GORILLA TREKKING IN UGANDA & RWANDA, BWINDI FOREST, GORILLA SAFARI TOURS
A Gorilla Trek is a highlight of any visit to Uganda or Rwanda, and mountain gorillas are undoubtedly the main reason why so many people visit these two countries. Find out about gorilla trekking holidays to see gorillas in the wild, how to get a permit, and tour companies that organize such treks. Gorilla trekking is defined as a hike through Africa’s tropical forests to see mountain gorillas in their natural habitat.
When To Go To See The Mountain Gorillas In Africa?
Ø Gorilla trekking is possible all year in Uganda, Rwanda, and Congo. The best months to go gorilla trekking are June, July, August, September, and December. This is due to fewer rains and drier parks, making it easier to hike and see the gorillas. Throughout the year, the average temperature in Bwindi is 11°C/52°F in the morning and 23°C/73°F in the afternoon. Trekking with gorillas in Bwindi.
Ø January and February are low season months with fewer crowds. Very little or on rainy days.
Ø During the months of March, April, and May, it rains a lot. The slopes are the most difficult part of the trek.
Ø Peak season is June, July, and August, so get your permits early because they sell out quickly. The best time to go on a gorilla safari in Uganda and Rwanda.
Which Gorilla Trekking Company Should I Hire?
Amakula African Safaris. In Uganda and Rwanda, there are numerous gorilla safari tour operators. Price, availability of gorilla permits, online reviews and recommendations on various websites are all factors to consider when selecting a tour company.
Where Should I Stay?
The best safari lodge or accommodation will be determined by your budget. Some lodges charge up to $2500 for a double room, while others charge as little as $50. It’s all about the facilities, location, food, and services, among other things.
Hotel and lodge prices on average.
$50 to 100 for budget accommodation
$150 to $200 for mid range
Luxury from $300 to $2500 per night.
book close to the tracking point, ask your tour operator.
Uganda’s Top 5 Gorilla Safari Lodges
Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Lodge, starting at $760
Gorilla Height Lodge starts at $ 700.
Mahogany Springs starts at $ 240.
Gorilla Safari Lodge starts at $ 233.
Lake Mulehe Gorilla Lodge starts at $173. Here is a list of safari lodges.
Gorilla Tour Cost
What will the cost of a gorilla safari be in 2022?
A one-day gorilla trek in Uganda costs around $1100.
A two-day gorilla safari costs around $1280.
A three-day gorilla tour costs around $1450.
Of course, different tour operators will give you quotes, but the cheapest gorilla safari should cost around $1100, depending on the number of people. The super-luxurious experience should cost between $ 4000 and $ 6000 per person. According to the reviews of the majority of gorilla tour operators in Uganda, most tourists prefer the mid-range, not so budget, but affordable option. Booking your safari during the low season should result in lower costs!
If you are not interested in Uganda, click here for Rwanda Gorilla Trekking or here for Congo Gorilla Safaris; otherwise, continue reading. You may be wondering why a gorilla trekking safari is so costly and whether it is worthwhile. Here’s how it works. A gorilla trekking permit in Uganda costs $ 700, and 75% of the money raised is used to protect the remaining gorilla population. The government receives 15% of the proceeds, with the remaining 10% going to the communities surrounding the parks. When purchasing the permit, keep in mind that the price includes park entrance fees, an hour of gorilla watching, advance trackers, and ranger fees.
Other Trekking Costs to Consider Food and Drinks cost about $50 per day. Meals and soft drinks are usually included by tour operators. Transportation Fees A flight from your country should cost between $500 and $2400. Chartered flights from the airport to gorilla trekking locations cost $600. Renting a car should cost around $80 per day. Cost of Packing Insect Repellents, Sunscreen, and Other Items Border Crossing and Visas A tourist visa to East Africa costs $100 and allows you to go on safari in Tanzania, Kenya, and Rwanda. Porters cost $20 each, and a Sedan chair costs $500 to hire for porters to carry you. Cost-cutting Strategies.
Traveling alone is not recommended.
Stay in the best budget hotels.
Select Uganda over Rwanda.
Avoid taking public transportation because buses do not leave on time.
Avoid taking chartered flights.
Schedule your gorilla tour during the off season.
Where in Africa Can I See Gorillas?
