Where To Go For Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda and Uganda: The 3 most Popular Gorilla Trekking Destinations
Where To Go For Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda and Uganda? The most debatable question that has kept lingering in the minds of tourists today is where to go for gorilla trekking? It is the right of a traveler to be offered a quality product that highly gains them the value for their money and leaves them with that pure imagination of adventure experience in a lifetime.
Why not achieve your dream from the very few world star attraction that still exists-the mountain gorillas? The critically endangered species are estimated to be about 1063 individuals still surviving and they are only found in three countries of Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Uganda and Rwanda offer a higher population of the mountain gorillas due to years of stability serenity. This means that nature is kept peaceful as habitats for the high-quality range of wildlife products are maintained stable to offer pure adventure experience that is inspirational and emotional in life.
The spark of this experience in the senses of the traveler is worth sharing! Unlike on the side of the Congo forest where insecurity has driven away the endangered species passed borders.
Mountain gorillas are great African Apes enlisted as endangered species in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red Data Book hence environmental effort is highly observed by conservation authorities to protect these goldmine species for the client’s current and future satisfaction.
Indeed Uganda is a tourism goldmine, Uganda offers half of the population of the mountain gorillas and they are inhabited in Bwindi Impenetrable Conservation Area (BICA) while a larger portion also remains in the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda.
Because of insecurity in the Democratic Republic of Congo, tourists can go for gorilla trekking either in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (BINP), Mgahinga Gorilla National park or in the Volcanoes National Park.
However, it has been discovered that some clients have tracked mountain gorillas in both national parks and often try to compare them in terms of quality of experience provided and the value for their money for the product they paid for.
Comparing the two national parks is ideally good but it feels amazing when the client participates in person on gorilla trekking in one or two of the parks. Below is a comparison between Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and the Volcanoes National Park.
The comparison is based on the distance and accessibility of the National Park, tourist pre-tracking experience, the price of gorilla permits, the accommodation facilities around the park, gorilla experience and the people around the two National Parks.
Distance and accessibility of the two national parks
Traveling to these National Parks alone is a wonderful experience for a client! In this case, tourists can access the Volcanoes National Park easily and quickly due to the small size of the country (Rwanda) that takes tourists only a 3-hour drive from the airport to the Park.
To travel to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda takes a client period of approximately 9 to 10-hour drive due to a long-distance of about 530 to 600 square kilometers from the capital city Kampala.
Bwindi National Park can be accessed by tourists both on-road or alternatively by air. Traveling on road is another experience one should not miss out on! There are several directions to access the park on road: one is through Queen Elizabeth National Park (Mweya)-Kihihi-Buhoma, which provides a chance to clients to stopovers and search for the famous tree-climbing lions as they relax from the trees, Kampala-Kabale-Kanungu-Buhoma a 5-6 hour journey among others.
Travelers can also fly from Entebbe international airport or Kajjansi airfield to modern tarmac airstrip at Kisoro town, Hihihi and Ishasha airstrip in Kanungu district then they move to the park. These avenues are put in place to help reduce the time spent on the road to ease the park access by tourists.
The other Gorilla trekking destination is Mgahinga Gorilla National Park found in the southwest of Uganda bordering with Rwanda. Read about Mgahinga here. So you now know Where To Go For Gorilla Trekking in Uganda and Rwanda.
Pre-tracking experience – Road to Where To Go For Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda and Uganda
The pre-tracking experience in Rwanda is limited in that tourists spend only three hours to drive up to the Volcanoes National Park. This is very convenient especially for tourists who need to spend a shorter time in East Africa. There are high chances that tourists can trek the gorillas on the same day of their arrival;
Whereas Uganda the pearl of Africa, the tourists can get a great deal of pre-tracking experience mostly because Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is located in the great hills of Kabale, southwestern part of Uganda. Still on Where To Go For Gorilla Trekking Safaris.
Tourists travel for several kilometers approximately 550-600 which means there are also higher chances for tourists to interface with a diversity of tourist attractions in the en-route as they travel across various well-endowed national parks. This depends on the route the tourist can take.
The advantage here is that the tourist will have a chance to view large troops of baboons as they play on the ground and other primates as they juggle in the branches of trees at in the capital of great primates, Kibale Forest National Park, photo taking at the Equator, in Queen Elizabeth National Park, and in Lake Mburo National Park.
