Most Rwanda gorilla tour operators or gorilla trekking companies in the beautiful Rwanda will have different prices, both cheap and luxury options. The difference of how much to charge depends on accommodation, vehicle, season and running costs of the company. Local companies will definitely charge lower than the international travel agencies.
Gorilla trekking is without doubt a major highlight of all visits conducted in Uganda & Rwanda. The 2 destinations have become preferred destinations to see the rare mountain gorillas.
Gorilla trekking is basically a hike through the tropical forests to view the endangered mountain gorillas while in the wild. Planning a successful gorilla trekking tour to Uganda or Rwanda all takes a process and essentially, eligible trekkers require a valid gorilla permit to have opportunity to engage in this lifetime wildlife encounter.
Gorilla trekking is incredibly the best on-foot primate experience taking you in the pristine African rainforests to view, learn in-depth about mountain gorillas’ behaviors and taking memorable pictures. Overall duration of gorilla trekking in Uganda or Rwanda is generally unpredictable but often lasts trekkers 2 to 7 hours. Gorilla trekking in Uganda & Rwanda is all about viewing mountain gorillas and you are guaranteed of 1 hour magical encounter with these rare apes once you have located a gorilla family that park officials will allocate to you.
All gorilla trekking adventures in Uganda and Rwanda start with early morning briefing where you have insight into the rules and regulations. Whether you plan to visit Uganda or Rwanda, the standard number allowed during gorilla trek is strictly 8. All Uganda gorilla trekking safaris are carried out in only Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. In Rwanda, the only park where mountain gorillas can be trekked is Volcanoes National Park.
In Uganda, all uganda gorilla trekking permits for Bwindi and Mgahinga National Park can be reserved at US$700. If you are visiting Rwanda, gorilla trekking permits are at US$1500 per person. Whether it is Uganda or Rwanda, permits can be booked through a reliable/trusted/recognized ground tour operator or directly through Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) for the case of Uganda and Rwanda Development Board (RDB) for Rwanda.
What country has the most gorillas?
Fewer than 1063 mountain gorillas still live on earth and, all half of them range within the tropical forests of Uganda making it a home to larger portion of these unique apes. The highest number of habituated gorilla families also exist in Uganda-there are 21 to track in 5 gorilla trekking regions. These include Buhoma in the Northern side of Bwindi, Eastern part of Bwindi, Ruhija sector while the Southern region has Rushaga and Nkuringo sectors.
Ntebeko is the 5th gorilla trekking region in Uganda and found in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, where Nyakagezi group is the only habituated gorilla family to visit during this guided gorilla trek.
Is gorilla trekking worth the money?
Whether Gorilla trekking is worth the money or not, is notably one of the most debatable areas among the travelers on gorilla safaris. But, honestly, gorilla trekking in Uganda or Rwanda is all worth the money. Trekking mountain gorillas in their natural habitat is without such a mind blowing experience worth every penny. You have a guarantee of 1 hour face to face encounter with gorillas and such magical encounter ideally makes gorilla trekking priceless.
Gorilla trekking is worth the money because, part of it is used to fund different conservation activities, local community initiatives that are all intended to boost gorilla conservation. Mountain gorillas are endangered and they must be protected for future generations.
Is it safe to visit gorillas in Uganda & Rwanda – East Africa?
Uganda and Rwanda are all very safe and secure to visit to see gorillas in the wild. Visitor safety is always top priority not leave out the safety of mountain gorillas too. Peace and security has prevailed in these East-Central states making them the most preferred destinations to visit to see gorillas.
All Uganda and Rwanda gorilla safaris are done not in any gorilla group except only the habituated ones. The habituated groups undertake a period of about 2 years less or more, a process where gorillas are made to get used to human presence hence making visitor interaction with them amazing.
On actual day of trekking gorillas, all trekkers are led by an armed & experienced park guides after briefing on guidelines. This is to ensure safety of not only to the visitors but also the gorillas.
