A guide to gorilla trekking in Uganda and Rwanda; Gorilla trekking is an exceptional activity that involves visitors moving on foot into the tropical rainforest in search of the habituated mountain gorillas and once found spend one hour with them in their natural environment. Gorilla trekking in Uganda is done in two national parks that is Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga gorilla national park while gorilla trekking in Rwanda is done in Volcanoes national park.
A guide to gorilla trekking in Uganda and Rwanda will give you an idea on how to plan your gorilla trekking safari in either Uganda or Rwanda as it highlights key information like where to go for gorilla trekking, cost of gorilla trekking permits, how to book gorilla trekking permits, best time of the year to go for a gorilla trekking safari, what to pack when going for gorilla trekking, where to stay during your gorilla trekking safari among others.
Where to go for gorilla trekking in Uganda and Rwanda
Gorilla trekking in Uganda
Gorilla trekking in Uganda is done in two national parks namely Bwindi impenetrable national park which harbors the highest number of mountain gorillas and Mgahinga gorilla national park both located in southwestern part of Uganda. Uganda is a home of over 23 habituated gorilla families which are available for trekking on a daily basis. Among the 23 gorilla families, one gorilla family called Nyakagezi is found in Mgahinga gorilla national park while other gorilla families are found in Buhoma sector, Nkuringo sector, Ruhija sector and Rushaga sectors in Bwindi forest impenetrable national park.
Gorilla trekking in Rwanda
Gorilla trekking in Rwanda is done in Volcanoes national park which is located in northwestern region in Musanze village bordering with Mgahinga gorilla national park and Virunga national park in Congo. Volcanoes national park is a home of about 10 habituated gorilla families which are open for trekking daily.
Gorilla trekking experience in Uganda and Rwanda
Gorilla trekking in Bwindi impenetrable national park, Mgahinga gorilla national park and Volcanoes national park is an adventurous activity that starts early in the morning with a briefing about the rules and regulations to follow during trekking. After the briefing, you will be sub-divided into groups of 8 people where each group will be allocated a habituated gorilla family to trek and an experienced park guide who is conversant with different gorilla trekking trails. Trekking of mountain gorillas in Uganda and Rwanda takes about 30 minutes to 7 hours depending on where the gorillas are located because they like to move from one place to another in search of food. During trekking you will be able to view other primate species, different bird species, tree species among others and once the mountain gorillas are found, you will be allowed to spend one hour with them in their natural habitat which gives you an opportunity to learn more about their habits, behaviors, watch them carry out their daily activities like feeding, breastfeeding, grooming young ones, take photos and record the breathtaking moments to show people back home after the safari.
Cost of gorilla trekking permits in Uganda and Rwanda
Gorilla trekking permits are legal documents that are issued to visitors above the age of 15 years allowing them to visit habituated gorilla families in either Bwindi impenetrable national park, Mgahinga gorilla national park or Volcanoes national park. Gorilla trekking permits in Uganda cost 700 USD per person for foreign non residents, 600 USD per person for foreign residents or 250,000 USD per person for East African citizens.
Gorilla trekking permits in Volcanoes national park cost 1,500 USD per person for all nationalities.
How to book gorilla trekking permits in Uganda and Rwanda
Gorilla trekking permits in Uganda and Rwanda can either be booked directly through Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) a government body in charge of tourism in Uganda or Rwanda Development Board (RDB) a government body in charge of tourism in Rwanda by contacting the head offices on email or telephone calls inquiring about permit availability.
Gorilla trekking permits in Uganda and Rwanda can also be booked through a trusted tour company like Achieve Global Safaris whereby you will contact us with the date, month, year and gorilla destination you wish to visit. After contacting us, we will check for availability of the permits on your desired dates and if there is availability, you will be asked to make a deposit for the permit. Once we receive the money, we will purchase the permits on your behalf and send you a scanned copy of the receipt as confirmation.
Booking gorilla trekking permits through a tour company is the best option to use to purchase your gorilla trekking permit because we will not only acquire gorilla permits for you but also plan for your entire gorilla trekking safari which includes transportation to the gorilla destination, accommodation where you will be staying during the safari, other activities to engage in after gorilla trekking and other destinations or national park to visit during your gorilla trekking safari.
