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Gorilla Trekking In Uganda & Rwanda, Bwindi Forest, Gorilla Safari Tours

A Gorilla Trek is a centerpiece of any visit to Uganda or Rwanda, and mountain gorillas are undoubtedly the main reason why so many people visit these two countries.

When Should You Visit Africa to See Mountain Gorillas?

Gorilla trekking is possible all year in Uganda, Rwanda, and Congo. The ideal months to undertake gorilla trekking are June, July, August, September, and December. This is due to less rainfall and dryer parks, making it easier to climb and view the gorillas. Throughout the year, the average temperature in Bwindi is 11°C/52°F in the morning and 23°C/73°F in the afternoon.

January and February are low-season months with fewer tourists. Very little or on rainy days.

During the months of March, April, and May, it rains a lot. The hills are the most difficult part of the journey.

Peak season is June, July, and August, so get your permits early since they sell out quickly. The best time to go on a gorilla safari is in Uganda and Rwanda.

Gorilla Trekking In Uganda & Rwanda, Bwindi Forest, Gorilla Safari Tours

A Gorilla Trek is a centerpiece of any visit to Uganda or Rwanda, and mountain gorillas are undoubtedly the main reason why so many people visit these two countries. Learn about gorilla trekking holidays to view gorillas in the wild, how to get a permit, and tour companies that organize such treks. Gorilla trekking is described as a trip through Africa’s tropical woods to view mountain gorillas in their native environment.

 

Which Gorilla Trekking Company Should I Hire?

Top Uganda Gorilla Tour Companies

1. Monumental expeditions and safaris

So far monumental expeditions and safaris is the certified, award-winning, and leading gorilla trekking tour operator across East Africa and the world at large.

In Uganda and Rwanda, there are several gorilla safari travel firms. Price, availability of gorilla permits, internet ratings, and suggestions on other websites are all variables to consider when selecting a tour operator but we strongly recommend monumental expeditions and safaris.

 

Where Should I Stay?

The ideal safari lodge or lodging will be determined by your budget. Some lodges price up to $2500 for a double stay, while others charge as little as $50. It’s all about the amenities, the location, the cuisine, the services, and so much more.

 

Average Cost Of Hotels & Lodges

$50 to 100 for budget accommodation

$150 to $200 for mid-range

Luxury from $300 to $2500 per night.

Monumental expeditions and safaris will book you a lodge close to the tracking point.

 

How Much Does A Gorilla Safari Cost In 2023?

Of course, several tour providers may offer you rates, but the cheapest gorilla safari should cost around $1100, depending on the number of passengers. The super-luxurious experience should cost between $ 4000 and $ 6000 per person. According to the assessments of the majority of gorilla tour providers in Uganda, most travelers pick the mid-range, not-so-inexpensive, but affordable option. Scheduling your trip during the low season should result in reduced expenses! If you are not interested in Uganda, click here for Rwanda Gorilla Trekking or here for Congo Gorilla Safaris; otherwise, continue reading.

Gorilla Trekking In Uganda & Rwanda, Bwindi Forest, Gorilla Safari Tours1 Day Gorilla Trekking Uganda Costs About $1100

2 Days Gorilla Safari Costs About $ 1280

3 Day Gorilla Tour Costs About $ 1450

 

You may be wondering why a gorilla trekking safari is so costly and whether it is worthwhile. Here’s how it works.

A gorilla trekking permit in Uganda costs $ 700, and 75% of the money generated is used to protect the remaining gorilla population. The government receives 15% of the proceeds, with the remaining 10% going to the communities surrounding the parks. While purchasing the permit, keep in mind that the price covers park admission costs, an hour of gorilla viewing, advance trackers, and ranger fees.

 

Additional Expenses to Consider While Hiking

Meals and drinks cost roughly $50 each day. Meals and soft drinks are usually included by tour operators.

 

Transportation Fees

A flight from your nation should cost between $500 and $2400.

Chartered flights from the airport to gorilla trekking locations cost $600.

Renting a car should cost around $80 to $100  per day.

 

The cost of packing bug repellents, sunscreen, and other items.

A tourist visa to East Africa costs $100 and allows you to go on safari in Tanzania, Kenya, and Rwanda.