Where are the gorillas in Uganda?
Mountain gorillas in Uganda are special creatures and they all live only in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (BINP) & Mgahinga Gorilla National Park (MGNP). All these 2 gorilla parks are geographically positioned in the extreme South-western Uganda, and they lie adjacent to districts of Kisoro, Kanungu and Kabale.
From Kampala, accessing Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park by road can take you from 8 to 9 hours. From Kigali, access to Bwindi & Mgahinga takes you few hours driving on the road via Katuna border-Kabale or via Cyanika border to Kisoro. You can also spend few hours by taking a flight from Entebbe Airport in Entebbe city/Kajjansi airfield in Kampala to Kisoro/Kihihi airstrips in Southwestern Uganda.
Where are the gorillas in Rwanda?
All gorillas in Rwanda are trekked in only one destination; Volcanoes National Park (VNP). Volcanoes National Park, which sits on land area of only 160sq.kms is geographically located on the extreme North-western side of Rwanda, only 2-3 hours’ drive from Kigali.
Volcanoes National Park like Bwindi & Mgahinga, protects a significant portion of the 1063 mountain gorillas in its lush tropical rain forest. About 13 gorilla families are distributed within Volcanoes National Park Rwanda with group range of 11 to 33 members. Trekking gorillas in Volcanoes National Park Rwanda is considerably an all year-round adventure. All guided Rwanda gorilla treks begin at Kinigi area with briefing on gorilla rules & regulations.
Is Gorilla trekking ethical?
Yes, Gorilla trekking in Uganda/Rwanda is ethical! Trekking gorillas is without doubt a lifetime experience and not only has it become a bucket-list adventure but also a helping hand in the respective gorilla destinations. The money paid for gorilla trekking, part of it, is used to fund gorilla conservation programs. All is intended to secure these apes from the hands of poachers and also helping the adjacent local communities as more local projects have been put in place.
Essentially, with just 1063 mountain gorillas left, need to protect them from extinction is still high. There are set regulations/rules/measures put in place, that aimed at reducing risk of these endangered apes from contracting infectious diseases that can cost their lives.
How much does it cost to go for gorilla trekking in Uganda?
The price for trekking gorillas in Uganda differs significantly depending on important factors to be considered. Essentially, the cost of gorilla trekking covers gorilla permit, accommodation, transportation, other activities you are likely to do besides gorilla trekking etc.
Gorilla permits offer you a chance to be part of the guided gorilla trekking adventure. All Uganda gorilla permits are available for reservation just at US$700 for foreign non-residents, US$600 if you visit Uganda as foreign resident and East African citizens-Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda pay shs. 250,000 per person. Depending on the days, gorilla trekking in Uganda can cost you from $1200 to even $2000.
How difficult is Gorilla Trekking?
Gorilla trekking in general is a strenuous adventure requiring a moderate level of fitness as you should expect to take on elevation range of 2500 to 3000m. Bwindi, Uganda’s prime gorilla destination is noted for its tough terrains, a fact that it is mountainous and features dense vegetation cover.
How long your guided trek will take in Uganda, Rwanda is entirely unpredictable. On a guided gorilla trek, some visitors can even come across gorillas within minutes while others can take up to 6 hours before getting a gorilla group family. Generally, the length of the trek can range from 2-6 hours and it all requires some stamina.
Is Uganda or Rwanda better for gorilla trekking?
Uganda & Rwanda all offer exceptionally unique gorilla trekking experiences but choosing Uganda, guarantees you 2 alternative gorilla destinations to visit to see gorillas. The 2 parks to visit in Uganda to see gorillas include Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga N/Park (this is also part of the Virunga Conservation Area-VCA) unlike Rwanda with only Volcanoes National Park-VNP.
