Are you planning and interested in going for gorilla trekking and you are finding it hard to choose where to go between Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, Gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park compared to Bwindi here below is the comparison based on our expertise to help you choose and decide where to go for a gorilla trekking experience. The whole truth is that both Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Volcanoes National Park have mountain 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 in Volcanoes National Park with that in Bwindi impenetrable National Park for you to choose where to book and go for your gorilla trekking and these include the following;
In terms of Vegetation and trekking experience, 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, 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, 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 many 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, 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, 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. The chances of seeing gorillas in Volcanoes National Park and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park are 98% so whichever 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, It is much cheaper to see gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park than in Volcanoes National Park. This issue of the 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. Gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park compared to Bwindi
The Gorilla permit in Uganda Costs $700 Per person per trek for the Foreign non-residents, $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 Volcanoes National Park with that in Bwindi impenetrable National Park, 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 the 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 gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park and Bwindi impenetrable National Park
Gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park compared to Bwindi. Both parks are open for gorilla trekking all year round but it is also important to note that the forest is a tropical rain forest and can receive rain at any time. The best months to track gorillas include; 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 Gorilla trek in Volcanoes National Park and Bwindi impenetrable National Park with Eco Adventure Safaris?
Eco Adventure Safaris takes pride in customizing tailor made safaris. It has a very diligent and trustworthy 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. There are some Mountain Gorilla safari Packages to Volcanoes National Park and Bwindi impenetrable National Park and these include; the 2-day Gorilla Fly in safari, the 3-day Gorilla Fly in safari, 4 Day Gorilla fly in safari, it all depends on your preference. Feel free to contact us.