Gorilla Trekking Tours Uganda gorilla trekking/Gorilla trekkig Rwanda / congo gorilla trekking are tours that are organised by different tour companies that take tourists to jungles / Gorilla forests were gorillas live. Mountain gorilla species. Some of the most known places with these gorilla species are located in different national parks in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Gorilla trek Africa / gorilla Trek in Africa or gorilla trekking tours In Africa are thrilling activities one can ever take part in while on Uganda safari or Rwanda Safari, Gorilla trekking Rwanda and congo tours. Mountain gorilla trek/ Tracking takes places in 3 countries namely Uganda in bwindi forest national park and Mgahinga gorilla national park, Rwanda in Volcanoes Rwanda National park and in Congo at Virunga national park. Gorilla trekking tours/ gorilla trekking safari can be challenging since they heading to this gorilla trekking destination in the mountains , being briefed about the gorilla trek/ Gorilla tracking Rwanda dos and donts and later going into the jungle to look for the gorillas.
The search for gorillas in the mist can take about 30 minutes to even 8 hours, depending on different reasons such as gorilla movements etc
Uganda is proudly home to half of the remaining Mountain Gorilla population. Beeing able to meet face to face with these gentle giants in their natural habitat will be one of the most humbling and impressive wildlife experience on the African continent. Uganda gorilla trekking is also one way to be able to support conservation efforts and restoring the numbers of these endangered animals .
There are two Parks where we go for Uganda Gorilla Trekking and these are Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.
Most visitors prefer Uganda Gorilla trekking option in Bwindi and to us its still the most popular option since Bwindi Forest has more gorilla families than anywhere else and has more accommodation options unlike the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. However the you have the same chances of seeing gorillas in both Bwindi and Mgahinga Park and prices of gorilla trekking permits are the same.
There are 18 gorilla groups or families in total, and you can only track one of them per day. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is home to 17 gorilla groups, making it the best place or park to see gorillas in the wild. Bwindi is an ancient forest with 90 mammal species, including 11 primates such as the black and white colobus monkey. Gorilla trek Africa
The sectors above have information offices where your Uganda gorilla trekking will start. A normal Uganda gorilla trekking tour starts at 8:00 in the morning with briefing and one you see the gorillas, you have one hour observing them from a distance of atleast 7 metres
Uganda gorilla trekking can be challenging and exhausting. Therefore a certain degree of physical fitness is required. Since gorilla movements are unpredictable you might have to trek from as less as 30 minutes up to 8 hours to see gorillas.
Gorillas families that are habituated in Bwindi can be found usually by taking the 4 routes eg Ruhija, Buhoma, Nkuringo, Rushaga all in Bwindi. All the routes above are located in separate sections of the Forest, have different level of difficult along the way and you will encounter different gorilla families. There are also un habituated gorillas that you might meet along the way.
Ruhija Trek groups: with Mukiza, Oruzogo, Bitukura, and Kyaguliro gorilla families
The Buhoma groups Trek includes stops in Habinyanja, Katwe, Mubare, and Rushegura.Christmas, Nkuringo, and Bushaho TrekKutu, Bikingi, Mishaya, Bushigye, Kahungye, Rwigi, Bweza, Nshongi, Mucunguzi Trek
Family of Mgahinga Gorillas You can track the Nyakagezi group in Mgahinga Park, which is surrounded by the slopes of the Virunga Volcanoes, Mt. Muhavura (4,127m), Mt. Gahinga (3474m), and Mt. Sabinyo (3645m).
Virunga mountain ranges are where rwanda gorilla trekking takes place. This is also the region were the famous Diana Fossey used to carry out research on mountain gorillas during the 19602. Even if Rwanda gorilla trekking tours are the main activities that take place in this small mountainous country, there isalot more than gorilla trekking such as primate trekking such as golden monkeys, chimpanzee, relaxing on lake kivu and wildlife safaris in Akagera national park.
Gorilla trekking cost in Uganda , Rwanda and DR Congo can be high in comparison with other primate safaris. Gorilla trekking in Africa is a unique experience because mountain gorillas look and behave so much like us. They live in small families with with the alpha male silver back making important decisions that must be followed by the family. Gorilla trekking is expensive there are few tickets available to see gorillas each day to avoid crowds and because mountain gorillas are were almost getting extinct hence being on the bucket list of many visitors. Also the cost of maintaining their habitats is very high. It is because of gorilla trekking that the numbers of mountain gorillas are now about 1000 individuals
Habituation of GorillasGorilla habituation entails travelers spending longer periods of time in the presence of mountain gorillas solely to allow these gorillas to accommodate human contact. During this time, visitors help name, collect, and test gorilla stool, listen to informative talks from experts, and learn about the different behaviors of these gorillas, such as anger and stress, and what might trigger them.
