Gorilla discovery is a safari tour and travel company based in Uganda, fully licensed to conduct safaris within Uganda and Rwanda. We offer several tours and safaris in Uganda including Gorilla Tours, wildlife adventures, mountaineering trips

Watching mountain gorillas in Uganda and Rwanda

Encounter mountain gorillas in Uganda and Rwanda

Watching mountain gorillas in Uganda and Rwanda

Are you interested in watching mountain gorillas in either Uganda or Rwanda? Mountain gorilla trekking is the most done activity when it comes to tourism in Uganda and Rwanda. The mountain gorilla trekking activities in Rwanda and Uganda are done in volcanoes national park, Bwindi impenetrable forest national park, and Mgahinga national park. To trek mountain gorillas in these national parks requires one to be 15 years and above and they must all have valid gorilla trekking permits before taking part in any exercise on the day of trekking.

Mountain gorilla trekking in Uganda and Rwanda gives the same experience as it starts with a briefing at the park offices where trekkers teach the ranger guides on how to behave during the whole process of mountain gorilla trekking. After briefing, the trekkers are later spilt into 8 and different armed ranger guides lead the groups through different trekking trails of the park searching for these mountain gorillas.

Once the trekkers have met mountain gorillas, they are given 1 hour to be around mountain gorillas, watch them do daily activities, learn about their habits and take photos.  For those doing habituation in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park, they will be given 4 hours to be around mountain gorillas as they try to make them get used to human presence around them, learn about their habits, and take photos.

While trekking mountain gorillas in Uganda and Rwanda, there are so many park animals that tourists do encounter on their way such as golden monkeys in volcanoes national park and Mgahinga national park, hyenas, different monkeys, buffaloes, elephants, duikers, giant forest hogs, olive baboons, birds, and different vegetation covers.

Mountain gorilla families in Rwanda (Volcanoes) and Uganda (Bwindi and Mgahinga)

If you are interested in watching mountain gorillas in Uganda and Rwanda, you need to identify the gorilla family you mat track during your trip. Volcanoes national park of Rwanda has 10 fully habituated mountain gorilla families that are open for trekking at any time of the year and these have found their home in the thick montane forests on the sloped of Virunga mountains. The 10 fully habituated mountain gorilla families of Rwanda are Amahoro gorilla family, Hirwa gorilla family, Umubano gorilla family, Ugenda gorilla family, Sabyinyo gorilla family, Agasha gorilla family, Kwitonda gorilla family, Susa gorilla family, Karisimbi gorilla family, and Bwenge gorilla family.

The mountain gorilla families in Uganda are 22 mountain gorilla families in Uganda 2 are semi habituated and these are Bikingi gorilla family and Bushaho gorilla family. 1 mountain gorilla family called Nyakagezi gorilla family is found in Mgahinga national park and the 19 mountain gorilla families of Bwindi impenetrable national park are found in Nkuringo sector, Rushaga sector, Ruhija sector an Bushaho sector.

Mountain gorilla families in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park are Orugozo gorilla family, Nkuringo gorilla family, Busingye gorilla family, Nshongi gorilla family, Bitukura gorilla family, Kahungye gorilla family, Mishaya gorilla family, Kyaguriro gorilla family, Bikingi gorilla family, Kutu gorilla family, Bweza gorilla family, Muyambi gorilla family, Mucunguzi gorilla family, Habinyanja gorilla family, Mukiza gorilla family, Rushegura gorilla family, Katwe gorilla family, and Mubare gorilla family.

How many gorilla permits are available in Rwanda and Uganda?

Uganda has 2 mountain gorilla families undergoing habituation which implies that only 8 permits are available on a daily basis for those that want to spend 4 hours with mountain gorillas. when it comes to trekking, there are 19 fully habituated mountain gorilla families in Bwindi and 1 in Mgahinga which makes the total number of families be 20. With only 8 people allowed to trek a single mountain gorilla family, Uganda has 160 permits on a daily basis. Rwanda has only 80 because there are 10 families in volcanoes and each family is trekked by 8 people.

What is the price of mountain gorilla permits in Uganda and Rwanda?

