Gorilla trekking in Rwanda is done in the Virunga Mountains and Close to 600 of the world’s mountain gorilla population is found in the Virunga Mountains, the rest are found in Bwindi impenetrable forest in south western Uganda.
The Advantages of Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda include:
- Short Driving Distance
- While on Rwanda gorilla trek you can combine your trip visiting Akagera Wildlife Park and Nyungwe Forest with its Primates and Trails.
- Cultural encounters are readily available.
- Better Road Conditions
In the past 5 years more visitors track the endangered mountain gorillas in Rwanda than in Uganda
The Challenges of Rwanda gorilla trekking
Cost of Permits in Rwanda USD1500 compared to Uganda at USD700 and within the months of April, May and November, there are discounted gorilla permits of up to USD350 during off-season.
There higher lodging costs around Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park than in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
Rwanda is not like Uganda in terms of other wildlife – Uganda is a total African Wildlife Safari Destination with 10 national parks including a good number of national parks that host incredible wildlife including the big five.
Rwanda has less daily Permits than Uganda
Advantages of gorilla trekking in Uganda.
Uganda has more mountain gorillas in Africa compared to Rwanda. The 2012 Gorilla Census reported that Bwindi Impenetrable National Park alone hosts nearly half of the world’s remaining population of the mountain gorillas.
- Uganda has more habituated mountain gorillas than any other country- 15 habituated gorilla groups are available to be tracked by tourists. There are also 2 gorilla groups that can be visited by tourists interested in gorilla habituation.
- In Uganda, you can easily acquire a gorilla permit. During the peak season, if you are looking to a last minute gorilla trek, Uganda is the best option to look at.
- You can fly into Rwanda and track the mountain gorillas in Uganda because it’s a 3-6 hours drive depending on the location of the gorilla group that you have booked.
- Uganda has cheaper gorilla permits if compared with Rwanda. A gorilla permit in Uganda cost USD600 and therefore you can save US$150. Uganda also gives an opportunity to trekkers in low season at a price of 450usd in the months of April, May, and November.
- On your gorilla trek, you can get chance of seeing other Uganda primates on a gorilla safari in Bwindi. The forest hosts other primates including chimpanzees.
- Uganda is More than a Gorilla Safari Destination because it has all the Big 5.
The challenges of Uganda
Long Driving distance and time, unless when one flies into Kigali and drives to Bwindi or flies direct from Entebbe to Bwindi Forest .
Road Conditions in some places need improvement.
At times there very many gorilla trekkers on a particular day.
However in both countries
Gorilla tracking can take a varied length of time depending on the group the group that you are tracking, the general location of the gorilla family, the terrain, weather and a few other factors. Sometimes the tracking will take as short as 30 minutes, other times it will take as long as 6 hours.
As you hike through the gorilla forests, follow the lead of your guide. As you climb up the steep slopes of the volcanoes, and through the forest, you will need to pull yourself up steep paths by grasping onto plant roots, branches, bushes, etc. a walking stick could also come in handy. You will get thirsty, so be sure to carry enough water. The trek through the forest can be tiring but the encounter with the gorillas is worth all the effort.