Before my visit to the gorillas I was so green about the primates but after my visit in the Bwindi forest I realized that Gorilla trekking experience is one of the main reasons that these amazing animals are being kept safe, and well in the Virunga Massifs (Volcanoes & Mgahinga) and Bwindi Forest National Park. I do not want to discourage anyone healthy from going. As you can read on Trip Advisor most people enjoyed the hell out of it. It was very good experience because it is once in a life time experience.
However I am glad that I fulfilled my desire to see the gorillas in their natural environment, but for me it was a frightening experience, not a magical one!
I do not want to go into all the details of our really horrible and unsafe experience of hiking 11 1/2 hours to see gorillas, as I could write a book, but it is a good experience but good for fitness people because it quite a long distance to reach the gorillas. In saying that I do believe it is important to understand that there is real danger, and not everyone will have the magical gorilla trekking tours experience.
In the end we did find them for 15 minutes. The only other things I can say about my personal experience is … I saw gorillas, took very many videos and pictures, made it off the mountain before it became too dark to make it safely back to the lodge, or I needed to be hospitalized.
I am in great physical shape, and 11 1/2 hours of hiking in these conditions, and after hiring 2 porters who were always helping others or disappeared I sustained a knee injury that will be with me forever. If you are not in good physical condition please is aware that these are very difficult hiking conditions. We had to older women have to return to base camp after only 2 hours which is the catalyst that started the ball rolling towards one of the worst and unsafe days of my life.
I know that my experience is not the norm, but bad things can happen, be prepared. Carry more water than you think you need. More than one person in our group ran out of water on this hot, exhausting & long 11 1/2 hour trip. We all experienced severe dehydration and the symptoms that go along with it. Hire a porter and help contribute to the economy of the area, and if you don’t and they still assist you….give these hardworking people a tip.