To do gorilla habitat, one must have a pass, which can be purchased in Uganda for \$1,500 for foreign non-residents, \$1000 for foreign residents, and UGX750,000 for East African citizens from the Uganda Wildlife Authority.
In Uganda, gorilla habituation begins in the Rushaga gorilla sector, and because passes are limited, travelers are advised to book ahead of time. Every day, only four people are permitted to participate in this activity.
How does gorilla trekking differ from gorilla habituation?
Gorilla trekking involves only one hour of interaction with the gorillas, whereas gorilla habituation involves four hours.Gorilla trekking is less expensive than gorilla habituation. However, the cost is justified.Gorilla trekking allows up to 8 people to trek, whereas gorilla habituation allows only 4 people per day per group.There are many gorilla groups available for tracking in gorilla trekking, whereas there are only a few groups open to visitors in gorilla habituation.Gorilla trekking, as exciting as it is, can be supplemented with other activities such as a forest walk in Rwanda’s Nyungwe National Park, golden monkey trekking in Rwanda and Uganda, volcanic hikes, or a true safari experience in any part of the region such as Tanzania, Kenya, Zanzibar, and many more destinations as you see fit.
Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park offers the most luxurious gorilla tours. A gorilla permit costs $ 1500 per person, but a 9-day luxury Rwanda safari costs more than $15,000 if you stay in luxury lodges such as Bisate Lodge, Singita Kwitonda Lodge, or Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge in Rwanda. Clouds Lodge, Mahogany Springs, and Gorilla Forest Camp are the best in Uganda.
The cheapest gorilla permit in Congo is $450, and $700 in Uganda. Budget accommodation for Uganda gorilla tours in Bwindi National Park starts at $100 per night. Select from Bwindi Backpackers Lodge, Gorilla Valley Lodge, or Buhoma Community Rest Camp. Hotel Muhabura is the most affordable option in Rwanda.
Gorilla Trekking has a rating of 50 to 100. Hike Difficulty: Moderate The most common factor influencing the difficulty of gorilla trekking is your physical fitness. Other factors include the weather and your pack weight. It is possible to request a gorilla troop to march your fitness levels. A porter is essential; gorilla trekking is not difficult; people in their 60s and 70s have completed it. So, how difficult is the hike? To begin, 60% of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is above 6,600 feet in elevation. The park’s elevation ranges from 3,904 to 8,553 feet. Some areas have steep slopes. Depending on the gorilla family, the experience lasts between 2 and 6 hours.
Because of the high demand for gorilla permits, it is recommended that you secure your gorilla trekking permit at least 6 months before your scheduled trek, especially if you plan to go on a gorilla safari during the peak months of June to September. Gorilla permits in Uganda cost $600 per person for non-residents, $500 for residents, and UGX 250000 for East African residents. You can book one through a reputable Ugandan ground tour operator or through the Uganda Wildlife Authority’s reservation office (UWA). If you want to go on a gorilla habituation experience, you’ll need $1500 to help you get a permit that allows you to spend the entire day and 4 hours with mountain gorillas.
During the briefing, pay close attention.
We wish you a memorable gorilla viewing experience in Uganda, the Pearl of Africa, a country rich in fascinating experiences. It’s critical to keep these pointers in mind as you plan your next trip so that you can have an authentic African experience unlike any other! Traditional game viewing safaris in savanna national parks, chimpanzee tracking, mountaineering, bird watching, sport fishing, and simply viewing Uganda’s rich scenic beauty are just a few of the interesting attractions to include in your Uganda safari holiday itinerary.
Gorilla trekking Tours in Rwanda can be done in Virunga mountain ranges that are between Uganda, DRC and Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park are home to over 600 mountain gorillas. Rwanda is one of the best places to see mountain gorillas. It has ten groups available for tracking, including the Susa group which lives high up on Mount Karisimbi and was studied by famous primatologist Dian Fossey.
The downside is that Rwanda’s permits are expensive at US$1500. With super-luxury accommodation now available in Musanze, Rwanda is offering great experiences but that comes at a high cost.