Porters cost $20 each, and a Sedan chair costs $500 to hire for porters to transport you.

 

Cost-Cutting Strategies

Do not travel alone.

Stay at the top low-cost hotels.

Chose Uganda over Rwanda.

Avoid taking public transportation since buses are frequently late.

Avoid chartered planes.

Schedule your gorilla excursion during the off-season.

 

Where in Africa Can I See Gorillas?

Gorillas may be found in Uganda, Rwanda, and Congo. Nonetheless, gorillas are classified as either mountain or lowland, with a few more subspecies in between. We recommend Rwanda and Uganda for mountain gorilla seeing and the Republic of Congo for lowland gorilla viewing. Mountain gorillas can also be found in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, however, finding them has proved difficult in some locations due to the country’s instability.

Some people believe that gorillas might be seen even on safari in Tanzania! This is incorrect. Tanzania and Kenya, on the other hand, might be an excellent complement to any safari journey, particularly during the annual wildebeest migration, when herds of animals cross the Mara River into the Serengeti plains! Search terms such as Kenya gorilla trekking can be found on Google. Tanzania, Kenya, and South Africa have no gorillas. These are multi-destination safaris that we usually recommend, especially in East Africa.

Lowland gorillas are often smaller with brownish-gray fur coats and a pronounced forehead ridge, whereas mountain gorillas are bigger with deeper black coats. Mountain gorillas are the rarest primates in the world, with only about 800 remaining in the African wilderness. On the contrary, the Republic of Congo alone has over 100,000 lowland gorillas.

 

Where Can You Go Gorilla Trekking? Uganda is a country.

Uganda’s gorilla safaris are divided into two sections: Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. There are 18 gorilla groups or families in all, and you can only follow one of them every day.

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is home to 17 gorilla groups, making it the finest spot or park to watch gorillas in the wild. Bwindi excursions let you see 90 animal species, including 11 primates like as the black and white colobus monkey.

 

Groups for Gorilla Trekking

Bwindi

Ruhija Trek: with Mukiza, Oruzogo, Bitukura, and Kyaguliro gorilla families

The Buhoma Trek includes stops at Habinyanja, Katwe, Mubare, and Rushegura.

Christmas, Nkuringo, and Bushaho Trek

Kutu, Bikingi, Mishaya, Bushigye, Kahungye, Rwigi, Bweza, Nshongi, Mucunguzi Trek

 

Family of Mgahinga

You can follow the Nyakagezi group at Mgahinga Park, which is encircled by the slopes of the Virunga Volcanoes, Mt. Muhavura (4,127m), Mt. Gahinga (3474m), and Mt. Sabinyo (3645m).

 

Safari to See Gorillas in Luxury

Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park offers the most deluxe gorilla experiences. A gorilla permit costs $ 1500 per person, while a 9-day luxury Rwanda safari costs more than $15,000 if you stay in premium lodges such as Bisate Lodge, Singita Kwitonda Resort, or Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge in Rwanda. Clouds Lodge, Mahogany Springs, and Gorilla Forest Camp are the best in Uganda.

 

Africa Gorilla Tours on a Budget

The cheapest gorilla permit in Congo is $450, and the most expensive is $600 in Uganda. Affordable lodging for Uganda gorilla excursions in Bwindi National Park starts at $100 per night. Choose from Bwindi Backpackers Lodge, Gorilla Valley Lodge, or Buhoma Community Rest Camp. Hotel Muhabura is the most economical option in Rwanda.

 

Which country offers the best opportunity to see mountain gorillas? When comparing Uganda and Rwanda

This is a difficult subject because they are all mountain gorillas that live in jungles! Nearly the same setting. It is not a good idea to compare Uganda to Rwanda because Uganda has more wildlife than Rwanda. Apart from mountain gorillas, visitors may also witness Murchison Falls and other primates at Kibale Forest National Park. If you are concerned about the expense, please keep in mind that gorilla licenses in Rwanda have just been raised to $1500 per individual, while in Uganda they are USD 700 apiece.

The permission allows you to spend one hour with the mountain gorillas in a group of eight individuals. If the price concerns you, consider this: you are contributing to the protection of mountain gorillas, and as a thank you, you will be rewarded with an hour spent observing and enjoying their company.

