The endangered mountain gorillas inhabit volcanoes national park in Rwanda, Virunga national park in Congo, Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and Mgahinga national park in Uganda. They are a sub species of Eastern gorillas inhabiting East and Central Africa.
Mountain gorillas live in groups dominated by an alpha male silverback that dictates all the group activities and also protects its family from any sort of harm. Gorillas are the world’s largest living primates and gentle animals but can also become very aggressive when disturbed.
The main threat to gorilla population is poaching and habitat loss though conservation efforts have greatly seen numbers increasing compared to 90s. mountain gorillas have a low birth-rate with females producing only 2 to 6 offspring’s in their life time, females have only 1-2 fertile days in a month and gestation period is 8 and half months.
Gorilla trekking for the disabled
Gorilla trekking is one of the most sought tourist’s activities and every other person including the disabled are given a chance to experience human close relatives. Gorilla trekking involves hiking the steep rainforests sometimes for long hours which makes it difficult for the disabled to enjoy the activity but the problem has been solved by the use of sedan seat or a stretcher.
Sedan seat/ stretcher
A sedan seat chair is a sophiscated type of chair with two metallic Handleson both ends with a long seat tilted in between them, a sedan seat stretcher is the most luxurious but comfortable way of seeing mountain gorillas while a stretcher is usually made of bamboo sticks locally made to transport visitors to mountain gorillas.
A group of porters will carry you from the briefing point using a sedan seat or stretcher and you will not be put down all the way until you find the gorilla family then they will put you down for clear observation and photography, after an hour of encountering these great apes then they will carry you back to the point you started trekking gorillas from.
Disabled persons must always communicate their problem to the tour company they intend to use so that they can book for them a sedan seat stretcher in advance as they can be in high demand especially during the peak season.
Gorilla trekking allocation process is done after the briefing before going to search for gorillas, its important to communicate to the park wardens in advance so that they can allocate you to a nearby gorilla family because age, physical ability and other factors are considered during allocation of gorilla families.
The best month recommended for disabled tourists to visit mountain gorillas is June to August and December to February when the trekking trails are in good condition other than the rain season when its muddy and slippery.
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