where can i trek mountain gorillas in uganda and rwanda
Gorilla Trekking is a prime activity for all visitors hoping to participate in either Uganda or Rwanda. Mountain gorilla trekking is a top reason why many travelers visit these 2 mountain gorilla destinations. Get more information about mountain gorilla trekking holidays to view mountain gorillas in their natural environment and how to get a tracking permit. Gorilla trekking is defined as hiking on foot in the tropical rain forests of Africa while searching for mountain gorillas in their natural environment.
COVID-19 Updates: Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park were reopened, where mountain gorilla trekking takes place in Uganda. The COVID-19 rules of social distance and other guidelines are still in place for both travelers and mountain gorillas.
When is the best time to trek mountain gorillas in Africa?
Gorilla trekking takes place throughout the year in Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. But the best time to participate in mountain gorilla trekking in these three countries is during the dry season of June to September and from December to February. This is because these months receive fewer rainfalls, the roads leading to the national parks are dry, and trekking trails are not slippery or muddy, which makes hiking to see mountain gorillas easier.
January and February are considered low seasons but offer the best due to fewer crowds and very little or no rainfall at all.
March, April, and May are the rainy months in these countries; rainfall is expected during these months, which makes trekking the most challenging because the slopes are slippery and muddy.
June, July, and August are most commonly considered the peak seasons; it’s important to note that you should book your trekking permits early in advance since permits get sold out faster in Uganda and Rwanda.
A non-foreign resident can purchase a mountain gorilla trekking permit in Uganda for $ 700 for normal gorilla trekking and $ 1500 for a mountain gorilla habituation experience, with 75% of the money raised going to the conservation of the remaining gorilla population. Uganda's government receives only 15% of the proceeds, with the remaining 10% going to local communities within the parks.
Where can one go gorilla trekking in Africa?
Travelers interested in mountain gorilla trekking can do so best in Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. However, one should note that gorillas can be divided as follows: the mountain gorillas and the lowland gorillas. We suggest Uganda and Rwanda for those interested in viewing mountain gorillas, and lowland gorillas can be viewed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Where to view Gorillas in Uganda
Uganda has two national parks for mountain gorilla safaris, namely mgahinga gorilla national park and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park With over 18 mountain gorilla families being protected, travelers are only allowed to track one group a day.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest national park has approximately 18 mountain gorilla families, which makes it the perfect destination where travelers can view mountain gorillas in their natural environment. Bwindi Impenetrable forest national park acts like an ancient African forest, harboring over 90 mammal species and 11 primate species that include the rare black and white colobus monkeys.
Mountain Gorilla Trekking Sectors in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park
Ruhija sector protecting mountain gorilla families such as Mukiza,Bitukura, Oruzogo, and Kyaguliro
Buhoma sector protects mountain gorilla families such as Habinyanja, Mubare, Katwe, and Rushegura
Nkuringo Sector protects gorilla families such as Christmas, Bushaho, and Nkuringo.
Rushaga sector protects mountain gorilla families such as Kutu, Bikingi, Bweza, Mucunguzi, Mishaya, Kahungye, Busingye, Rwigi, and Nshongi.
Mgahinga Gorilla national park protects the Nyakagezi mountain gorilla family group, which mostly resides along the slopes of Virunga chained volcanoes, such as the slopes of Mt. Muhavura, standing at 4,127 m above sea level, around Mt. Gahinga, standing at a height of 3474 m, or around Mt. Sabinyo, standing at 3645 m.
Which country offers the best option for mountain gorilla viewing? Comparing Uganda & Rwanda
This is a tricky question that many tourists ask; Uganda and Rwanda all offer mountain gorilla viewing in their natural habitats. It's almost the same kind of environment. Comparing Uganda and Rwanda is not worth it since Uganda offers more wildlife species than Rwanda. Besides mountain gorilla trekking, travelers may choose to visit any savannah national park, like Murchison Falls National Park or Queen Elizabeth National Park, or see other primate species in Kibale Forest National Park, the primate’s capital. If it’s about how much mountain gorilla trekking costs, gorilla permits in Uganda cost USD 700, and in Rwanda, they cost up to USD 1500.
Gorilla permit offers you a chance to view mountain gorillas for an hour in a group of 8 people per mountain gorilla family, as you observe how mountain gorillas feed themselves, behave, play, gorilla trekking is an unforgettable experience since its uniquely done on foot in an African jungle, travelers are always accompanied by an experienced park ranger
What to Pack for Gorilla Tours in Africa
Waterproof hiking boots, cameras, insect repellents, binoculars, lightweight rain jacket, hiking boots, Bottled water, an old pair of gardening gloves, energy snacks, long pants or trousers.
Mountain Gorilla Trekking in Africa: How Difficult Is It?
Gorilla Trekking has been numerical rating of 50 to 100, and a difficult Rating is a Moderate Hike
The main factors influencing the difficulty of mountain gorilla trekking are the traveler's physical fitness; others include bad weather conditions and a traveler's pack weight. Most travelers always ask themselves whether it is possible to ask for a gorilla group that matches their fitness levels. Mountain gorilla trekking groups are given according to physical fitness, and note that porters are always available to help.
Gorilla Tracking Rules and regulations amidst Post Covid -19
With these gentle apes sharing 98% of the human DNA, it’s possible that gorillas can easily contract the coronavirus. Gorillas get the flu and other airborne diseases that threaten their survival.
Keep a physical distance of at least 7 meters between yourself and the mountain gorillas.
The age limit for mountain gorilla trekking still stands at 15 years of age.
Mountain gorilla viewing is only permitted for an hour and costs $ 700.
Wearing a mask is a core factor
Avoid sneezing near mountain gorillas
Sanitize and observe the other standard operating procedures.
What you should expect on your gorilla Safari
On your trekking day, expect to get out of your comfortable bed early enough and move to an early morning briefing point by 7:30 am. After the briefing, tourists are allocated different trekking trails, each mountain gorilla is allocated 8 people, Head to the dense forest on foot as being accompanied by experienced guides and the park rangers while you search for mountain gorillas.
In the dense forest, you may spot other unique species such as monkey species, bird species, butterfly species, mammal species, and more many.