Gorilla Trekking Tours and Safaris | Book Gorilla safaris in Uganda, Congo & Rwanda.

Gorilla Trekking Tours and Safaris are travel packages that are organised by different tour operators in a sense that travelers are taken to areas that happen to harbor the endangered gorilla species. Some of the most know places with these gorilla species are located in different national parks in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Recommended Rwanda Gorilla Trekking 2020/ 2021

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4 Days Rwanda Gorilla Trekking & Golden Monkey Safari

This package happens to be a special safari that gives a traveler a chance to visit Rwanda's Volcanoes National Park and get to explore the amazing engangered species of the mountain gorillas. Mountain Gorilla trekking is the main activity done in Volcanoes National Park but the park also possesses the amazing Golden Monkeys and therefore a traveller also gets to go Golden Monkey Trekking on this trip. Hit the link below to read more about this trip.

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Recommended Uganda Gorilla Trekking Safari 2020/ 2021

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3 Days Bwindi Gorilla Trekking Safari

This is one of the shortest but one of the best Gorilla Trekking packages in Uganda as a traveler gets to travel to Uganda's Bwindi Impenetrable National Park to explore the endagered mountain gorilla species.

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Recommended Congo Gorilla Trekking Safari 2020/ 2021

6 Days Great Ape (Chimps, Gorillas, & Nyiragongo Hike)

This is one of the best all round Congo Safari Tour packages that travelers can book and be able to see the amazing Gorilla species, Chimpanzees in Virunga National Park and also get a chance to hike Mount Nyiragongo in the Virunga Massif.

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Trekking Mountain Gorillas in Africa - Gorilla Trekking Brief

Mountain gorilla trekking tours and safaris are carried out in only four destinations of which two are situated in Uganda the pearl of Africa that is Bwindi Impenetrable forest national park and Mgahinga gorilla national park, one in Rwanda that is in Volcanoes national park and the last in DRCongo with in Virunga national park. Check out our gorilla trekking safaris in Uganda, Rwanda and DRCongo.

When you go for gorilla trekking in any of the mentioned national parks, you will be required to carry a gorilla trekking permit which costs different in the different countries. In Uganda, gorilla trekking permits cost $700, Rwanda being the most expensive charges $1,500 for a gorilla permit and Congo is the cheapest charging $400 for each permit.

When you arrive for gorilla trekking at the park headquaters you are required to present your gorilla permits and then the park rangers and officials take you through a short briefing about the gorilla trekking rules and regulations after which you go into the forest to enjoy the gorilla trekking experience.


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Gorilla Trekking Tours and Safaris

Mountain Gorilla Trekking in Africa

Mountain Gorilla trekking in Africa still remains the most fascinating activity carried out by different travelers from all over the world. Gorilla trekking is a process through which travelers (trekkers), alongside armed rangers, and tour guides head deep into the forest via different trail heads in search of habituated mountain gorillas in the jungle. Mountain Gorilla trekking in Africa usually starts as early as 7:00 am in the morning with a briefing at park headquarters about the Dos and Don’ts while trekking gorillas and by 8:00 am, trekkers set off to start the adventure of searching for the gorillas. Once a particular gorilla family is located, trekkers are given one hour in presence of the endangered mountain gorillas while learning different behaviors of gorillas including feeding, breastfeeding, copulating, and sometimes nesting in case you get a chance of trekking them in the evening.

In Africa, mountain gorilla trekking is carried out in only three destinations including Uganda the best place to trek mountain gorillas in its two beautiful national parks of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park, and Mgahinga gorilla national park. Other places for mountain gorillas include Rwanda in Volcanoes national park and in Congo within Virunga national park.

MOUNTAIN GORILLA TREKKING IN UGANDA 

Mountain Gorilla trekking in Uganda is mainly done in Bwindi Impenetrable national park in the extreme south western part of Uganda. Bwindi impenetrable forest is amongst the most visited park in Uganda by several travelers due to its biodiversity and the existence of beautiful fauna and flora species including primates, mammals, birds, butterflies, reptiles and plant species without forgetting the local Batwa who are also termed as an attraction in Uganda the pearl of Africa. Gorilla trekking in Bwindi impenetrable forest is such a rewarding and adventurous excursion in the jungles of an impenetrable forest. Gorilla trekking in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park is basically carried out in four sectors including Rushaga the only sector where gorilla habituation experience is carried out, Buhoma the main trailhead for gorilla trekking in Uganda, Ruhija sector and Nkuringo sector. All these sectors offer gorilla trekking on a daily basis allowing the trekkers above 15 years to take part in gorilla trekking adventure. Bwindi impenetrable has about 22 habituated gorilla families thus 176 gorilla trekking permits are available on a daily basis making Bwindi the best place for gorilla trekking in Uganda and Africa at large. In fact, Bwindi impenetrable forest national park harbors more than half of the world’s still existing endangered mountain gorillas as compared to any other place. 

