Are you planning to visit Africa for Gorilla Trekking During the prevailing COVID-19 situation and travel restrictions in Uganda, Rwanda, and Congo, yes this is now very possible as various destinations and travel hubs start opening up their borders and accepting international travelers to travel in the countries for various activities including tourism, this Guide to Gorilla Trekking in Africa During COVID-19 will help you plan your Gorilla Tour successfully? Gorilla trekking in Africa is one of the best safari experiences to consider when visiting this continent any safari gives you an opportunity to encounter the only surviving endangered apes that are only found in Africa in their natural habitat.
Gorilla trekking in Africa During COVID-19 is different compared to how it used to be done before the outbreak of COVID this now includes following the set SOPs to prevent the spread of the deadly virus to the endangered apes, the gorilla trekking group numbers have also been reduced to enable ease for social distancing during the trek but the old rules and regulations will still be applied accordingly. Our Gorilla Safaris in Africa will give you an opportunity to trek Gorillas in Africa as well explore other attractions and do activities that a given destination you choose to visit has to offer.
Countries, where to see Gorillas in Africa, include Uganda, Rwanda, DR Congo, Cameroon-Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, Central African Republic, and Gabon. Major Gorilla species to see in these countries in Africa include Mountain Gorillas which are found in Uganda, Rwanda and DR Congo, Eastern Lowland Gorillas found in DR Congo, Western Lowland Gorillas found in Cameroon, the Central African Republic, DR Congo, Gabon and Equatorial Guinea and Cross river Gorillas found in Cameroon and Nigeria. Each country has a unique gorilla experience to offer during gorilla trekking ranging from the native gorilla specie to the vegetation type and habitat where the gorillas live and the nature of the trek, with this depending on the time you have we recommend you visit atleast three countries and do the trek there given the fact this is a once in a lifetime experience
Gorilla trekking in Uganda is done in two national parks that is Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park at both National parks gorilla trekking is taking place following all the set SOPs and measures to control the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Both national parks are located in the far southwestern part of Uganda home to half of the remaining mountain gorillas in the world. Both parks have 17 habituated mountain gorilla groups open for gorilla trekking every day with Bwindi hosting 16 of the habituated Mountain Gorilla Groups and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park with only one that is Nyakagezi Gorilla Group. Gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is done at four major locations which include Nkuringo and Rushaga in the southern part of the sector, Ruhija and Buhoma in the Northern part of the part with this when it comes to booking your trek you will need to consider which location has permits availability and near accommodations for you to stay in during your trek so that you don’t have problems with your trekking location and accommodation. In Mgahinga Gorilla National Park Gorilla trekking is only done at one section which is accessed at the main park headquarters and trekking is done at only one habituated Mountain Gorilla Group found in this park that is Nyakagezi Gorilla Group. This is a great place to do your trek during COVID-19 given the fact it has lees crowds when it comes to checking in and doing the gorilla trek.
Bwindi and Mgahinga Gorilla National Parks are both accessible by road and air. By road they are easily accessible from Kigali, Rwanda which is only 4 to 5 hours drive compared the drive from Entebbe or Kampala which is 8 to 9 hours drive, however which place you choose to start the drive to the parks you will be able to reach the parks safely and road trips are thrilling and enjoying. By air it easy from Entebbe international Airport to airstrips Kihihi and Kisoro from here you will be able to accessible both National Parks. For travelers who have their treks booked in Ruhija and Buhoma we recommend you fly to Kihihi airstrip and then for those booked in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Rushaga and Nkuringo we recommend Kisoro
Bwindi and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park have a variety of lodges ranging from Luxury, mid-range to budget where you can book your stay during your gorilla trek. Luxury lodges in Bwindi include Four Gorillas Lodge, Gorilla Forest Camp, Buhoma Lodge, Bwindi Lodge, Mahogany springs Lodge and Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge. Mid-range Lodges in Bwindi include Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge, Gorilla Mist Lodge, Rushaga Gorilla Camp, Ichumbi Gorilla Lodge, Engagi Lodge and Silverback Lodge among others. Budget Lodges in Bwindi include Rushaga Gorilla Havens Lodge, Trekkers Tavern Cottages, Buhoma Community Rest Camp, and Broadbill Forest Camp among others. Lodges near Mgahinga Gorilla National Park include Gahinga Lodge, Kisoro Travellers Inn, Lake Mulehe Safari Lodge, Wagtail Eco Lodge and Lake Chahafi Resort.
Gorilla trekking in Rwanda is done in Volcanoes National Park one of the 3 parks located in the Virunag ranges. Gorilla trekking in this park during COVID-19 is open and ongoing following all the set SOPs and measures by the Rwanda Development Board to curb the spread of the deadly disease COVID-19. Volcanoes National Park is one of the best places to trek Mountain Gorillas in Africa and great for luxury travelers. The park is home to 12 habituated mountain gorilla groups making 96 gorilla permits available every day for tracking.
Volcanoes National Park is located in the northern part of Rwanda. It can be accessed by road with a good and comfortable 4×4 safari jeep. It is 2 to 3 hours drive from Kigali. The park can also be accessed from Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National park southwestern part of Uganda for 1 to 2 hours drive only depending on your planned itinerary.