Best time to go for gorilla trekking in Uganda and Rwanda
Gorilla trekking in Uganda and Rwanda can be done all year round though the best time is during the dry season also known as the peak season in the months of June, July, August, September, December, January and February. During the dry season the gorilla destinations receive less or little rainfall therefore access roads to the national parks and gorilla trekking trails will be dry and passable which make trekking easy compared to the wet or rainy season in the months of March, April, May, October and November when the trails are wet, muddy and slippery due to heavy rainfall which makes gorilla trekking difficult.
Where to stay during your gorilla trekking safari in Uganda and Rwanda
There are a wide range of accommodation facilities ranging from budget, midrange and luxury where you can stay during your gorilla trekking safari in Uganda or Rwanda.
The accommodations in Volcanoes national park Rwanda include One and Only Gorillas Nest, Mountain Gorilla View Lodge, Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel, Mountain Gorillas Nest Lodge, Best View Hotel, Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge, Ingagi Park View Lodge, Da Vinci Gorilla Lodge, Garden Place Hotel, Gorilla Solution Lodge, gorillas volcanoes hotel, hotel muhabura, Le Bamboo Gorilla Village, Virunga Lodge, Villa Gorilla, Kinigi Guesthouse, Ruzizi Tented Camp, Garden Place Hotel, Bisate Lodge among others.
The accommodations in Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga gorilla national park include Buhoma Lodge, Ichumbi Lodge, Buhoma Haven Lodge, Sanctuary Gorilla Forest camp, Mahogany Springs Lodge, Lake Kitandara Camp, Gorilla Resort, Engagi Lodge, Silverback Lodge, Volcanoes Bwindi Lodge, Gorilla Friends Lodge, Jungle View Lodge, Eco Marvels Gorilla Resort, Bwindi View Bandas, Buhoma Community Rest Camp, Ruhija Community Rest Camp, Bakiga Lodge, Rushaga Gorilla Haven lodge, Jungle View lodge, Clouds Mountain Gorilla lodge, Chameleon Hill lodge, Nshongi camp, Nkuringo Gorilla camp, Ruhija Gorilla Safari lodge, Cuckooland Teneted lodge, Gift of Nature lodge, Ruhija Gorilla Mist camp, Ruhija Gorilla Resort, Wagtail Eco Safari camp, Ruhija Gorilla Friends Resort and Campsite, Rushaga Gorilla Safari Lodge, Volcanoes Bwindi lodge, Crested Crane Hotel, Trekkers Safari Lodge, Rushaga Gorilla Camp, Four Gorillas Lodge, Broadbill Forest Camp, Mount Gahinga Lodge, Travelers Rest Hotel, Mucha Hotel Kisoro, Kisoro Tourist Hotel, Amajambere Iwacu Community Camp, Lake Mulehe Lodge, Mutanda Lake Resort, Mgahinga Rest Camp among others.
What to pack or carry when going for gorilla trekking in Uganda and Rwanda
When going for gorilla trekking in Uganda and Rwanda, there are a number of items or equipment’s that you should pack or carry including
- Comfortable hiking shoes to keep your feet dry and protect your ankles during trekking
- Garden gloves to protect your hands from germs and thorny tree branches
- Long sleeved shirt and trouser to keep you warm and protect you from thorny and itching plants during trekking
- Insect repellent to protect your body from biting insects like tsetse flies or mosquitos
- Camera and extra batteries to take photos and record videos during the one hour with the mountain gorillas
- A pair of binoculars to view other wildlife species in the national park
- Energy snacks like packed food from the lodge and bottles drinking water to keep you hydrated as gorilla trekking takes between 2 to 6 hours.
- Walking stick to give you support during trekking in thick forests and mountain slopes
- Waterproof rain jacket or poncho to protect you from rainfall during trekking as Bwindi forest national park, Mgahinga gorilla national park and Volcanoes national park are tropical rainforests which means that it can rain anytime of the day regardless of the season.
- Waterproof back pack to carry all your gorilla trekking equipment’s such as energy snacks, insect repellent, camera among others.
The above guide to gorilla trekking in Uganda and Rwanda will help you to plan a successful gorilla trekking safari in either Uganda or Rwanda. For more information, you can contact us at Achieve Global Safaris or visit our website for various gorilla trekking packages.