Bear in mind that just 80 individuals per day are permitted to witness the gorillas in their natural environment. Because their environment is so vulnerable, every step you take in this forest leaves a trace. In conclusion, Uganda is the finest spot in the world to watch gorillas.

 

Packing List for African Gorilla Trips.

Binoculars,

Bottled water

Boots: hiking boots,

Gloves, old pair of gardening gloves

Long pants or trousers

Energy snacks.

Waterproof hiking boots.

Day pack.

Insect repellents.

Light weight rain jacket.

Poncho

Camera.

Gorilla Trekking In Uganda & Rwanda, Bwindi Forest, Gorilla Safari ToursHow Tough Is It to Go Gorilla Trekking?

Gorilla Trekking has a rating of 50 to 100.

Difficulty Level: Hike of Moderate Difficulty

There are several things that impact the gorilla trekking difficulties and the commonest is your physical health. Additional factors include the weather and your pack weight. It is possible to request a gorilla troop to march your fitness levels. A porter is essential; gorilla trekking is not difficult; people in their 60s and 70s have completed it.

 

So, how difficult is the hike? To begin, 60% of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is over 6,600 feet in height. The park’s elevation ranges from 3,904 to 8,553 feet. Several locations have severe slopes. Depending on the gorilla family, the encounter lasts between 2 and 6 hours.

 

Post Covid Gorilla Tracking Guidelines

Because these apes share 98% of our DNA, gorillas may be susceptible to Corona virus. Because gorillas may contract flu and other airborne infections, Covid 19 poses a significant threat to their existence.

 

  • Keep a 7-meter space between you and the gorillas.
  • The age limit of 15 years or older remains in effect.
  • You have one hour to view the gorillas.
  • The use of masks is essential.
  • Sneezing should be avoided.
  • Sanitize and follow all SOP rules.

 

What Can You Expect From A Gorilla Safari?

Expect to leave your comfy bed early enough on the day of your journey, and arrive at the briefing location by 7:30 a.m. Following the briefing, visitors will be assigned to separate tracking paths, each with 8 tourists. Begin your quest for gorillas in the jungle, guided by guides and rangers.

In the forest, you could witness monkeys, butterflies, animals, and other creatures. The forest can be difficult at times, and a high degree of fitness is essential. Expect to be dirty and sweaty by the end of the day.

After you see the gorillas, you can shoot shots with your camera or iPhone, but avoid using flash as the gorillas may charge. You will spend between 40 minutes and an hour with these gentle giants. That will be a life-changing experience. After the walk, return to your hotel or choose a traditional village encounter with the Batwa pygmies.

 

What about a gorilla habituation experience?

The teaching of wild gorillas to get used to humans is known as gorilla habituation. Over three years, gorillas are trained by researchers and park rangers. It’s during the training that you can join the group of researchers and park rangers. Just four visits are permitted. This distinguishes it. The cost of gorilla habituation is $1500 per person per day. The most fascinating aspect of this encounter is that you actively participate in gorilla habituation.

We strongly advise you to get your gorilla permit through a safari company; the most common error is booking a gorilla family that is distant from your preferred lodging! The roads to Bwindi and its many districts are sometimes treacherous; this is a lonely location. If you want to tackle the gorilla journey on your own to save money, you may wind up spending more. Safari guides have been trained to aid you with this.

 

Price of a Gorilla Safari Permit

A gorilla permit in Uganda costs $ 700. (1 Hour with the gorillas)

A gorilla habitat permit in Uganda costs $1500. ( A full Day Experience)

A gorilla permit in Rwanda costs $ 1500.

The permit for trekking gorillas in the DRC costs $400.

East African citizens must pay a permission fee of 250,000 shillings.

 

Other tourists who wanted to hike gorillas found the process too time-consuming and chose the easier and less time-consuming alternative of securing their trekking permits through a local Uganda safari operator. These tour providers often charge an additional price of $60 to $100 for each permit. These gorilla tour companies will not charge you for purchasing a gorilla permit if you use their other tour services such as transfers; however, if you only want a permit from them, they will charge you an extra fee of up to US$100 per gorilla permit the book, because they need to make calls, pick up the permit from Uganda Wildlife Authority and deliver it to you, as well as other administrative costs.