Gorilla families-Uganda alone has all 21 habituated groups-20 in Bwindi and 1 in Mgahinga, all distributed in the 5 regions of Buhoma, Ruhija, Nkuringo & Rushaga-Bwindi, Ntebeko in Mgahinga. In Rwanda, all tourists confine at Kinigi to begin a search of the park’s 13 groups.
Gorilla permits-Uganda issues over 168 gorilla permits at US$700 unlike Rwanda with 104 permits each issued at US$1500pp.
Why is gorilla trekking so expensive?
Gorilla trekking is expensive considering a number of reasons including the high cost of gorilla conservation and other wildlife. A portion of gorilla permit fees in Uganda, Rwanda goes into funding gorilla conservation projects. These projects are intended to boost gorilla conservation efforts at Bwindi National Park, Mgahinga or Volcanoes National Park.
The gorilla permits are also issued at set price as a way to raise funds required to finance conservation activities like patrols which are often conducted by the park rangers to ensure illegal activities like poaching are reduced. The funds are raised from gorilla permits to help in gorilla population census etc., enhance the livelihoods of locals, and ensure sustainable gorilla tourism.
Is Uganda safe for tourists?
Uganda is generally safe for all tourists on gorilla tours, wildlife safaris, hiking tours etc. For long, there has been and still, an great improvement in all Uganda’s security categories apart from few cases of road safety. The security organs are all committed to ensuring that peace and security continues to prevail.
Tourism police and park rangers work hand in hand with other security agencies to ensure that all destinations in Uganda are safe to visit. Even on a gorilla trek, you will be accompanied by an experienced park guide who is also armed. Important tip; keep your valuables safe preferably back in the hotel and avoid moving alone at night more so in the dark corners.
Is gorilla trekking safe
Gorilla trekking is without doubt one of the safest adventures Uganda, Rwanda have to offer the world. All gorilla treks are done under guidance of an experienced and armed park guide-trained by Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA). Before visitors set off to look for a gorilla group, they undergo briefing on the guiding principles/rules/regulations for gorilla trekking.
On actual trek, you will only track the habituated gorillas which means, less risks of encountering the wild ones. The habituated gorillas are generally used to human presence since they undertake a period of about 2 years being habituated by a group of conservationists, trackers and scientists.
How do you spot a silverback gorilla?
Silverback gorillas are massive by size, strong with broad chests. They are the leaders of the group and notably defenders. A silverback gorilla is the adult male gorilla and derives its name from the gray like or silver colored hair on its back. Most often, silverbacks are easy to spot while on gorilla trek due to their rare grayish hair on the back and massive sizes.
Silverbacks weight ranges from 135-195kgs, stand upright 1.5-1.8m and their arms can stretch from 2.3-2.6m. They noted to be stronger than any adult male, about 7-18 times. Silverback gorillas in Uganda & Rwanda are best spotted in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Mgahinga, and Volcanoes National Park.
What should I wear for gorilla trekking?
While on gorilla trekking holiday in Uganda or Rwanda, not anything can be worn but rather consider environmentally friendly clothes. Also, when packing-ensure that you do it lightly and rightly starting with essentials. They include long sleeved shirts, trousers, socks, light but waterproof hiking boots, rain jacket, sweater, sturdy gardening gloves, a hat etc.
The key costs of a gorilla safari include gorilla permits, transportation, accommodation, meals plus other optional expenses. The general cost of gorilla safari varies depending on the number of days you plan to take for instance, a 3 day luxury gorilla tour in Rwanda may cover between $2000 and $5000. While 1 day gorilla tour in Rwanda may go at US$1700 per person.
In Uganda, a budget gorilla safari may cost us$1350 per person-for a 3 days gorilla trek. The luxury gorilla trip in Uganda may cost from US$3000 for 3 day gorilla trek. The gorilla safari cost always covers the cost of one gorilla permit, transportation, accommodation & meals, driver guide etc.
