Is Gorilla Trekking Worth the Cost? Why is Gorilla Trekking so Expensive?

Is gorilla trekking worth the cost? This is one of the frequently asked questions by most visitors on gorilla safari but honestly, the answer is yes! The hundreds of dollars spent is of value that it helps in the conservation of these rare gentle giants who were on verge of extinction few years ago. Also, half of the money spent on gorilla permits are used in development of communities near the mountain gorilla parks.

Is Gorilla Trekking Worth the Cost?
A photo of a mature, silverback Mountain Gorilla In Bwindi

Mountain Gorilla trekking is worth the cost and your trip to Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Most visitors on gorilla safari take time to engage in this primate adventure and if you checked through different reviews, a trek to view mountain gorillas is ideally worth the amount. Other trekkers describe this adventure as a lifetime experience and it can’t be equated to any amount.

Gorilla trekking is by far a magical wildlife safari experience worth the price, your time and energies. Regardless of the high rates, the thrilling experience and time one spends with a habituated gorilla group on gorilla safari tour in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Usually, first time trekkers ask is gorilla trekking really worth the cost? The magical encounter one gets with a gorilla group family is incomparably unusual experience.

Gorilla trekking permit rates per country

Cost of gorilla permits in Uganda

Tracking mountain gorillas in Uganda is only done in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. A single gorilla trekking permit in Uganda is issued out at US Dollars 700 for foreign non-residents, US Dollars 600 and Uganda shillings 250000 per person for East Africa Community citizens. Uganda still features as a relatively affordable gorilla trekking safari destination compared to Rwanda.

Gorilla trekking permit rates for Rwanda

Travelers on Rwanda safari can purchase gorilla trekking permits at US Dollars 1500 and this is a charge per person. Whereas the rates in Rwanda are slightly higher than those in Uganda and the DRC, this has never stopped enthusiastic visitors from tracking mountain gorillas. Gorilla trekking permits in Rwanda can be booked through our reservation team or directly with Rwanda Development Board (RDB).

Gorilla trekking prices in DRC

Unlike Uganda and Rwanda, the DR Congo issues her gorilla trekking permits at 450 US Dollars and this applies per visitor on Congo gorilla safari. Tracking mountain gorillas in DRC is only conducted in the Virunga National Park which is situated in Eastern side of the country. It is also possible for you to also incorporate your mountain gorilla adventure with Eastern Lowland gorilla trekking safaris in Kahuzi-Biega National Park.

Is gorilla trekking worth visitor effort?

Generally, gorilla trekking takes some hours for visitors to search for a group of mountain gorillas in the wild. It begins with briefing on guidelines or safety measures which every trekker must observe while tracking these rare apes in their habitat. Treks may take between 2 and 6 hours but it depends on your hiking speed, nature of habitat and where these primates are situated in the course of the day. Despite being a strenuous adventure, an hour with mountain gorillas in the wild is such astonishing experience one can’t find anywhere else in the world.

Time spent with a gorilla family – Gorilla Trekking Worth the Cost and Time

After long hours of trekking through the jungles and steep slopes and finally, you come across your gorilla family, expect to spend an hour with these dramatic apes. This covers photography, in-depth learning about their daily behaviors and later, you get back home. On the other hand, you can participate in mountain gorilla habituation experience in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park which lets you enjoy all 4 hours of magical encounter with these rare apes in their habitat.

Number of trekkers per gorilla family

Only 8 trekkers are allowed to track only 1 habituated gorilla family. This is a standard gorilla trekking rule any visitor on gorilla safari in Uganda, Rwanda and DRC should observe. However, given the nature of this adventure, visitors are advised to communicate about their abilities regarding their physical wellness, age and others in advance to the park official prior being assigned to a gorilla family group.

Where to go for gorilla trekking

There are 5 premier gorilla trekking destinations to explore to see gorillas. In Uganda, you can visit Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Southwestern side of the country. Mountain gorillas in Rwanda live only in Volcanoes National Park in Ruhengeri region and in the DRC; Virunga National Park is that one park to consider visiting to track mountain gorillas (read about mountain gorillas here). The other exceptional gorilla park is Kahuzi-Biega National Park which is also in Eastern DRC and it is undoubtedly the best for Eastern lowland gorilla trekking tours.