Gorillas can be found in Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. However, gorillas are classified as either mountain or lowland, with a few other sub-species in between. We recommend Rwanda and Uganda for mountain gorilla viewing, and the Republic of Congo for lowland gorilla viewing. Mountain gorillas can also be found in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, though finding them has been difficult in some areas due to the country’s instabilities. Some tourists believe that gorillas can be found even on safari in Tanzania! This is incorrect. Tanzania and Kenya, on the other hand, can be an excellent addition to your safari tour, particularly during the great wildebeest migration, when herds of animals cross the Mara River into the Serengeti plains! Search terms such as Kenya gorilla trekking can be found on Google. Tanzania, Kenya, and South Africa have no gorillas.
These are multi-destination safaris that we always recommend, especially in East Africa. Lowland gorillas are generally smaller with brownish-gray far coats and a distinct brow ridge, whereas mountain gorillas are larger with darker black coats. Mountain gorillas are the most rare primates in the world, with only about 800 remaining in the African wilderness. On the contrary, the Republic of Congo alone has over 100,000 lowland gorillas. A gorilla safari in Uganda.
Where to Go in Uganda for Gorilla Trekking
Uganda’s gorilla safaris are divided into two sections: Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. There are 18 gorilla groups or families in total, and you can only track one of them per day. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is home to 17 gorilla groups, making it the best place or park to see gorillas in the wild. Bwindi is an ancient forest with 90 mammal species, including 11 primates such as the black and white colobus monkey.
Bwindi Gorilla Trekking Groups
Ruhija Trek: with gorilla families Mukiza, Oruzogo, Bitukura, and Kyaguliro
Buhoma Trek: Habinyanja, Katwe, Mubare, Rushegura
Nkuringo Trek: Christmas, Nkuringo, Bushaho
Rushaga Trek: Kutu, Bikingi, Mishaya, Bushigye, Kahungye, Rwigi, Bweza, Nshongi, Mucunguzi
Mgahinga Gorilla Family In Mgahinga Park, you can track the Nyakagezi group, which is surrounded by the slopes of the Virunga Volcanoes, Mt. Muhavura (4,127m), Mt. Gahinga (3474m), and Mt. Sabinyo (3645m).
Luxury Gorilla Trekking Safari
Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park offers the most luxurious gorilla tours. A gorilla permit costs $ 1500 per person, but a 9-day luxury Rwanda safari costs more than $15,000 if you stay in luxury lodges such as Bisate Lodge, Singita Kwitonda Lodge, or Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge in Rwanda. Clouds Lodge, Mahogany Springs, and Gorilla Forest Camp are the best in Uganda.
Africa Gorilla Tours on a Budget
The cheapest gorilla permit in Congo is $450, and the most expensive is $600 in Uganda. Budget accommodation for Uganda gorilla tours in Bwindi National Park starts at $100 per night. Select from Bwindi Backpackers Lodge, Gorilla Valley Lodge, or Buhoma Community Rest Camp. Hotel Muhabura is the most affordable option in Rwanda.
What Country Has the Best Chance of Seeing Mountain Gorillas? When comparing Uganda and Rwanda.
This is a difficult question because they are all mountain gorillas who live in forests! Almost the same setting. It is not a good idea to compare Uganda to Rwanda because Uganda has more wildlife than Rwanda. Aside from mountain gorillas, visitors can also see Murchison Falls and other primates in Kibale Forest National Park. If you’re concerned about the cost, please keep in mind that gorilla permits in Rwanda have recently been raised to $1500 per individual, while they cost USD 700 in Uganda.
Gorillas on safari in Uganda.
The permit allows you to spend one hour with the mountain gorillas in a group of eight people. If the price concerns you, consider this: you are contributing to the conservation of mountain gorillas, and as a thank you, you will be rewarded with an hour spent observing and enjoying their company. Keep in mind that only 80 people per day are permitted to see the gorillas in their natural habitat. Because their habitat is so fragile, every step you take in this forest leaves a trace. In conclusion, Uganda is the best place in the world to see gorillas.
Packing List for African Gorilla Tours
Hiking boots that are waterproof.
Pack for the day.
Repellents for insects
Bottled water and binoculars
Hiking boots, gloves, and an old pair of gardening gloves
Trousers or long pants
Snacks for energy.
How Difficult is it to Gorilla Trek?
