Are you planning to visit Africa to see the mountain gorillas, and you are trying to search for the best places for gorilla trekking? Gorilla Trekking to visit the Mountain gorillas in Africa is only done in Uganda, Rwanda and DR Congo which are home to the four national parks that are home the only remaining mountain gorillas. These include Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National in Uganda, Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and Virunga National Park in Congo. In Congo you as well have an opportunity to see the Lowland gorillas which are found in Kahuzi Beiga National Park. In order to trek at any of the mentioned national park a gorilla permit is required for you to be allowed to go for gorilla trekking. With this once you have you planned dates of gorilla trekking we recommend you start booking your gorilla trip immediately given the fact services and permits sell out very quickly especially if you plan to do the trek in the peak season of June to September, it is always better to book atleast 5 months in advance prior traveling. Gorilla Trekking at the mentioned parks can be booked directly or through a trusted Tour Operator Eco Adventure Safaris.
One of the best places for gorilla trekking in Africa is Uganda, which is considered much more affordable, safe and easy to access compared to Rwanda and Congo.
Cost and Getting Gorilla permits in Uganda
The Gorilla permit in Uganda Costs $700 Per person per trek for the Foreign nonresidents, $600 Per person for residents and $70 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 or Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Uganda has 17 habituated gorilla family groups with 16 found in Bwindi and 1 in Mgahinga this means 136 Gorilla permits are available every day for gorilla trekking in Uganda. Gorilla trekking in Uganda also gives you an option to spend more time with the mountain gorillas through Gorilla habituation experience which is only done in Bwindi forest, gorilla habituation permits 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. Getting gorilla permits in Uganda can be done directly by booking them through Uganda Wildlife Authority or through a trusted tour operator in Uganda like Eco Adventure Safaris Limited.
Cost and Getting Gorilla Permits in Rwanda
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. Rwanda has 12 Gorilla families hence 96 Gorilla permits are available each day for gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park. Getting gorilla permits in Rwanda can be done directly by booking them through Rwanda Development Board or through a trusted tour operator in Rwanda like Eco Adventure Safaris.
Cost and Getting Gorilla Permits in DR Congo
Gorilla tracking in Congo is done in Virunga National Park for Mountain Gorillas and Kahuzi Beiga National Park for Lowland gorillas. A gorilla permit in Virunga National Park 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 nonresidents, $200 for East Africa Residents and $20 national resident. Getting gorilla permits in Congo can be done directly by booking them through Virunga National Park or through a trusted tour operator like Eco Adventure Safaris.
P.S When booking your gorilla permit it is important to note that the gorilla permit price excludes accommodation, air tickets, ground transport, meals and other expenses, you will need to get more details of the package you are booking with your tour operator.
What is the age limit for Gorilla Trekking?
The minimum age limit for Gorilla Trekking is 15 years and the maximum age is 85 years depending on fitness levels. Gorilla trekking for elders is now made possible especially in Bwindi forest through provision of sedan chair carriers, these chairs are used to carry those who feel unfit and are unable to walk into the forest at the time of their trek, you will be carried by potters to and from the forest during your trek, hiring the sedan chair can be done in advance or at the day of the trek and price ranges from 400-500 dollars.
What is the best time for Gorilla Trekking?
Best places for gorilla trekking, trekking to visit gorillas in Africa is done throughout the year and the best time to do a gorilla trekking in Africa is during the drier months of January, February, June to early September, this is makes it easier to travel to the park and gives a clear view of gorillas given the vegetation cover is not too much high grown.
What to pack for Gorilla Trekking?
During gorilla tracking you will need a comfortable, hard wearing, pair of walking shoes or boots. Conditions are generally very muddy in the forest when it is raining. There are uphill sections which may be quite steep and strenuous. It is also advisable to wear a long sleeve cotton shirt and lightweight long trousers to protect yourself from the undergrowth, stinging nettles and biting ants. Suggested Items to pack for Gorilla trekking;
• Insect Repellent
• Torch/Flashlight – and Spare Batteries
• Wet Wipes
• Water Bottle
• Camera, lenses etc
• Comfortable walking/hiking boots & socks
• Gardening gloves for gorilla tracking
• Sandals/strops/walking shoes
• Hat and Sunscreen
• Rain Jacket
• Binoculars (game/bird watching)
How to get to Bwindi Forest National Park for gorilla trekking
By Road; The southern sector of Bwindi Forest National Park can be accessed through the main safari circuit from Entebbe/Kampala which approximately 8-9 hours drive. You will need to turn off at Muko along the Kabale-Kisoro road you will see the sign post of Uganda Wildlife Authority which you will follow upto to your booked lodge for accommodation in either Rushaga or Nkuringo sector.
By Air; You can fly from Entebbe International Airport or Kampala’s Kajjansi airfield to Kisoro airstrip to access the southern sectors of Rushaga and Nkuringo. Scheduled and chartered flights are available and operated by domestic airline operators of Aero link and Fly Uganda. You will need to plan with your tour operator for a transfer from the airstrip to the Park
Why book your trip to visit gorillas in Africa with Eco Adventure Safaris.
At Eco Adventure Safaris we provide personalized service with the utmost dedication to the safety and enjoyment of our clients. We are committed to the well-being of our staff and guests as well as to having a positive impact on the communities and wild places that our operations reach. On all our operations and safaris, we embrace the environmental ethic “Take Nothing but Photographs, Leave Only Footprints” all our packages are eco-friendly. During your travel Post Covid safety and health of our clients will be our major priority and we shall ensure all our service providers and workers implement the SOPs and healthy guidelines set for the safety and health of clients and services providers while on safari. Contact us here about the best places for gorilla trekking