Devine African Safaris, the best gorilla trekking company, is a pioneer in conservation-oriented small and large group travel. We connect travelers, adventurers, photographers, and conservationists through adventure Rwanda gorilla trekking tours, Uganda gorilla trekking tours, Uganda tours, and Rwanda tours.
9-day Uganda gorilla trekking safari & primates tour
Rwanda gorilla treks with Devine African Safaris, the best gorilla safari Company, is a unique opportunity to spot mountain gorillas in their natural environment, which is unforgettable in a traveler’s lifetime and a life-changing experience.
Gorilla trekking experts and guides lead small groups of tourists on the bamboo-covered slopes, where travelers spend their precious and awe-inspiring hour enjoying these gentle giant apes.
Mountain gorillas are the largest living primate in the world. They are scattered across the equatorial African tropical rainforest. Speaking broadly, the gorilla species is divided into mountain gorillas and lowland gorillas.
The chained volcanic range spans Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which harbors the endangered mountain gorilla. Mountain gorilla trekking in Rwanda is relatively accessible and safe.
According to the latest record, there are over 1,000 gorillas in the wild, with approximately 604 in the Virunga ranges. The gorilla population keeps increasing year over year; all thanks go to concerted efforts between our governments, NGOs, and communities.
Rwanda has over twelve mountain gorilla families surviving in Volcanoes National Park, being habituated fully, and a few other gorillas are habituated solely for scientific research purposes. The gorilla troops have at least one silverback tagged along with many females and youngsters.
Rwanda issues only six gorilla tracking permits per troop per day, meaning the gorilla encounter is as intimate and unobtrusive as possible. Rwanda only has 96 permits per day; we highly advise you to book your trip early enough.
Mountain gorillas live in Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Bwindi National Park in Uganda and the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda offer gorilla trekking.
You can also visit Virungas National Park in the DRC for the same.
Are you getting confused about which place offers you the best experience to see these amazing mountain gorillas?
Comparing gorilla trekking in Bwindi NP (Uganda) and Volcanoes NP (Rwanda) would help you choose the location on the basis of cost, safety, degree of hiking, availability, and so on.
When planning for gorilla trekking in Rwanda or Uganda, you have to be careful with your bag packing items.
It's not something like a picnic; it’s a trek through the forest with narrow paths, so you need to be well prepared to cope with any difficult situation throughout the trek.
There are some essential packing items that you should keep in mind before leaving for the trek with Devine African Safaris.
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You need a separate gorilla trekking permit for gorilla trekking in Rwanda and gorilla trekking in Uganda.
Travelers over 15 years of age are eligible for the gorilla trekking permit that allows them to track mountain gorillas.
You need to purchase this gorilla trekking permit in advance, for as long as six months.
Gorilla families in Uganda are spread over a wide geographic area, so book an accommodation that is within an hour’s drive from the gorilla trekking.
To purchase gorilla trekking Uganda permits, visit the Uganda Wildlife Authority office or contact Devine African Safaris with your preferred dates, and we can help you buy the permits.
A gorilla trekking permit in Uganda costs around $700 for a single person
Prepare early, mentally and physically, because you take long walks in the nearby forests.
Acquire suitable hiking shoes to navigate through the challenging slopes and terrain.
Come knowing it may rain heavily at any time.
Carry drinking water and a light snack.
When you can, tip the park guides and rangers; they go above and beyond to make your gorilla tracking journey worthwhile.
The suggested gratuity range is $10 to $15, or the corresponding amount in the local currency.
Volcanoes National Park's gorilla trekking has restrictions and regulations like any other activity. To visit the primates, you must be at least 15 years old.
Children are not permitted near gorillas because they frequently carry contagious illnesses like cough and flu that can spread to the primates.
It is one of the reasons why travelers are asked for their passport information before making travel arrangements. Only 1,000 mountain gorillas live in the wild, making them an endangered species.
Every precaution is made to keep them healthy. No one with a contagious illness is allowed to be close to the primates. Some of the illnesses we as humans carry can also afflict mountain gorillas. There are other guidelines and laws.
Gorilla trekking is a tourism activity that starts with an early morning briefing at around 7:00 a.m. regarding the rules and registrations for trekking mountain gorillas at the relevant national park headquarters.
The park rangers always know the location of each gorilla family and their way around from the headquarters. Travelers hiking personal fitness and preferences will determine gorilla family allocation and your length for trekking.
After the morning briefing, travelers walk or drive to their trekking point, and your trekking starts at around 8:30 a.m., depending on the gorilla family allocated to you.
Travelers always hike for at least an hour before reaching their assigned mountain gorilla family. In some cases, trekking may take three to four hours or more before you find your group because these gorillas tend to move from one place to another while searching for food.
The beautiful scenery is stunning, and hiking in this tropical forest is part of the unforgettable experience. Travelers should always keep their own pace and drink a lot of water since they can easily get dehydrated, especially at high altitudes.
As travelers get close to the allocated mountain gorilla family, the park rangers will request that you leave all your bags behind so that travelers can approach the gorilla family more closely.
Once you are in the presence of the gorillas, you are only allowed to spend an hour with the mountain gorillas.
Enjoy gorillas munching on bamboo, grooming each other, hanging from trees, suckling their babies, playing, mating, sleeping, and farting. No traveler should miss out on this unique experience.
