Gorilla trekking safari in Uganda and Rwanda
Gorilla trekking safari in Uganda and Rwanda : Gorilla trekking is an adventurous activity where visitors move into the tropical forests in search of the endangered mountain gorillas and once found spend one hour with them in their natural environment. Gorilla trekking is carried out in five African destinations including Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and Mgahinga gorilla national park in Uganda, Volcanoes national park in Rwanda, Virunga national park and Kahuzi Biega national park.
Gorilla trekking in Uganda
Uganda is one of the best gorilla trekking destinations in that it harbors about 459 mountain gorillas and the figure is half of the total number of mountain gorillas in the whole world which is 1063 individuals. Gorilla trekking in Uganda is done in two destinations that is
Bwindi impenetrable national parks, Bwindi impenetrable national park is located in southwestern Uganda and a home of 19 habituated gorilla families which are found in four sectors that is Rushaga sector in the south, Ruhija sector in the east, Nkuringo sector in the south and Buhoma sector in the north. Gorilla trekking in Bwindi impenetrable national park starts in the morning at 8:00am with a briefing at the park headquarters about the rules and regulations of trekking. After the briefing visitors will be allocated a gorilla group depending on the physical fitness, age among others and then enter the jungle with a park guide. gorilla trekking in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park takes about 2 to 7 hours and once the gorillas are found, you will spend one hour with them in their natural environment learning about their habits, behaviors, lifestyle, taking photos and recording moments.
Mgahinga gorilla national park, this is another gorilla destination in Uganda that offers gorilla trekking. The national park is located in southwestern Uganda in Kisoro district and it’s a home of two habituated gorilla families that are available for trekking daily namely Nyakagezi and Hirwa. Gorilla trekking in Mgahinga gorilla national park starts with a briefing at Ntebeko park entrance and after you will start trekking in the jungle with a park guide who will be sharing information about the mountain gorillas. Trekking takes about 2 to 5 hours and when the gorillas have been found, you will spend one hour with them in their natural habitats.
Gorilla trekking in Volcanoes national park Rwanda
Volcanoes national park is located in Musanze village northwestern part of Rwanda. The national park is the only gorilla trekking destination in Rwanda and a home of over 14 habituated gorilla families available for trekking daily. Gorilla trekking in Volcanoes national park starts with a briefing at the park headquarters and after the briefing you will be grouped into 8 individuals to trek a gorilla family. Trekking in the park takes about 2 to 7 hours or sometimes less depending on the location of the gorillas because they like to move from one destination to another in search of food. Once the gorilla family has been found, you will spend one hour with the gorillas taking photos, recording videos, learning about their lifestyle, behaviors, habits among others.
Cost of a gorilla trekking permit in Uganda and Rwanda
A gorilla trekking permit is a document/ card that is issued to a visitor above the age of fifteen allowing him or her to trek a gorilla family in any destination. A gorilla trekking permit in Uganda costs $600 for foreign non-resident, $500 for foreign residents, UGX 250,000 for East African citizens and the price was increased by $100 for foreign non-residents and foreign residents effective 1st July 2020.
A gorilla trekking permit in Rwanda costs $1500 for all nationals and Rwanda is the only destination in Africa with the highest gorilla trekking permit. Therefore visitors who want the best and luxury gorilla trekking safari can book a gorilla trekking permit in Rwanda and those who prefer the best and affordable gorilla trekking safari can book for a gorilla trekking permit in Uganda.
How to book a gorilla trekking permit
A gorilla trekking permit can either be booked directly through Uganda Wildlife Authority a tourism body in Uganda or Rwanda Development Board a tourism body in Rwanda by contacting the offices through email or telephone calls. There is also an option of booking via a trusted tour operator like Achieve Global Safaris by contacting us with the date, months, year and destination where you want to trek the mountain gorillas. After contacting us we will check for the availability of the permits by contacting UWA or RDB, once the permits are available you will be asked to make a deposit on the permit and also send your scanned passport copies which will be used to register your permit. When the deposit has been made, we will purchase the permit for you and send you scanned copies as confirmation.
Booking through a tour operator is the best option in that it will save you the hustle and we will not only book your gorilla trekking permit but also plan for the whole trip which involves transportation, accommodation, meals and also other activities that you can engage in apart from gorilla trekking.
Gorilla trekking permits in Uganda and Rwanda should be booked 3 to 6 months in advance before the trekking date because they are competitive and usually get sold out especially during the peak season.
Which company to use for your gorilla trekking safari?
There are many companies in Uganda and Rwanda that organize gorilla trekking safaris therefore when choosing a safari company you should consider factors like if its registered with tourism associations in Uganda or Rwanda, check the profile, address, services offered, read information on the website, way of communication such as how fast they communicate to your questions, gorilla trekking safari prices charged, company reviews from previous visitors, mode of payment among others. Considering all the above qualities there are some tour companies that I recommend such as Achieve Global Safaris, Explore Rwanda Tours and Focus East Africa Tours Ltd.
When to go for gorilla trekking safari in Uganda and Rwanda
Gorilla trekking in Uganda and Rwanda can be done anytime throughout the year though the best time is during the dry season in the months of June to September and December to February. During this time there is less rainfall in the park therefore access roads to the parks will be passable, there will be short shrubs in the jungle which gives you clear views of the mountain gorillas and the gorilla trekking trails will be passable. Due to the fact that gorilla destinations are tropical rain forests it can rain anytime of the day regardless of the season.
Gorilla trekking can also be done in the wet season in the months of March to May and October to November. During the wet season there is heavy rainfall in the forest which makes gorilla trekking trails wet, muddy and slippery hence making trekking difficult. Though there during the wet season there is heavy rainfall it has some advantages in that the gorilla trekking permits will be less competitive due to less visitors therefore even the last minute visitors can purchase a permit.
Where to stay during your gorilla trekking safari in Uganda and Rwanda.
There are a wide range of luxury, midrange and budget accommodation facilities in Uganda and Rwanda where visitors can stay on their gorilla trekking safari such as Five Volcanoes Boutique, Mountain Gorillas Nest Lodge, Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge, Mountain Gorilla View Lodge, Da Vinci Gorilla Lodge, Gorilla Solution Lodge, La Bamboo Gorilla Village, Virunga Lodge, Gorillas Nest, Bisate Lodge, Kinigi Lodge, Kwitondo Lodge among others in Volcanoes national park Rwanda, Buhoma Community Rest Camp, Lake Kitandara Bwindi Camp, Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp, silverback Lodge, Buhoma Lodge, Volcanoes Safari Bwindi Lodge, Bwindi Guest House, Gorilla Resort, Engage Lodge, Bwindi View Bandas, Gorilla Friends Lodge, Jungle View Lodge, Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge, Nkuringo Gorilla Camp, Travellers Rest Hotel, Golden Monkey Guesthouse, Mount Gahinga Lodge, Mount Gahinga Rest Camp, Bwindi jungle lodge, Mutanda Island lodge among others in Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga gorilla national park.
Gorilla trekking experience in Uganda and Rwanda
Both Uganda and Rwanda gorilla destinations offer incredible gorilla trekking experiences therefore it’s up to you to choose whether you want to visit a Uganda with the highest number of mountain gorillas and an affordable gorilla trekking permit or whether you want to visit Rwanda with the shortest distance from the airport to the national park.
Gorilla trekking in both Uganda and Rwanda offer fascinating and unforgettable experiences on your safari whether you do a single gorilla trekking or double gorilla trekking safari in both destinations. You can therefore contact our experienced tour consultants about gorilla trekking safari packages or visit our websites for more detailed information.
Gorilla trekking in Uganda