Gorilla trekking in Uganda and Rwanda

Gorilla trekking in Uganda and Rwanda

Gorilla trekking in Uganda and Rwanda: Gorilla trekking is a thrilling and the most popular activity carries out in Uganda and Rwanda. The activity involves moving into the dense tropical rain forests in search of the habituated gorillas and once found spend one hour with them in their natural habitat. Apart from Uganda and Rwanda gorilla trekking is also carried out in Congo in Virunga national park and Kahuzi Biega national park, therefore creating the conotation of gorilla trekking Uganda rwanda and congo

Gorilla trekking destinations in Uganda 

Uganda is the pearl of Africa in that it harbors half of the world’s mountain gorilla population and these gorillas are found in two destinations including

Bwindi impenetrable national park, the national park is located in south western Uganda and it’s the most visited destination in Uganda in that it harbors the highest number of mountain gorillas. Bwindi impenetrable national park harbors about 19 habituated gorilla families including Habinyanja, Mubare, Rushegura, Bushaho, Nkuringo, Katwe, Nshongi, Mishaya, Bitukura, Oruzogo, Bweza, Busingye, Kahungye, Bikyingi, Kyaguriro, Christmas, Mukiza, Mucunguzi and Kutu family. Gorilla trekking in the park is done in four sectors namely Buhoma sector in the north, Nkuringo sector in the south, Ruhija sector in the east and Rushaga sector in the south.

Mgahinga gorilla national park, Mgahinga gorilla national park is situated in Kisoro district southwestern Uganda bordering with Volcanoes national park in Rwanda and Virunga national park in Democratic Republic of Congo. The national park is a home of two habituated gorilla families namely Nyakagezi and Hirwa family which are available for trekking on a daily basis.

Gorilla trekking in Rwanda

Gorilla trekking in Rwanda is carried out in Volcanoes national park which is located in the north western region is Musanze village. Volcanoes national park is a hoe of over 18 habituated gorilla families with 12 gorilla families open for trekking and other gorilla families reserved for research.

Gorilla trekking experience in Uganda and Rwanda

Gorilla trekking in Bwindi impenetrable national park, Mgahinga gorilla national park and Volcanoes national park starts in the morning with a briefing about the rules, regulations and expectations at the park headquarters. After the briefing you will be grouped into 8 people and allocated a gorilla group to trek, grouping of individuals is done according to physical fitness, age, personal preference among others so that visitors who are not physically fit are allocated a gorilla family that is near to trek.  You will also be allocated a park guide who is experienced and well conversant with the gorilla trekking trails in the forest and then start trekking. During trekking you will view some wildlife species like birds, animals, other primates among others.

Gorilla trekking takes about 30 minutes to 7 hours depending on the location of the mountain gorillas and once found you will be allowed to spend one hour with the gorillas in their natural habitat learning about their behaviors, habits, watching them carry out their daily activities, take photos and record the moments which gives you unforgettable and lifetime experiences.

Cost of a gorilla trekking permit in Uganda and Rwanda

A gorilla trekking permit is a document or card that is issued to any visitor above the age of fifteen allowing him or her to visit a habituated gorilla family in either Bwindi impenetrable national park, Mgahinga gorilla national park or Volcanoes national park therefore any visitor interested in gorilla trekking is required to have a valid gorilla trekking permit.

Price of a gorilla trekking permit differs according to the destination where you will be trekking from for example a gorilla trekking permit in Uganda costs $600 per person for foreign non-residents, $500 per person for foreign residents and UGX 250,000 per season for East African citizens. Uganda however increased the price of a gorilla trekking permit by $100 therefore effective 1st July 2020 a gorilla trekking permit for foreign non-residents will cost $700 and $600 for foreign residents. A gorilla trekking permit in Rwanda costs $1500 per person for all nationalities and this is the most expensive in all the gorilla destinations hence making Rwanda a luxury destination for gorilla trekking.

9 Days Bwindi Gorilla Trekking and Kidepo Wildlife Safari
9 Days Bwindi Gorilla Trekking and Kidepo Wildlife Safari

How to book a gorilla trekking permit

There are two options of booking a gorilla trekking permit for example booking directly through Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) a government body in charge of tourism in Uganda and Rwanda Development Board a government body in Rwanda. When booking directly you will contact the offices via email or telephone calls. Another option of booking a gorilla trekking permit is through contacting a tour operator like Achieve Global Safaris. This is the best option where you will contact us with the dates, month, year and destination where you want to trek from. We will then check for permit availability and if there are permits available you will be asked to make a deposit for the permit. You will also be asked to send a scanned copy of your passport which will be used to register for the permit. When we receive the deposit we will acquire your gorilla trekking permit and send you a scanned copy of the receipt as confirmation. Booking through a tour operator is however the best option to use in that we will save you all the hustle and not only acquire your gorilla trekking permit but also organize your gorilla trekking safari which involves transportation, meals, accommodation and other activities that you wish to engage in.

When to book a gorilla trekking safari in Uganda and Rwanda

A gorilla trekking permit in Bwindi impenetrable national park, Mgahinga gorilla national park and Volcanoes national park should be booked 3 to 6 months in advance before the trekking date to avoid last minute disappointments because the permits are competitive and usually get sold out especially during the peak season in the months of June to September and December to February.

Comparing gorilla trekking in Uganda and Rwanda

  • Uganda harbors the highest number of mountain gorillas in the world and gorilla trekking is done in two destinations Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga gorilla national park where as gorilla trekking in Rwanda is done in one destination Volcanoes national park.
  • A gorilla trekking permit in Uganda is cheaper in that it costs $600 for foreign non-residents, $500 for foreign residents and UGX 250,000 for East African citizens whereas in Rwanda a gorilla trekking permit costs $1500 for all nationalities.
  • Gorilla destinations in Uganda are located in far areas where by it takes about 10 hours’ drive to reach from Entebbe airport whereas Volcanoes national park is located near Kigali airport and it takes about 2 hour drive to the park.
  • Uganda offers the best gorilla trekking experience compared to Rwanda in that it harbors the highest number of habituated gorilla families with an estimate of 21 families in two national parks and trekking is done in steep areas which require you to be physically fit whereas Rwanda harbors 12 habituated gorilla families and during trekking the mountain gorillas can easily be found.

Other activities to engage on your gorilla trekking safari

Both Uganda and Rwanda offer interesting activities that you can engage in apart from gorilla trekking such as golden monkey trekking, nature walk, birding, Batwa trail experience, wildlife viewing, game drives, boat cruise, mountain climbing among others.

Best time for gorilla trekking in Uganda and Rwanda

Gorilla trekking in Bwindi impenetrable national park, Mgahinga gorilla national park and Volcanoes national park can be done anytime throughout the year though the best time is during the dry season in the months of June, July, August, September, December, January and February. The dry season is also known as the peak season and during this period there is less rainfall in the forests therefore access roads to the national parks and gorilla trekking trails in the jungle will be passable, there will be short shrubs and bushes in the forests and this enables you to clearly view the mountain gorillas.

Visitors interested in gorilla trekking can book a double gorilla trekking safari with Achieve Global Safaris so as to enjoy breathtaking and extra ordinary gorilla trekking experiences in Uganda and Rwanda or book a gorilla trekking safari in any of the destinations.