How to prepare for a gorilla trek
The best way to prepare for your gorilla trek is to plan for it early. Be prepared to challenge yourself on terrains but before taking a flight for actual trek, you must do adequate exercise. Trekking gorillas is all about walking in the wild, thick vegetation, steep slopes etc. to see gorillas which requires you to be fit enough to take on 3500m altitude.
Plan your gorilla trek at least 6 months earlier and have room to conduct adequate exercises-jog, hike, walk around hilly areas back in your country. On actual trek, carry only essentials especially waterproof daypack, face mask, gardening glove, camera without flashlight, daypack, energy giving snacks, first aid kit, trousers, long sleeved shirts, insect repellents, walking boots, walking sticks, sunhat etc.
Also, get to understand the set regulations for gorilla trekking-note only persons above 15 years are eligible. Besides, plan your gorilla trip within the dry season from June to September and December to February.
What is the best time of the year to visit Uganda & Rwanda-East Africa?
Trekking gorillas in Rwanda or Uganda is of no doubt a year-round experience, however, the best time to enjoy your trek is around the dry period. Uganda & Rwanda experience 2 dry seasons beginning from June to September & December till February.
The rest of the months are wet/rainy months and often avoided but perfect for budget travelers as accommodation rates are usually cut down. The wet period in Uganda & Rwanda starts from March to May and October to November.
Are gorillas friendly?
Yes, gorillas are friendly creatures except only when they are irritated or attacked in their territory or if their infants are hurt. They can become aggressive when disturbed and react strongly showing it by breaking ribs, thumping, biting, dragging etch. Interestingly, they undergo through 2 years of habituation less or more to make them friendly or familiar to human presence and this is usually done by researchers.
Are gorillas dangerous?
Gorillas are generally ground dwelling mammal species and not dangerous like other wildlife species. They are shy and humble, but they can dangerous when attacked. Before they feel aggressive, warming signs (they can thump/bite vegetation) can sent in form of threats in cases where unexpected movement happen in their territories.
What does gorilla trekking mean?
Gorilla trekking entirely means following gorillas-an adventure involving tourists hiking through the wild or forest while searching for habituated gorilla group. The normal trek often begins at 8:300am after briefing and generally, it is fully guided by the experienced park guide. While trekking gorillas, the rules and regulations must be observed at all times and the park guide shall always remind everyone of the briefed rules.
What is the difference between gorilla trekking & gorilla tracking?
Gorilla trekking is a unique primate activity involving travelers hiking in the forest to search for a given habituated group of gorillas. This adventure usually begins after briefing at 8:30am and 8 visitors are led by an armed park guide to begin their trek.
It often takes 2-6 hours or less and gorilla tracking is entirely monitoring method of looking for a particular habituated family where the trackers/rangers use various methodology/strategies to guide visitors to find gorillas and it is often conducted before visitors hit the forest for actual gorilla trekking.
How long does gorilla trekking take?
Gorilla trekking experience is one unpredictable primate adventures but often lasts 2-6 hours. The length of visitor trek is entirely determined by their fitness levels, nature of the habitat, location of a gorilla group etc. Upon locating gorillas start taking photos while listening keenly to your guide who later, will explain to you different behaviors of these apes or interpret their body gestures.
Uganda gorilla permits.
Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) is an organ authorized to issue gorilla permits in Uganda. Over 80% of the permits are given to registered tour operators which means, higher opportunity for you have a gorilla permit booked and 20% of the permits are available for booking through UWA.
All Uganda gorilla permits are issued to persons above 15 years at $700 for foreign residents, $600 foreign residents and UG. Shs. 250,000 for Ugandans/Kenyans/Rwandese (East Africa citizens).
Rwanda Gorilla Permits
Rwanda Gorilla Permits guarantee travellers the chance to trek the endangered mountain gorillas of Volcanoes National Park. These permits cost only $1500 per person per trek and the minimum age to trek these beautiful Great Apes is 15 years old. Rwanda Development Board is the official and only issuing body although permits can be booked directly or indirectly. For direct booking, intending/interested gorilla trekkers can purchase from RDB Head Offices in Kigali and Kinigi Park Headquarters or purchase them online.
