all possible.
Travelers will also want to brush up on Uganda’s cultural mores, update their visa, ensure that they have been inoculated against yellow fever and taken all applicable precautions against contracting malaria prior to trip departure.
Those travelers who would like to learn more about the Mountain Gorillas and Uganda in general should log onto the Tourism Uganda website.
Dorland House, 4th Floor
20 Regent Street
London SW1Y 4PH UK
44 (0)20 7190 7728
Sanctuary Retreats, “Press and Media” Sanctuaryretreats.com
The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International, “Dian Fossey Biography” Gorillafund.org
Encyclopedia Britannica, “Virunga Mountains” Britannica.com
Uganda Wildlife Authority, “Bwindi Impenetrable National Park”uwa.or.ug/bwindi
The Uganda Safari Company, “Travel Information” SafariUganda.com/travel_resources.htm
African Wildlife Foundation, “Mountain Gorilla” Awf.org/content/wildlife/detail/mountaingorilla