Gorilla Trekking has a rating of 50 to 100. Difficulty Level: Hike of Moderate Difficulty The most common factor influencing the difficulty of gorilla trekking is your physical fitness. Other factors include the weather and your pack weight. It is possible to request a gorilla troop to march your fitness levels. A porter is essential; gorilla trekking is not difficult; people in their 60s and 70s have completed it. So, how difficult is the hike? To begin, 60% of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is above 6,600 feet in elevation. The park’s elevation ranges from 3,904 to 8,553 feet. Some areas have steep slopes. Depending on the gorilla family, the experience lasts between 2 and 6 hours. 19 safaris with gorillas
Post Covid Gorilla Tracking Guidelines
Because these apes share 98% of our genes, gorillas could contract corona virus. Because gorillas can contract flu and other airborne diseases, Covid 19 poses a significant threat to their survival.
Keep a 7-meter distance between you and the gorillas.
The age limit of 15 years or older remains in effect.
You have one hour to see the gorillas.
It is critical to wear masks.
Sneezing should be avoided.
Sanitize and follow all SOP guidelines.
African gorilla tracking
What Can You Expect From a Gorilla Safari?
Expect to leave your comfortable bed early enough on the day of your trek, and arrive at the briefing point by 7:30 a.m. Following the briefing, tourists will be assigned to different tracking routes, each with 8 tourists. Begin your search for gorillas in the forest, accompanied by guides and rangers. In the forest, you might see monkeys, butterflies, mammals, and other creatures. The forest can be difficult at times, and a good level of fitness is required. Expect to be muddy and sweaty at the end of the day. Once you see the gorillas, you can take photos with your camera or iPhone, but avoid using flash or the gorillas may charge. You will spend between 40 minutes and an hour with these gentle giants. It will be a life-changing experience. After the trek, return to your hotel or choose a cultural village experience with the Batwa pygmies. Tour guides for gorillas
What about the Gorilla Habituation Experience?
Gorilla habituation is the training of wild gorillas to become accustomed to humans. For three years, gorillas are trained by researchers and park rangers. You can join the group of researchers and park rangers during the training. Only four visitors are permitted. This distinguishes it. Gorilla habituation costs $1500 per person per day. The most exciting aspect of this experience is that you actively participate in gorilla habituation!
How to Obtain a Uganda Gorilla Trekking Permit
Gorilla trekking in Uganda is done in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga National Park. However, due to the inconsistency of gorillas in Mgahinga, the majority of permits sold are for Bwindi NP. Each gorilla permit in Uganda costs US $ 700. In previous years, April, May, and November used to cost US $ 450. Please keep in mind that these offers are no longer available. On a single day, nearly 72 people travel into Bwindi to see gorillas, but only 8 are permitted to see a gorilla family. We strongly advise you to book your gorilla permit through a safari agent; the most common mistake is to book a gorilla family that is far from your preferred lodging! The routes to Bwindi and its various regions are frequently difficult; this is a remote area. If you do the gorilla trek on your own to save money, you may end up spending more. Safari guides have been trained to help you with this.
Gorilla Safaris Permit Price
A gorilla permit in Uganda costs $ 700. (1 Hour with the gorillas)
A gorilla habitat permit in Uganda costs $1500. ( A full Day Experience)
A gorilla permit in Rwanda costs $ 1500.
The permit for trekking gorillas in the Congo costs $400.
East African citizens must pay a permit fee of 250,000 shillings.
Several tourists who wanted to trek gorillas found the process too time-consuming and chose the easier and less time-consuming option of reserving their trekking permits through a local Uganda safari operator. These tour operators typically charge an additional fee of $60 to $100 per permit. These gorilla tour companies will not charge you for purchasing a gorilla permit if you use their other tour services such as transfers; however, if you only want a permit from them, they will charge you an extra fee of up to US$100 per gorilla permit they book, because they need to make calls, pick up the permit from Uganda Wildlife Authority and deliver it to you, as well as other administrative costs The process is similar to the one described above, though tour agencies usually expedite reservations so you can confirm your gorilla permit sooner.
You inform them of your Uganda tour dates and specify the date for gorilla trekking.
They will notify you if your preferred trekking dates are available and will also temporarily book them.
They will send you our bank account information so that you can transfer funds for the gorilla permits or pay by credit card.