Instead of going through Rwanda Development Board, travellers can book for Rwanda Gorilla permits hassle-free through credible and licensed Tour Operators like us. We not only book for permits but can also plan your entire gorilla safari by hiring the most comfortable vehicles and book the top-notch places to stay.
What Is Gorilla Habituation
Gorilla Habituation is a detailed process of making wild mountain gorillas accustomed to human presence. For all the four Protected Areas sheltering mountain gorillas (Bwindi Impenetrable, Volcanoes, Virunga and Mgahinga Gorilla National Parks), these primates have to first undergo Habituation for a period of 2-3 years with a team of researchers and rangers constantly visiting them to reduce their fear for humans, identified by their sex and age and later naming of individual gorillas.
When they are certified ready, the gorillas are introduced to a mock exercise involving journalists, scientists and rangers. After the mock exercise, the gorilla group is said to be successfully habituated and finally opened for trekking by general tourists.
Where to carry out Gorilla Habituation from?
The Gorilla Habituation Experience is an incredibly moving experience only carried out in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Bwindi is divided into four different gorilla trekking regions or sectors but this awe-inspiring experience is only conducted in the southern sectors of Rushaga and Nkuringo. Unlike the standard gorilla treks, the number of participants for the Gorilla Habituation Experience is limited to only 4 tourists plus rangers, guides and porters.
However, the trekking process for the Habituation Experience of not different from standard treks because you will be following trails created through the Impenetrable forest by rangers. Once their nests are located, it takes few minutes to about an hour to finally find them. Visitors then spend up to four hours with the mountain gorillas, which is enough time to watch their outstanding behavior and enjoy the best photographing opportunities
Gorilla Habituation Permits
Gorilla Habituation Permits make it possible for visitors to enjoy the incredibly humbling Habituation process, only conducted in Uganda. This involves visiting semi-habituated gorillas to make them fully accustomed to human presence, which is significant for gorilla tourism.
Gorilla Habituation Permits are more costly than permits for standard treks and guarantees spending up to four hours with the Giant Apes instead of only one hour. Given the limited number of permits (8 permits for two gorilla groups), they have to be booked in advance and presently cost $1500 per person per trek. This price includes Park entrance fees, Gorilla guides/rangers as well as researchers.
Packing list for gorilla trekking.
When coming up with the packing list for your gorilla safari, make sure that you don’t forget rain jacket, waterproof daypack to carry personal belongings such as cameras, snacks and bottled needed during treks, long cotton socks, long-sleeved shirts to protect your arms from unpleasant plants and bushes, rainproof pants, insect repellant, a hair bandana or wide-brimmed hat to shield your head from hot sunshine, rainproof and ankle-high hiking boots with grip, energy-giving snacks and drinking water to keep you hydrated and energized during these physically-demanding treks, gardening gloves to protect your hands as you grab vegetation to pull yourself while hiking and toiletries such as hand sanitizers, deodorant, toothbrush and toothpaste, face wipes and many others.
What to do when a gorilla charges on you?
When a gorilla charges, you are advised to relax and do a number of things to calm the Giant Ape (most likely the silverback). Slowly walk away and not run away because you will be perceived as a threat to their lives and that may call for physical attacks.
Avoid abrupt movements when walking away. You can also crouch down and submit to their presence. This to the mountain gorillas shows that you are actually not a threat and trying to challenge them thus they won’t see any reason to fight or attack you. Despite their huge size, gorillas are generally gentle and peaceful animals that only become aggressive when provoked and feel threatened.
Is it possible to trek groups that are near?
