Gorilla trekking Uganda Tours

A gorilla trek is a highlight of any safari made in Uganda and Rwanda, and there's no doubt that mountain gorillas are the main reason so many travelers come to these two countries.


Learn about gorilla trekking safaris, how to view gorillas in the wild, and how to get a mountain gorilla permit. We are one of the top tour operators organizing such treks.


A journey to see mountain gorillas in their native habitat in the tropical forest of Africa is known as "gorilla trekking."

Mountain Gorilla in Bwindi National Park

When should you go on a gorilla trek in Uganda?

In Uganda, gorilla trekking is possible year-round. Going gorilla trekking is most recommended between the months of June, July, August, September, and December. This is due to low rain and dryer parks, which make hiking and seeing the gorillas easier.


A Mountain Gorilla trekking permit in Uganda costs $ 700, and 75% of the funds are used to protect the remaining gorilla population. The local communities near the parks will receive 10% of the funds, while the government keeps 15%.


Be aware that the price of the Uganda gorilla permit covers park entry costs and an hour of gorilla viewing.

Where can I see gorillas on a Uganda gorilla trek

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park are the two gorilla safari destinations in Uganda.


There are a total of 21 gorilla groups or families, and tourists are only permitted to track one group every day. The best location or park to watch gorillas in the wild is Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, which includes 17 gorilla groups.


Gorilla trekking tours in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park tourists can see 11 primates, including the black-and-white colobus monkey, and 90 different species of mammals.

List of gorilla trekking groups in Bwindi National Park

  • Ruhija region gorilla families include the Mukiza gorilla family, the Oruzogo gorilla family, the Bitukura gorilla family, and the Kyaguliro gorilla family.
  • Buhoma region gorilla families include the Habinyanja gorilla family, the Katwe gorilla family, the Mubare gorilla family, and the Rushegura gorilla family.
  • Nkuringo region gorilla families include the Christmas gorilla family, the Nkuringo gorilla family, and the Bushaho gorilla family.
  • Rushaga region gorilla families include: Kutu gorilla family, Bikingi gorilla family, Mishaya gorilla family, Busingye gorilla family, Kahungye gorilla family, Rwigi gorilla family, Bweza gorilla family, Nshongi gorilla family, and Mucunguzi gorilla family.

Gorilla trekking family in Mgahinga National Park

In Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, tourists can only track the Nyakagezi group, which is surrounded by all the slopes of Virunga volcanoes, such as Mount Muhavura standing at 4,127 m, Mount Gahinga standing at 3474 m, and Mount Sabinyo standing at 3645 m.

Packing list for Gorilla Trekking in Uganda Tour

  • Waterproof hiking boots
  • Insect repellents.
  • light-weight rain jacket
  • Binoculars,
  • Poncho
  • Bottled water
  • A pair of gardening gloves
  • Long-sleeve shirts
  • Long trousers or pants
  • Energy snacks.

What country offers the best option for seeing the mountain gorillas? Comparing Uganda and Rwanda

Given that they are all forest-dwelling mountain gorillas, this is a very challenging question. Almost the same surroundings. Since Uganda has more wildlife than Rwanda does, comparing the two countries is not a good idea.


Uganda offers, along with viewing mountain gorillas, other primate species that can be seen in Kibale Forest National Park or at Murchison Falls National Park. Please be advised that the price of mountain gorilla permits in Rwanda costs $1500 per person, while mountain gorilla permits in Uganda cost $ 700 per person per trek.


The mountain gorilla trekking permit in Uganda offers a group of eight travelers an hour-long encounter with mountain gorillas. If the fee seems daunting, consider the fact that you are helping to protect mountain gorillas and will be rewarded with an hour of close observation and enjoyment of their company as a way of saying "thank you."


Remember that only 80 individuals are permitted to view the gorillas each day in their natural habitat. Every step you take in this forest leaves a trace, since its ecosystem is so delicate. In conclusion, the best place to watch gorillas is in Uganda.

How Difficult Is a Gorilla Trekking Tour?

The most frequent factor affecting the difficulty of gorilla trekking is a traveler's level of physical fitness. Others include the outside temperature and the weight of the traveler's hiking gear.


Tourists are allowed to request a troop of gorillas that may match their level of fitness. Although gorilla trekking is not very difficult, some tourists in their 60s and 70s have also done mountain gorilla trekking without any complications. A porter is essential.


To begin with, 60% of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is above 6,600 feet in elevation. The elevation of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest ranges from 3,904 to 8,553 feet. Some of the hills are really steep. Depending on the gorilla family allocated to you, the experience lasts 2 to 6 hours.