The best Gorilla tours / Trekking in Uganda are in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, Bwindi has 13 groups and around 400 gorillas and 300 gorillas in Uganda’s Mgahinga National Park, bordering DRC and Rwanda.
The hiking can be tougher in Uganda unlike in Rwanda – there’s a reason it’s called impenetrable – but some groups are easier to reach than others. And the permits cost just US$700 vs 1500$ in Rwanda.
DR Congo is unique it has both lowland and mountain gorillas. Mountain Gorilla trekking in Congo is done in Virunga National park. Trekking in the Virunga Volcanoes takes place at higher elevations above 2,100 meters above sea level
Compared with Uganda and Rwanda, in comparison with her neighbours receives very few tourists very adventurous and cheapest gorilla permits. US$500. You can also do lowland Gorilla trekking in Congo’s Kahuzi Beiga National Park they are bigger than mountain gorillas. The downside is the security in Congo that is fragile. We organize tours here for those adventurous travellers and Photographers.
Gorillas are not just around the corner The actual gorilla trek in Uganda, Gorilla trek in Congo. And Gorilla trek in Rwanda can take anywhere from 1 to 8 hours.
The Gorilla trek can seem easier at the start but things immediately change when you reach the jungle proper. You might not see the path for you to follow. Just the gap the ranger guide has forced in between the trees with casual swings of his machete.
Gorilla trekking will involve hikes up and down difficult terrain, thick vegetation, muddy paths, hills and valleys, sometimes to altitudes of more than 3700 meters above sea level.
In the same way, Gorilla Trekking can be quite difficult for unfit Gorilla trekkers. Please let us in advance and we can arrange something for you should you consider yourself unfit.
There are 152 permits available in Uganda, 80 in Rwanda, and 64 in DR Congo. Booking in advance is very essential.
Even when we dont guarantee gorilla sighting because this is not a zoo and these animals remain wild, Your trekking guide will follow the hints on where they were last sighted meaning you will most likely find the gorillas. In the worst case scenario you will be allowed to trekk gorillas for the second time without any paymentsor get a 50% refund of the total gorilla trekking fees. In our personal experience in Trekking Uganda, Rwanda and Congo we’ve never had any client not see the gorillas.
Gorilla tours / Trekking in DR Congo is currently closed due to current military operations against the rebels and the recent volcanic eruptions that are still active.
There are currently six habituated families in the DRC. Although this number is always in flow as new families can be created from breakups from the existing ones. Or a family from Rwanda could travel across as it happened in the opposite direction in the past.
All the gorillas are found in the southeastern part of the Virungas National Park. On the border with Rwanda and Uganda. Gorilla permits cost 400$ here.
Prices: For many people, the most deciding factor is prices/ affordability and safety. If it’s for prices only, then Congo gorilla trekking could be the best bet. However, the security situation in DR Congo is volatile and kidnappings involving tourists have happened before.
If you’re a budget traveller or midrange-semi-luxury in our unbiased opinion its Uganda is the best destination for you. In Uganda, you have gorilla permits for 700$ and affordable from 50$ to 1000$ for lodges. Unlike in Rwanda that only offers high-end experience with gorilla permits costing $1500 and lodges that go for 2500$ per night.
We shall leave the choice to you now that we have put all the cards on the table. In case you want an adrenaline-pumping adventure experience in some of the least visited places in the world. In that case, it is Virunga National Park in DR Congo.
Suppose you want to trek Gorillas in a modern country that represents the hopefully future face of Africa. In that case, Rwanda is the place for you to track Gorillas.
In case you want that Primate Trek in Africa as you dreamt of it it, but even better. Then “concentrate on Uganda” for your Primate Trek, flora and fauna, adrenaline, culture and diversity.
Uganda, out of the three countries, is the one that offers the most. Lonely Planet said, ” Uganda is all of Africa concentrated into one country.” No wonder Winston Churchill called it “the Pearl of Africa.”
Nevertheless, We specialize in tailor-made Gorilla trekking tours in Rwanda, Uganda and Congo
Much of the money from gorilla trekking go to the protection of national parks and gorillas. Similarly, 10% of the revenue goes to local communities. In this way, one ensures that local people do not become farmers and therefore do not cut down trees for agriculture. Schools and roads are also being built with profits from gorilla treks. The rest of the money goes to the governments of these countries.
Although it is possible to go on gorilla trekking in Uganda, Congo and Rwanda all year round. The dry months are the best. The best time for gorilla trekking is December to February and June to September.
