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The Top Luxury Gorilla Trekking Experiences in East Africa

April 20, 2020


The Gorilla Trekking Experience is one of the most wonderful, lifetime adventures you should include in your life activities. No one can fully express the pleasure and brilliant moment devoted to the first setting eyes on a wild endangered mountain gorilla.

I have tracked all the gorilla groups in both Uganda and Rwanda, but every single day comes with a new experience. I have never regretted any of the trackings and felt the price of the permit is worth the value. One must, however, be organized for some hustle up and down the steep rocky hills in the forest, sometimes on a rainy and muddy day. But when you meet this gigantic yet humble primate in their territory, it’s worth your effort. You will spend roughly one hour with this endangered great ape and get any details you have been desiring to know about them. But to do this, you have to reserve a gorilla tracking permit well in advance, as for bookings at go explore safaris we are here to help.

Meanwhile, some Mountain gorillas are in Virunga Mastiff, shared between 3 countries of UgandaRwanda, and DRC, there are additional mountain gorillas in Bwindi impenetrable. Gorillas live in age-graded group’s families identical to those of humans, but only habituated groups are accessible for tourism, in both countries.

The current gorilla tracking permit in Uganda is at 600 USD though it is going to be 700 USD effective 1st July 2020 and Rwanda 1500USD per permit. A maximum of 8 people can visit a given gorilla family per day. however, due to this Corona Virus Situation (COVID-19) Uganda Wildlife Authority, Rwanda Development Board & Virunga National park have some  discussion and halt on the increase for the situation to calm down our African travel Experts will guide you on this 

Gorilla Family Locations in Uganda & Rwanda

Nshogi Gorilla Family

Generally, Rwanda delivers the easiest access to gorilla trekking experience. However, this is only imperative when you are merging gorilla trekking experience with visiting other countries like Kenya or Tanzania or if you have inadequate time to spend in the country volcanoes national park has sited 116 km from Kigali and it will take you roughly 3 hours to transfer from Kigali to Volcanoes National Park. Meanwhile, Bwindi and Mgahinga are situated 510 km from KampalaEntebbe Airport. A transfer from KampalaEntebbe Airport to Bwindi and Mgahinga can take you a minimum of 8 hours. At go explore safaris we tend to offer a package of gorilla trekking in Uganda with other wildlife activities since there are numerous National Parks along the way to Bwindi and Mgahinga NP.  In Rwanda, there is a possibility for one to do the gorilla tracking experience even in one day and fly back home which is impossible in Uganda. In real practice, though, a one-day gorilla trek tour is not recommended because of the compression it applies to the trekker.

A Gorilla in Uganda's Bwindi forest
Mountain Gorilla – Bwindi

Gorilla Trekking Experience Difficulty and Altitude Variations

Trekking in both countries can be as short as 1 hour or as long as 4 hours depending on where the gorillas spent the night and which group you are tracking. But on average, it takes you about 2 hours hiking to see the gorillas in either Uganda or Rwanda. In my experience, gorilla trekking or tracking in Rwanda may be to some scope easier than Uganda gorilla trekking, but it’s not a guarantee. It has occurred to me that I tracked a group in Rwanda for 6 hours and 30minutes in Uganda, so there is no guarantee of ease in a particular country.

To reflect the discrepancy in altitude, In Rwanda, tracking takes place at 8000-10,000 feet above sea level, while in Uganda, tracking takes place 4000-8,000 feet above sea level. Visitors who have flown from a low altitude country should, therefore, think of adapting before tracking in Rwanda. While the altitude in Rwanda is not high enough for altitude condition, it is high enough to knock the breath out of anybody, no matter how fit, who has just flown in from a low altitude. If you are from a low altitude country, it is therefore important to acclimatize in Rwanda before tracking the gorillas or track the Uganda groups.

Other in-country Wildlife Benefits are other than Trekking Gorillas.

The long drive to Bwindi is quite captivating with great sceneries all through like the Equator, abundant wildlife in Lake MburoQueen Elizabeth, and Kibale forest national parks, terraced mountains with flowing rivers, and a lot of rural Africa and small towns alike to the transfer from Kigali to Volcanoes National Park.

Gorilla Tracking Experience or Better Gorillas.

There are no better gorillas between countries. If you go to Uganda, you will find habituated families in Bwindi in the different sectors like RushagaBuhomaNkuringoRuhaija. The mode and system of tracking gorilla in both Uganda and Rwanda are very comparable. Gorillas are tracked on a daily basis, therefore; the locations are virtually certain.

The gorilla tracking or trekking experience may differ due to:

  • • Someone may be concerned in a particular gorilla behavior,
  • • Someone may be attracted in gorilla numbers, dynamics and group composition,
  • • Someone may be interested in the toughness and length of the track,

There is a little variation in both countries, but gorillas in both countries are of the same species and have similar behaviors, group composition, and dynamics. All these features may vary from group to group in a particular country.

Perhaps, the transfer from Kampala to Bwindi is a very wonderful one traversing at least another national park (either Kibale forest or Queen Elizabeth National, famous for tree-climbing lions and many other big mammals, or Lake MburoPark and the Equator. In a way, even before you enter Bwindi you have had a flash of the ‘Pearl of Africa as is lovingly known., cruising along paved eucalyptus boulevards to the gorillas is so charming. Most tourists now choose to do gorilla tracking in Rwanda first and then transfer to Uganda to do gorilla trekking and other wildlife activities like visiting Queen Elizabeth National Park for the BIG FIVE safaris and chimpanzee tracking among other activities.

All our East African Luxury Safaris are normally a combination of either 2 Countries at least showing you the different experiences on the destination level Our Africa Travel Experts  are working hard with all their suppliers to provide you with the best East African Experience from The Wildebeest Migration to Gorillas in Uganda & Rwanda contact our Travel Experts here


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Brian Ahereza

Safari Expert

At the core of our success and intense customer loyalty is a committed team of people who deliver unparalleled service to our clients.