Apart from Bwindi Impenetrable National park, gorilla trekking in Uganda is also done in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park a home to Nyakagezi gorilla family and Hirwa gorilla family that migrated from Kigali Rwanda in Volcanoes national park. This implies that Mgahinga a national park so far has only two gorilla families’ available or trekking allowing 16 permits per day since a group of maximum 8 people are allowed to trek a particular gorilla family for one hour per day.

A gorilla trekking permit in Uganda goes for $600 per person for Foreign Nonresidents, $500 for foreign residents and Ugx.250,000 for Ugandans and East African community members. However, starting with the month of July 2020 the cost of a Ugandan gorilla trekking permit is expected to be $700 per person for Foreign Nonresidents, $600 for Foreign Residents and that of Ugandans other East African Residents remains at UgX.250,000. The Ugandan gorilla trekking permit can be obtained either directly from the Uganda Wildlife authority or through a trusted tour operator like Achieve Global Safaris. 

Getting to either Bwindi Impenetrable national park of Mgahinga national park to trek mountain gorillas takes about 7-9 hours’ drive from Kampala the capital city of Uganda. 

Other than trekking gorillas in Bwindi and Mgahinga national parks, travelers can engage in other park activities such as Batwa Experience and trail, birding, nature walks, and many more.

MOUNTAIN GORILLA TREKKING IN RWANDA 

Mountain Gorilla trekking in Rwanda is yet one of the most done activities in the land of a thousand hills by several travelers on a Rwanda safari. Rwanda is the second-best place to visit for gorilla trekking adventure after Uganda which leads the game in Mountain gorillas. Mountain Gorilla trekking in Rwanda is carried out in Volcanoes national park with in Virunga massif and considered the major tourism activity in Rwanda thus leading to boosting the tourism sector. Rwanda is considered to be a luxurious gorilla trekking destination with its permit fixed at a cost of $1500 per person way higher by $900 to that of trekking similar mountain gorillas in Uganda and $1100 higher than a Congo gorilla permit that costs $400. This gorilla trekking permit for Rwanda can be obtained directly from RDB (Rwanda Development Board) or through a tour operator who assists in organizing the entire gorilla trekking safari. Due to higher and expensive gorilla permit for Rwanda, several travelers decide to take a flight into Rwanda and then cross the border to trekker cheaper mountain gorillas in either Uganda or Congo, then return to Kigali –Rwanda for other activities like chimpanzee trekking, golden monkey trekking, genocide memorial visit, hiking Dian Fossey’s tombs, visiting caves,  among others. Getting to volcanoes national park is a 2-3 hours’ drive. 

MOUNTAIN GORILLA TREKKING IN CONGO

Mountain Gorilla Trekking in Congo is one of the topmost activities carried out by several travelers on a Congo safari.  Congo is considered to be the third-best destination to encounter with the mountain gorillas in the wild following Uganda and Rwanda.  In Congo, mountain gorilla trekking safari is carried out in Virunga National park which also part of the Virunga Massif shared amongst three countries of Uganda in Mgahinga gorilla national park, Rwanda within volcanoes national park and Congo itself in Virunga national park. Trekking mountain gorillas in Virunga national park enables travelers to explore the beauty within the oldest national park in Africa. This was the first park to be gazette and opened for tourism, but due to political instabilities faced by Congo in the previous years, the tourism sector declined and is just in recovery state thus every park activity must be protected by a convoy of armed officers to ensure maximum security of travelers. A Congo gorilla trekking permit costs $400 per person and it comes along with full security protection while in the park. This permit sometimes goes to as low as $200 during low seasons to attract more trekkers making Congo the cheapest destination for gorilla trekking in Africa.  Trekking gorillas in Congo within Virunga national park is an awesome experience allowing travelers to explore different corners of the park and even a view of Lake Kivu that lies with in the border of Rwanda and Congo

WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR MOUNTAIN GORILLA TREKKING IN AFRICA

There are a lot of thing that one needs to put into consideration while planning for a gorilla trekking safari in any destination within Africa be it in Uganda, Rwanda or Congo. The requirement do not vary that much. 

Below is a list of some of the items that should not miss out in a back pack of a gorilla trekker.

A gorilla trekking permit: This is the first thing to consider while planning or a gorilla trekking safari. A gorilla trekking permit is the only gate pass to access mountain gorillas in their natural habitats. And as mentioned earlier, a gorilla trekking permits costs $600 in Uganda that is increasing to $700 in July 2020, in Rwanda it costs $1500 and in Congo it costs $400 per person.

