Mountain Gorillas are found in Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo also home to Lowland Gorillas. Please note that Gorilla tours in Uganda only take place in two (2) national parks which are;
Mountain Gorilla Trekking Tours in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
This park is located in southwestern Uganda and it is the best park for Mountain Gorilla walking tours in Uganda. It’s indeed the best area to go gorilla seeing in Africa!
It’s a UNESCO Heritage Site having over 459 Mountain Gorillas which is almost 50% of the Mountain gorilla population (1,063) on Earth! Gorilla tracking safaris in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park are done on the 19 habituated Gorilla families.
These families are found within the 4 sectors which are Buhoma, Ruhija, Nkuringo, and Rushaga. As you trek Mountain Gorillas in the misty Bwindi National Park, you can come across other wild animals.
This park is also a haven for bird lovers as they can enjoy birding as it has 350 bird species including 23 Albertine Endemics. You can see them during your Gorilla trip.
Gorilla Tours in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is another destination for Mountain Gorilla trekking safaris and tourists can trek the Nyakagezi Gorilla family which has 9 members. This Gorilla family is known for having many Silverbacks.
When trekking Mountain Gorillas in this park, lucky tourists can see other wildlife like Bush bucks, Forest Elephants, and Buffaloes. Tourists can see colorful birds in this park and tourists can hike the 3 volcanoes of Virunga Mountains (Muhabura, Sabyinyo, and Mgahinga).
Visitors can also enjoy Golden Monkey tracking as it has Golden Monkeys.
Gorilla Habituation Experience In Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Gorilla habituation experience is the slow study of wild Mountain Gorillas so that they recognize human presence. The Gorilla habituation experience is only available in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
Gorilla habituation takes about 2 to 5 years for the Gorilla group to be fully habituated. Tourists during this experience can be with the gentle giants for 4 hours in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
Gorilla Trekking Rules and Regulations
The Mountain Gorilla tracking rules and regulations give you all the dos and don’ts when you trek the shy gentle giants in the jungle. The park rangers give these rules at the park headquarters before your Gorilla trek.
These rules for walking with Gorillas in Uganda are the same as the Gorilla habituation experience.
They also work in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Mgahinga, and Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park.
Below are the gorilla tracking rules to follow;
Gorilla trek rules before you set out;
- Always make sure that you carry your payment receipts or the Gorilla permit.
- In case you have a cold or any kind of infectious illness, please do not go track Gorillas. This is because Gorillas can catch human sickness easily.
- Gorilla trekking in Uganda is only for those above 15 years.
- If you want to help yourself, make sure that human waste is buried 30cm (12 inches) deep.
- Also, only 8 people are permitted to visit a Gorilla group during Gorilla treks
Gorilla trek rules when you meet the Gorillas;
- Make sure that there is a 7-meter (21ft) distance between you and the Gorillas.
- You should not smoke, eat, or drink when with the Gorillas. It helps in the reduction of transmitting diseases to Gorillas during Gorilla treks
- Always cover your mouth and nose or even turn away if you sneeze or cough. This is because Gorillas can get infected with cough and cold
- Tourists are only permitted or given only 1 full hour to be with the Gorillas
- When you are photographing the apes, ensure not to use a flash during Gorilla treks
What to Pack for the Gorilla Trekking Uganda Tour
Below is what you can pack for your Gorilla Uganda safaris and Tours:-
- Gorilla permit to present at the park headquarters
- A good camera with extra batteries
- Binoculars; Zoom in on sightings of animals to get clear views
- The poncho/ rain jacket; keeps you dry when its
- Insect Repellents; Keep away bugs and always carry insect repellents.
- Bottled water; keeps you hydrated
- Backpack; used for carrying smaller items like insect repellents.
- Walking sticks; give you more support on the trails along with hiking boots.
What to Wear For Gorilla Trekking in Uganda Trip?
This is what to wear before you go Gorilla tracking on your Gorilla tour;
- Light hiking boots: These hiking boots protect your feet when in the jungle
- Long-sleeved light trousers and shirts
- Garden Gloves: Protect you from itching plants.
