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Gorilla trek for seniors (ages 68 and 73)

Baltimore, Maryland
Level Contributor
24 posts
212 reviews
Gorilla trek for seniors (ages 68 and 73)

I am planning a trip that was to include two gorilla treks in Rwanda, where some folks on TA have indicated trekking is easier than in Uganda--but just found out that starting immediately, the cost of permits in Rwanda is doubling from $750 to $1500 per trek, per person, which is really prohibitive. Before giving up on the dream of a gorilla trek, I wanted to know whether or not to rule out Uganda for gorilla trekking. We will be 68 and 73 at the time of the trip, reasonably active and in good health. I understand that in Rwanda, visitors are assigned to easy-moderate-difficult groups based on the likely (but not guaranteed) location of different gorilla families. Is this the case in Uganda? Is there a particular location in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest where we are better off staying in order to have easiest access to the gorillas? Any information based on actual experience or observation of others' trekking experience would be most appreciated.

Isle of Man, United...
Level Contributor
39,766 posts
445 reviews
1. Re: Gorilla trek for seniors (ages 68 and 73)

There is no reason not to trek in Uganda. The same system applies in that parties are allocated to a particular Gorilla group on an assessment of their ability on the day. If you can walk upstairs at home you can do this.

As to location I would suggest you rule out southern Bwindi area around Nkuringo due to terrain but either Ruhija or Buhoma villages are good. There may be some steep parts but even there your porter and guides will offer a helping hand if needed. (Where he places the helping hand will depend on your particular need at the time!) . Rent a stout pole as this is an enormous help and provides a little extra income for the porter.

Kampala, Uganda
1 post
2. Re: Gorilla trek for seniors (ages 68 and 73)

I have personally escorted 6 trips of seniors from Hungary, Italy, German, Australia and UK x 2. You will be fine in Uganda and i personally would recommend Buhoma area especially the M group. In your case i would advise you take porters 1 each to carry your bags and gear. It is not as hard as it is hyped, though it can be challenging. As a matter of fact if on the day of trekking while in Rwanda, gorillas might decide to move up the mountain, this can be as hard and tough as it can be for any trekker. The pace at which the trekking is led is not fast since the slowest person will lead the entire party of 8 trekkers and rangers from Uganda Wildlife Authority. You will surely manage, just get involved in some power walking every day before you take on the challenge. https://steadysafaris.com

Kasese, Uganda
Level Contributor
127 posts
4 reviews
3. Re: Gorilla trek for seniors (ages 68 and 73)

as mfuwe said earlier try buhoma especially on Rushegura group most of the time it is the easiest group to trek. wish you great luck

Kampala
Level Contributor
2,210 posts
26 reviews
4. Re: Gorilla trek for seniors (ages 68 and 73)

Op if you get Permit for Ruhija, ask for Oruzogo Gorilla family.

Bugibba, Malta
Level Contributor
498 posts
28 reviews
5. Re: Gorilla trek for seniors (ages 68 and 73)

We did the Rushegura group 5 years ago. I can't say that it's an easy climb, but nothing difficult if you keep fit as you state. It took us 3 hrs to find the group, but it can take you longer too. The climb over the mountains was a little bit over 1 hr. Porters are available at very cheap prices to carry your day pack.

Best to stay in Buthoma. We stayed in Buhoma Community Rest Camp, a basic camp with chalets, but very clean.

It's an amazing experience once you encounter them, and you have 1 hour.

Germany
Level Contributor
75 posts
2 reviews
6. Re: Gorilla trek for seniors (ages 68 and 73)

i did Gorilla trekking in Bwindi with my parents who were 62 and 68 we trekked Ruhinja side it was amaizing soft and easy it took as less tahn 30 minutes to see the Gorillas. As mentioned early be accompanied by potters for your luggage and drinks

Bugibba, Malta
Level Contributor
498 posts
28 reviews
7. Re: Gorilla trek for seniors (ages 68 and 73)

you were very lucky to see them in 30minutes I think. Because some groups may take 5-8 hrs to find.

Isle of Man, United...
Level Contributor
39,766 posts
445 reviews
8. Re: Gorilla trek for seniors (ages 68 and 73)

"O" Group up at Ruhija do wander freely. I have seen them twice without even getting out of my car. Of course I did not take photos as I had not paid my fee. Other days they are right down at the Swamp and it takes a lot longer to reach them. (And a lot longer to climb back up too!)

Ghent, Belgium
Level Contributor
3 posts
5 reviews
9. Re: Gorilla trek for seniors (ages 68 and 73)

You buy permits for a village not for a family. At starting point one can ask for the family of your choice but without guarantee you can trek this group. Post 2 recommend to trek in Buhoma for M group but Mubare family only have 6-7 gorillas and is the smallest of all groups in Uganda. To avoid to have to trek to M group we bought our permits for Ruhija. Some of us(12 p) did Oruzogo, others Bitikura. Takes 2 - 2.30h to find the gorillas. Oldest participant was 65 and he did it very well.I recommend to do it your way, to set the pace, to hire a porter and a stick each and to wear gardening gloves for grabbing vegetation etc. without injure yourselfs.

Don't give up your dream and trek in Uganda!

10. Re: Gorilla trek for seniors (ages 68 and 73)

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