Frequently Asked Questions on Gorilla Trekking in BwindiNovember 25, 2021
Cost of Gorilla Trekking in UgandaNovember 25, 2021
Are you interested in booking gorilla trekking and you are finding it hard to choose between trekking gorillas in Uganda or Rwanda, this is always hard for travelers interested in gorilla trekking to choose where to do their trek between Uganda and Rwanda? Difference between Gorilla Trekking in Uganda and Rwanda, Reasons to book your gorilla trekking in one of the countries are many and the main one is the price difference of the gorilla trekking permit the gorilla permit in Uganda costs USD700 per person per trek compared to Rwanda which is USD1500 both charges giving you a one hour encounter with the endangered mountain gorillas in Bwindi Forest National Park and Volcanoes National park respectively. Gorilla tracking is done only in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mghinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda, Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, and Virunga National Park in DR Congo.
Gorilla Trekking in Uganda Vs in Rwanda
Difference between Gorilla Trekking in Uganda and Rwanda. The whole truth is that both Uganda and Rwanda have mountain gorillas and there is no big difference when it comes to the experience obtained at the end of your gorilla trek. The only difference is that Rwanda Mountain Gorillas are in the Virunga ranges with mainly bamboo as the main vegetation while in Uganda these mountain gorillas are in a rain forest with varieties of trees and plants. The chances of seeing gorillas in Uganda and Rwanda are 99% so whichever country you visit you will be able to see these great endangered apes in their natural environment. It is however believed that Rwanda gorillas are easy to see because of the vegetation but this is in the mindset of people gorilla tracking in Uganda and Rwanda is a well-organized activity the trek is always great no matter which country you trek in.
Difference between Gorilla Trekking in Uganda and Rwanda. Which country is best to trek in Uganda Vs Rwanda, this is a very tricky question but people say Rwanda is better option than Uganda, reasons to support this is that Volcanoes National Park is a 2-3 hours drive from Kigali compared to 8-9 hours from Entebbe to Bwindi. People used to avoid gorilla trekking in Uganda because of this long drive but now we arrange tours to Bwindi via Kigali which then becomes 4-5 hours drive only with this is why you should now choose to book gorilla trekking in Uganda so that you save off by paying USD700 compared to USD1500 helping you save USD800. With this you will land in Kigali use the East African Visa allowing you to visit both Rwanda and Uganda at an affordable price. Contact here for more details
How to book Gorilla Trekking Safari in Uganda
The first step of booking a Gorilla tracking Safari in Uganda is securing and purchasing a Gorilla Permit. You can only purchase this from Uganda Wildlife Authority, a Gorilla Permit costs USD700 per person per trek for Foreign Non-Residents, USD600 for East African Residents and USD70 for East African Citizens. Contact us and we will help secure the gorilla permit for you. Once you have your planned dates of travel you will let us know and we check for availability of space for Gorilla tracking Experience with Uganda Wildlife Authority and once we confirm availability we will go ahead and book for you tentatively, we will then send you an invoice for you to make payment once this is done you will send us proof of payment so that we go ahead and secure the permit accordingly. After purchase, we will send you a scanned copy of your permit for your records and perusal. Gorilla tracking is done in a group of 8 tourists plus park rangers tracking per group. There are 36 habituated mountain gorilla groups open for gorilla tracking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park with this it means they are only 288 permits available for gorilla tracking in Bwindi per day making it hard to get last-minute booking, it is always better to book your permit in advance at least 3-5 month prior visiting so that you don’t miss out on the few permits available.
How much is a Gorilla tracking Safari in Uganda?
A Gorilla tracking Safari in Uganda costs depends on the range of travel that is luxury, Mid-range or budget, itinerary and days of travel. The biggest cost on a Gorilla tracking Safari in Uganda is the Gorilla tracking permit which costs USD700 per person per trek for Foreign Non-Residents, USD600 for East African Residents and USD70 for East African Citizens, other costs include accommodation ranging from Budget USD100 Mid-range USD200 and Luxury USD300-USD700, Transport among other services the most common travel itineraries for Gorilla tracking in Bwindi is 3 Days Gorilla Tracking Budget Safari which costs USD1600 for a solo traveler, USD1190 per person for 2 people sharing, USD1170 per person for 3 people sharing, USD1150 per person sharing for 4 people this price is all-inclusive including a Gorilla tracking permit, accommodation (Budget range), transport in a 4×4 Safari Van, English speaking Driver guide and Drinking water, this excludes Tips, Uganda Visa, Flights and Alcoholic drinks. Contact us here and we will help book for you gorilla tracking experience in Bwindi accordingly.
What is the best time to do a Gorilla Tracking Safari in Uganda?
Gorilla tracking safari in Uganda can be done any time throughout the year given the fact this is a well-organized activity in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, the best time to do a gorilla tracking safari in Uganda is during the drier months of January, February, June to early September, this 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, however as well sometimes, the rainy season is considered better to go for a Gorilla tracking experience as there is a lot of food growing because of rain and gorillas can clearly be spotted in the forest with a short walk given the fact they tend to move shorter distances looking for food.
