Are you a Photographer and you are planning a trip majorly focused on taking Gorilla Photographs, are you searching online for the Mountain Gorilla Photography Safaris offers. Gorilla trekking on planet earth is only done in Africa in Uganda, Rwanda, Congo and the Central African Republic, many travelers interested in seeing the gorillas in the wild find it hard to choose where best to see gorillas in Africa.
Gorilla trekking involves walking and hiking through the forest to search for gorillas in their natural habitat once you find the gorillas you spend one-hour encounter with them, learning more about their daily lifestyle, taking pictures and videos. Gorilla Trekking in Africa is only done in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo which host the four national parks that are home the only remaining mountain gorillas. In Congo you as well have an opportunity to see the Eastern Lowland gorillas which are found in Kahuzi Beiga National Park. Gorilla Trekking in Africa is one of the once in a lifetime experience that attracts many travelers to do during their visit to Africa. Despite the high costs, time and discomfort from booking to doing the hike through the forest to search for these endangered apes watching gorillas in their natural habitat in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo is one of the best wildlife experiences every traveler would do on his/her safari.
Cost for Mountain Gorilla Photography Safaris in Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic republic of Congo
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? However, there are different factors that make a difference in various terms as explained below;
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.
Gorilla permits 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 nonresidents, $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 Mountain Gorilla Photography Safaris
Gorilla trekking in Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic republic of Congo is done and is possible all year round. 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 Mountain Gorilla Photography Safaris with Eco Adventure Safaris
Eco Adventure Safaris is a Local tour operator based in Uganda with its head offices in Entebbe. Eco Adventure Safaris is run and owned by Ugandans. We specialize in life-changing experiences and sustainable tours and holidays to all East African countries. We are members of AUTO (Association of Uganda Tour Operators) and are registered by UTB (Uganda Tourism Board). We have a good and long working relationship with UWA (Uganda Wildlife Authority) making it easy to book your gorilla permits and gorilla trekking safari. Eco Adventure Safaris is highly reviewed on trip advisor as well as Safari bookings. Please contact us here about Mountain Gorilla Photography Safaris.