This experience is one of the best for tourists interested in long holiday vacation and game viewing. Experience the pearl of Africa! See you during the trek!
The price of gorilla permits (Where To Go For Gorilla Trekking Safari and the cost of gorilla trekking permit)
The experience offered by the two parks is broadly similar; to determine where a visitor can go is either the cost or availability of the gorilla permit. Tourists are required to purchase gorilla permits to enable them to track the mountain gorillas.
To obtain one, a visitor can get one at Uganda Wildlife Authority the authorized body to issue these permits or from an authorized tour operator or agent. Where To Go For Gorilla Trekking Tours and what you need to know!
Gorilla permits in Uganda are relatively affordable as compared to her counterpart Rwanda. In Uganda, a permit costs $600 (will be $700 from 1st July 2020) and in Rwanda, it costs $1500. Budget tourists are able to track gorillas in Uganda and save (between $800 and $900) for other expenses.
The only advantage clients enjoy in Rwanda as additional experience is the entertainment from the local performances as the tourists enjoy their cup of tea whereas in Uganda an additional cost may be required for the tourist to pay for the same service and it is mostly done in the evening. You need to book in advance because the demand is high throughout the year!
The tracking experience (Gorilla Trekking Experience)
In Uganda, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is home to over half of the few thousand rare mountain gorillas that remain on earth, whose encounter and consequent eye contact into the pensive brown eyes of these majestic giants is the most exciting and poignant wildlife encounter in the whole of Africa.
The warmth of experience in this park is supported by habituated groups for both tourism and research purposes respectively. Before there were about 9-10 groups of mountain gorilla families but currently there are twelve habituated gorilla groups.
Tourists can only visit eleven of the habituated group because one was left for research. More groups mean more gorilla permits available for the satisfaction of the clients! The more habituations mean a lot in meeting clients’ needs and exceed the client’s expectations!
However, these gorilla groups maybe a little far away from the park, tracking through the impenetrable forest and hilly topography may be difficult and tourists who cannot carry their luggage for long are advised to hire porters.
Tourists have chance to interface with gorilla groups that are social and they can easily take their photos as they pose in the thick vegetation. The thick forest vegetation however sometimes makes it hard to take photographs especially of the gorillas that are not yet habituated; they tend to shy away from human presence.
There are four gorilla sectors to enable tourists to enjoy the foremost tourist attraction and the world’s most remarkable wildlife encounters that is to say Buhoma, Rushaga, Nkuringo, and Rushaga. Only eight permits per group per day be that one lucky one!
Rwanda, the land of a thousand hills has ten gorilla groups that can be tracked. The higher elevation of 2500 meters and above gives higher chances to interface with the gorillas in Rwanda and have high fun to take photographs in this destination while Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has got an elevation of 1000-2000 meters.
Be among the thousands to interface this wildlife as the vegetation here gives tourists a clear view to take photos of gorillas in their natural environment.
The people around the two national parks
Uganda is a cultural melting pot, as evidenced by the existence of 50 plus different indigenous languages belonging to five distinct linguistic groups, and an equally diverse cultural mosaic of music, art, and handcraft.
To explore this diversity, the Batwa pygmies the original dwellers of the ancient forest, as well as the Bakiga are among enlisted groups that live around Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
The Batwa culture is unique in its kind and it acts as a tourist’s attraction in the Batwa community. After engaging in the gorilla tracking in the park, tourists can also engage in a variety of activities in the community especially the Batwa trail, community walks, forest walks; get entertained by traditional dances and performances.
The sweetest moments of the Batwa trail is when a tourist is trapped in the pitch dark cave, then sweet voices in harmony sizzle from nowhere before the torches are switched and theater stage has cast of children and women dressed on leaves strangulate their vocal cords in praise of the gods, the beautiful girls or past on ancestor.
A tourist visiting the park should not miss the authentic experience as the guides dramatize their forest life and experience their unique lifestyle!
We hope you now know Where To Go For Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda and Uganda and what are the other activities you can do along sidetracking gorillas. We have tried to enlighten you more on useful information you need to know before planning your next gorilla safari – gorilla trekking Rwanda or Uganda.