Porter: These porters are very helpful in any activity that involves hiking be it gorilla trekking, chimpanzee trekking, volcanic hiking among others. Booking a porter before setting off for a gorilla trekking expedition saves you energy of carrying the backpack and also during tough hikes and trails porters offer a helping hand in pulling and pushing the trekkers.

Fitness: Fitness level matters in gorilla trekking within Africa. The nature of the parks in Uganda involves real hike to encounter the mountain gorillas. This calls for a particular fitness level in order to enjoy gorilla trek with ease.  In preparation for a gorilla trekking safari, trekkers are encouraged to at least hit the gym and perform some fitness exercises. This is because trekking mountain gorillas in Africa requires real hiking and trailing via different muddy trails up the hill and down in the valleys and sometimes the trails are really muddy and slippery thus a certain fitness level is required to keep pushing till the end. Also mountain gorillas prefer living in elevated areas of an altitude ranging between 1160m to 4300m high which is a bit high to climb and slop while in search of the habituated mountain gorillas in the jungle. However, travelers who are less fit need not to worry as there is always a chair and porters to carry them or they may be allocated gorilla families that are very near.

A back pack: a backpack acts as a traveler’s tool box where all the necessary items are packed. Some of the items included in the backpack include; a camera for taking photographs of different moments while in the wild surrounded by mountain gorillas and other wildlife species. This camera should be set in such way that the flash light is off until you exit the habitat of mountain gorillas as it no allowed to use flash light while taking photographs of gorillas and chimpanzees. Good hiking attire which includes; garden gloves, long-sleeved clothes both light and heavy/ warm sweater, good hiking boats, a raincoat, a cap, sunglasses and insect repellant. A Lunch box is also inclusive in the backpack since no one is sure of the trekking hours, thus it is recommend to carry packed lunch in the back pack during gorilla trekking safari in Africa.

Enough bottled drinking water to keep trekkers hydrated also has to be packed well in the backpack

RULES AND REGULATIONS FOR MOUNTAIN GORILLA TREKKING IN AFRICA

  • There are particular rules and regulations to be followed during gorilla trekking safari in Africa and they include;
  • A maximum group of 8 people is allowed in presence of mountain gorillas for just an hour per day. 
  • The minimum age limit for gorilla trekking in Africa is 15 years and below that you are considered to be a minor and not allowed top trek mountain gorillas.
  • Do not little the park and incase of human disposal / waste, it should be buried under ground at least 30cm deep.
  • Sick people aren’t allowed to trek mountain gorillas as they easily catch human infectious diseases such as cold and flue 
  • While in presence of mountain gorillas, trekkers are supposed to keep a minimum distance of 7m away from the mountain gorillas for safety purposes.
  • In case you need to cough or sneeze, please turn your face away from the mountain gorillas to avoid spreading human diseases to these endangered primates
  • Do not eat anything, during anything or smoke cigarettes in presence of mountain gorillas or inside the park. 
  • And lastly but not the least, do not take photographs using flash light. This should be remembered at all the time while in the habitat of gorillas.
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When is the Best season for gorilla trekking in Africa?

The climatic conditions in  Africa are favorable and always average with average rainfall and sunshine thus traveler are free to visit any gorilla trekking destination in Africa all year round. However, during the months are the most recommended when the parks are dry, the vegetation cover minimal, and the trails less thick for easy penetration while searching for gorillas. Dry months help trekkers to capture clear photographs and even the lodges in the park are always open with good amenities.

These dry months include Mid December to mid-February and then mid-June to med Octobers. However the problem with the dry months is that it is always considered to be high season and the gorilla trekking permits tend to be sold off. This requires booking a gorilla trekking permit in advance at least 6 months to the trekking date.

How long does gorilla trekking in Africa last?

This question is asked by several travelers planning a gorilla trekking safari in Africa. Gorilla trekking lasts between 30 minutes to full day depending on certain conditions which include; the location of particular mountain gorilla family, the distance moved by the gorilla family, the fitness level of mountain gorilla trekkers etc. But once a particular gorilla family is finally met, trackers are given only one hour of interaction and photo taking.

Some important thing to Note

  • Always be at the starting point for a briefing in time to avoid missing the best experience in the wild.
  • Always pack enough drinking water and snacks to keep you moving during trekking
  • Listen to your guide always while in the jungle surrounded by wildlife

Conclusion: Imagine spending a full hour in presence of mountain gorillas in the jungle, it’s an awesome experience, of course, that one ought to enjoy once in a lifetime or even more than once. Come take part in the excursion of trekking mountain gorillas in any destination with in Africa.