Gorilla Trekking in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo
Gorilla trekking in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo is one of the most fascinating activities you shall ever experience while on your Africa safari tour. Encountering mountain gorillas in their natural habitat the wild is one of the most majestic and fascinating experiences you shall ever have. Mountain gorillas are an endangered gorilla species, the largest of all primates, that can only be found in the three countries that are blessed to host them, that is Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, specifically in the four gorilla parks of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park of Uganda, Volcanoes National Park of Rwanda and Virunga National Park of the Congo.
Gorilla trekking in Uganda
Gorilla trekking in Uganda happens in the most celebrated Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, as well as Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. most gorilla trekking in Uganda safaris take travelers to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park given that the park alone has over half the total world population of mountain gorillas, with more than 19 gorilla families fully habituated and available for travelers to visit on a gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park safari. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park of Uganda on the other hand receives less trekkers per day given that there is only habituated gorilla family, the Nyakagezi gorilla family that travelers can encounter on a gorilla trekking in Mgahinga safari experience.
Uganda gorilla trekking permits costs $700 for foreign non-residents, $600 for foreign residents and only ugx250000 for East African citizens. Given the affordability of a gorilla trekking permit in Uganda, most travelers do choose to do gorilla trekking in Uganda over Rwanda. Gorilla trekking permits can be booked or purchased from the Uganda Wildlife Authority offices in Kampala, or you may have your trusted tour operator to help you purchase your gorilla trekking permits in Uganda.
Getting to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, as well as getting to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park can take about 9-10 hours of road drive, through well tarmacked roads for about 90% of the whole distance, making a number of stops for sight-seeing like the Equator water experiment in Kayabwe, the Igongo cultural centre, among others as per your travel plan. Travelers can however opt to do a fly in Bwindi safari, or to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, by booking charter flights from Entebbe International Airport or Kajjansi to Kihihi or Kisoro airstrips, and then be transferred to their respective accommodation. Aerolink Uganda among other chatter airlines do provide these services to travelers. Also, embarking on a Uganda gorilla trekking from Kigali safari is one of the most opted for safari option, with travellers flying into Kigali International Airport and be transferred to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga Gorilla National Park on a road drive for about 4 hours, through the Cyanika or Katuna border points depending on where it is you re gorilla trekking from.
Gorilla trekking in Rwanda
Gorillas in Rwanda can be found in the misty Volcanoes National Park, only about 3 hours away from Kigali and Kigali International Airport. Volcanoes National Park is located in the north western part of Rwanda, just on the border with Uganda and the Congo. Volcanoes National Park Rwanda hosts over 150 fully habituated mountain gorillas distributed in about 12 gorilla families that trekkers can encounter on a daily with a gorilla trekking Rwanda safari. Rwanda has the oldest habituated gorilla families, which is one of the results from the works of Dian Fossey, an American primatologist.
Gorilla trekking Rwanda has in the recent years embarked on luxury or high end gorilla trekking safaris, with a Rwanda gorilla permit costing as much as $1500, doubling the Uganda gorilla permit of $700 for foreign non-residents, and almost four times the cost of a gorilla trekking permit in the Congo which is only $400, per person per trek. The high end strategy for gorilla safaris in Rwanda is actually attracting the most exclusive resorts, enabling local communities around Volcanoes National Park earn some reasonable income in terms of different services offered like porters, community tours, handicraft selling, among others.
Gorilla trekking in the Congo
Gorilla trekking in the Congo is an amazing activity that takes travelers gorilla trekking in the world renowned Virunga National Park, which hosts a number of mountain gorillas with about 8 fully habituated gorilla families and the famous Mountain Nyiragongo. It is the security situation in the Congo that has in the past interfered with Congo safaris tours, but otherwise is a beautiful unexplored gem that would fulfil any traveler’s quest for wilderness. Congo gorilla trekking is just like it is in Uganda and Rwanda, only that the Congo gorilla trekking permits cost much lower, only $400 per person per trek, as compare to Uganda and Rwanda whose gorilla trekking permits cost $700 and $1500 respectively, per person per trek. While gorilla trekking in the Congo, travelers should not be worried of their safety and security as there are about 700 armed ranger guides in Virunga National Park, all working to secure and protect the endangered mountain gorillas, as well as the tourists who do visit the park.
The Congo is blessed to have more than one taxa, with the country hosting the Eastern Lowland gorillas as well, which are available for gorilla trekking by any travelers who needs to encounter them. Lowland gorilla trekking in Congo takes place in Kahuzi Biega National Park, and is not as tiring as gorilla trekking in Virunga National Park for the eastern lowland gorillas can be easily found at the slopes and start of the gorilla trek.
When to go gorilla trekking in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo
Gorilla trekking in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo can be done throughout the year, given the gorilla destinations are open to all travelers irrespective of the prevailing season; for as long as one has time for a holiday, the gorilla parks shall be there awaiting you to enjoy gorilla trekking activities. The best time to however go for gorilla trekking in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo is during the dry season which is also the peak season of travel which falls in the months of June to September, and December to February. The dry season has the gorilla parks including Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Volcanoes National Park and Virunga National Park receiving a bit of rains however, for the parks are rainforest after all. The parks can be quite cold during the night, packing appropriate clothing is therefore important.
What to pack for a gorilla trekking in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo Safari
Are you intending to go on a once in a lifetime gorilla trekking safari packing right is important, so as you do enjoy your much anticipated gorilla trekking safari. Items like hiking boots that are preferably waterproof is advised, as well as light weight rain jacket or poncho, long sleeved shirts and trousers, gardening gloves, socks, gaiters, insect repellent creams, a camera among others are some of the essential items you are advised to carry for your gorilla trekking in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo safari tour.
Where to stay while gorilla trekking in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo
There are a number of lodges and camps available for booking in any of the four gorilla trekking destinations. These gorilla accommodations range from basic, mid-range and luxury including exclusive camps and lodges, thereby catering for all kinds of travelers. Luxury and exclusive lodges especially in Rwanda and Uganda gorilla destinations can charge as high as $2500 while budget lodges can even cost you as less as $20, depending on the season of travel. Bisate Lodge, Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge, Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Lodge, Gorilla Height Lodge, and Mikeno Safari Lodge are some of the luxury lodges that travelers can stay in while gorilla trekking in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo.
Gorilla trekking in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo is an amazing activity that should be included in your Africa safari plan, it can actually be the climax of your once in a lifetime Africa safari tour. gorilla trekking in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo is safe and secure, just book through a reputable and knowledgeable tour operator and get yourself one of the most amazing gorilla safari experience in either Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park of Uganda, Volcanoes National Park of Rwanda and Virunga National Park of the Congo; and while gorilla trekking, you may as well include eastern lowland gorilla trekking in Kahuzi Biega National Park on your list of activities for an opportunity to encounter two different gorilla taxa.