11 Great Steps to a Thrilling Gorilla Trek in Uganda, Rwanda, DR Congo

Augustine Tours > Blog > 11 Great Steps to a Thrilling Gorilla Trek in Uganda, Rwanda, DR Congo
Best Africa Small group Tailor-made tours- Africa Safari-Mountain Gorilla Rwanda Tours

Last Updated on May 9, 2023 by Augustine Tours

Are you in a dilemma of go gorilla trek in Rwanda, Uganda, or DR Congo? This article takes you through the 11 finest things to follow on how best the Gorilla trek in Rwanda, Uganda, and DR Congo goes.

If you haven’t yet asked yourself how much it costs to visit gorillas in Rwanda, Uganda, and DR Congo, others did, and you probably also will. The gorilla trekking Experience in Africa is one of the most sought-after wildlife tour activities that can be done in Rwanda, Uganda, and DR Congo. In this article, we will dive deep into facts about the gorilla trek. The final verdict will answer these questions:

“Is Rwanda or Uganda better for gorilla trekking? How much does it cost to go gorilla trekking in Rwanda? How hard is gorilla trekking in Rwanda, Uganda or DR Congo? Is gorilla trekking hard for senior travelers? Is gorilla trekking in DR Congo safe? When is the best time for Gorilla trekking tour?”

Gorilla Experience in Virunga National Park in DR Congo

What do you need to know before planning gorilla trekking in DR Congo? Is there any simple way to go to Virunga National Park?  This is one of the African national parks where you can enjoy the luxury of the wildlife experience. Gorilla trekking safaris do happen here. Besides gorilla tourism, travelers visit this magnificent destination to hike Mount Nyiragongo volcano, go bird watching, chimpanzee trekking & habituation, nature walk, and other tour activities in DR Congo.

gorilla trek
Gorillas in Virunga National Park – Photo: Anderson Dias Instagram @196sonhos

When is the best time to see Gorillas in DR Congo? 

Virunga National Park is open for visits throughout the year.  However, the simplest and easiest, best time to see gorillas in Virunga National Park is from June to September and December to February. These months which are considered the best time to trek gorillas are considered as peak seasons of the year. 

Most visitors tend to book this electrifying tour activity due to favorable weather and climate. The tails are often dry and make the hike through the forest easy. Gorilla trekking and Mount Nyiragongo hiking tours are usually combined as a combined gorilla trekking plus package. 

How much do Gorilla permits cost in Virunga National Park- DR Congo?

For budget travelers looking for a gorilla trekking tour experience, Virunga National Park is the first choice. The gorilla trekking permits in DR Congo’s Virunga National Park costs $400 while Uganda and Rwanda gorilla permits cost respectively $700 and $1500.  Gorilla trekking tours are sold as all-inclusive tour packages. The gorilla permits, accommodation, and ground transportation are included in the tour price. 

IMG 8360 Augustine Tours
Gorillas in Virunga National Park – Photo: Anderson Dias Instagram @196sonhos

How to get to Virunga National Park?

The best way to go on the Gorilla trek in Virunga National Park is to land at Kigali International Airport. The journey takes approximately a four-hour drive through Gisenyi. If you don’t have your pre-arranged visa to D R Congo, you have an option of getting at the border. You will then have to drive to your lodge to get ready for the next day’s gorilla experience.  

READ ALSO  10 Great Ideas For Uganda Romantic Tour for Wildlife Lovers

What are the lodges in Virunga National Park in DR Congo?

Mikeno Lodge: There are not many choices. We recommend Mikeno Lodge which is among the luxurious accommodation properties located in Virunga National Park. 

Kibumba Tented Camp is a mid-range accommodation and an excellent choice for tourists who want to stay on the outskirts of the park. 

The lodge offers authentic African camping experiences amidst Virunga’s flora and fauna. It is also situated not a far distance from the place to begin gorilla trekking activity. 
Tchengera Tented Camp: Tchegera Island Camp is situated off the northern shores of Lake Kivu in Virunga Park. The camp is a perfect choice for tourists who need after the gorilla tour, to do Mount Nyiragongo hiking and the Goma city tour. 

Nyiragongo Volcano trek
Nyiragongo Volcano- 2019

This just is a sample of travel information for those who want to get an idea of the gorilla trekking experience in DR Congo. Since the safety situation in DR Congo is extremely unpredictable, we recommend you always seek updates before planning your gorilla trekking tour or Mount Nyiragongo Hiking Expedition. 

Gorillas in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park

Located in the northwestern corner of Rwanda, Volcanoes National Park is a world-famous park where you can trek with gorillas. This rainforest is home to one of the amazing primate populations- the mountain gorillas.

Gorilla trekking in Rwanda offers an amazing wildlife experience. From the lush rainforests to the incredible mountain gorillas, you can get up close and personal with the primates in their natural habitat. With experienced guides to ensure your safety, you can enjoy a remarkable adventure that you won’t forget.

When is the best time to trek Gorillas in Rwanda?

Gorilla trekking is a year-round wildlife activity you can do when you visit Rwanda. But, like all rainforest parks, it’s easier to immerse in the gorilla trek experience during the dry season. The best time to visit Rwanda for gorillas is June to September, and mid-December to early February. The Park rangers have been tracking the gorillas’ groups’ movements year-round, so you don’t have to worry about muddy boots you can bring your own or just get them from the park. 

Mountain Gorilla Rwanda Tours
Gorillas in Rwanda

It is recommended to bring your best waterproof gear if you choose to visit the gorillas during the rainy season. Within the wet season, the air is crystal clear, so you’ll find great views of the volcanoes and gorillas that tend to hold out on the lower slopes of the mountain.

What you need to know when planning a gorilla tour in Rwanda! To support conservation efforts, the Rwanda Development Board only issues 80 gorilla permits daily for $1500 per person—with a max of eight people allowed per group.

READ ALSO  8 Great Tips for Gorilla Trekking Tour Experience in Uganda

The permit grants you an hour-long experience with a gorilla group once a park ranger locates them. The gorilla permit price is a bit high, but you’ll be in one of the cleanest, most progressive model nations on the African continent. 

Rwanda Gorilla Travel Guide
Rwanda Gorillas

Each trekking group is “assigned” a gorilla family by a ranger on the day of their trek experience.  The group size and fitness levels of the trekkers are usually considered. The gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National is not per se a physically demanding activity, but if you have some fitness concerns, you may let your guide or ranger know. You will then be allocated a group not requiring much walking. 

Uganda Gorilla Tour Experience Overview

Take an adventure of a lifetime and go gorilla trekking in Uganda! Trek through the lush jungles of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and come face-to-face with the magnificent mountain gorillas. Witness the unique behavior of these captivating creatures in their natural habitat and create memories that will last a lifetime.

You can choose Mgahinga National Park for your Uganda Gorilla trekking experience, but we prefer the more popular Bwindi Impenetrable Forest Park, which is about 30 miles North of Mgahinga. It’s the protected, lush-green home to over 400 mountain gorillas, slightly half the world’s remaining population.

Gorilla trekking tour
Gorillas in Uganda

A guided gorilla trek experience will bring you to at least one of 11 family groups with a complete gorilla population of over 160 members. The gorilla group families include must-see gorilla babies.  Avid wildlife adventurers will be tempted to feature the Gorilla Habituation program on their itinerary for a more exclusive experience. This needs to be discussed when you book your gorilla trekking tour. 

The intimate, two- to four-hour hike in Rushaga (the southern of Bwindi National Park) offers an incredibly unique and rare encounter. You will have an opportunity to meet gorillas that aren’t yet fully habituated, and this means you have a chance to introduce them to human interactions.

Best time to Trek Gorillas in Uganda

Like travelers visiting Rwanda, Gorilla trekking is accessible any time of the year, but the best time to go is during the dry season.  Want to trek gorillas in Uganda, plan your trip for January to February and June to December. It’s always advantageous and convenient to go for the time of year when the apes are even as present and there’s less competition to secure one of 96 gorilla permits issued per day.

Gorilla silverback in Uganda
Gorilla trek in Uganda

What do you need to know about Gorilla trekking in Uganda?

Gorilla permits are $700 irrespective of what season you choose for your Gorilla trek. By the time you book your gorilla permit, the Gorilla families or trek areas are assigned to you. You know in advance the area where you will trek with gorillas, and you can plan your accommodation accordingly. For avid adventurers, you can book the permit for the Gorilla Habituation Experience. The price is $1500 with a max of 4 people per group. I wrote a comparative trekking Uganda vs Rwanda

It is also important to note that due to the high elevation going up to 7,500 feet in humid and muddy conditions, the gorilla trek in Bwindi Forest National Park can turn into a physically demanding activity.  

Final verdict! Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda versus Uganda, or DR Congo?

Well, when you plan your gorilla trekking tour, you may go out of Uganda to save money on the permits $700 US versus $1500 for Rwanda but the only disadvantage to Uganda could be a little higher elevation and more uphill climbing except for some travelers that it is just a piece of cake. Your walk can be around 6 miles in and out. 

 Five miles the elevation can be tricky, but it all depends on your fitness level. As for gorilla trekking in DR Congo, you could save more money on permits, but as I am writing this article, the main disadvantage remains that DR Congo is still considered unsafe by many travelers due to repetitive attacks on park rangers.

Are you looking for a tailor-made tour taking you through the beauty of each country, get in touch with us for a personalized itinerary!

Tip of the week

Beyond epic Gorilla trekking Rwanda vs Uganda toursEast Africa offers Kenya & Tanzania wildebeest migration safari experiences and more.

Proceed Booking