The method is similar to the one described above, except tour operators usually expedite reservations so you may confirm your gorilla permit sooner.

 

You advise them of your Uganda travel dates and specify the date for gorilla trekking.

They will notify you whether your selected trekking dates are available and will also temporarily book them.

They will email you our bank account information so that you may transfer funds for the gorilla permits or pay by credit card.

They will give you an email confirming the money transfer. Please remember to notify your bank to deduct the transaction’s bank costs from your account. They don’t charge you anything more for the gorilla permit if you book the rest of your tour via them. Any additional charges will be spent when obtaining the permit for services such as telecommunications and transportation.

You will email a copy of your passport with the information needed to register for your permission. Generally, they only require your full names, nationality, and passport number.

Your identities will be registered, and we will then obtain the gorilla permission. After they get the cash, they will purchase the gorilla permit; nevertheless, possessing this permission does not ensure you will see the gorillas, albeit your chances are 98%.

It is important to know that tour operators in Uganda, through their joint organization AUTO, typically purchase up to 80% of the permits for up to two years before the desired date of trekking the gorillas. Each member agency can purchase up to 20 permits in a single month. Individuals and others not covered by the AUTO can, however, purchase no more than two gorilla permits every month, three months before the anticipated month of gorilla trekking, when bookings open on the first working days of that month, from Monday to Friday. Permits that are not sold on the first day of booking are resold the next day, with no restriction on the number of permits sold by a single operator or even an individual person.

 

Additional African Primate Safaris

Apart from mountain gorillas, you may follow Chimpanzees in Kibale Forest National Park or golden monkeys in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, as well as a variety of other monkey species in Uganda. After your gorilla safari, you may visit Ishasha, Murchison Falls National Park, Kidepo Valley National Park, and PianUpe Reserve for the greatest wildlife safaris in Uganda.

 

Kibale Forest National Park for Chimpanzee

Chimpanzee tracking in Kibale National Park Throughout Kibale Forest, you will discover 13 primate species. The Kanyanchu path is the most popular and runs from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Chimpanzee habituation is also practiced here. The tracking of the chimps necessitates a $150 permit. A 3-day safari itinerary to Kibale is great

Gorilla Trekking In Uganda & Rwanda, Bwindi Forest, Gorilla Safari ToursWildlife Safari in Queen Elizabeth National Park and Chimpanzee Trek

Queen Elizabeth National Park  

To observe the chimps, go to Kyambura Gorge. Every day, 16 permits are granted. The trekking here is more difficult than at Kibale. The tour lasts around 3 hours, depending on the location of the chimps and your level of fitness. Each journey costs $50 per person. The minimum age is 12 years old. Baboons, colobus monkeys, vervet monkeys, and red-tailed monkeys are among the other primates found here. Other wildlife in Queen Elizabeth National Park includes tree-climbing lions, hippos, buffaloes, leopards, elephants, antelopes, bird species, and more.

 

Gorilla Safari Volcanoes National Park Rwanda

Volcanoes National Park Rwandan gorilla tracking takes place in Volcanoes National Park in the Virunga Mountains. A permit for a gorilla costs $1500. Rwanda is home to 17 gorilla families. The Susa group is the finest option for our Rwanda gorilla trips. The months of late June, July, and August are ideal for visiting Rwanda. One of the eight Virunga Mountains is Volcanoes National Park. Primate species may be found in Karisimbi, Bisoke, Sabyinyo, Muhabura, and Mgahinga. Additional gorillas in Africa may be found in Congo’s Virunga National Park and Kahuzi Biega National Park.

 

Tracing the Golden Monkey Rwanda has golden monkeys.

Tracking golden monkeys is the third greatest primate trekking activity after gorilla tracking and chimp tracking. Golden monkeys may be found in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda and Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, both of which are located in the Virunga highlands.

 

What Should You Wear? Selecting the Best Clothes

Guide to Gorilla Trekking Equipment If you plan on going on hiking or climbing, bring thick layers of clothes for the cool evenings and wet weather gear because it gets cold and wet at this height. A lightweight jacket is required. Gloves, long-sleeved shirts, pants, and knee-high hiking gaiters are essential. For gorilla trekking, you must pick the best hiking footwear. Additional information about safari apparel to wear on an African safari, as well as the finest camera and binoculars to use on an African safari can be found here.

