New Uganda Guidelines for Gorillas and Chimp Permits BookingsJuly 11, 2023
Which area is best for Gorilla Trekking in MgahingaJuly 12, 2023
Are you planning to visit Africa to see Gorillas but would like to the Best Place to see Gorillas in East Africa, before taking a decision to choose where to go for Gorilla trekking? The best place to see Gorillas in East Africa is in the Virunga Mountains, which are shared by three countries: Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). These mountains are home to the endangered mountain gorillas, and there are several national parks within this region where you can go gorilla trekking.
- Volcanoes National Park (Rwanda): Located in the northern part of Rwanda, Volcanoes National Park is known for its population of mountain gorillas. It’s the most accessible park for gorilla trekking, with well-established infrastructure and a relatively short distance from the capital city, Kigali.
- Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (Uganda): Situated in southwestern Uganda, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is another excellent destination for gorilla trekking. The park is characterized by dense forests and is home to approximately half of the world’s remaining mountain gorilla population.
- Mgahinga Gorilla National Park (Uganda): Also located in southwestern Uganda, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is part of the Virunga Mountains and offers opportunities for gorilla trekking. The park is known for its stunning landscapes, including volcanic peaks and bamboo forests.
- Virunga National Park (Democratic Republic of the Congo): Situated in the eastern part of the DRC, Virunga National Park is Africa’s oldest national park and is home to a significant number of mountain gorillas. While the park has faced challenges due to political instability in the region, efforts are being made to ensure the conservation of these magnificent creatures.
When planning a gorilla trekking experience, it’s essential to obtain the necessary permits in advance, as they are limited to protecting the gorillas and their habitat. Additionally, be prepared for physically demanding hikes and follow the guidelines provided by the park authorities to ensure a safe and respectful encounter with these incredible animals
Rwanda has made significant efforts in gorilla conservation and eco-tourism, providing a well-regulated and immersive gorilla trekking experience. The country has strict permit systems in place to limit the number of visitors per day, ensuring minimal disturbance to the gorillas and their habitat. Trekking through the lush forests of Volcanoes National Park to encounter these magnificent creatures is a remarkable and unforgettable experience.
Uganda is another excellent destination for gorilla trekking. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, located in southwestern Uganda, is renowned for its population of mountain gorillas. Uganda offers multiple gorilla trekking opportunities, and the experience is equally exceptional. The dense forest and rugged terrain make for an adventurous trekking experience, and encountering gorillas in their natural habitat is truly awe-inspiring.
DR Congo is one of the best place to visit Gorillas but it is avoided because it is not safe to visit due to the rebel attacks and wide of disease out breaks. DR Congo is home to the Mountain Gorillas found in Virunga National Park, Eastern Lowland Gorillas found in Kahuzi Biega National Park and Western Lowland Gorillas found in Lesio Louna National Reserve in Congo Brazzaville.
Both Rwanda, Uganda and Congo provide different but equally rewarding experiences when it comes to gorilla trekking. The choice between the two ultimately depends on personal preferences, travel logistics, and other factors that may influence your decision.
Which is Best Place to see Gorillas in East Africa from your experience trekking these gorillas. The whole truth is that Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic republic of Congo have gorillas and there is no big difference when it comes to the experience obtained at the end of your trek. However, there are many things you can base on to compare gorilla trekking between these countries Gorilla trekking in Uganda Compared to Rwanda and Congo for you to choose where to book and go for your gorilla trekking and these include the following;
Comparing the cost for Gorilla Trekking permits in Congo Compared to Uganda and Rwanda; Gorilla trekking is much cheaper in Congo compared to Uganda and Rwanda. This issue of price difference is basically out of policy difference between these three countries Congo, Uganda and Rwanda. Rwanda wants to promote itself as a Luxury destination while Uganda wants to market itself as an affordable destination. Congo is trying to promote its gorilla tourism to attract more travelers after a long turmoil in the region that caused a lot of insecurity. Whereas Uganda is promoting it’s self as the preferred best affordable destination for gorilla trekking among the 3. The experience and duration spent with gorillas is still the same in the all the 3 countries? Gorilla trekking in Uganda Compared to Rwanda and Congo
The Gorilla permit in Uganda Costs $700 Per person per trek for the Foreign nonresidents, $600 Per person for residents and $70 (Ugx 250,000) for East African Citizens (Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya, Burundi and South Sudan), this gives you an opportunity to spend one-hour encounter with the mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park.
The Gorilla permit in Rwanda Costs $1500 Per person per trek for the Foreign nonresidents, $500 Per person for foreign residents and $200 for East African Citizens (Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya, Burundi and South Sudan), this gives you an opportunity to spend one hour encounter with the mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park.
