Gorilla trekking : Mountain gorilla trekking in Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo is a thrilling and unforgettable experience that allows visitors to get up close and personal with some of the most intriguing animals on the planet and close relatives of people. You will spend hours in the deep tropical jungles and mountains that are home to the only remaining wild gorillas when you go gorilla trekking in Uganda, Rwanda, or the Democratic Republic of the Congo. You will be accompanied on the trip by knowledgeable rangers and porters from the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), RDB of Rwanda, and IUNC of Congo. They will be using machetes to cut through the dense jungle, pointing out gorilla signs and assisting in gorilla tracking.
It might occasionally be difficult to hike through the forests of Volcanoes National Park, Virunga National Park, or Bwindi National Park. Even yet, the experience of getting close to mountain gorillas is invaluable, especially when you get to see them interact, play, eat, and groom one another. The opportunities for birding in Uganda, Rwanda, and interacting with the native Batwa and Bakiga people, learning about their customs and traditions, and even making coffee during your coffee tour in Bwindi Forest are all included in gorilla trekking tours in addition to gorilla encounters.
UGANDA GORILLA TREKKING
Uganda has two national parks where visitors can go gorilla trekking: Bwindi Impenetrable and Mgahinga. Gorilla trekking is available in five distinct areas of Bwindi Forest and Mgahinga National Parks. Under the Uganda Wildlife Authority, these sectors include Nkuringo, Rushaga, Buhoma, Ruhija in Bwindi, and Ntebeko in Mgahinga. There are 160 gorilla trekking permits available daily, and there are 20 habituated mountain gorilla groups in Uganda. With half of the world’s population, Bwindi Forest National Park is renowned as the top gorilla trekking destination.
Bwindi is a region of lowland, montane, and ancient forest that is 131 square kilometers (128 square miles) in size. The park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site because it protects a large number of endangered species. The Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, which spans 12 square miles of forest, bamboo, and mountains, is Uganda’s second gorilla park. Mount Gahinga, Mount Muhabura, and Mount Sabyinyo are the three main Virunga peaks in Mgahinga. Both Rwanda and the DR Congo are a part of this ecosystem.
The Bwindi and Mgahinga Gorilla National Parks provide a variety of additional activities, such as bird viewing, nature hikes, community initiatives, and gorilla habituation activities like bird watching. Depending on where gorilla permits are available when booking your gorilla trekking vacation, gorilla trekking parts will differ. Peak seasons, such as June to August and December to February, are when permits are most in demand. However, the off-peak season gives you the freedom to select the best gorilla trekking region for you.
HOW MUCH IS GORILLA TREKKING IN UGANDA?
The price of gorilla trekking in Uganda varies depending on a number of variables, including the season and the style of lodging, which can range from budget camps to luxurious hotels. However, a gorilla trekking permit typically costs $700 in Uganda and does not include transportation to Bwindi Forest or Mgahinga National Park, meals, or porters. Taking 2 people on a 3-day gorilla trekking excursion on a budget will run you roughly $1300.
The proceeds from the sale of gorilla permits are frequently used towards conservation efforts, community development, and the protection of wildlife corridors that link protected areas like Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. The 700 dollar gorilla permission price is split as follows: 75% goes to conservation, 15% to the government, and 10% goes to the nearby towns.
FOR GORILLA TREKKING, HOW TO GET TO BWINDI FOREST NATIONAL PARK
You can take a scheduled or private airplane to go to Bwindi. The airports closest to the Buhoma and Ruhija sectors are Kihihi and Kisoro, respectively, while the Rushaga and Nkuringo sectors are served by Kihihi. Both locations are roughly 40 km/25 mi from the park, and the trip there typically takes 1 and a half hours.
The drive to the park from Kampala, the Ugandan capital, or the Entebbe airport takes about 9 to 10 hours. By taking a 2- to 3-hour drive to the south from Queen Elizabeth National Park, visitors can reach Bwindi with ease. On this path, you can pass via Ishasha to witness the renowned tree-climbing lions before reaching the Buhoma or Ruhija region. It takes 5–6 hours to drive up from Lake Mburo National Park.