 

Mountain Gorilla Hiking, What Are Gorillas Like?

Usually, Males are double the size of females, growing to 6 feet tall and weighing 350-500 pounds. They are robust and powerful, with long arms. Males are known to as silverbacks because their back hair turns silver as they age, thus the name Silverbacks. Male strength is 10 times that of the strongest boxer, even when drugs are used. Silverbacks’ arms may reach a length of 7 feet.

Mountain gorillas have longer and darker hair than lowland gorillas because they live in colder climes and at higher elevations. Their life expectancy ranges between 40 and 50 years. Mountain gorillas prefer to stay on the ground, however, they will occasionally climb a tree if it can sustain them; nonetheless, their young play in the trees, just like children. A surprising truth is that humans and gorillas share 98% of their genetic makeup.

The majority of gorillas seen in zoos are lowlands gorillas from western Africa, whereas mountain gorillas are a subspecies known as Gorilla beringei beringei. They can only be found in the wilds of Rwanda’s Virunga mountains, within Volcano Park. Visit Rwanda, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, and Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. These parks are barely 48 kilometers apart. These parks are easily accessible within Uganda and Rwanda, however, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, tourists’ lives were potentially jeopardized owing to rebel activity.

In total, there are more than 786 mountain gorillas in the globe. Uganda is home to over half of the world’s population, with the bulk of them living in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and the rest in Mgahinga Gorilla Park, however some cross into Rwanda at times. Thankfully, the gorilla population is increasing due to the government of Uganda’s protection, which includes the efforts of the nearby communities to the parks, which receive a portion of the USD 600 cost for Gorilla tracking licenses issued to international tourists to Mgahinga and Bwindi.

 

What Do Mountain Gorillas Eat?

Mountain Gorillas may be spotted in two areas in Uganda: Mgahinga Gorilla Park, a magnificent park that is part of the Virunga range of towering volcanoes that extends into the DRC and Rwanda, and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park.

 

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is home to the world’s largest population of Mountain Gorillas. It’s an old woodland known as the “Place of Darkness.” This woodland is incredibly gloomy due to the tree cover. The forest’s elevations range from 1,160m to 2,607m above sea level. The Bwindi and Mgahinga have distinct qualities as well as commonalities. The Mgahinga is an extinct volcanic zone, although Bwindi is not.

Mgahinga Gorilla Park is located at a higher elevation, and the Mountain Gorillas migrate up to graze on some of the afro-montane plants. In season, the endangered Mountain Gorillas consume vast amounts of flowers, leaves, fruit, roots, bamboo, and shoots. Humans may eat up to 75 pounds every day.

A Mountain Gorilla’s day begins at 6 a.m. and ends at 6 p.m., with a nap around lunchtime. Uganda experiences light soon after 6 a.m. and night at about 7 p.m. They migrate every day to new sites where they build nests from twigs and leaves and spend the night. Several people have found them to be sufficiently comfortable to sleep in.

 

Are Mountain Gorillas Dangerous Species?

Tourists to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest sometimes enquire about the safety of mountain gorillas. While powerful and very muscular, these gorillas are peaceful and shy, and the mountain gorillas that visitors encounter in Uganda have been acclimated. In other words, they become used to people, a process that can take up to two years. Dian Fossey was initially opposed to tourists seeing mountain gorillas, but the money raised has ensured the survival of this endangered species, and their numbers have increased in recent years.

When mountain gorillas are threatened, they will attack to protect their own. When different Mountain Gorilla groups encounter, the leader Silver fights to the death. Recently, two Silverbacks clashed within the Democratic Republic of the Congo, forcing the rangers to intervene.

Mountain gorillas live in groups ranging in size from 2 to 30 or 40 individuals, but most usually in groups of 10. There is no distinct mating season, and kids are born all year. Men begin reproducing at roughly 15 years of age, while females begin giving birth between 10 and 12 years of age. Ladies can give birth every 2 to 3 years and have 4 to 6 children during their lifespan. Men leave their group around the age of 11, while slightly more than half of girls leave. Mountain gorillas communicate using noises like roars, grunts, and yells, and researchers have recorded 25 of these sounds so far.

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