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Where to See Gorillas in Africa: Trekking Tips and Travel Advice

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Where to See Gorillas in Africa: Trekking Tips and Travel Advice


Where to See Gorillas in Africa: Trekking Tips and Travel Advice

silverback gorilla eating food

Where to See Gorillas in Africa: Trekking Tips and Travel Advice

Where to See Gorillas in Africa: Trekking Tips and Travel Advice

Gorillas, the majestic creatures of the African wilderness, hold a unique allure for travelers seeking a once-in-a-lifetime experience. With a significant population residing in Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, these countries have become hotspots for gorilla enthusiasts. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the details of where to see gorillas in Africa, with a specific focus on where to see gorillas in Uganda and where to see gorillas in Rwanda. We'll also provide essential trekking tips and valuable travel advice to ensure you have a remarkable adventure.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Choosing Your Gorilla Tracking Destination
    1. Budget Considerations
    2. Political Stability and Safety
    3. Respect for Human Rights and Corruption Levels
    4. Infrastructure and Emergency Services
    5. Trip Addons and Additional Activities
  • Understanding Gorilla Permits
  • The Gorilla Trekking Experience
  • Safety and Conservation
  • Recommended Gorilla Destinations
    1. Where to see Gorillas in Uganda
    2. Where to see Gorillas in Rwanda
    3. Gorilla Tracking in Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Combining Gorilla Trekking with other activities
  • Planning your Trekking Safari


Africa is a treasure trove of natural wonders, and the opportunity to encounter gorillas in their natural habitat is undoubtedly one of its most enticing attractions. The majority of these incredible creatures, estimated at over 1,060 individuals, call Africa home. Specifically, Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo are where you can embark on this remarkable journey.

Choosing Your Gorilla Tracking Destination

Budget Considerations

Your choice of destination may be influenced by your budget. Gorilla permits vary in price, with Rwanda charging $1,500 per individual, Uganda at $700, and Congo at $600. These costs exclude accommodations, food, transportation, and other associated expenses. Tour operators often offer comprehensive packages that cover these essentials.

Political Stability and Safety

Safety is paramount when embarking on a gorilla trek. Rwanda and Uganda prioritize the safety of tourists, ensuring a successful and enjoyable experience. However, the eastern provinces of Congo still grapple with insecurity, making it a less predictable choice. Always consult your embassy for safety advice before making a decision.

Respect for Human Rights and Corruption Levels

Responsible travel involves choosing destinations where human rights and international norms are upheld. Rwanda stands out with its low corruption levels, followed by Uganda, while Congo faces challenges in this regard. Uganda's efforts to combat corruption make it a wise choice, despite recent controversies.

Infrastructure and Emergency Services

Infrastructure and access to emergency services are crucial considerations. Uganda boasts a good road network and nearby airstrips, facilitating medical evacuations if needed. Rwanda's well-maintained roads and hospitals in key locations enhance safety.

Trip Add-Ons and Additional Activities

Uganda offers a wealth of additional activities, including visits to ten national parks, game reserves, mountains, lakes, and cultural experiences. Rwanda, with its national parks, also provides diverse options. Combining gorilla tracking with other adventures enriches your journey.

Understanding Gorilla Permits

A gorilla permit, issued by the relevant wildlife authority of each country, authorizes your encounter with these gentle giants. Due to limited availability, obtaining permits well in advance is essential. Each permit grants one hour with a gorilla group, though the entire tracking experience may take several hours.

The Gorilla Tracking Experience

Only eight people are allowed to visit a gorilla group each day to minimize environmental impact. For solo travelers or smaller groups, you may be joined with others to reach the required number. Tracking duration depends on various factors affecting gorillas, making every experience unique.

Safety and Conservation

The fragility of gorilla habitats underscores the importance of responsible tourism. Every step taken in their forest leaves an imprint. Your permit fees contribute to gorilla conservation, national parks, and local communities. Your visit makes a positive impact.

Recommended Gorilla Destinations

Where to See Gorillas in Uganda

Uganda offers diverse experiences, from tracking gorillas in Bwindi and Mgahinga to exploring its numerous national parks, wildlife, lakes, and cultural heritage. Despite recent controversies, Uganda remains a welcoming and beautiful destination.

Where to See Gorillas in Rwanda

Rwanda's Volcanoes National Park is a prime gorilla tracking location. Its picturesque landscapes and well-developed infrastructure make it a top choice for travelers seeking both adventure and comfort.

Gorilla Tracking in Democratic Republic of Congo

For the daring adventurer, the Democratic Republic of Congo offers a glimpse into the untamed wild. Kahuzi-Biega National Park is home to eastern lowland gorillas, and while the region has improved in safety, it remains a more challenging destination.

Combining Gorilla Tracking with Other Adventures

For an unforgettable experience, consider combining activities across these countries. Track lowland gorillas in Congo, chimpanzees in Rwanda's Nyungwe Forest, and mountain gorillas in Uganda's Bwindi or Mgahinga. Craft a tour that explores diverse landscapes and cultures.

Planning Your Gorilla Trekking Safari

Whether you choose Uganda, Rwanda, or the Democratic Republic of Congo, meticulous planning is essential. Consult with reputable tour operators, notify them of any health concerns, and ensure your travel insurance covers your destination. Safety and preparation are key to a successful gorilla tracking adventure.

In conclusion, the opportunity to witness gorillas in Africa's wilderness is an extraordinary privilege. Each country offers a unique experience, but safety, respect for nature, and responsible travel should always be at the forefront of your journey. Combine your gorilla tracking adventure with other activities to make the most of your visit to this remarkable continent.

For More information and to start booking your gorilla trekking trip

Our Packages

Top Ten Destinations

Gorilla Trekking Tips

  • Remember to get a permit before you arrive
  • Be prepared for any weather
  • Take food and water with you
  • Waterproofing for your camera and absolutely no flash
  • Train before you leave and know your fitness levels
  • Travel in the dry season
  • Respect the gorillas' space
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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I obtain a gorilla permit?

Gorilla permits are obtained through the wildlife authorities of the respective countries. It's essential to book well in advance due to limited availability.

Is gorilla tracking safe in all countries?

While Rwanda and Uganda prioritize safety, the Democratic Republic of Congo still faces security challenges in some areas. Always consult your embassy for up-to-date safety information.

What is the best time to go gorilla tracking?

The dry seasons (June to September and December to February) are generally considered the best times for gorilla tracking.

How can I support gorilla conservation efforts?

Your gorilla permit fees directly contribute to conservation. Additionally, respecting guidelines during tracking helps protect their habitat.


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