Yes, it is possible to trek gorilla groups that are near, only if you have been allocated to trek them. Mountain gorilla groups are distributed across their natural habitats, with some being far from the trailheads/starting points while others far. For Volcanoes National Park, the easiest-to-trek group is Sabyinyo given its nearness to the Park Headquarters while in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Mubare and Rushegura Groups are the nearest and easier-to-trek gorilla groups.
However, mountain gorillas are generally wild animals on the move and not stationed in one place, thus the groups you expect to be near can turn-out to be farther than you expected. Visitors are therefore advised to always be physically fit and prepared for trekking in every condition.
Gorilla family allocation process.
Mountain Gorilla Families are found in different locations of their natural habitats with some occupying areas of higher elevations while others preferring areas of lower elevations, hence making some difficult-to-trek while others easy-to-trek. Character/behavior also varies across members of particular gorilla families with some being calm while others hostile.
All in all, mountain gorillas are always on the move and some can be found in even half an hour while others even take up to 6 hours to locate. After finalizing with registration and briefing at relevant National Park Headquarters, visitors have to be allocated habituated gorilla families. The Gorilla Family allocation process largely depends on the trekker’s level of physical fitness, age and personal interests (desire for easy or difficult to trek group).
Gorilla trekking for visitors with Disabilities.
Are you a person with disabilities but would like to achieve your dream of encountering the mountain gorillas high in the forested mountains? Don’t be discouraged because your dream can be achieved. It is undisputable that gorilla trekking involves hiking up and descending mountains as well as through dense vegetation with trails created by rangers using machetes. However, visitors with disabilities are given the chance to meet face to face with one of the Earth’s Giant Apes with the use of sedan chairs lifted by able-bodied porters. Imagine such comfort as you discover the jungles of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park to search for the mountain gorillas and all you need is to pay an extra cost for this experience.
How to stay safe around gorillas
When it comes to gorilla trekking, visitors are always concerned about their safety around gorillas but there is no call for alarm. Giant Apes have been portrayed as savage and extremely aggressive yet they are generally peaceful creatures but because they are wild animals, a number of guidelines have to be followed to remain safe in their presence and avoid any possibility of them charging. There always maintain a minimum distance of 7 meters from them for comfort of both parties, keep within your group led by an experienced Park ranger, make sure to avoid direct eye contact with mountain gorillas, don’t imitate them and avoid touching them, eating, drinking and smoking in their presence.
Uganda gorilla families
In Africa or specifically the three countries where mountain gorillas are found, Uganda has the highest number of these Giant Apes and habituated families. These gorilla families are found in two places-Mgahinga Gorilla and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. For the latter, they are distributed across the four trekking regions and these include Kutu, Busingye, Kahungye, Mucunguzi, Rwigi, Nshongi, Mishaya, Bweza and Bikingi gorilla families in the southern Rushaga trekking region, then Bitukura, Oruzogo, Kyaguliro and Mukiza Gorilla families in the Eastern Ruhija trekking region, Mubare, Habinyanja, Katwe and Rushegura in the northern Buhoma trekking region as well as Nkuringo, Christmas and Bushaho in the southern Nkuringo region. This makes Bwindi a haven to 20 habituated gorilla families while Mgahinga Gorilla National Park shelters only one habituated gorilla family-Nyakagezi.
Rwanda gorilla families
There are over 40 gorilla families in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park but out of these, only 12 gorilla families are currently habituated and open for trekking. These gorilla families include Sabyinyo, Susa A, Titus, Susa B (or Karisimbi), Bwenge, Amahoro, Hirwa, Umubano, Kwitonda, Pablo, Ugenda and Agashya (Group 13). The interesting thing about Rwanda Gorilla families is their naming process whereby some were named according to the group character like Ugenda (on the move) because the group members are always on the move, Amahoro to mean peaceful because of the peaceful nature of its members, others were named according to the places they were first spotted by trackers. Some of these families are considered easy-to-trek like Sabyinyo while others like Susa A considered difficult-to-trek.