The park ranger guides are always knowledgeable and take good care of travelers in the forest. Remember to ask the ranger any questions regarding any information about the gorillas, the forest, and other wildlife species within.
They know all the gorilla families intimately including the names and personalities of each individual gorilla. Porters are always available within the team at a small fee.
Travelers must book a Rwanda mountain gorilla trekking permit in advance so as to be sure of getting a chance of spotting mountain gorillas on a specific date.
Mountain Gorilla trekking permits can be sold out during the peak seasons, like from June to September and December to February.
Mountain gorilla trekking permits for Rwanda currently cost $1500. Travelers should note that part of the money gotten from mountain gorilla permits is used to support gorilla conservation programs and local community projects.
Booking mountain gorilla trekking permits can be done through a tour operator or directly from the Rwanda Development Board. In order to book the gorilla permit, individual passport details are a must for the Rwanda Development Board.
There are 10 habituated gorilla families available for trekking, and only 8 tourists are allowed to visit a particular gorilla group a day. This indicates that there are only 80 mountain gorilla permits available each day for all the habituated gorilla families.
The Volcanoes National Park's mountain gorilla trek begins at around 7:30 a.m. with a briefing from park staff and rangers. Participants are divided into groups and allocated to a specific gorilla family during the briefing.
The groups that are closer to the park offices are given to the hikers who are less fit. The group sets off to look for the gorillas at 8:00 a.m. with the help of the Volcanoes National Park Rangers.
Travelers can choose one of the 10 habituated groups or families when doing gorilla trekking in Rwanda's Volcanoes National Park. It doesn't matter whose group you end up with; witnessing mountain gorillas is magnificent.
Just watching the young gorillas roll about and play may keep you occupied for hours. Mountain gorillas are constantly curious and playful. Some may approach you directly, but they don't mean any harm.
It's crucial to follow your guides' instructions and maintain your composure when spending time with the mountain gorillas.
Depending on the gorilla group you are assigned to and their exact location on the day of the walk, gorilla trekking in the Volcanoes National Park can take you from one to six hours.
Note: If you have any heavy luggage or equipment, travelers are allowed to hire one or two porters. At the gorilla trekking starting point, porters are always available.
Many of these porters were poachers in the past, but they now support initiatives for gorilla conservation. They are prevented from returning to their prior vices by the money they make from providing their services.
Mountain gorilla tracking services for senior citizens are available if you intend to travel with your parents. Costs for porter services range from $15 to $20. Tourists also need a raincoat, sturdy cotton gloves, and a comfortable hiking boot.
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When planning for Rwanda gorilla trekking tour or Uganda with Devine African Safaris, your options lie between Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda and Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda.
But deciding the time of year to visit these majestic creatures can have a big impact on your experience and wallet.
Here is the guide that will help you plant your gorilla trekking effectively.
You can plan for gorilla trekking any time of the year as the gorillas are present all year round, but sometimes rain keeps tourists away.
Therefore, the best time for gorilla trekking depends on you. Above it depends upon permit availability which is less at the peak season of tourism.
There is more rain in November or between March and May, and this time most tourists avoid gorilla trekking.
Thus, the best time for gorilla trekking is in June, July, August, September and some part of October. In these months, the possibility of high rain has reduced and it’s sunny in most of the destinations.
If you don’t have dates to visit during these months, then, January and February are relatively okay.
December is one of the busiest months, as during Christmas most Uganda’s plans to visit a national park.
Thus, book the accommodation and gorilla trekking in advance to avoid disappointments.
If you are in search of the best time for gorilla trekking and aren’t worried about pricing, the dry season is the best. The climate is fairly cool all year round due to increased topography in the country, so you aren’t likely to ever overheat.
Mountain gorilla trekking in Rwanda is among the most famous activities at Volcanoes National Park because it is considered one of the best places to see mountain gorillas in Africa.
Volcanoes National Park protects the fascinating mountain gorillas. Mountain gorillas can only be seen in three countries: Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The Volcanoes National Park extends over an area of approximately 16,000 hectares and is located in the north-western part of the country.
Volcanoes National Park is made of afro-montane forests, savannah grassland, bamboo forests, vast swamps, and five volcanoes (such as Mount Bisoke, Mount Gahinga, Mount Muhabura, Mount Sabyinyo, and Mount Karisimbi).
Mount Karisimbi is among the four tallest mountains in Africa. Volcanoes National Park also protects spotted hyenas, forest buffaloes, duikers, forest elephants, bush bucks, and the beautiful golden monkeys, among other mammals.
Gorilla tourism in Rwanda enchants many tourists to Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, and the chances of viewing mountain gorillas are very high.
Mountain gorilla trekking at Volcanoes National Park involves moving into the dense bamboo forests and steep mountain slopes to search for gorilla families in Rwanda.
The final experience with the primates is regarded as one of the most fascinating and memorable wildlife encounters in Africa.
To have the best of both worlds of mountain gorillas, tourists can also cross-track mountain gorillas in Uganda in what is known as double gorilla trekking.
Some travelers even opt for mountain gorilla trekking, where they also tour the gorillas in the Virunga National Park of the Congo.
It's more exciting when they also try to visit both the mountain gorillas and the eastern lowland gorillas in Kahuzi Biega National Park in the Congo.
Trekking gorillas is so challenging, but when you finally see the gorillas, it is considered an ultimate wildlife experience.