Best Places to See Mountain Gorillas
Seeing the mountain gorillas is not cheap, and for good reason. Permits are expensive and very limited; all to help conserve the gorillas in their ever-dwindling numbers. The permits in Rwanda are a staggering $1,600 per person per trek. In Uganda they are $600 per person per trek - so a lot more cost effective! There is a myth that they are easier to spot in Rwanda then Uganda, but this simply isn't true. Ninety-nine percent of the time you will be able to find them wherever you go. In both Rwanda and Uganda, trackers will go out early to see where the gorillas are so the guides can take you straight to them. The luck on the day element therefore isn't whether you'll find them, but how far up the mountain they are and how much trekking is required.
Mountain Gorilla Habitat | Where do Mountain Gorillas Live
As their name suggests, gorillas like to reside in the mountainous regions in thick forest from eight thousand to thirteen thousand feet. It really depends day by day how far up the mountain they are. Unlike chimpanzees whom are extremely mobile, mountain gorillas are less flighty so are generally easier to find.
Mountain Gorilla Population
Mountain gorillas are critically endangered. It is not all bad though - due to extremely effective conservation efforts, in recent years numbers have shot up from around only four-hundred remaining individuals to one thousand - which is an amazing effort. Their numbers decreased because of habitat loss, poacher's snares and disease. Gorillas can die from a common human cold, so if you are visiting them and one of the guides hear a sniff from your direction, you may not be allowed to trek. Although this may indicate that tourism is not healthy for them, statistically the gorillas which have regular ranger and tourist contact seem to survive longer than those who don't. This is due to the level of protection surrounding these families and the care and medicines available to them because of the funding that tourism provides.