They will send you an email confirming the money transfer. Please remember to instruct your bank to deduct the transaction’s bank charges from your account. They don’t charge you anything extra for the gorilla permit if you book the rest of your tour through them. Any additional costs will be incurred when obtaining the permit for services such as telephony and transportation.
You will send a copy of your passport with the information needed to register for your permit. Normally, they only require your full names, nationality, and passport number.
Your names will be registered, and we will then obtain the gorilla permit. When they receive the payment, they will purchase the gorilla permit, but having this permit does not guarantee you will see the gorillas, though your chances are 98%.
It is important to note that tour operators in Uganda, through their joint organization AUTO, typically purchase up to 80% of the permits for up to two years prior to the intended date of trekking the gorillas. Each member agency can purchase up to 20 permits in a single month. Individuals and those not covered by the AUTO can, however, purchase no more than two gorilla permits per month, three months before the intended month of gorilla trekking, when reservations open on the first working days of that month, from Monday to Friday.
Permits that are not sold on the first day of booking are resold the following day, with no limit on the number of permits sold by a single operator or even an individual person.
Other African Primate Safaris
Aside from mountain gorillas, you can track Chimpanzees in Kibale Forest National Park or golden monkeys in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, as well as a variety of other monkey species in Uganda. Following your gorilla safari, you can visit Ishasha, Murchison Falls National Park, Kidepo Valley National Park, and PianUpe Reserve for the best wildlife safaris in Uganda.
National Park of Kibale Forest Chimpanzee Tracking in Kibale National Park Kibale Forest is home to 13 different primate species. The Kanyanchu trail is the most popular and runs from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Chimpanzee habituation is also practiced here. The tracking of the chimps necessitates a $150 permit. A three-day safari to Kibale is ideal. We recommend that you stay at Primates Lodge Kibale.
Wildlife Safari in Queen Elizabeth National Park and Chimpanzee Trek
National Park of Queen Elizabeth
To see the chimps, go to Kyambura Gorge. Every day, 16 permits are issued. The trekking here is more difficult than in Kibale. The excursion lasts approximately 3 hours, depending on the location of the chimps and your level of fitness. Each trek costs $50 per person. The minimum age is 12 years. Baboons, colobus monkeys, vervet monkeys, and red-tailed monkeys are among the other primates found here. Other wildlife in Queen Elizabeth National Park includes tree climbing lions, hippos, buffaloes, leopards, elephants, antelopes, bird species, and more. Stay at Mweya Safari Lodge, Katara Lodge, or Jacana Safari Lodge.
Gorilla Safari in Volcanoes National Park
Rwandan gorilla tracking takes place in Volcanoes National Park in the Virunga Mountains. A permit for a gorilla costs $1500. Rwanda is home to 17 gorilla families. The Susa group is the best option for our Rwanda gorilla tours. The months of late June, July, and August are ideal for visiting Rwanda. One of the eight Virunga Mountains is Volcanoes National Park. Primate species can be found in Karisimbi, Bisoke, Sabyinyo, Muhabura, and Mgahinga. Other gorillas in Africa can be found in Congo’s Virunga National Park and Kahuzi Biega National Park.
Tracking Golden Monkeys in Africa
Tracking golden monkeys is the third best primate trekking activity after gorilla tracking and chimp tracking. Golden monkeys can be found in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda and Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, both of which are located in the Virunga mountains.
What Should You Wear? Choosing the Best Clothing for Gorilla Trekking, If you plan on going on any hikes or climbing, bring warm layers of clothing for the cold evenings and wet weather gear because it gets cold and wet at this altitude. A light-weight jacket is required. Gloves, long-sleeved shirts, pants, and knee-high hiking gaiters are essential.
For gorilla trekking, you must find the best hiking boots. More information on safari clothing to wear on an African safari, as well as the best camera and binoculars to use on an African safari can be found here.
Trekking with Mountain Gorillas, How do gorillas appear?