Uganda trekking permits are bought from Uganda Wildlife Authority while those of Rwanda are got from Rwanda Development Board. The gorilla habituation permits for Bwindi impenetrable forest national park do cost $1500 for foreign non-residents, $1000 foreign residents, and shs750,000. Gorilla trekking permits that allow trekkers to be around mountain gorillas for 1 hour are sold at a fee of $700 for foreign non-residents, $600 foreign residents, and shs250,000 residents of East Africa.

When it comes to Rwanda, gorilla trekking permits do cost $1500 per person per trek making it the most expensive permit in the world. When you want to trek mountain gorillas in Uganda and Rwanda, you can contact Africa Adventure Vacations limited and we secure yourself a permit.  We usually advise people to book their gorilla trekking permits or habituation permits for these countries in advance of 3-4 months most especially if they are intending to trek in the dry season to avoid inconveniences.

Where to stay on a gorilla trekking safari in Uganda and Rwanda

When one secures a trekking permit for watching mountain gorillas in Uganda and Rwanda, what comes next in their mind is where they will stay and we would like to let you know that there are several accommodation facilities of different categories in and around gorilla national parks of Uganda and Rwanda. Where to stay depends on your budget because some are budget others mid-range and others luxury.

Accommodation in volcanoes national park of Rwanda includes Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge, Virunga Lodge, Bisate Lodge, One & Only Gorilla’s Nest Lodge, Mountain Gorilla View Lodge, Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel, Singita Kwitonda Lodge, Le Bambou Gorilla Lodge, Ruzizi Tented Camp, Gorilla Volcanoes Hotel, Da Vinci Gorilla Lodge, and Villa Gorilla among others

Accommodation in Mgahinga national park includes Lake Chahafi Lodge, Lake Mulehe Lodge, Ichumbi Gorilla Lodge, Gorilla Heights Lodge, Muhabura Climbers Rest Camp, Gahinga Lodge, Lake Mulehe Gorilla Lodge, Sabyinyo Guest House, Air Land Hotel, Lake Chahafi Resort, Travellers Rest Hotel, Muhabura Motel, Virunga Campsite and Backpackers, Kisoro Tourist Hotel, Mondi Lodge Kisoro, and Gorilla Hills Eco-Lodge among others.

Accommodation in different sectors of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park includes Gorilla Safari Lodge, Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp, Rushaga Gorilla Lodge, Bakiga Lodge, Gorilla Valley Lodge, Nshongi Camp, Rushaga Gorilla havens lodge, Chameleon Hill Lodge, Bwindi View Lodge, Silverback Lodge, Trekkers Tavern, Gorilla Valley Lodge, Four Gorilla Lodge, Buhoma Lodge, Nkuringo Gorilla Safari Lodge, Ruhija Safari Lodge, Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge, Gorilla Heights Lodge, Engagi Lodge, Jungle View Lodge, and Jungle View Lodge among others.

What is the best time for watching mountain gorillas in Uganda and Rwanda

Being in the same climatic zone, mountain gorilla trekking in Rwanda and Uganda is best done in the dry season although the parks are open throughout the year. The dry season occurs in June to October and December to February and is characterized by little or no rainfall, the trekking trails are less muddy and not slippery in the park, the vegetation is thin giving clear views of mountain gorillas and the roads leading to the parks are passable.

Rwanda and Uganda can as well be visited for gorilla trekking activities in the rainy season which occurs from March to May and December to February. Tourists need intending to visit Rwanda and Uganda for mountain gorilla trekking need to know that during the rainy season, there is plenty of rainfall which makes the trekking trails muddy and slippery and the roads leading to the park are passable. During the rainy season, there is plenty of vegetation in the park which makes viewing of the park animals unclear.

What is to pack for a mountain gorilla trekking safari in Rwanda and Uganda

To trek mountain gorillas in Rwanda and Uganda, you will need to pack certain things that you might need while in the jungles and some of them include waterproof hiking boots, a pair of gaiters, a pair of binoculars, insect repellents, gardening gloves, long-sleeved clothes, sunscreen, a hat, camera and accompanying equipment, a rain jacket, enough drinking water, energy-giving snacks, face mask and sanitizer.

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