No other wildlife experience matches the astounding experience of being face to face with wild Mountain Gorillas. Gorillas are the largest apes which are native to Africa and they are on the brink of getting extinct, they are only found in Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, on green, volcanic mountains. The only means of getting closer to the Gorilla is by trekking in their natural humid, muddy and wet rainforest habitats with some steep slopes though it’s worth all your efforts once you spent some time with the gorilla families.
Whilst a gorilla trekking safari is likely to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, you have to be fairly fit and in good health as gorillas are susceptible to human diseases like the common cold which can affect the whole gorilla family. Walking is always at a slow pace with time for breaks if needed. Depending on which group you track, and the time of year you trek. You could reach your group after a 30-minute stroll or full day adventure.
Gorilla Trekking Rwanda
Gorilla trekking in Rwanda is done at the slopes of the Virunga Mountains in the Volcanoes National Park in northern Rwanda which is home to five of the eight Virunga Volcanoes namely; (Karisimbi, Bisoke, Muhabura, Gahinga, and Sabyinyo). The trek can take between 30 minutes to 4 hours + one way depending on the family allocated to your group and their location.
Approximately 480 mountain gorillas live in the Virunga National Park with an altitude range of 2,300m (7,545)f to 4,500 m (14,764)f. So far ten gorilla families have been habituated namely; Sabyinyo Family, Amahoro family, Umubano family, Titus Family, Susa family, Karisimbi group (Susa B), Bwenge Family, Hirwa group, Agashya Family, Kwitonda group.
You can plan your travel and join the country as they celebrate Kwita Izina (“to give a name”). It’s an annual gorilla naming ceremony event held at the headquarters of volcanoes national park. While at Volcanoes National Park you can trek to Dian Fossey Tomb where she mysteriously murdered in 1985, Musanze cave which is 2 km and covered by greenery and they are home to some bats. Don’t forget to trek for the endanger Golden Monkeys, so far two have been habituated and finally pass by the Iby’Iwacu Cultural Village and meet the local people.
Gorilla trekking in Rwanda Price
On 7th May 2018, the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) double the gorilla permit cost from $750 to $1500 per person for one hour watching gorillas in the Volcanoes national park. In the same statement, the RDB has introduced a new exclusive offer for visitors looking at trekking the entire gorilla group for 15,000 U.S dollars with an exclusive personalized tour guide watching gorillas for 1 hour.
Gorilla Trekking Uganda Bwindi
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park coving an area of 321 km sq is home to more than 400 mountain gorilla’s equivalent to half of the world population hence it was gazetted as a national park in 1991 and declared a UNESCO Natural World Heritage site in 1994. Located in the southern western part of Uganda at the edge of rift valley at altitude varying from 1,160m (3,805f) – 2,607m (8,553f), Its part of Virunga Mountains also called Mufumbiro Mountains, which extend about 50 miles (80 km) along the borders of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, and Uganda.
Several gorilla families have been habituated though Mubare family group was the first to be habituated in April 1993. Eight gorilla families have been habituated so far; from the South, we have Nshongi family group, Nkuringo family group, Mishaya family group. From the northern, we have the following families, Bitukura family group, Oruzogo family group, Mubare family group, Habinyanja family group, Rushegura family group and finally Nyakagezi Group in Mgahinga national park though it keeps on migrating between Rwanda and Uganda.
Other attractions within Bwindi Impenetrable National Park includes; Birdwatching where more than 350 different species have been recorded, Forest walk to the waterfalls from Buhoma, Cultural tour to the Batwa people also called the forest pygmies, Conservation Through Public Health (CTPH), Buhoma Community Tours / Mukono Development Association, Nyundo Community Eco-Trails, Nkuringo Community Conservation and Development Foundation (NCCDF), Rubuguri Village Walk (NCC), Buniga Forest Nature Walk, Nkuringo Cultural Centre (NCC).
Gorilla Trek Africa
We have two species of Gorillas in Africa namely; the mountain Gorillas and the Eastern lowland gorillas all found in Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, and Uganda.
Gorilla Trekking Uganda Price
Gorilla Permit is USD $600 per person for one hour watching gorillas in the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park
Gorilla Trekking Packing List
Note the following as you preparer for Gorilla trekking;
- Book in advance especially during the peak seasons.
- Hire a porter to carry your backpack.
Ten Gorillas Trekking packing list for the day:
- Waterproof and windproof jacket.
- Gloves and Safari hat/cap.
- Sweater or sweatshirt
- Zip-off trousers and easy to dry
- Waterproof walking boots and Comfortable socks
- Walking stick
- Camera with extra batteries and Video recorder.
- Picnic lunch and enough drinking water.
- Personal toiletries and a note book.
- Prescription medicines if any and Insect repellent with DEET