Gorilla trekking safari means a special kind of nature expedition where tourists will walk in the thick jungle for over 2hours in search of these rare and endangered mountain gorillas. Mountain gorillas in the whole world can be found in 3 African countries of Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and Rwanda in the Virunga Mountains which is a chain of Volcanoes covering the park of East Africa.
Mountain gorillas do not exist anywhere else in the wild and they are not found in captivity. Tourists all over the world every year travel to this side of the African continent to visit these rare primates species, for anyone to visit mountain gorillas in any of these three countries, needs to acquire gorilla permits.
Depending on your budget and interest, you can visit mountain gorillas in any of these 3 countries and the price for a gorilla permit in the three countries differ for example, in Uganda gorilla permit is sold at 650$ per permit, in DRC gorilla permits are sold at 450$ per permit and in Rwanda, they are for 1500$ per permit.
After getting the gorilla permit, the next step is traveling to the national park headquarter depending on which park you want to visit and once you at the park always in the morning, you will be briefed about gorilla trekking rules, a ranger guide will lead a small group of eight or less into the misty jungles in the search for these animals. Once the gorillas are tracked down, the tourists will be allowed a maximum of an hour to stay with the mountain gorillas, take photos, record videos and observe them as the mum is caring for the young and the youth play from one branch of trees to another.
Gorilla Trekking in Uganda
Uganda is famously known as the Pearl of Africa and is one of the most beautiful tourism destinations in Africa and it’s among the 3 countries from where tourists can safely visit the mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. Uganda has amazing natural tourist attractions and diverse cultures which you can enjoy when you decide to visit the country for a safari. Uganda has over 50 cultures and going for a gorilla safari you can also get a chance to learn more about this country and its people.
Uganda is home to over half of the world’s total population of mountain gorillas, is because it only Uganda that has two gorilla parks that are the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park which is found in the southwestern part of the country, and the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park which is also found in the southwestern part of the country and also Mgahinga Gorilla National park is part of the Virunga Mountains and the park features 3 extinct volcanoes namely Mount Muhabura, Mount Gahinga, and Mount Sabyinyo. This makes the country the best destination for any tourist interested in going gorilla trekking in Africa.
Every tourist to go gorilla trekking in either Bwindi Impenetrable Forest or Mgahinga Gorilla National Park will need to have a gorilla permit that can be purchased from Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) offices in Kampala and they are sold at 750$ per permit and it’s advised to be booked in advance due to the fact that they are always on high demand.
In addition to the gorilla parks in Uganda, the country is blessed with about 10 national parks and wildlife reserves from where you can watch a variety of wildlife and big games. Among the other attractions that can make a Uganda gorilla safari more memorable are the beautiful rain forests and volcanic mountains in the western part of the country. A Uganda safari will give you a great experience that you need to come back and witness time and time again. You will love the beautiful scenery in Uganda.
Gorilla trekking in Rwanda
Rwanda gorilla trekking is done in Volcanoes National park which is found in the northwestern part of the country. The park is part of the Virunga Mountains and features 5 volcanoes namely Karisimbi, Muhabura, Bisoke, Gahinga, and Sabyinyo. The park is not only home to Mountain gorillas, but still, Volcanoes National Park is home to a variety of wildlife like golden monkeys, over 178 different species of birds the thing which makes the park also a perfect birding destination.
Going gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park, every tourist will need to acquire a gorilla permit that can be purchased from the Rwanda development board (RDB) at 1500$ per day. There are several reasons which make Rwanda the favorable gorilla trekking destination and the main one is being the distance whereby traveling from Kigali to Volcanoes National Park can only take a 2-hour drive not like in Uganda where a tourist will need to travel an 8-hour drive from Kampala to Bwindi Forest or Mgahinga National Park.
Alongside gorilla trekking in Rwanda, the country is also blessed with other interesting and historical attractions for example the genocide memorial sites plus the wildlife in Akagera National Park where you can enjoy watching different animals and Nyungwe Forest National Park where you can spot Chimpanzees and also enjoy canopy walk.
Gorilla Trekking in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
Mountain Gorilla trekking in DRC is done in Virunga National Park which is found in the eastern part of the country. Gorilla trekking safaris in DRC are not yet popular because of the political unrest in the country per now. This made Uganda and Rwanda who are politically safe to be the best choice for any tourist who would love to visit mountain gorillas in their natural environment.