A gorilla permit in Congo costs $400 per person per trek for the high season months of Mid-December to mid-march then June to October and then $200 for the low season months of mid-march to mid-May and then mid-October to mid-December every year. A gorilla permit in Kahuzi Beiga National Park costs $400 for foreign non residents, $200 for East Africa Residents and $20 national resident. Lowland Gorilla trekking permit price in Congo Kahuzi Biega National park costs USD400 for Non Residents, East African Residents-USD200 and National Citizens of Congo-USD20
In terms of accessibility, Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park is a better option than Uganda and DR Congo. Reasons to support this is that Volcanoes National Park is a 2-3 hours drive from Kigali, that Gorillas are easily seen with a short drive time possible even in one day. This is indeed very true and no one can run away from it. People used to avoid gorilla trekking in Bwindi because of the 9-10 hours drive from Entebbe International Airport to Bwindi but now we arrange tours to Bwindi via Kigali which then becomes 4-5 hours drive only. With this, you land in Kigali, use the East African Tourist Visa (which allows you to visit both countries at ago) and then trek gorillas in Uganda at an affordable price. Because of this, even Rwanda tour operators are selling Bwindi instead of their country.
In terms of Lodges, Both Countries have Budget, Mid Range and Upmarket Lodges where you could choose to stay during your trek. Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda is the best place for gorilla trekking for those interested in staying in super luxury lodges on international standards compared to Bwindi. These lodges offer great and luxury services some are ranked among the best in Africa and the country at large for example Bisate Lodge and Singita Kwitonda Lodge in Volcanoes National Park. However for those looking for much budget offers then Uganda and Congo is best option for you given the fact there are many options to choose from where to stay ranging from $30 to $100 as per your booked package.
In terms of Gorilla families, Uganda has more gorilla families open for trekking than Volcanoes National Park. Bwindi has 20 habituated gorilla family groups this means 160 Gorilla permits are available every day for gorilla trekking in Bwindi. Volcanoes National Park has 12 Gorilla families hence 96 Gorilla permits are available each day for gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park and Congo has 10 gorilla families that is 8 in Virunga National Park and 2 in Kahuzi Beiga National Park. This makes it more flexible to get gorilla trekking permits in Uganda compared to Rwanda and Congo especially during the peak season months.
In terms of the best gorilla trekking experience, the whole truth is that Uganda, Rwanda and DR Congo have gorillas and there is no big difference when it comes to the experience obtained at the end of your trek. Chances of seeing gorillas in all countries are 98% so which ever country you visit you will be able to see these great apes in their natural environment. However Uganda is unique given the fact you an option to spend more time with the mountain gorillas through Gorilla habituation experience which is only done in Bwindi forest, a gorilla habituation permit costs $1500 per person giving you an opportunity to spend 4 hours encounter with the semi habituated mountain gorillas under the guidance of trackers and researchers as opposed to one hour for the normal trekking. Congo as well gives you a unique opportunity to see the Eastern Lowland gorillas which are found in Kahuzi Beiga National Park.
In terms of distance to see Gorillas in Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic republic of Congo, The issue of walking longer or short distance depends on the given gorilla family allocated to you on the day of trekking at of the national park in the country you choose to go for gorilla trekking. In all the 3 countries gorilla families are allocated depending on the interest and physical fitness of given individual. If for example, you want a shorter trek, you will have to inform the park authorities on the very day of trekking so that you are allocated such family. If you want a medium or longer trek, then you do the same. It should be noted that while they will try to give you a family that requires shorter walks, the behavior of gorillas might affect the experience if for example gorillas decide to move further as you look for them you will need to move a longer distance still.
Best time for Visiting Rwanda Uganda and Congo at once
Which country is best for Gorilla Trekking Uganda Rwanda Congo. The best months to trek gorillas in all the 3 countries is from June to August and December to February since they receive the lowest rainfall and the forest is less slippery. On the other hand, when you happen to travel during March to May and November there are chances of higher rainfall, you will be able to get discounts from some lodges for your accommodation.
Why book your trip for Visiting Gorillas in Africa through Eco Adventure Safaris?
Eco Adventure Safaris takes pride in customizing tailor made safaris. It has a very diligent and trust worthy team. Your queries are answered within 30 minutes by our team of professional tour consultants. These consultants will make you a travel plan for you, answer to all your questions and make sure all your services are booked in advance for you to avoid inconveniences. Feel free to contact us for more details about the Best Place to see Gorillas in East Africa.