Where to see mountain gorillas in Africa
Where to see mountain gorillas in Africa ; Mountain gorillas are endangered primate species that are found in three African countries namely Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo. Mountain gorillas live in a family group which range between two to forty individuals including silverbacks, females, juveniles and infants. Mountain gorillas in African live in tropical rainforests and share 98 percent of the humans DNA which makes them our relatives.
Where to see mountain gorillas in Uganda
Out of 1,063 world’s mountain gorilla population, Uganda is a home of 459 mountain gorillas makes it the best place to see gorillas in Africa. Gorillas in Uganda are found in two destinations namely Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga gorilla national park both located in southwestern part of Uganda. Bwindi impenetrable national park is a home of more than 21 habituated gorilla families and Mgahinga gorilla national park is a home of one habituated gorilla family Nyakagezi which are available for trekking on a daily basis.
Where to see mountain gorillas in Rwanda
Mountain gorillas in Rwanda are found in Volcanoes national park which is located in northwestern part of Rwanda. Volcanoes national park is a home of more than 11 habituated gorilla families which makes it the second best destination to see gorillas in Africa.
Where to see mountain gorillas in Democratic Republic of Congo
Democratic Republic of Congo is one of the destinations in African where you can see the endangered mountain gorillas which are found in Virunga national park and the eastern lowland gorillas which are only found in Kahuzi Biega. Both Virunga national park and Kahuzi Biega national park harbor habituated gorilla families which are open for trekking on a daily basis.
Gorilla trekking experience in Africa
Gorilla trekking is an adventurous activity in African where tourists move on foot into the tropical rainforests in search of the habituated gorillas and once found spend one hour with them in their natural habitat. 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 early in the morning with a briefing at 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 a park guide who is well conversant with different gorilla trekking trails. Gorilla trekking 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 wildlife species including mammals, bird species, primates like chimpanzees, black and white colobus monkeys, l’hoest monkeys, view different plant and tree species among others. Once the 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 behaviors, habits, lifestyle, watch them carry out their daily activities like feeding, breastfeeding, playing, grooming young ones, take pictures and record the incredible moments to show people back home after the safari.
Cost of gorilla trekking permits
Gorilla trekking permits are legal documents/ cards that are issued to tourists above the age of 15 years allowing them to visit any habituated gorilla family in either Uganda, Rwanda or Congo. Cost of gorilla trekking permits vary depending on the destination you wish to visit. 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 Democratic republic of Congo costs 400 USD per person for foreign non residents.
How to book gorilla trekking permits
Gorilla trekking permits can either be booked directly through Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) in Uganda, Rwanda Development Board in Rwanda (RDB) and Virunga reservations office in Congo. Gorilla trekking permits can also be booked through a tour operator like Achieve Global Safaris. When booking through Achieve global safaris, you will contact us with the dates and destination you wish to visit. After contacting us, we will check for permit availability and if there are permits that match with your dates. You will be asked to make a deposit for the permit. When we receive payments, we will purchase the gorilla trekking permits on your behalf.
Gorilla trekking permits in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo should however be booked 3 to 6 months in advance before the trekking date because they are competitive and get sold out quickly especially during the dry season in the months of June to September and December to February.
Best time to see mountain gorillas in Africa.
Gorillas in Africa can be seen all year round though the best time is during the dry season which is also known as the peak season in the months of June, July, August, September, December, January and February. During the dry season access roads to the gorilla destinations and gorilla trekking trails will be dry and passable which make gorilla trekking easy compared to the wet season when the trails are wet, muddy and slippery which make trekking difficult.
Gorilla trekking is an interesting and extraordinary activity that shouldn’t be missed during your safari in Africa. For more information about where to see mountain gorillas in Africa, do not hesitate to contact us at Achieve Global Safaris or visit our website for budget, mid-range and luxury gorilla trekking packages to Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo.