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Where Does Gorilla Tracking Take Place? Exploring the Natural Habitats of Mountain Gorillas

Gorilla tracking is a remarkable adventure that offers the opportunity to observe and interact with mountain gorillas in their natural habitats. These magnificent creatures are found in only a few locations worldwide, primarily in East and Central Africa. In this article, we explore the key regions where gorilla tracking takes place, unveiling the breathtaking destinations where these gentle giants thrive.

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, located in southwestern Uganda, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a premier gorilla tracking destination. It is home to approximately half of the world’s remaining mountain gorilla population, making it a sanctuary for these critically endangered creatures.

Bwindi’s dense rainforest, mist-covered hills, and rugged terrain create an enchanting backdrop for gorilla tracking. The park is divided into various sectors, including Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga, and Nkuringo, each offering different gorilla families for tracking. Treks through Bwindi’s ancient forest can be physically demanding but rewarding, as visitors have the opportunity to witness the gorillas in their natural habitat.

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, also located in southwestern Uganda, is another important gorilla tracking destination. Situated within the Virunga Mountains, the park shares its borders with Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Mgahinga is renowned for its volcanic landscapes, with three volcanic peaks—Mt. Muhabura, Mt. Gahinga, and Mt. Sabyinyo—dominating the skyline.

While Mgahinga is home to only one habituated gorilla family, the Nyakagezi group, the park offers a unique gorilla tracking experience combined with opportunities for volcano hiking, bird watching, and encounters with the Batwa people, an indigenous forest-dwelling community.

Volcanoes National Park, located in northwestern Rwanda, is a renowned gorilla tracking destination and part of the larger Virunga Massif. This iconic park is famous for being the place where renowned conservationist Dian Fossey conducted her groundbreaking research on mountain gorillas.

The park’s rolling hills, bamboo forests, and volcanic peaks provide a stunning setting for gorilla tracking. Volcanoes National Park is home to several habituated gorilla families, including the iconic Susa group, which was studied by Dian Fossey herself. The proximity of the gorilla families to the park’s entrances makes tracking experiences more accessible and less physically demanding compared to other locations.

Virunga National Park, located in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, is the oldest national park in Africa and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This vast protected area encompasses a wide range of ecosystems, including dense forests, savannahs, and active volcanoes.

Gorilla tracking in Virunga National Park offers a unique and adventurous experience. The park is home to several habituated gorilla families, and encounters with these majestic creatures take place in the southern sector of the park. The treks in Virunga can be challenging due to the park’s vast size and the need for armed rangers to ensure visitor safety in the volatile region.


Gorilla tracking takes place in a handful of extraordinary locations in East and Central Africa, where mountain gorillas find refuge in their natural habitats. From the dense rainforests of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda to the rolling hills of Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and the expansive landscapes of Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, each destination offers a unique and awe-inspiring experience.

Gorilla tracking not only provides an opportunity to witness these incredible creatures up close but also supports their conservation and contributes to local communities. Whether you choose Uganda, Rwanda, or the Democratic Republic of the Congo, embarking on a gorilla tracking adventure is sure to leave you with lifelong memories and a deeper appreciation for the importance of protecting these endangered species and their habitats.