Photography of the gorillas  : A mountain gorilla trekking experience is a 2 to 7 hour activity where people get to enter the forest and search for the mountain gorillas. The mountain gorillas can only be found in Rwanda, Uganda and in the Democratic republic of Congo in the whole world and this is majorly because these gentle giants have been known to only thrive in the wild and once in captivity tend to get weak or sick and pass on.

You can book this mountain gorilla trekking experience in the Volcanoes national park of Rwanda by purchasing a gorilla permit at 1,500 USD, or fly to Uganda and either visit the Mgahinga Gorilla national park or the Bwindi Impenetrable forest national park and purchase a gorilla permit at 700 USD for a chance to enjoy this magical activity.

If you opt to trek the gorillas in Uganda and are interested in spending more time with the mountain gorillas, you can opt to take on the gorilla habituation experience that gives you 4 hours to a full day with the mountain gorillas. If you are looking for a cheaper permit and more authentic gorilla visit, the DR Congo is your ideal destination as the mountain gorilla trekking permit is sold at 400 USD.

All the mountain gorilla destinations offer different experiences despite the activity being the same but expect to have different experiences in each destination. There are a number of safari packages you can pick from that take you to either two of these or even all three of these destinations.

The gorilla trekking is flagged off with an early morning briefing from the ranger guides at the park headquarters, letting the guests know what they are expected to do and what they should not do when in the forest and in the area close to the mountain gorillas. After the morning briefing, guests can set out into the forest to search for these gentle giants.

The gorillas make a new nest every night which means their location changes on a daily though usually they are in the same close area as they were last seen the previous day. You will trek for about 2 hours or more for the farther gorilla families as you spot the flora of the forest and once you come across the gorilla family of the day, all these efforts will be rewarded and worthy.

For the guests on a gorilla trekking experience, you will be looking at spending a magical hour with the gorillas while those on the gorilla habituation experience will be spending more time with the half habituated gorilla family. Even with the already habituated gorillas, they are still wild animals only used to human presence but you should continue to follow the guidance of the ranger guides so as not to agitate the gorillas and come off as a threat.

Photography of the gorillas
Photography of the gorillas

An agitated yet habituated mountain gorilla will not be any different from the wild and unhabituated gorilla and it is important to note that the strength of one adult male silverback gorilla is equated to the strength of four grown adult males.

You will definitely spend the time with the gorillas as you may wish and photography will keep your memories for a longer time and you are able to share with the other people.

Tips on taking photos while on a mountain gorilla trekking.

Once you meet the mountain gorillas, you are allowed to take as many photos as you may wish however there are a few tips you will need to know and to put into consideration before you start snapping away. Ensure to have your gadgets for personal photos so as not inconvenience the other guests and also be sure they are fully charged up and extra batteries will surely come in handy.

 Being a rain forest, there are great chances of finding the mountain gorillas in a dark shade or having less light in their home so you will need to get your light settings ready for this. Flash photography is strictly prohibited so check if your flash is on before you point your camera towards the gorillas. This is because the flash may be interpreted as danger to the gorillas and they may attack as it is not a common sighting.

The time with the gorillas is limited so it is better to prepare all this ahead of time. An Iphone may be great as well as the latest Samsung series that have a great zoom in feature but if you are looking at camera, a DSLR with a high ISO would be great.

Photography of the gorillas
Photography of the gorillas

You will maintain a 6 meter distance between you and the gorillas so put this into consideration. A camera with 70-200 mm lens should be great and for the lighting a 2.8 lens would help adjusting the light of the dark forest. Camera sounds should be turned off so as to not alert the mountain gorillas of your presence in the forest.

Do not forget to put the camera down and also enjoy the moment with your eyes, absorb the experience shortly before you start to exit the forest.

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