Where to Stay on a Gorilla tracking Safari in Uganda
Gorilla tracking Safari in Bwindi Forest National Park is done in the northern part that is Buhoma and Ruhija and in southern part that is Rushaga and Nkuringo sectors. In Rushaga, you can stay at Rushaga Gorilla camp, Four Gorillas Lodge, Rushaga Gorilla Havens Lodge, Nsongi Camp, Icumbi Gorilla Safari Lodge, Gorilla Safari Lodge, Gorilla Valley Lodge and Karungi Camp. In Nkuringo you can stay at Nkuringo Bwindi gorilla lodge, Clouds Mountain gorilla lodge or Lake Mutanda Resort, all these lodges are close to the start point of Gorilla Habituation.
In the northern part, in the Buhoma sector you can stay at Buhoma Lodge, Bwindi Lodge, Buhoma Community Rest Camp, Ride 4 a Woman among others, In Ruhija you can stay at Trekkers Tavern Cottages, Agandi Eco Lodge, Gift of Nature Lodge, Ruhija Gorilla Safari Lodge, and Broadbill Tented Camp among others.
How to get to Bwindi Forest National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park for Gorilla tracking in Uganda?
Gorilla Tracking in Uganda is done in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park; you can get to these parks by flying into Entebbe International Airport and start your trip from Entebbe/Kampala to southwestern Uganda through major local towns of Masaka, Mbarara, and Kabale. To reach Bwindi and Mgahinga Gorilla National Parks you can use Road transport which is about 9-10 hours or fly to Kisoro Airstrip to access the southern part of Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga or Kihihi Airstrip to the northern part of Bwindi Forest National Park. You can also fly into Kigali International Airport, Bwindi forest and Mgahinga Gorilla National parks through Cyanika or Katuna Boarder which take only 4-5 hours with the time spent at immigrations at the border. We always advise our visitors to acquire the East African Visa which allows multiple entries of Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda. The East African Visa fee costs USD100 which can be gotten at the Airport upon arrival or online and it is cost effective instead of buying single entry Visas. But you can as well opt to secure single Visas as well, the Rwandan Visa costs USD30 and Uganda Visa cost USD 50. Difference between Gorilla Trekking in Uganda and Rwanda
In terms of Vegetation and trekking experience Uganda and Rwanda, Volcanoes National Park mountain gorillas are in the Virunga/hills with mainly bamboo as the main vegetation while in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, these mountain gorillas are in a tropical rain forest with varieties of trees and plants. It is believed that Volcanoes National Park gorillas are easy to see because of the kind of vegetation, making it easy to take clear photographs compared to Bwindi given gorillas in here are found in the thick forest.
In terms of accessibility in Uganda and Rwanda, Volcanoes National Park is a better option than Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. 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 in Uganda and Rwanda, Both National Parks have Budget, Mid Range and Upmarket Lodges where you could choose to stay during your trek. Volcanoes National Park 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 lodges then Bwindi 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 in Uganda and Rwanda, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park has more gorilla families open for trekking than Volcanoes National Park. Bwindi has 16 habituated gorilla family groups this means 128 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. This makes it more flexible to get gorilla trekking permits in Bwindi compared to Volcanoes National Park especially during the peak season months.
In terms of the best gorilla trekking experience in Uganda and Rwanda, the whole truth is that both Volcanoes National Park and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park have mountain 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 Volcanoes National Park and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park are 98% so which ever park you visit you will be able to see these great apes in their natural environment. Gorilla trekking in Bwindi also gives 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.
In terms of affordability in Uganda with Rwanda, It is much cheaper to see gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park than in Volcanoes National Park. This issue of price difference is basically out of policy difference between these two countries Uganda and Rwanda. Rwanda wants to promote itself as a Luxury destination while Uganda wants to market itself as an affordable destination. The experience and duration spent with gorillas is still the same? In fact, one would rather book Uganda’s gorilla habituation experience at the same price of USD1500 and spend up to four hours with mountain gorillas than splashing 1500 in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park for just one hour.
The Gorilla permit in Uganda Costs $700 Per person per trek for 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.
The Gorilla permit in Rwanda Costs $1500 Per person per trek for 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.
In terms of distance to see Gorillas in Uganda with that in Rwanda 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 parks. In both Volcanoes, National Park and Bwindi impenetrable National Park gorilla families are allocated depending on the interest and physical fitness of a 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.
Why book your your gorilla trek in Uganda and Rwanda with Eco Adventure Safaris
Eco Adventure Safaris takes pride in customizing tailor-made safaris. It has a very diligent and trustworthy team local operator based in Uganda. Your queries are answered within 30 minutes by our team of professional tour consultants. These consultants will make a travel plan for you, answer all your questions, and make sure all your services are booked in advance for you to avoid inconveniences. We also have very knowledgeable safari guides depending on your language preferences. Difference between Gorilla Trekking in Uganda and Rwanda There are some Mountain Gorilla Safari Packages to Volcanoes National Park and Bwindi impenetrable National Park and these include; the 2-day Gorilla safari, the 3-day Gorilla safari, 4 Day Gorilla fly-in safari, it all depends on your preference. Feel free to contact us.