After two weeks of research on gorilla treks, I think I finally have a bit of an understanding and am almost ready to contact a few tour guides. It is quite the puzzle put all the pieces of gorilla trekking together! I am down to these last questions, I hope someone can help me with.
Do we choose a gorilla group/family that we want to track? I thought so, but I read someone else saying you don’t know what gorilla group you have until the morning of the trek. If we choose a group in advance, do I just tell our tour operator what groups we prefer when we book permits, and they will check if that group is available?
If we book 4 people with a tour guide/group (instead of 2 people), will we likely get a slightly cheaper price per person?
Do gorilla groups stay in particular areas of the jungle? For example, if it is suggested we book certain lodging based on the location of our assigned gorilla group, is the gorilla group going to move 8 hours away from our lodging when we actually arrive one year from now?
Are there trails to explore in Bwindi that are outside of the gorilla area? Just wondering if we will have hiking opportunities while we are there (it’s such a journey to get to Bwindi), or if we should just leave the next day.
What other wildlife might we by lucky to see while on our gorilla trek?
If we book permits, guide and transportation (not lodging) with a tour group – what portion of that should I expect to pay for right now? All of it? Just the permit? And what portion do we pay when we arrive?
I read that when we purchase a permit through a tour guide, we should receive copies of the permit via e-mail. Is this copy enough security for us, should (for some reason) out tour operator go out of business? It’s a lot of money to fork up to a tour guide one before our trip, so I just want to make sure that when we pay for our permits, they are ours. And do we not receive the actual permits until the day-of the trek?
How far out can you book permits? Can we book 1 year in advance?
We really want Habinyanja, are our chance pretty good if we book a year out and have a 2 week window for our trip?
Sorry if I’m repeating any questions that have already been asked, but I couldn’t find clear answers. And I swear, I’ve been reading through the forum for the last two weeks. : ) Thanks!