Gorilla Trek

Oct 13th, 2005, 06:31 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,922
No chimp parks in Rwanda. The closest is Kibale in Uganda. But doing the forest walk in Ngamba Island w/ little baby chimps hanging all over you is priceless. They're heavy little things but so cute.
I'll hopefully be going back to let some more hang on me in June of '06.

And I've stayed at both Gorillas Nest and Virunga Lodge. While Virunga Lodge's views are to die for and so nice, it's quite a ways away from the Parc's headquarters. Approx 45 minute drive. You have to get up pretty doggone early to get to the park by 7:30.

Gorilla's Nest is my choice just because it's so close to the Parc.
But sometimes the water and electricity are not too dependable. The family suites there are much nicer and roomier than the regular rooms and the cost is negligible if any at all.

There is rumor that Serena Lodges may be coming in and taking it over so maybe they'll be doing some fixing up.
divewop is offline  
Oct 13th, 2005, 07:07 PM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 175
We are going chimp tracking in Nyungwe forest in Rwanda.There are approximetly 500 chimps in the park.I have read that there is a 50% chance of seeing them.

The park has 13 primate species and troops of up to 400 colubus monkeys so i think that is what makes this park worth seeing.
dlo is offline  
Oct 13th, 2005, 07:56 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,367
I haven't jumped in before because it has been a while since I went to Bwindi. So, please correct me if you are better informed.

If my memory serves there are more groups of gorillas to observe in Rwanda and have been habituated longer than the Uganda apes to humans in general. I personally have heard more negative experiences out people going to Bwindi.So the odds for a better and longer experience is higher in Rwanda. But, that said, the tour operators should know that and sign up for the 'best' to track and observe in both countries. Don't do as many do in Uganda and sign up in country on your own. Too far to go for a reduced chance of seeing them. I was extremely lucky both of my times at Bwindi with signing up a couple days b4 in Kampala with a not so habituated group at parks office.

So if anyone can tell you the specific groups to go for, find the operator that has reserved those spots with those groups. My recommendation.

Ist time took about 4 hours of trekking in unbelievable terrain, folage, obstacles and a few ant attacks( the dirty buggers clamp on and twist their bodies) to get where they were last seen and then track them. The 2nd time 45 minutes of hiking just outside the park through banana plantations and up into the jungle. Off a path only 20 feet at the most and there they were. It was worth it both times.

As far as Kibale, I can tell you about 2 things. One the forest and what happens when you can't get an American girl to button her mouth. One, you endure a long walk in the woods and two, you won't see chimps.Heard um, but didn't wee them.

Robbie(still steamed about loud mouth)

luangwablondes is offline  
Oct 14th, 2005, 07:26 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,922
Robbie brings up a good point.
The guides and trackers usually tell you to be very quiet when you get ready to approach the animals.
Even though sometimes you can't control who is in your group, one person's mouth can ruin the whole experience.
There have been several times when, either in a jeep or trekking, people in the next car are yakking away loudly or someone on a trek just finds it impossible to shut up completely or at least keep their voices down.
This not only disturbs the other folks in the group or nearby cars, but it makes the animals nervous and agitated and they leave.
I have been with guides who will tell people to be quiet. Most people do cooperate but some are offended. IMHO, they should be escorted out of there.
The main reason that visits with the gorillas are limited to an hour a day is because even though they are habituated, research has shown their stress level can increase dramatically after that hour.

divewop is offline  

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