What to Expect on a Uganda Gorilla Trek

Expect to get out of your cozy bed so early in the morning and arrive at the briefing location by 7:00 a.m.After the briefing about the mountain gorilla trekking rules and regulations, eight tourists are assigned to one mountain gorilla family.


Set off to the African tropical rain forest in search of gorillas with the assistance of guides and rangers.

Tourists might witness different species of monkeys, butterflies, animals, and much more in the forest.


Sometimes the wilderness presents difficulties; therefore, being physically fit will be necessary. Be prepared to be sweaty and muddy at the end of the day.


Tourists are allowed to take pictures of the gorillas with their cameras or phones once they've seen them, but don't use flash or take them from a distance because the animals can charge.


Tourists are allowed in the presence of these gentle giants for forty minutes to an hour. It will be a truly transformative experience. After the hike, return to your lodging or choose to visit a Batwa pygmy community for a cultural experience.

How About the Gorilla Habituation Experience

Gorilla habituation is the socialization of wild gorillas to human presence through training. Gorilla habituation takes approximately three years.


Gorillas are trained by scientists and well-experienced park rangers. Tourists who participate in gorilla habituation join a group of researchers and well-experienced park rangers.


Only four tourists are allowed to participate in the gorilla habituation experience per day. It is unique because tourists spend more time with mountain gorillas.


The cost of habituating a gorilla is $1500 per person per day. Gorilla habituation is the most thrilling encounter ever.

How to Get a Gorilla Trekking Permit in Uganda?

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park provide gorilla trekking opportunities. But the majority of the mountain gorilla trekking permits for Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park can be sold out very quickly compared to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.


Each mountain gorilla permit in Uganda costs $700.


The most common error most tourists make while buying gorilla permits for themselves is choosing a gorilla trekking location that is far from their preferred lodging, so we strongly advise you to book your gorilla permit with a safari agent to cut costs.


You can end up spending more if you decide to travel on your own for the mountain gorilla trekking safari. This is something that qualified tour operators can assist you with.

Mountain Gorilla Trekking: What Do Gorillas Look Like?

 Male gorillas are twice the size of the female gorillas; Mountain gorillas can reach heights of 6 feet and weigh between 350 and 500 pounds. Mount Gorillas have long, powerful arms and are sturdy.


The reason why male gorillas are known as silverbacks is because, as they get older, the hair on their backs begins to turn silver. Even with the use of steroids, male mountain gorillas have ten times the strength of the strongest boxer. Silverbacks have seven-foot-long arms.


Mountain gorillas live in colder climes and higher altitudes than their lowland counterparts. Mountain gorillas have longer and darker hair. Gorillas have a life expectancy of 40 to 50 years. Mountain gorillas prefer to stay on the ground in most cases. However, just like kids, their young often play in trees. The 98% genetic similarity between gorillas and humans is an amazing number.


The lowland gorillas of western Africa make up the majority of the gorillas you may have seen in zoos, while the mountain gorillas are actually a subspecies known as Gorilla beringei beringei.


These are unique to the wilds of Rwanda's Volcanoes National Park. Visit Rwanda, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, Mgahinga National Park in Uganda, and Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.


There are more than 786 mountain gorillas surviving worldwide. Nearly half of the total mountain gorillas are surviving in Uganda, with the bulk of them in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park; however, some of them occasionally cross into Rwanda.


Fortunately, the gorilla population is increasing due to the protection provided by the Ugandan government, which also includes the efforts of the nearby communities to the parks, which receive a portion of the fee for gorilla tracking permits charged to foreign visitors to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park.

What do mountain gorillas eat?

The mountain gorillas migrate up to the higher elevations of Mgahinga Gorilla National Park to feed on some of the afro-montane plants.


The critically endangered mountain gorillas often consume a lot of seasonal flowers, leaves, fruit, roots, bamboo, and shoots. The daily caloric limit for adults is 75 pounds.


A mountain gorilla's day begins at 6 a.m. and lasts until 6 p.m., including a nap at noon. Light comes up after 6 a.m., and darkness sets in around 7 p.m. Mountain gorillas migrate daily to new areas, where they build their nests from twigs and leaves and spend the night. These have proven to be just snug enough for some folks to fall asleep in.

List of lodges where you can sleep while on a gorilla trek

  • Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Lodge
  • Engagi Lodge
  • Gorilla Heights Lodge
  • Mahogany Springs
  • Bakiga Lodge
  • Gorilla Safari Lodge
  • Chameleon Hill Lodge
  • Lake Mulehe Gorilla Lodge, among others