Usually Males are twice the size of females, growing to 6 feet tall and weighing 350-500 pounds. These are muscular and strong, with long arms. Males are referred to as silverbacks because their back hair turns silver as they mature, hence the name Silverbacks. Male strength is ten times that of the strongest boxer, even when steroids are used. Silverbacks’ arms can reach a length of 7 feet. Mountain gorillas have longer and darker hair than lowland gorillas because they live in colder climates and at higher altitudes. Their life expectancy ranges between 40 and 50 years. Mountain gorillas prefer to stay on the ground, though they will occasionally climb a tree if it can support them; however, their young play in the trees, just like children. A fascinating fact is that humans and gorillas share 98% of their genetic makeup.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Gorilla Trekking The majority of gorillas seen in zoos are lowlands gorillas from western Africa, and mountain gorillas are a subspecies known as Gorilla beringei beringei. These can only be found in the wilds of Rwanda’s Virunga highlands, within Volcano Park. Visit Rwanda, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, and Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. These parks are only 48 kilometers apart. These parks are easily accessible within Uganda and Rwanda, whereas in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, visitors’ lives were potentially jeopardized due to rebel activities. In total, there are more than 786 mountain gorillas in the world. Uganda is home to nearly half of the world’s population, with the majority of them living in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and the rest in Mgahinga Gorilla Park, though some cross into Rwanda at times. Fortunately, the gorilla population is increasing due to the government of Uganda’s protection, which includes the efforts of the adjacent communities to the parks, who receive a portion of the USD 600 fee for Gorilla tracking permits charged to foreign visitors to Mgahinga and Bwindi.
How Do Mountain Gorillas Feed ?
Mountain Gorillas can be seen in two places in Uganda: Mgahinga Gorilla Park, a stunning park that is part of the Virunga chain of towering volcanoes that extends into the DRC and Rwanda, and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is home to the world’s largest population of Mountain Gorillas. It’s an ancient forest known as the “Place of Darkness.” This forest is very dark due to the tree cover. The forest’s elevations range from 1,160m to 2,607m above sea level. The Bwindi and Mgahinga have distinct characteristics as well as similarities. The Mgahinga is an extinct volcanic region, whereas Bwindi is not.
In season, the endangered Mountain Gorillas consume large amounts of flowers, leaves, fruit, roots, bamboo, and shoots. Adults can eat up to 75 pounds per day. A Mountain Gorilla’s day begins at 6 a.m. and ends at 6 p.m., with a nap around lunchtime. Uganda receives light just after 6 a.m. and darkness around 7 p.m. They migrate every day to different locations where they build nests out of twigs and leaves and spend the night. Some people have found these to be sufficiently comfortable to sleep in.
Are Mountain Gorillas a Threatened Species?
Visitors to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest frequently inquire about the safety of mountain gorillas. Although dominant and very strong, these gorillas are gentle and shy, and the mountain gorillas that visitors see in Uganda have been habituated. In other words, they become accustomed to people, a process that can take up to two years. Dian Fossey was initially opposed to tourists visiting mountain gorillas, but the money raised has ensured the survival of this endangered species, and their numbers have increased in recent years. When mountain gorillas are threatened, they will attack to protect their own. When different Mountain Gorilla groups meet, the leader Silver fights to the death. Recently, two Silverbacks fought within the Democratic Republic of the Congo, forcing the rangers to intervene. Mountain gorillas live in groups ranging in size from 2 to 30 or 40 individuals, but most commonly in groups of 10. There is no specific mating season, and babies are born all year. Males begin breeding at around 15 years of age, while females begin giving birth between 10 and 12 years of age. Females can give birth every 2 to 3 years and have 4 to 6 children during their lifetime. Males leave their group around the age of 11, while slightly more than half of females leave. Mountain gorillas communicate using sounds like roars, grunts, and shouts, and researchers have recorded 25 of these sounds so far. bwindi cloud lodge
Tour Packages for Gorilla Trekking
Mountain gorilla berengei berengei 3 day gorilla tour
You can choose between budget and luxury. 3 days of gorilla trekking in either Uganda’s Bwindi Forest National Park or Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park.
7-Day Gorilla Trek & Volcanoes of Murchison Falls National Park safaris in Rwanda
Visit Uganda’s mountain gorillas and venture to Murchison Falls National Park for wildlife tours and a Nile launch cruise.
8 Days Gorillas & Wildlife Conservation Area ngorongoro
For the best wildlife safaris in Africa, visit Uganda’s best parks, Bwindi Forest National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, and Murchison Falls National Park.
14 Days in Uganda and Rwanda African gorilla safari
See all of the big five animals, a wide range of birds, mountain gorillas, lions, rhinos, buffalo, and much more.