Best Places for Gorilla Trekking: Uganda Rwanda, DR Congo

Gorillas are primates as well as apes that remain alive in the natural environments of African countries. They are among the endangered wildlife species that are not very hard to find especially in confinement places like Zoos in the world.  Gorilla trekking is among the considerable extraordinary tourist activities in Africa that almost everyone in the world would wish to take part in when they visit to Africa. Gorilla trekking is exceedingly fascinating in the African wilderness and it gives breathtaking lifetime encounters and honestly, almost everyone in the world would love to participate in gorilla trekking.

Where to go gorilla trekking?

Mountain gorillas can only be trekked in three African countries namely; Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo. The population of the remaining mountain gorillas in the world is 880 and the population is shared by the three above mentioned countries. All the three countries render gorilla trekking experiences in its designated national parks that accommodates the mountain gorillas.

Gorilla trekking in Uganda

Uganda has been ranked the top gorilla trekking destination in Africa because she accommodates the largest population of mountain gorillas and the gorilla trekking permit in Uganda is low priced and reasonably priced. Uganda owns has two gorilla national parks namely; Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and Mgahinga forest national park that are located in south western Uganda.

Bwindi impenetrable national park is referred to as the best gorilla trekking destination because it harbors half of the world’s mountain gorilla population. The park accommodates about 400 mountain gorillas and Mgahinga gorilla national park has one gorilla family with 10 gorillas.

Bwindi harbours about 18 habituated gorilla families while Mgahinga has only one habituated mountain gorilla family. Bwindi forest has four gorilla trekking sectors namely; Buhoma, Rushaga, Nkuringo and Ruhija. Among the four sectors Buhoma is the finest and preferred sector for gorilla trekking with about four gorilla families. Buhoma sector gorilla permits are highly demanded and for that reason, we strongly advise tourists to make advance bookings.

Uganda is the finest destination that offers affordable gorilla trekking safaris in Africa. A gorilla trekking permit in Uganda costs $800 for foreign non residents, $700 for foreign residents and Ugx 300,000 for East African residents. A gorilla trekking permit in Rwanda that costs 1500 USD per person. Gorilla trekking is one of the major tourist activities that greatly contribute to the Uganda revenue for that the Ugandan government has put in place both the military forces and tourism police that work hand in hand to guarantee the safety and security of all tourists that visit Uganda for gorilla trekking. The tourism police move up and down, day and night searching for rebels inside and outside the park as well as making sure that all travellers who come to Uganda for safaris are safe during gorilla trekking.

Despite the fact that gorilla trekking in Bwindi Forest involves hiking of the wet, muddy and slippery rolling hills and physical fitness might be essential to trek a gorilla family. This is because gorillas reside in the high-altitude areas, the adventure is very fascinating and gives tourists life time memories in the true African forest wilderness.

Gorilla trekking in Rwanda

Rwanda is one of the African countries that harbor the remaining population of the mountain gorillas in Volcanoes national park. Volcanoes national park is part of the Virunga massif conservation area that also accommodates Mgahinga gorilla national park in Uganda and Virunga national park in Congo. Volcanoes national is situated in the northern region of the Rwanda in Musanze village which is about 2 hours’ drive from Kigali capital city.

In the previous years, Rwanda has been known and ranked as the best gorilla destination before her gorilla permit was increased from 750 USD to 1500 USD person for all foreign non-residents. The Rwanda offers luxury gorilla trekking tours because her gorilla trekking permit is highly priced in comparison to the rest of the countries that offer gorilla trekking experiences. While Uganda is a home to 18 habituated gorillas, Rwanda has about 14 habituated gorilla families that open for public viewing throughout the year. Some of the habituated mountain gorilla families include Amahoro, Agashya, Sabinyo, Karisimbi, Bwengye, Isimbi family, Titus Kwitonda among others.

Despite the price of the gorilla trekking permit in Rwanda being high, Rwanda is the best option for travellers who are not travelling on a budget and have limited time to enjoy gorilla trekking. This is because the transfer from Kigali to Volcanoes national park takes only 2 hours and 30 minutes. Therefore, Rwanda is the best option for travellers looking for gorilla trekking excursions where gorilla trekking can be done in the morning and in the afternoon, they return to Kigali.

Gorilla trekking Congo

The democratic republic of Congo is another destination where gorilla trekking is done in Africa. Two national parks in Congo harbour that harbor gorillas and these include Virunga national park and Kahuzi Biega national park that open for gorilla trekking throughout the year. Among the three countries, it is only in Congo where tourists can get a chance to trek both the lowland gorillas as well as the mountain gorillas that live in the high-altitude areas of Virunga national park.

Virunga national park is part of the volcano massif conservation area and it is a home to about 8 habituated gorilla families which are always available for trekking. Some of the habituated gorilla families include, Lulengo, Humba, Rugendo, Bageni, Kabirizi among others.

Lowland gorillas can only be sighted in Kahuzi Biega national park. The park has about 5 habituated mountain gorilla families such as the Mpungwe, Mugaruka, Chimanuka, Nganwa, and Bonnani family.

Democratic republic of Congo offers the most inexpensive gorilla trekking permits amongst all gorilla trekking destinations. A gorilla trekking permit in Congo costs $400 during the low season, the permit is charged at $200 USD per person for all tourists who have intensions of trekking gorillas. Gorilla trekking in Congo favours almost all the budget travellers who would prefer enjoying gorilla trekking in all seasons because it has the cheapest gorilla permit compared you Uganda and Rwanda.

It is paramount to put into consideration that in all the three countries, tourists are only permits to spend one hour with the gorillas the from the time they meet the gorilla family and a maximum of 8 people are allowed to trek a gorilla family since the gentle giants are critically endangered species.

In all the three countries, the gorilla permits are purchased at the headquarter offices of the government bodies that govern tourism in the country except in Rwanda where the permits can be purchased online. For all permit bookings and inquires, we strongly advise travellers to book with safari experts in any of those above-mentioned countries. These experts will assist to organize your gorilla trekking safari in any of the gorilla trekking destinations. We advise travellers to make advance bookings of the gorilla permits at least 6 months to the trekking date due to the fact that gorilla trekking permits are on a very high demand.