The majority of the park’s sectors may be reached by car in 4 to 5 hours from Kigali, Rwanda, to Bwindi Forest National Park in Uganda.
WHERE TO RESIDE WHILE GORILLA TRAVELING IN UGANDA
In determining which safari lodge or lodging is best for you, your budget will be a key factor. In some lodges, a double room can cost up to $2500. However, you can expect to pay as little as $50 per night for a double room at lodges that are affordable.
- Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Lodge, beginning at $760.
- Gorilla Height Lodge for as little as $700
Mahogany Springs starting at $300
- Bweza Inn for $90
- Friends of the ruhija gorilla for $50
GORILLA TREKKING IN RWANDA’S VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK
Volcanoes National Park (VNP) in Rwanda is home to 12 habituated gorilla families. The route to the park is in excellent shape and can be reached in less than two hours from Kigali International Airport. Volcanoes National Park, which shares a border with Uganda’s Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and the DRC’s Virunga National Park, is located in the northwest of Rwanda. The Greater Virunga Conservation Area is made up of these three parks.
Due to the gentler terrain and less dense forest in Volcanoes National Park than in Uganda, gorilla trekking is typically a more laid-back experience. Due to its accessibility, Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park has grown to be a preferred destination for tourists with more money and less time to travel. Permits to track gorillas and the majority of lodging costs are substantially higher in Rwanda than in Uganda. The tourism sector serves a more affluent tourist market.
If you intend to visit Volcanoes National Park, make sure to spend at least two nights there. This has the benefit of allowing you to acclimate for one night before the hike and recover for another. To see gorillas in their natural habitats, which are between 2,500m and 4,000m above sea level, mountain gorilla trekking in Rwanda might take anywhere between 30 minutes and 4 hours of hiking. Porters are ready to help you along the journey and carry your bags and cameras. Although flying in and out allows for a one-day trek, we do not advise it. The country has so much more to offer than just an hour in the rainforest watching gorillas! Susa, lgisha, Karisimbi, Sabyinyo, Amahoro, Agashya, Kwitonda, Umubano, Hirwa, Bwenge, Ugyenda, and Muhoza are some of the gorilla families in Rwanda.
PRICES FOR GORILLA TREKKING IN RWANDA
The only method to reserve a spot for gorilla trekking on a given date in Rwanda is to purchase a gorilla permit in advance. Gorilla permits can be difficult to obtain during busy times like June to September and December to March. The cost of a gorilla trek in Rwanda is currently around $1500 per person per permit, however this is only a portion of the total cost.
10% of the money made by selling licenses to construct roads, schools, and health facilities goes to the local community. If gorillas harm local farmers’ crops, a compensation fund is available to ensure peaceful coexistence. It is possible to reserve a permit through your tour company or directly with the Rwanda Development Board. For the permit to be booked, the Rwanda Development Board needs the applicant’s passport information.
BEST TIME TO VISIT RWANDA FOR GORILLA TREKKING
In Rwanda, gorilla monitoring is possible all year long. The greatest time to travel is during the dry season, which runs from June to September, when the jungle is less muddy and the trails are less slick. But rain can come down at any time. Although the mud trails are difficult during April and May due to the wet weather, you can still track gorillas during this time. The gorillas frequently ascend the mountain more during the dry season and descend during the wetter season.
The rainy season, which lasts from March to May and from October to November, is also one of the finest periods to see gorillas and take pictures of them. The setting is ideal for getting pictures of gorillas after a downpour because the air is free of dust.
OTHER ACTIVITIES TO DO IN VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK
In addition to gorilla trekking, Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park and other regions of the nation offer a variety of other activities. This is a terrific place to go hiking because as you go through the country, you’ll notice that the terrain is made up of many hills and mountains. A range of activities are available in Volcanoes National Park that can be coupled with gorilla trekking.