- A cap or hat; protects your face and head from the strong sunlight
- Sunglasses; protect your eyes from the strong sunlight rays
Other Amazing Safaris in Uganda to Accompany on Your Gorilla Safari
Tourists on gorilla watching trips can also enjoy other fascinating Uganda tours.
Some of these tours include;
Wildlife Safaris in Uganda
These give you a better experience of seeing wildlife with close encounters and are best in Murchison Falls National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park home to the tree-climbing Lions, and Kidepo Park.
Chimpanzee Trekking Tour
A chimpanzee tracking tour gives you a better opportunity to meet the Chimpanzees in their natural home. The best Chimpanzee tracking experience is best in Kibale National Park.
Other amazing tours in Uganda include;
- Boat cruise tours in Uganda especially in Murchison Falls National Park and Lake Bunyonyi
- Cultural encounters like visiting the Batwa people
- Golden Monkey trekking trips. You get a better chance of meeting the dazzling Golden Monkeys.
Please note that tourists can enjoy a double Gorilla trek;
This is possible when you visit the Democratic Republic of Congo and you can encounter either the endangered Mountain Gorillas or the Lowland Gorillas. In East Africa, you can only find the Lowland Gorillas in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
You can also go meet Rwanda Gorillas. Along with Gorilla watching in Rwanda, you can also visit Akagera National Park during your Gorilla viewing safari.
Hotels in Uganda | Safari Lodges in Uganda to Use during Your Gorilla Safari in Uganda
All sites for Gorilla Trek in Uganda have comfortable accommodations ranging from luxury, and midrange to budget.
Popular Luxury Safari Lodges
- Buhoma Safari Lodge in Bwindi Impenetrable NP
- Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge in Bwindi
- Gorilla Safari Lodge in Bwindi National Park
- Mount Gahinga Lodge in Mgahinga Gorilla NP
- Mahogany Springs in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
- Volcanoes Bwindi Lodge in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Recommended Midrange Lodges to Use while Trekking Gorillas in Uganda
- Haven Lodge Buhoma in Buhoma
- Traveller’s Rest Kisoro in Mgahinga Gorilla NP
- Gorilla Mist Camp in Bwindi Park in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
- Lake Chahafi Resort in Mgahinga park
- Ruhija Gorilla Safari Lodge
Best Budget Lodges on Your Gorilla Holiday in Uganda
- Buhoma Community Rest Camp in Bwindi impenetrable park
- Ichumbi Gorilla Lodge in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
- Amajambere Iwachu Community Camp in Mgahinga Gorilla NP
Gorilla Trekking Uganda Vs Rwanda – Is It Better to See Gorillas in Uganda or Rwanda?
This is a frequently asked question by travelers who want to go on Gorilla holidays either in Uganda or Rwanda. However, both destinations are great for a Gorilla tour.
Below is a simple comparison between the two countries;
Uganda’s gorilla permit costs $700 while that of Rwanda in Volcanoes National Park from Rwanda Development Board is $1500. Therefore, if you go on Gorilla walking holidays in Uganda, it is relatively cheaper!
Uganda holds over 20 fully habituated Gorilla families while Rwanda has 10. Therefore, there are more gorilla permits in Uganda than in Rwanda’s only Volcanoes National Park.
Gorilla habituation experience is only offered in Uganda and it allows you to be the apes for 4 hours. It is done on the Bikingi Gorilla family in Bwindi.
Gorilla tours in Uganda can easily be combined with wildlife safaris unlike in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park. Queen Elizabeth National Park which is home to tree climbing Lions is close to Bwindi and Mgahinga and there 3 other savannah national parks yet Rwanda has only Akagera National Park.
Volcanoes National Park of Rwanda is just 113 km from Kigali airport making it a short distance and this means you can reach Volcanoes National Park for Rwanda Gorilla trek in one day. Trekking Mountain Gorillas in 1 day is not possible in Uganda as you need at least 3 days to trek.
Uganda has more lodges during Gorilla trips though the ones in Volcanoes National Park are more high-end when it comes to Rwanda Gorilla trek safaris.
