The experience of tracking mountain gorillas in the Virungas is a unique experience. There are just a few hundred of these magnificent creatures remaining in the wild, and there are only three spots in which you can observe the gorillas in their natural environment, as well as a very limited amount of permits, are available every day.
When you look at the eyes of the Silverback, it is clear that you are part of only a few people around the world who are fortunate enough to enjoy this amazing experience.
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The trek to the gorillas can be found at an altitude, on mountainsides that are dotted with vegetation, which means that you must be fit enough for the adventure. There are porters to hire before the start of your hike – they will make hiking easier by carrying your bags as well as guiding you to climb and descend the steepest terrain.
The cost of hiring a porter will not be included in the price of the permit or tour, the standard tip is about twenty dollars for each porter. A family member who works as a porter can be an essential source of revenue for those residents who live close to the National Park.
The gorillas cover a large area over the course of the night. Guides will make use of their knowledge of gorillas' behavior and the information of the previous day to determine where the group is. The time needed to walk the gorillas differs greatly. It can be as little as two hours, or nine hours before returning back to camp. After you've joined the group, you'll be granted up to one hour with the magnificent creatures.