Gorilla Permits and Passport: You will be required to show your gorilla permit and passport at park offices before beginning your trek
Hiking Boots: High-quality hiking boots will ensure a better grip of the hilly and sometimes muddy terrain Gorilla trekking involves climbing steep hills and valleys.
A Rain Jacket and sweater: This is important especially in the rain season Gorillas are found in tropical rain forests. And rain should be expected at any time regardless of the season.
Headband and Hair Ties: Your hair could get caught in the branches of the trees
A hat, Sunglasses and sunscreen: These will protect you from the suns heat especially during the dry season.
Camera with strong battery and memory: You cannot go for a safari in Africa without a good camera. How will your friends and know about your experience of African safaris?. But remember African animals hate flash so be sure not to use the flashlight
Binoculars: You will encounter a lot of animals during your gorilla trekking safari and bird species that would require you to have a good pair of binoculars.
Phone sim card: We can help you through a quick registration when you arrive so that you have a sim card to keep communicating with your loved ones while on a safari.
Have a simple first aid kit with you.
On the day of your gorilla trekking a staff from the National park will guide you on the rules to be followed during your gorilla trekking.
You will be required to pay attention as you listen closely.
The rules are:
Because Gorillas in Mgahinga National park move between Uganda and Rwanda people tend to book Bwindi gorilla trekking because it have the majority of gorillas in the wild In Uganda, a gorilla permit cost US $ 700. In the past years, April, May and November used to cost US $ 450. At the moment gorilla permits don’t get discounted only 8 people are allowed to see a gorilla family each day . With the limited permits, We strongly encourage you to book your gorilla permit in advance with us, the most common mistake done by clients is to book a gorilla family which is far away from your choice of accommodation . The roads to Bwindi trekking points are not paved this is a remote area. If you would like to do the gorilla trek on your own so as to save costs, you might end up loosing your permits or accommodation if you make this mistake.
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park Gorilla trekking families. In Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, there is only one gorilla group called Nyakagezi but ocassionally there some gorilla groups from Rwanda Volcanoes National Park that cross to Uganda for example Hirwa Gorilla Group of 20 individuals in 2019 migrated to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. But later returned home in Volcanoes National Park of Rwanda at the end of the year.
The group is headed by a silver back called Agashya who recently overthrow Nyakarima before taking over the throne. The family’s population has grown from 13 to 27 members in a space of 8 years.
The Amahoro Gorilla family has 2 female black backs, 5 juveniles gorillas 2 silver backs and four adult mothers.
Kwitonda Gorilla family has 23 member led by Akarevuro silver back gorilla the group used to live in Virunga National Parkin Congo. This gorilla group got its name from Kwitonda silverback gorilla that led the group from Congo due to the war thatwas going on in Virunga National park.
In the morning before going to gorilla trek in Africa, expect to have an early morning breakfast and transfer from your lodge to the National park headquarters where you will be required to show your gorilla trekking permits and identity documents. After that a short briefing about the rules to follow during your gorilla trek before you will be assigned an armed ranger to take you to the actual gorilla trekking. You will be paired with in groups of maximum eight people and then given a particular gorilla family. Porters are available to assist you during the trekking, Gorilla trekking in Uganda can be more challenging as compared to Gorilla trek in Rwanda and DR Congo We advise you to take porters since its one way of creating employment for people that live arround the gorilla habitats. Taking a porter means you probably creating employment to a would be poacher who knows?
Gorilla trek in Africa requires a moderate level of fitness, but most fit individuals should be more than ready to take on the steep valleys and mountains challenge.
During your gorilla trek in Africa you will be trekking at an average altitude of 2500-3000 metres, The air here tend to be thinner making breathing a little harder in places where mountain gorillas live In Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Virunga National Park and Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, the terrain is mountainous covered with thing undergrowth vegetation and rain forests therefore trekking gorillas in these areas requires level of physical and mental fitness.
Since gorillas keep moving in forests, its unclear how long a given gorilla trekking session could last for. Some gorilla families can be seen in as little as 30 minutes others in 7 hours or even a full day trekking. If you do your Gorilla trekking in Uganda or Congo, expect to go through a challenging terrain, crossing through water streams, hiking hill and going down steep valleys at the end of your gorilla trekking, you will be exhausted and definitely muddy if you come in the rainy season so be prepared to take on the challenge on the gorilla trek Africa
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