Gorilla trekking in Africa: Ultimate Gorilla Trekking Guide
Gorilla Trekking in Africa: The Ultimate guide to gorilla trekking offers info for gorilla trekking experiences in Uganda, Rwanda & Congo.
Uganda, Rwanda and Congo are home to the remaining gorilla population in the World. Coming face to face with these gorillas in their home is the most breathtaking and unforgettable moment here in Africa. Gorilla trekking is an incredible way of getting up close with the gorillas in their natural home, after a long walk through the thick forest.
Gorilla trekking is the #1 major spotlight of all safaris in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo, and trekking through their natural home is one of the impressive, mesmerizing and awe-inspiring experiences, every traveller must not miss. Yet this decent adventure requires prior arrangements including a gorilla trekking permit, where to go gorilla trekking, when to visit, what to carry and what to wear for this gorilla trekking, as defined below
Gorilla trekking in Uganda
Bwindi Impenetrable and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park are now open for gorilla trekking in Uganda. Gorilla trekking in Uganda is perfect for travellers who are flexible and have extra activities to do in Africa. Uganda is considered home to half of the world’s remaining gorillas, with Bwindi in penetrable National Park having the greatest number of gorillas, while Mgahinga gorilla National Park, consists of only 1 gorilla family. This purely describes why the number of gorilla permits those costs $700 per person in Uganda compared to its sister destinations of Uganda and Rwanda.
Trekking gorillas in Uganda may take about 2 to 8 hours depending on the group strength, and how far the gorilla 9 individuals may have gone from the previous point. It also includes at most 1 hour of staying with the gorillas in their natural habitat
However, travellers who want to spend more than 1 hour to be in the presence of the gorillas, can opt for Gorilla habituation, which offers a full package of 4 hours in the presence of the gorillas, at a total cost of $1500.
Besides gorilla trekking in Uganda, you can add up some extra activities such as golden monkeys, chimpanzee trekking and wildlife viewing, and cultural activities to your itinerary.
Gorilla trekking in Rwanda
Gorilla trekking in Rwanda takes place in the most famous Volcanoes National park, whose permits cost $1500 per person per trek per day.
Gorilla trekking in Rwanda is perfect for luxury travellers, as it is the most expensive safari experience in Africa. The higher price is accompanied by higher standards, better infrastructures, excellent organization, and safety.
Trekking gorillas in Rwanda are also perfect for Rwanda’s short gorilla trekking holidays or for travellers who have limited vacation time since the park is just 3 hour drive from Kigali International Airport.
Rwanda is one country where gorilla trekking can be done in one day, which is not the case with Uganda and Congo, while Trekking at the national park is easy, and faster than trekking at Bwindi in Uganda.
Gorilla trekking in Congo
Virunga National Park remains a unique mountain gorilla trekking and Nyiragongo hiking destination, with its low gorilla trekking permit cost of $400 per person trek, while Nyiragongo remains at $400.
Gorilla trekking in DR Congo is the perfect option for budget adventure travellers who prefer to travel off the beaten path.
However, due to political unrest, and the Nyiragongo Volcanic eruption, the country is still unstable and dangerous today. Since fighting takes place on the eastern side of the country around the Virunga National Park where the gorillas live, many park rangers and trekkers have lost their lives. There are also more possibilities for trekking Lowland gorillas in Congo.
When To Go To See The Mountain Gorillas In Africa?
Gorilla trekking is a year-round activity in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo, although the best time to go gorilla trekking is during the driest months of June, July, August, September, December, January and February. While in March, April and May, the rains are heavy during these months, and hiking through the thick forest is most challenging during the trek, the slopes are slippery
. It is also possible to find mountain gorillas within the DR of Congo however due to the instabilities within the country, it has been challenging in some areas.
Some tourists think that you can find gorillas even if you opt for safaris in Tanzania! This is wrong. However, Tanzania and Kenya can be a great addition to your safari tour, especially during the great wildebeest migration where herds of animals cross the Mara river into the Serengeti plains! On google, you find searches as Kenya gorilla trekking. There are no gorillas in Tanzania, Kenya or South Africa. These are multi-destination safaris which we always encourage you to visit especially in East Africa.
Here to Go For Gorilla Trekking in Uganda
Uganda has 2 sections for gorilla safaris namely, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. In total there are 18 gorilla groups or families and you can only track only one group a day.
The cheapest gorilla permit costs $450 in Congo and $ 700 in Uganda, while the Rwanda Mountain gorilla permits go for $1500.
All permit includes one hour of coming face-to-face with the mountain gorillas in a group of 8 people. The permits are costly because each contributes directly to the conservation of mountain gorillas and as a vote of thanks.
Packing List For Gorilla Tours in Africa
Waterproof hiking boots.
Lightweight rain jacket
Long pants or trousers
Gorilla Trekking has a numerical rating of 50 to 100
Gorilla Tracking Rules For Post Covid Visitors
Like humans, gorillas can also get Corona Virus 19 because their genes are at 98% which is close to that of human beings. Besides, they can also catch flu and other airborne diseases making Covid 19 a big threat to the survival of the gorillas.
Maintain a distance of 7-10 meters away from the gorillas.
The gorilla trekking age limit starts from 15 years
Spend 1 hour in the presence of the gorillas
Wearing masks at all times important
When sneezing, turn your mouth away from the gorillas
Always sanitize and adhere to other SOP guidelines.
What To Expect on A Gorilla Safari
While trekking, wake up early enough and set off for the briefing at 7:30 am at the headquarters. After the briefing, tourists will be allocated different tracking routes, each comprising 8 tourists. Proceed to the forest, along with the guide and rangers as you begin your search for gorillas.
Chances are high that you may see monkey species, butterfly species, and mammals among others. Sometimes the forest is challenging and a good level of fitness will be required. At the end of the day, expect to be muddy and sweaty.
Upon finding gorillas, You can take photos with your camera without the flashlight, otherwise, the gorillas might charge. You will spend at most 1 hour in the company of these gentle giants. It will be such a life-changing experience. After the trek, head back to your accommodation or opt for a cultural village experience of the Batwa pygmies.
Gorilla Habituation Experience?
Gorilla habituation is the training of wild gorillas to familiarize themselves with humankind. Gorillas are trained by researchers and park rangers for about 3 years. It’s during this training that only 4 trackers can accompany the group of researchers and park rangers. This makes it special as the cost of gorilla habituation is $1500 per person per day. The real beauty of this experience is that you actively engage in the gorilla habituation!
Besides the mountain gorilla trekking and habituation, you can track the Chimpanzee in Kibale Forest National Park or the golden monkey in Mgahinga Gorilla National park and various monkey species in Uganda. You can also stretch towards Queen Elizabeth National park to spot the tree-climbing lions of Ishasha, or proceed to Murchison falls National Park, Kidepo Valley National Park and PianUpe Reserve for the very best of wildlife safaris in Uganda.