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Is Gorilla Trekking better in Uganda or Rwanda

Rwanda and Uganda both have outstanding gorilla trekking hikes. So, how do you make your decision? Some important contrasts are discussed here, such as location and accessibility, prices, and the number of gorilla soldiers. So you want to go mountain gorilla trekking… fantastic! We’ve gone, and we can assure you that it’s absolutely, certainly worth it. It’s one of our favorite activities in Uganda. Standing only a few steps away from these gentle giants in their forest environment, watching them nibble on fruit and plants, play with or groom one another, and lazily stare at the curious bipeds staring at them – these are amazing moments that you will remember for the rest of your life.

But, in order to get there, you must first determine where you want to travel to view them. Do you visit Rwanda to go gorilla trekking? Do you go gorilla trekking in Uganda instead? The purpose of this blog article is to provide an answer to that query. Mountain gorillas that travelers journey to see are ones who have gotten used to human presence. It takes around two years to habituate them to humans. Even when they develop accustomed to human presence, tight laws are in place to ensure that we interfere with their environment and way of life as little as possible. To begin with, only one party of eight people is permitted to visit each gorilla family every day, and only for one hour.

Is Gorilla Trekking better in Uganda or Rwanda

Is Gorilla Trekking better in Uganda or Rwanda

Where in the world can I go gorilla trekking?

The Virunga Mountains in Central and East Africa are home to all of the world’s mountain gorillas. Rwanda and Uganda are the two most popular destinations for gorilla trekking. Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda offers treks to observe mountain gorillas. Mountain gorillas may be found in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park. Mgahinga’s gorilla population isn’t as huge or consistent as that of Bwindi, making Bwindi the better and more popular alternative.

The choice to go gorilla trekking in Rwanda or Uganda is typically influenced by variables such as cost and accessibility. You should also think about what else you’ll do on your vacation to the nation, because the cost and effort of a gorilla hike means you’ll probably only see gorillas on one day. All of this will be discussed shortly, but first, let us address a critical question.

Rwanda's mountain gorillas

Rwanda is a tiny, hilly nation in East Africa with a population of about 13 million people. It is also known as the country des mille collines, which translates to “land of a thousand hills” in French. Most residents speak Kinyarwanda, the country’s primary language. Official languages are English, French, and Swahili. Rwanda is a twenty-first-century phoenix, rising from the ashes of its horrible genocide in 1994 to become one of Africa’s great success stories. Kigali, its capital city, is well-known for its beauty and cleanliness.

Is Gorilla Trekking better in Uganda or Rwanda

Volcanoes National park

Tourism has played a significant part in Rwanda’s reconstruction, and mountain gorillas are essential to the country’s tourism industry. Volcanoes National Park is home to Rwanda’s mountain gorillas, as previously stated. The park is home to 56 mountain gorilla families.

Because Rwanda is a tiny nation, travelling to Volcanoes National Park is a breeze. Visitors easily fly into Kigali International Airport and then drive around two and a half hours northwest to get at Volcanoes National Park’s doorstep. Even if the journey is short, it is always best to go with a reliable tour operator that is familiar with the area and highways. Volcanoes National Park’s closeness to an international airport is a big appeal for Rwanda’s mountain gorilla tourism sector.

Uganda's mountain gorillas

Uganda is a landlocked nation with vast plains, volcanoes, snow-capped mountains, dense forests, savannah, large lakes, unique animals, and much more. The population of over 43 million people is incredibly varied, speaking more than 40 languages. Ugandans are noted for their friendliness and kindness. Many people speak English, which is beneficial to tourists. For its unparalleled diversity and beauty, Winston Churchill nicknamed Uganda the “Pearl of Africa.”

The Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is home to the majority of Uganda’s mountain gorillas. Bwindi is an tropical forest that ranges in elevation from 1,160 to 2,607 meters above sea level. The Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, as the name implies, is densely wooded. The dense growth in the forest may make it rather gloomy. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site for good reason. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is located in Uganda’s extreme southwest corner. This positions it somewhat distant from Kampala, Uganda’s capital, and Entebbe International Airport, both of which are located in south central Uganda. Furthermore, the highways linking the two are not open and smooth. As a result, the travel takes around nine hours.

It is recommended that you go with someone who is familiar with the area rather than going on your own. While there is a short flight from Entebbe to Bwindi, driving is the more cost-effective alternative, especially if you are part of a tour group. Some people who wish to go gorilla trekking in Bwindi choose to fly into Kigali, Rwanda’s main city, and then drive north across the border, which is a four-hour trip. The journey to Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park takes longer than the one to Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park.

Gorilla Trekking Vs Gorilla Habituation
Mountain Rwenzori peak and Gorillas

Rwanda and Uganda trekking costs

The first significant difference is the cost of gorilla trekking permits in Uganda and Rwanda. This is one of the major factor to consider when answering the question “Is Gorilla Trekking better in Uganda or Rwanda?” Rwanda elected to execute a low tourism strategy with significant effect, hence a gorilla trekking permit costs $1,500. Uganda, on the other hand, elected to charge $700 for a gorilla trekking permit. This significantly reduces the cost of hiking to visit the gorillas in Uganda. Rwanda has many more luxury lodge alternatives than Uganda, although Uganda also has a variety of mid-range and premium lodgings.

Accessibility of gorilla parks in Rwanda and Uganda

Given the close proximity of Volcanoes National Park to the Airport, Rwanda is the preferable choice for those who only have time for a quick layover to do gorilla trekking. This is more probable for persons in route to another location or arriving from a nearby nation. However, because of the time and money spent going to East Africa, most Western visitors prefer to undertake additional things once there, such as go on a safari or hike Mt Rwenzori. Uganda is a better alternative for such visitors since it has more to offer.

Is Gorilla Trekking better in Uganda or Rwanda
Gorilla Trekking Vs Gorilla Habituation

Conditions for trekking in Uganda and Rwanda

In comparison to Bwindi, trekking paths in Rwanda are regarded more open and less steep and slippery. In the country of Uganda. However, Volcanoes National Park is far higher in elevation than Bwindi, which might make the walk more difficult.

Uganda has a greater number of habituated gorilla families

Although Rwanda’s mountain gorillas are simpler to approach, Uganda has more habituated mountain gorillas and hence accepts more hikers every day. Visitors to Uganda’s gorillas are limited to 80 per day. In Rwanda, there are around 56 tourists every day. This makes acquiring a gorilla trekking permit in Uganda easier than obtaining one in Rwanda, especially if you don’t book too far in advance.

4 Days Congo Gorillas and Nyiragongo Hike

Ugandan gorilla habituation permits

Gorilla habituation is only available in Uganda. This permit permits the visitor to spend four hours with a mountain gorilla group in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park’s southern sector. The habituation permits cost $1,500, which is the same as the Rwandan one-hour gorilla trekking permit. The habituation permit was only recently created in response to tourist requests to spend extra time with the mountain gorillas. Only two gorilla units have been designated for these practice sessions. This implies that around eight habituation licenses are provided every day, so if you want one, you must reserve well in advance.

Visitors who attend the four-hour gorilla trip can participate in habituation activities like as making calls, gathering specimens, and even identifying specific gorillas. It’s a totally unique, once-in-a-lifetime experience.

With the above arguments, we hope we have been able to answer the question “Is Gorilla Trekking better in Uganda or Rwanda?”

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