Gorilla trekking in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo; Gorilla trekking is an extraordinary activity that attracts big numbers of travelers to visit Africa. Gorilla trekking is an adventurous 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 habitat. Gorilla trekking is done in five destinations namely Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga gorilla national park in Uganda, Volcanoes national park in Rwanda, Virunga national park and Kahuzi Biega national park in Congo.
Gorilla trekking in Uganda
Uganda is one of the best gorilla trekking destinations in Africa due to the fact that it harbors the highest number of mountain gorillas. Gorilla trekking in Uganda is done in two national parks that is Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga gorilla national park both located in southwestern part of Uganda.
Mgahinga gorilla national park is a home of one habituated gorilla family called Nyakagezi while Bwindi impenetrable national park is a home of about 21 habituated gorilla families which are found in four sectors namely Buhoma, Rushaga, Nkuringo and Ruhija sectors and all the gorilla families are available for trekking on a daily basis.
Gorilla trekking in Rwanda
Rwanda is another destination that harbors the endangered mountain gorillas which are found in Volcanoes national park. The park is located in Musanze village, northwestern part of Rwanda bordering with Mgahinga gorilla national park and Virunga national park. Volcanoes national park is a home of about 15 habituated mountain gorilla families which are open for trekking daily.
Gorilla trekking in Democratic Republic of Congo
Gorilla trekking in Congo is done in two national parks namely Virunga national park which harbors the endangered mountain gorillas and Kahuzi Biega national park which harbors the eastern lowland gorillas. Virunga national park is a home of 8 habituated gorilla families including Humba, Rugendo, Bageni, Lulengo, Kabirizi , Nyakamwe, Mapuwa and Munyaga families while Kahuzi Biega national park is a home of 5 habituated gorilla families namely Bonnini, Chimanuka, Mugaruka, Mpungwe and Nganwe gorilla families which are available for trekking.
Gorilla trekking experience
Gorilla trekking in all destinations that is Bwindi impenetrable national park, Mgahinga gorilla national park, Volcanoes national park, Virunga national park and Kahuzi Biega national park starts very early in the morning with a briefing about the rules and regulations at the park headquarters. After the briefing, you will be subdivided into groups of 8 people where each group will be allocated a habituated gorilla family to trek and an experienced park guide who is well conversant with different gorilla trekking trails. Gorilla trekking takes about 30 minutes to 7 hours depending on where the mountain 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, animals, different bird species, plants among others. Once the gorillas are located, you will be allowed to spend one hour with them in their natural habitat which gives you an opportunity to learn more about their behaviors, habits, watch them carry out their daily activities, take photos and record the incredible moments.
Best time to go for gorilla trekking safari in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo
Gorilla trekking safari in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo can be done anytime throughout the year 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, there is less rainfall in the national parks therefore access roads and gorilla trekking trails will be dry and passable which makes trekking easy compared to the wet season when the gorilla trekking trails are muddy and slippery which makes trekking difficult.
Cost of gorilla trekking permits in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo
Gorilla trekking permits are legal cards or documents that are issued to visitors above the age of 15 years allowing them to visit any habituated gorilla family in either Uganda, Rwanda or Congo. A gorilla trekking permit in Uganda costs 700 USD per person for foreign non residents, 600 USD per person for foreign residents and 250,000 UGX per person for East African citizens.
A gorilla trekking permit in Rwanda costs 1,500 USD per person for all nationalities and a gorilla trekking permit in Congo costs 400 USD per person.
How to book gorilla trekking permits in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo
Gorilla trekking permits in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo can either be booked directly through Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), Rwanda Development Board (RDB) or Virunga reservations office by contacting the head offices via email or telephone calls.
Gorilla trekking permits in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo can also be booked through a trusted tour operator like Achieve Global Safaris whereby you will contact us with the dates, month, year and gorilla destination you wish to visit. After contacting us, we will check for permit availability and if there are permits available on your desired dates, you will be asked to make a deposit. Once we receive the money, we will purchase the gorilla trekking permits on your behalf. Booking gorilla trekking permits via Achieve Global Safaris is the best option to use in that we will not only book permits on your behalf but also plan for your entire safari which involves accommodation, transportation to the gorilla destinations, other activities to engage in after gorilla trekking and other destinations to visit during your gorilla trekking safari.
Gorilla trekking permits in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo should be booked 3 to 6 months in advance before the trekking date because permits are competitive and usually get sold out quickly especially during the dry season in the months of June to September and December to February therefore in order to avoid last minute disappointments, you are advised to book in advance.
What to carry/ pack for your gorilla trekking safari in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo
There are a number of items to pack for your gorilla trekking safari in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo including
- Hiking boots to protect your ankles and keep your feet dry during trekking
- Long sleeved shirt and trouser to keep you warm during morning hours
- Garden gloves to protect your hands from germs
- Insect repellent to protect you from biting insects like tsetse flies and mosquitoes
- Waterproof rain jacket to protect you from rainfall because gorilla trekking is done in tropical rainforests therefore it can rain anytime of the day regardless of the season.
- Energy snacks like packed food from the lodge and drinking water to keep you hydrated during trekking
- Camera and extra batteries to take photos and record videos during the one hour with the gorillas
- A pair of binoculars to view other wildlife species in the gorilla destinations.
- Backpack to carry all your gorilla trekking essentials like drinking water, energy snacks, insect repellent, camera and extra batteries among others.
Gorilla trekking is an exceptional activity that shouldn’t be missed during your safari in Africa. For more information, you can reach out to us at Achieve Global Safaris or visit our website to book affordable gorilla trekking packages.