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Everything you need to know before and as you plan your Mountain Gorilla safari trip

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Ready, Set, Go Gorilla safari

Your guide to your gorilla safari planning. From Planning a perfect gorilla trek in Uganda, Rwanda & Congo, what to consider – planning your program, transport to the gorilla parks, accommodation, how to book the gorilla permits, cost of the gorilla tour, booking gorilla permits.

Your Gorilla Safari Planner

Planning your Gorilla Trek or Habituation Experience Safari

Here’s a simple guideline to planning your gorilla safari whether you’re a first timer gorilla trekker or a seasoned African traveller – some tips on where, when and how to get “gorilla’d” out!

Your Gorilla Safari focus

What to Consider & know for your Gorilla Safari trip

Gorilla permits in Uganda and Rwanda are strictly limited to 8 persons per habituated Gorilla group per day. Each Gorilla permit allows one hour’s worth of interaction with the gorillas. These Gorilla permits are purchased in advance from either the Uganda Wildlife Authority or the Rwanda Tourism Board and are released to us on a quota basis up to 2 years in advance. There’s enough demand to ensure that every permit is pre-sold so you need to book the Gorilla permits for your Gorilla safari very early in advance.
Your Gorilla Trek tour accomodation

We will book your gorilla safari acoomodation if you want us to in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo. The accommodation will depend on the gorilla permit you book being that the available gorilla families that tourists visit range over a wide area.

  • Gorilla tracking transport

    We will give you a 4×4 vehicle to go to for your gorilla safari. Your 4×4 vehicle will navigate the rough pot-holed roads which often get tourists stuck for hours during rainy seasons. Your guide will transport you to the gorilla trek trail start and back to your safari hotel. Your guide will make sure that you report to the park registration office at 7:30AM to avoid the risk of invalidating your gorilla tracking permit and having to pay for the gorilla permit again.

  • Gorilla tracking time

    The gorilla tracking time is very unpredictable and you may as well take the entire day tracking the gorillas. So be prepared for the gorilla tracking day well. For this same reason, you will also have with you a packed lunch for the day, plenty of drinking water and carry your rain coats as you will be trekking through a rainforest and any day it can rain.

  • Gorilla Tracking Destinations

    Uganda is well known for its gorilla trekking destinations of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest national Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, both parks are in the south-western Uganda and it about 400 km from Kampala Capital City of Uganda, Rwanda gorilla tracking is done in Volcanoes national park and for Congo you will visit Virunga mountains to track gorillas.

Hiring Porters and Walking Sticks

There are porters for hire (at $15 each) and walking sticks (at $5). Do not overestimate your strength; you may certainly need either or both of these. So put it in high consideration to hire one. Besides, it’s another way of giving back to the communities.

  • Booking a Gorilla Permit

    You will book the gorilla permit for the desired country you want to do gorilla tracking. Please note that gorilla permits are only confirmed by paying for them in full. So, you will need to send money for the permits in full to get your confirmation and ensure that you take care of the bank charges involved to avoid disappointment. If you are hoping to travel in the busy seasons of December to March or June to September, be aware that permits for many dates could sell out 4 months to the tracking and you may not be able to get the gorilla permit for the days period you wish to travel.

    You must present your gorilla permit and passport on the gorilla tracking day to be allowed on the gorilla trek.

    If you arrange the gorilla permit on your own, please ensure that you pick it from the booking office.

    Gorilla Permit Costs/Fees

    Uganda Gorilla Permit Costs/Fees : USD $600

    Rwanda Gorilla Permit Costs/Fees : USD $1500

    Congo Gorilla Permit Costs/Fees : USD $450

Book your Gorilla Safari with GoExplore Safaris

Please contact us with date/month and year when you want to trek gorillas in Uganda or Rwanda, we will check availability of gorilla permits and inform you. We will send you and invoice and once you have transferred you funds on to our account, we will pre purchase your gorilla permits and send you scanned copies. To help us do this, you need to send us your passport details which are needed by the Authorities in order to print and issue your gorilla permits.

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Gorilla Safari Packing

What to Carry for your Gorilla Safari

You have already paid for your gorilla tour, gorilla permits, transport and accommodation. The next very important thing is to make sure that you have packed the right gorilla trekking gear for your gorilla safari. Gorilla trekking clothes are the same for Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Mgahinga National Park as well as Volcanoes National Park So, the next question to be answered is what to pack for a gorilla trek. What we have advised below is for gorilla trekking but if your gorilla tour combined with wildlife safaris you might need more.

Hiking boots

One of the most important items that should be included in your gorilla trekking gear are hiking boots. Gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National park and Volcanoes National Park involves trekking/hiking in search for the endangered mountain gorillas. Because of the nature of the forest plus the altitude and terrain, you need light weight hiking boots for this activity. Hiking boots are must as you decide on what to pack for your gorilla trekking adventure in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Rwanda’s volcanoes National Park


You will be required gloves to protect you hands during your gorilla trek. As you move in this forest, remember that it can get slippery and somehow you need to hold on something just in case such happens. If you happen to touch some itching plants, trees or even climbing trees, you may be harmed. These gloves will therefore protect you from germs and other items that may scratch your hands. Consider including Garden Gloves in your gorilla trekking packing list.

Rain Jacket

Consider including a rain jacket or poncho in your gorilla trekking packing list as it is very crucial in as far as gorilla trekking gear is concerned. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a tropical rain forest and as such, rain is received through out the whole year. You will never tell when it is going to rain so you need a rain jacket in order to be protected from rain. Many clients prefer traveling in drier months of June, July, August and beginning of September and try to avoid rainy seasons of March, April and May but being a tropical rain forest, it can rain any time. When deciding on what to pack for your gorilla trek in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Volcanoes National Park, a Rain jacket or Poncho should be included.

Energy giving snacks

Gorilla trekking can take from 30 minutes to eight or so hours and that’s why a certain level of fitness is required. To add on that, we advise that you carry some energy giving snacks as supplements. Before departing from your lodge, you need to carry your packed lunch and lots of drinking water as you never know when you will return. Energy giving foods can be bought in Uganda or Rwanda so contact or ask your guide to take you to a nearby super market.

Long Sleeved Shirts/Blouse/top

You are required to have long sleeved trousers/shirts/blouse/top for your gorilla trekking. Please ensure that you tack in your trousers in your hiking boots to avoid insects such as safari ants entering your trousers. Jeans and Kachi trousers can do this better.

Cameras and extra batteries

Photography is an important component of your Gorilla safari and thus make sure that you have your camera ready, charge your batteries very well and if necessary, carry extra batteries as you will need to take as many photographs in the one hour you will have with the gorillas. Please make sure that you switch off your flash while taking gorilla photographs.

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