Meeting face to face with mountain gorillas in the jungle is one the most breathtaking and unforgettable experiences for trekkers undertaking Africa safaris. However, planning the destination where to go, when to go and what to pack for this Africa safari tour are important to note before you head to your mountain gorilla trekking safari destination. Just like gorilla trekking safaris Uganda in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park Uganda and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Rwanda is also blessed with mountain gorillas that habit Volcanoes National Park.
Volcanoes national park Rwanda shelters the highest population of mountain gorillas in the Virunga conservation area. Rwanda gorilla safari tour has become a dream for most travellers in the world. A Rwanda safari is an amazing experience which brings you close to the endangered mountain gorillas in their natural habitats. The interesting stories and unforgettable experiences about the activity keep the potential gorilla trekkers wondering how the entire gorilla safari Rwanda can be from the start to the end.
All travellers must carry their valid gorilla permits and other related documents for clarification to see gorillas. A gorilla permit costs USD 1500 in Rwanda.
Dressing appropriate for the jungle is essential for a successful gorilla trekking experience. This is in good light hiking boots for easy movement in slippery muddy grounds, gardening gloves to grab the bushes for support and the rain gears for the unpredictable forest weather. Also, long socks tucked into trousers, long-sleeved shirts, sweaters. Insect repellents, hat, sunglasses, and waterproof bags are very helpful. A traveller with proper dressing code is assured of a memorable gorilla trekking experience.
Porter’s and hiking sticks are not compulsory but are among the key factors for an enjoyable and successful trek. Porters help in carrying traveller’s luggage and providing support where need be in the process of hiking. The hiking sticks enable easy movement If the steep slopes where hiking becomes difficult. Porters and walking sticks are hired from the park headquarters at a fair cost.
After the briefing, travellers start off an actual gorilla trekking safari Rwanda in the Volcanoes Park. Each group of travellers is led by an armed ranger and a park guide hiking up and down in search of the allocated gorilla family. It’s not an easy venture but rather energetic hiking via slippery muddy grounds with thorny bushes and cold weather inside the dense forests. Hiking time may vary from 30 minutes to a couple of hours depending on the movement and location of the gorillas. Hiking is an opportunity to encounter other animals such as monkeys, baboons and many bird species, which together make the experience memorable.
After hiking for whichever length, you finally meet the gentle giants; relaxed in their families. The clock will start ticking for an hour. It’s here that all fatigue, panting and sweating due to the hike will disappear into excitement and joy as look into the eyes of a dominant silverback guarding the entire family. Travellers are reminded to keep calm and observe carefully the unique human-like characters of each gorilla in the family.
After this great gorilla safari Rwanda during your Africa wildlife safari, a Uganda safari might be another opportunity for you to have a gorilla trekking safari Uganda or a Uganda wildlife safari, short Uganda wildlife safari, Long Uganda wildlife safari, Uganda birding safari, Uganda chimpanzee trekking safari, Uganda golden monkey trekking safari, Kampala city tour, Jinja city tour and many more. As part of your adventure on your short safari Uganda, you will experience various gorilla behaviours and it will also give you an opportunity to see other wild animals like monkeys, birds and also visit various tourism sites in Uganda.
Other Africa gorilla trekking destinations
Gorilla trekking in Uganda
Most tourists on Uganda safaris enjoy their Uganda gorilla safaris in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park Uganda for it has over 17 gorilla trekking families properly distributed in its four regions; Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga and Nkuringo. More gorilla safaris in Uganda are done in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park Uganda which has one gorilla trekking region and one gorilla family called Nyakagezi. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is the only park in Uganda which has mountain gorillas and golden monkeys that are available for golden monkey trekking safaris Uganda hence christening the Park “Where Silver Meets Gold”. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is part of the Virunga Massif together with the other two Parks, Volcanoes National Park Rwanda and Virunga National Park Congo.
In Uganda, the cost of one gorilla trekking permit is only $600 per person and it is only sold to people above 15 years. Gorilla trekking takes about 2-8 hours depending on where you will find the gorillas. After finding the gorillas, you are restricted to only an hour with them.
However, tourists who want to spend more time with the gorillas, normally book Uganda gorilla habituation safaris. With gorilla habituation, tourists spend the day with gorillas, watching their movement, feeding, building their nests, and many more. The Uganda gorilla habituation permit costs $1500 per person per day which is better than paying $1500 in Rwanda to watch gorillas for 1 hour only.
The drive time to Uganda’s gorilla safari destinations is about 9-10 hours from Entebbe International Airport or Kampala excluding the stopovers, which is tiresome and long especially if you are not having a stopover in any of the other National Park. If you are not interested in long drives, there are scheduled flights to these gorilla safari destinations giving you the opportunity to take a scheduled flight to the Park.
However, there is an alternative, visitors that want to enjoy a gorilla trekking tour in Uganda usually fly into Kigali and drive 4 hours to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park making it an easier Africa gorilla tour.
Gorilla trekking in Congo
Despite all the political challenges that took place in Congo, it is safe for Congo safaris and these take place in Virunga National Park. The Congo gorilla safari permit is cheaper compared to the cost of a permit in Uganda and Rwanda. Its permit costs only $400. The park is Africa’s oldest Park and is endowed with the highest biodiversity.
This Park stands as one of Africa’s most unique destinations with a number of breathtaking features like the active volcanoes; Nyiragongo which can be hiked in one day and the Nyamuragira Volcano which last erupted in 2011.
Besides visiting the gorillas, there are also other National Parks in these countries that you can enjoy on your Africa tour. You can combine your Africa gorilla trip with a visit to Kibale National Park Uganda, Akagera National Park, Lake Mburo National Park, Rwenzori Mountain National Park, Semuliki National Park, and many more. You can also go for adventures outside parks like rafting on the world’s longest river; River Nile, horse riding, Kayaking, cycling safaris in Uganda Rwanda and many more.
Rwanda gorilla safari packages
1 Day Rwanda gorilla safari
2 Days Rwanda gorilla trekking tour
3 Days Rwanda gorilla safari
4 Days Rwanda gorilla & wildlife safari
5 Days Rwanda gorilla & wildlife safari
6 Days Rwanda gorilla safari tour
8 Days Uganda Rwanda gorilla trekking safari
9 days Uganda Rwanda gorilla, chimps & wildlife safari