GOLDEN MONKEY TREKKING
In the Volcanoes National Park, golden monkeys are among the most vulnerable species of monkey. Mountain gorillas share habitat with a number of stunning primates. Their primary sources of food are insects and bamboo shoots, though they occasionally raid farms in search of potatoes. Additionally, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda’s Mgahinga Gorilla National Park are home to golden monkeys. There is a $100 tracking permit fee, and this walk can be strenuous and muddy.
THE VOLCANOES HIKE
wanting something difficult? You only need to consider the Virunga Volcanoes. Particularly well-known are Bisoke and Karisimbi volcanoes. The Karisimbi Volcano Hiking takes place over the course of two days and is a very unforgettable experience. Hiking Mount Bisoke is a fantastic opportunity for tourists to see the massive crater lake at the mountain’s peak in just one day. Both mountains provide views of the Rwenzori Mountains, the Virunga Ranges, national parks, and the borders of three different countries. A briefing from the park office is given at the commencement of the Mount Bisoke and Karisimbi hiking excursion at 7:00 am.
The Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, one of the most significant birding places in the nation, is the ideal location for birdwatching because it is home to around 200 different species of birds. There are 13 indigenous plant species in the area. Two of the most sought-after birds in the region are the attractive francolins and Rwenzori turacos. Along with these species, other species can also be found in the region, including the strange weaver, the Rwenzori double collared sunbird, the rouge-faced woodland warbler, the collared apalis, and the archer’s ground robin.
RELAX AT LAKE KIVU
With its curved shoreline and coves, emerald islands dotting the lake, and Rwanda’s 1000 terraced hills dotting the landscape all around the lake, Lake Kivu is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful lakes in Central Africa.
GORILLA TREKKING IN DR CONCO
at addition to the highly endangered mountain gorillas of Virunga National Park, the Dr. Congo, the Heart of Darkness, is home to rare lowland gorillas that can be discovered at Kahuzi Biega National Park. Visitors to Dr. Congo have numerous opportunity to explore its forests, which are home to endemic Banobos, go gorilla trekking in the country, and hike the Nyiragongo volcano. Visit the gorilla families in the DR Congo.
MOUNTAIN GORILLA TREKKING IN VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK
Since Virunga National Park reopened to visitors more than ten years ago. The walk up the Nyiragongo volcano and gorilla trekking are the park’s two main draws. Mountain gorilla tracking is without a doubt one of the most sought-after wildlife experiences in the world today. It is difficult to think of a more tranquil location for such a profoundly mind-altering experience than Virunga NP, with its expert guides, first-rate amenities, and sparsely populated areas.
EASTERN LOWLAND GORILLA TREKKING IN KAHUZI BIEGA NATIONAL PARK
Unquestionably, Kahuzi Biega National Park is among the world’s most unique locations for viewing Eastern lowland gorillas. Kahuzi-Biega National Park, which is situated in the lush tropical rainforests of the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, is another great place to see lowland gorillas. One of the largest gorilla subspecies in the world, the eastern lowland gorillas are on the verge of extinction. The park was created in 1970 to preserve them. The park is a must-see destination for nature and wildlife lovers since, in addition to the eastern lowland gorillas, it is also home to other animal species like chimpanzees, forest elephants, and many bird species.
GORILLA TREKKING IN THE REPUBLIC OF CONGO.
Contrast this with Dr. Congo to avoid confusion. The largest primary rainforest in Africa may be found in the Republic of Congo, which is renowned for its diversity of wildlife and natural riches. A really unique African experience is a Congo safari and gorilla trekking in Odzala Kokoua National Park. Along with Gabon, Cameroon, and the Central African Republic, the Republic of Congo borders a vast and largely unexplored rainforest. Elephants, chimpanzees, and mangabeys are also protected in a network of inaccessible national parks spread throughout these nations.