About the Virunga Mountains
The Virunga Mountains describe the chain of magnificent Volcanoes snugged in the north of Lake Kivu within East and Central Africa, sprawling for about 50 miles along the borders of three countries-Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda. The range is made up of 8 volcanic peaks with two of them still active while the rest are dormant. These mountains include Mount Karisimbi (the highest towering at 4507 meters above sea level), Mount Mikeno standing at 4437 meters above sea level, Mount Muhabura at 4127 meters above sea level, Mount Bisoke at 3711 meters above sea level, Mount Sabyinyo towering at 3674 meters above sea level, Mount Gahinga at 3474 meters above sea level, Mount Nyiragongo at 3470 meters above sea level and Mount Nyamuragira standing at 3058 meters above sea level.
What to do after your gorilla trek in Uganda
Uganda is a fabulous gorilla trekking destination with almost half the World’s population of mountain gorillas. Most gorilla trekking to Uganda spice up the experience with a wildlife safari to Queen Elizabeth, Murchison falls, Lake Mburo and Kidepo Valley National Parks with views of Defassa waterbucks, elephants, leopards, common elands, Nile crocodiles, Cape buffaloes, Topis, zebras, Hippos, lions, spotted hyenas, Uganda Kobs, common warthogs and many others. Travellers who are ready for more physical challenge can take on the Rwenzori Mountains, Virunga Mountains, Mount Elgon or the Mountains in the Karamoja sub-region within north-eastern Uganda. Adrenaline activities such as horseback rides, whitewater rafting, quad biking as well as village or community walks and many other adventures can be enjoyed after your gorilla trek in Uganda.
What to do after your gorilla trek in Rwanda
Rwanda offers a wide array of wildlife, birds and generally riveting activities to undertake after your gorilla trek. After trekking gorillas in Rwanda, visitors are offered a wide range of activities that include golden monkey tracking, hikes to the Dian Fossey gravesite, cultural tours and birding in addition to wildlife viewing in Akagera National Park with chances of spotting antelopes especially Topis, Kobs, Common elands, Defassa waterbucks, Jackson’s hartebeests and bushbucks as well as lions, leopards, Masai giraffes, common warthogs and spotted hyenas among others. With the introductions of Rhinos in Akagera, visitors’ dreams of seeing the big five animals can be achieved. Nyungwe in the far south-west of the country offers chimp treks, canopy walks and guided hikes then relax at the shores of Lake Kivu.
How to trek gorillas on a budget
Before venturing on gorilla trekking safari on a budget, there is need to first understand the aspects that don’t change such as price of gorilla permits ($700 for foreign non-residents, $600 for foreign residents and Shs. 250,000 for EAC residents) whether budget or luxury travellers. With gorilla permits already sorted, the other aspects that make it possible to trek gorillas in a budget include booking for budget accommodation facilities with midrange service standards such as Safari Lodges and Tented Camps offering meals on full Board, budget means of transport to and from Kigali or Kampala. Our fleet including 4X4 Rav4s, customized minivans and many others offer comfort at affordable rates hence making your dream of trekking gorillas on budget come true.
How to go luxury gorilla trekking
Meeting face to face with mountain gorillas within their natural habitats in Africa is one of the most humbling experiences of a lifetime. The adventure is conducted in three categories-budget, midrange and luxury. Gorilla trekking experience is the same for all categories of visitors but there is nothing relaxing, refreshing and thrilling as returning to a luxurious accommodation facility for relaxation, peaceful night and sumptuous meal. With luxury gorilla trekking, comfort is definitely the spice to your unforgettable encounter with the mountain gorillas. Additionally, expect luxury travel to the gorilla trekking destination by scheduled or chartered flights as well as 4X4 Safari Landcruisers and Land Rovers with comfortable seats.