Please note that:
Travelers can trek Gorillas in Uganda and Rwanda if they apply for an East African Tourist Visa. Gorilla trips in both countries are amazing.
Gorilla Trek Cost/Price in Uganda | A Gorilla Trek Permit Cost Uganda
You require a Gorilla permit to go Gorilla trekking in Uganda and it costs $700 for foreign nonresidents. It costs $600 and UGX 250,000 for East African citizens.
A Gorilla permit is inclusive of park entrance fees both in Bwindi National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.
Cheapest Way to See Gorillas In Uganda | How Do I See Gorillas On A Budget?
Travelers can go gorilla seeing in Bwindi National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park on a budget. Gorilla trips are not so costly as anyone can trek Mountain Gorillas.
Below is how you can track Mountain Gorillas on a budget;
Target the low season: This is when the accommodation facilities are at discounted rates and if lucky, you can get discounted Gorilla permits.
Consider budget accommodation: If planning to go trekking with Gorillas in Bwindi National Park and Mgahinga, then consider cheap accommodation.
Use public transport: This helps save since private transport is so expensive during Gorilla tours.
Join a group tour: This means that all expenses will be shared. But mind that the price of the Gorilla permit is constant.
Why Go For Gorilla Trips in Uganda | Why You Should Trek Gorillas in Uganda
Below are the reasons why you should go for Gorilla tours in Uganda;
- Uganda has half of the world’s surviving Mountain Gorillas. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park hold half of the world’s surviving Mountain Gorillas. Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest has 19 habituated Gorilla families and Mgahinga has one Gorilla family of the Nyakagezi. The rest of the Mountain Gorillas are within Volcanoes National Park and Virunga National Park of the Democratic Republic of Congo in the Virunga Mountains.
- Gorilla Holidays in Uganda Are Cheaper. Gorilla permits in Uganda are way cheaper than those in Rwanda. Gorilla permits in Uganda cost $700 and in Rwanda costs $1500 for you to track Gorillas in Volcanoes National Park.
- Uganda Is a Safe Country for All Tourists. Uganda is secure for all tourists and it is friendly as the people are welcoming.
- You Can Contribute To Gorilla Conservation and Supporting Communities. When you purchase a permit for Gorilla trekking, you contribute to Gorilla conservation purposes. Also, 10% of the Gorilla permit is used to support the local communities.
- More Primates along the Gorilla trek. When you trek Gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga, you get opportunities to see other primates during the gorilla seeing experience. Some of the primates include; Golden Monkeys ideal for Golden Monkey trekking/Golden Monkey tracking, Baboons, L’Hoest’s Monkeys, Red-tailed Monkeys, etc.
- Gorilla trips Can Be Combined with Other Uganda Safaris. There are 10 national parks in Uganda, wildlife reserves, and other safari destination places. Visitors who come for Gorilla tours can always engage in other safaris like wildlife tours, birding safaris, culture safaris, etc.
Below are some of the Best Gorilla Safari Packages in Uganda | Uganda Safari Gorilla Packages
There are different safari packages in Uganda and some of the best tours take you to other national parks. Always book the safari packages through a tour operator.
- 5 Days Uganda Primates Safari
- 7 Days Uganda Safari Tour
- 8 Days Uganda Wildlife Safari
- 9 Days Safari in Uganda
- 10 Days Uganda Safari Tour
- 12 Days Uganda Safari Tour
- 16 Days Uganda Safari Tour
- 19 Days Safari Tour in Uganda
In conclusion, Uganda Gorilla safari tours are one of the most remarkable experiences that you will enjoy on your African safari to Uganda. It offers you the best opportunity to encounter the endangered Mountain Gorillas in their natural habitat and Gorilla habituation experience.
Gorilla tours in Uganda are best in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park. These safaris can be combined with wildlife tours to give you full excitement on your African vacation. You can visit Queen Elizabeth National Park home of the tree-climbing Lions, Murchison Falls National Park, and Kidepo Valley National Park for the best game viewing. Gorilla trips should not be missed as they will give you endless excitement when you meet the gentle giants. For the best Gorilla trips, please Inquire with us below.