Lodge options in Volcanoes National Park include Bisate Lodge, Sabinyo Silverback Lodge, Mountain Gorilla View Lodge, Virunga Lodge and Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel (Luxury). Mid-range lodges include Le Bambou Gorilla Lodge, Mountain Gorilla Nest Lodge, Gorilla Volcanoes Lodge and Da Vinci Gorilla Lodge among others. Budget Lodges include Kinigi Guest house and Villa Gorilla Lodge among others.
Gorilla Trekking in DR Congo is done in two National Parks that is Virunga National Park for mountain Gorilla trekking and Kahuzi Beiga National Park for Eastern Lowland Gorilla Trekking. Virunga National Park is also home to chimpanzees offering activities Chimpanzee trekking and Chimpanzee Habituation experience. The park has 8 Mountain Gorilla Habituated families open for gorilla trekking experience.
Kahuzi Biega National park is another great place to visit for gorilla trekking in DR Congo. The park is approximately 30km drive from Bukavu Town by road. It is home to the Eastern Lowland Gorillas. The park is open for Lowland gorilla trekking with 12 gorilla families and 4 of these are habituated and open for tourists to trek which include Mpongwe, Chimanuka, Mugahuka and Bonnani.
Virunga National Park is located in the Eastern part of DR Congo approximately 33km west of Goma Town. The park can be easily accessed from Kigali, Rwanda via Kivu and Goma boarder with just 2-3 hours drive. You can also access the park from Uganda via Bunagana southwestern Uganda.
Lodges in Virunga National Park include Mekeno Lodge, Bukima Tented Camp, Kibumba Tented Camp, Tchegera Island Camp and Lulimbi Tented Camp among others
Lodges in Kahuzi Beiga National Park include Hotel Begonias Bukavu, Exodus bukavu, Lake Side Hotel Bukavu, Coco Lodge Bukavu and L’Orchids Safari Club.
You need a gorilla trekking permit to be allowed to go for gorilla trekking in any place you choose to do the gorilla trek. Gorilla permits prices vary according to given a country which as well has the authority to determine the price of the permit. The gorilla permit fees include park entrance fees, guide and ranger fees as well the conservation fee which goes directly towards conserving the gorillas.
A Gorilla trekking permit in Uganda Costs US$700 Per person per trek for the Foreign non residents, US$600 Per person for residents and US$70 for East African Citizens (Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya, Burundi and South Sudan). Gorilla permits in Uganda are purchased from Uganda Wildlife Authority or through a Uganda trusted tour operator like Eco Adventure Safaris.
A Gorilla trekking permit in Rwanda Costs US$1500 Per person per trek for the Foreign non residents, US$500 Per person for foreign residents and US$200 for East African Citizens (Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya, Burundi and South Sudan). Gorilla permits in Rwanda are purchased from Rwanda Development Board or through a Rwanda trusted tour operator like Eco Adventure Safaris.
A gorilla trekking permit in DR Congo in Virunga National Park costs US$400 per person per trek for the high season months of Mid-December to mid-march then June to October and then US$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 US$400 for foreign non residents, US$200 for East Africa Residents and US$20 national resident. Gorilla permits in DR Congo are purchased from Virunga National Park Authority or through a DR Congo trusted tour operator like Eco Adventure Safaris.
Once you have set dates for your gorilla trek and safari, we will need you to send us an email here or send the email directly to Uganda Wildlife Authority for Uganda, RDB for Rwanda and Virunga National Park for DR Congo. We will first check availability of gorilla permits for your dates and once we confirm they are available we will let you know to that you can make payment and we purchase your permits immediately. Payment can be made full or partial in advance depending on time you have to the date of your trek. After purchase we will send you a scan copy of your permits for your records and perusal and this will confirm you have booked your gorilla trek in Africa. Given the fact we are in COVID-19 times we recommend all booking be done online through our easy online booking system.
Given the fact we are COVID-19 times, once you book your gorilla trek and it is affected by travel restrictions due to COVID-19 you will have an option to reschedule to future dates. For now both countries are not issuing refunds to purchase gorilla permits. Cancellation and processing a reschedule of the booked and purchased permits is easy and can also be made any time after you have purchased the permits. Contact us here for more details for updated refunds and cancellation polices for Uganda, Rwanda and DR Congo.
Gorilla trekking in Africa is done throughout the year given the favorable weather conditions Africa has. The best and favorable time for gorilla trekking in Africa is during the dry season months of June, July, August, September and December, January and February every year.
There are many things to expect on your gorilla trek in Africa During COVID-19 some in the new normal include wearing a face mask all through your trek, using hand sanitizers, checking your body temperatures, washing hands among other SOPs to prevent the spread of the deadly COVID-19. The gorilla trekking day begins with you waking up very early in the morning to have breakfast and by 7am you will head to the park headquarters for a briefing about the dos and don’ts during the gorilla trek. After you will be disturbed in groups and allocated to a given gorilla family and park ranger, you will then start the trek into the forest which normally takes 5 to 6 hours or longer depending on where you will find the gorillas and once you find them you will spend 1-hour encounter with them and after retrieve back to the starting point to get your certificate making the end of your trek.
Eco Adventure Safaris is the best Gorilla Safari company to organize and lead you all through your gorilla trekking tour safely amid the prevailing COVID-19 we respect all the set SOPs as well focus on protecting our environment through incorporating eco-friendly practices and measure while arranging your trip, all our vehicles are customized to safely travel in, have face masks, hand sanitizers and all our drivers are following the set SOPs to prevent COVID-19. We are ready to book for you your gorilla trekking in Uganda, Rwanda and DR Congo contact us and we advise you on the booking process.