Gorilla Trekking Rules & Regulations
Gorilla Trekking rules & Regulations are strictly implemented by Conservation bodies in Uganda, DRC and Rwanda to ensure the protection of the endangered Great Apes as well as ensuring the safety of visitors. Therefore the rules and regulations to follow during this activity include strictly spending only one hour with the habituated gorilla family, maintaining a minimum distance of 7 meters when watching gorillas, limiting the number of trekkers to 8 visitors per group, the minimum age for trekking gorillas is 15 years, keeping voices to the minimal when trekking for the gorillas, not dumping rubbish in the Park, not drinking, smoking and eating while in the presence of gorillas, taking photos with non-flash cameras, avoid direct eye-contact with the gorillas and many others.
How many gorillas are in Uganda?
Mountain gorillas in Uganda are found in two magnificent National Parks-Bwindi Impenetrable National Park as well as Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, both found in the south-western side of the country. According to the recent census of these Great Apes, their numbers were put at about 1063 individuals in the three countries. Interestingly, the population of Uganda’s mountain gorillas is almost half the World’s population of these Giant Apes, making it the best destination to trek gorillas.
How many gorillas are in Rwanda?
There is no specific census done for mountain gorillas in Rwanda (Volcanoes National Park) but instead for the two populations-in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park population and the Virunga Conservation Area (that includes Mgahinga Gorilla, Virunga and Volcanoes National Park) with about 600 gorillas.
About Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
The exceptional Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is situated within the south-western side of Uganda, at the rim of the Rift Valley. Established in 1991, this Protected Area extends for an area of 321 square kilometers (32,100 hectares) and was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. It is also a renowned biodiversity hotspot with over 120 mammal species including primates like the popular mountain gorillas, chimpanzees, Olive baboons, vervet monkeys and red-tailed monkeys among others, forest elephants, duikers, bushbucks, giant forest hogs, forest buffaloes in addition to about 350 bird species including 23 of the 24 Albertine Rift endemics. Visitors to Bwindi can undertake a wide range of activities that include the obvious gorilla treks and Gorilla Habituation Experience, cultural tours, bird watching, mountain biking and many others.
About Volcanoes National Park
Nestled in the extreme north-western corner of Rwanda and in the heart of Central Africa is the stunning Volcanoes National Park. This Protected Area is popular for protecting the spectacular steep slopes of part of the Virunga Mountains range and endangered mountain gorillas. Borders of some Virunga mountains including Karisimbi, Bisoke, Muhabura, Sabyinyo and Gahinga are found in this Rwandan popular safari destination. Some of the must-do activities in this 160-square kilometer Protected Area including trekking endangered mountain gorillas, sighting and listening to the calls of over 180 beautiful bird species, chattering the extraordinary mountain gorillas, hiking to the Dian Fossey gravesite and many other adventures.
About Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
Positioned high in the clouds of Virunga Mountains, at an elevation of 2227 to 4127 meters above sea level is Mgahinga Gorilla National Park named after one of the Virunga Mountains (Mount Gahinga). It is the smallest Park in the country established in 1991 and extends for only 33.7 square kilometers. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is haven to only one habituated gorilla family (Nyakagezi) but also offers a number of unmissable adventures such as golden monkey tracking, the Batwa Cultural Trail, bird watching and guided forest walks.
Gorilla trekking sectors in Bwindi
The Gorilla Trekking sectors in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park are four and they include Buhoma (the pioneer and most popular sector) in the northern part of the Park, Ruhija sector based within the Eastern side of Bwindi, Nkuringo and Rushaga sectors within the southern part of this popular National Park.
Best place to see gorillas in the world
The best places to see gorillas in the World are Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and the Republic of Congo. The amazing places to see mountain gorillas are Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and Rwanda while for the Eastern Lowland Gorillas are only found in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the best place to see the western lowland gorillas is the Republic of Congo. The fourth gorilla sub-species-Cross River Gorillas are the rarest thus difficult to find in the wild although they are found in Cameroon and Nigeria.