Compare the Gorilla Trekking in Uganda, Rwanda, DR Congo
Which Country is the best choice for you? Comparing Gorilla Trekking – Uganda versus Rwanda versus DR Congo.
We are Comparing Gorilla Trekking – Uganda versus Rwanda versus DR Congo. Compare and choose the Country that seems right for you. The Mountain Gorillas can only be seen in the Wild in Uganda, Rwanda, and DR Congo, and where to track them is up to you.
You are comparing Gorilla Trekking – Uganda versus Rwanda versus DR Congo. How do we compare gorilla trekking factors in the three countries? What different gorilla trekking aspects do you have to examine to choose the correct Country for your gorilla trekking experience?
Gorilla tracking is a costly once-in-a-lifetime experience for most. You are the one who will have to make the final choice as to which country suits you best for your encounter with the gentle giants of the forest.
In comparing Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda, Uganda, and DR Congo, you must consider affordability, safety, and security. Additionally, it would be best if you had the current COVID Pandemic conditions, including the requirements for tourists.
We try to cut through all the glowing write-ups found on the internet, including quite a bit of positive and negative misinformation about Gorilla Trekking in a country. We give you the ability to make a logical and sensible choice for you.
Comparing Gorilla Trekking – Uganda versus Rwanda versus DR Congo
What is the quality of the Gorilla Trekking Experience like in Uganda, Rwanda, and DR Congo?
Gorilla Trekking, the encounter with the gentle giants of the Forest, is the reason that you are traveling to this part of Africa. You want the best experience. You will read Gorilla Trekking is better in this or that country. Those who make such claims have often never tracked the great apes in other countries. That one hour with a Mountain Gorilla Family can only be done in Rwanda, Uganda and DR Congo. Unlike other gorilla species, they do not survive in captivity in a zoo. You can only see them in the African Wild.
The Gorilla Trekking Experience in Rwanda:
In Rwanda, Gorilla Tracking takes place in Virunga National Park. Trekkers assemble at the park headquarters. Coffee is served, and trekkers see a cultural dance and music performance prior to the orientation.
The trek takes place on the sides of the Virunga Volcanoes. No one seems to complain after the encounter about the price of Permits.
Porters are available to assist trekkers on the hike to the gorilla family. The length of the trek depends on the location of the group.
The encounter itself is an enthralling experience for most. Rwandan Rangers do a most professional job guiding trekkers to and from the group. It is a safe and memorable experience.
Does Rwanda offer the best Gorilla Trekking Experience, as some claim? There are quite a few that would disagree, having tracked Gorillas in other countries.
The Gorilla Trekking Experience in DR Congo:
Mountain Gorilla Trekking in DR Congo takes place in Virunga National Park, where you trek on the sides of the Virunga Volcanoes. Here you may not only see gorillas but, unfortunately, come across gorillas. This sours the prospects of meaningful encounters with the Gentle Giants of the Forest.
For the few adventures that trek gorillas here, the experience is like Rwanda. The rangers who work here, despite the dangers, are to be commended for their tireless efforts to create a safe environment for primates and trekkers alike.
The Gorilla Trekking Experience in Uganda:
Uganda offers more choices when it comes to the Gorilla Trekking Experience. You can track the gentle giants in two distinctly different habitats. There is Mgahinga Gorilla Park, where trekking is like tracking in Rwanda and DR Congo. There is also Bwindi Impenetrable Forest with its ridges and valleys, home to the most Mountain Gorillas found in any park. Here you have four trailheads into the forest for trekkers.
The actual encounter with a gorilla is similar to what it would be in any other gorilla sanctuary in neighboring countries. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest trekking, to some is a more authentic rainforest jungle experience. When it comes down to the quality of the Mountain Gorilla Trekking Experience, the actual time in the presence of a family is the same in each country,
Besides normal trekking with one hour with a family, Uganda offers the unique Gorilla Habituation Experience, an all-day trek where you spend more time (up to four hours) with a gorilla family. Additionally, there are only four participants allowed on the trek. It differs from normal treks since you are a participant in the habituation process and not a mere observer. It is also a learning experience since you spend time with researchers who will give you insights that you do not get on a regular trek.
Which Country has the most Mountain Gorillas?
Uganda is home to over half (53%) of the Mountain Gorillas. From 2020 to 2022, there was an unprecedented Baby-Boom year in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla Park, increasing the number of Mountain Gorillas in the country. You can find internet articles claiming that Rwanda has the most Mountain Gorillas. The reality is that Rwanda and DR Congo share 47% of the Mountain Gorillas, and Uganda is the clear winner in the number of Gorillas in a country.
Is the number of Mountain Gorillas in a country crucial to a Gorilla Tracker? Here is what it means to you: Uganda has twice as many habituated groups you can visit as does Rwanda.
Additionally, it means roughly twice the number of permits. Since there are five trekking starting points in the country, four in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and one in Mgahinga Gorilla Park.
Realistically, the number of gorillas in a country does not change the experience one would have in a country with fewer Mountain Gorillas.
What is the Cost of the Gorilla Permit in each Country?
Gorilla Permits for Tourists cost $1.500 in Rwanda, $700 in Uganda, and $400 in DR Congo. Rwanda markets itself as a high-end Gorilla Destination, and the permit price reflects its marketing strategy.
Additionally, Uganda offers Gorilla Habituation Experience Permits at $1,500, giving you more time with a gorilla family and fewer participants.
Private treks can be arranged at $15,000 for your party in Rwanda, and in Uganda cost is $5,600.
DR Congo offers the lowest Gorilla Permit price; however, the safety and security factors keep trekkers away. Uganda once again emerges as the winner for the best price ($700) on safe tracking Gorilla Permits at “less than half the price” that they cost in Rwanda.
Availability of Permits in each country
There are 152 permits available in Uganda, eighty in Rwanda, and 64 in DR Congo. Uganda has the most Gorilla Trekking Permits per day. Another reason Gorilla Trekkers flock to Uganda.
What is the drive-time from Airport to various Gorilla Parks?
The quickest way to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla Park is by it. 60 and 75-minute flights from Entebbe with Aerolink Safari Airlines.
The quickest way is by road, a 2-/2-hour drive from Kigali International Airport to Volcanoes National Park. Three-hour drive time from Kigali to Mgahinga Gorilla Park and four hours to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. To Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla Park from Entebbe Airport is a nine-hour drive.
Which is the Safest Country for Gorilla Trekking?
Uganda and Rwanda are safe for Tourists, and Rwanda had an incident near Volcanoes National Park that did not involve tourists or tourist lodges. The perpetrators were tried and sentenced in Rwanda, and Paul Rusesabagina, made famous by the movie “Hotel Rwanda,” received a long-term sentence.
Visiting Virunga National is not recommended by us or the U.S., U.K., European Union, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Each year, deadly incidents occur, and countless dedicated rangers have lost their lives. Read more about Gorilla Trekking safety.
There have been no Guerilla Activities in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla Park. There have been many safe Gorilla Trekking activities in Uganda’s Gorilla Parks.
Which Country offers a variety of lodgings that suits my budget?
Uganda offers more choices for Gorilla Trekkers when it comes to lodging. Choose from budget to high-end lodges. Lodges in Uganda provide lower rates than Lodges in neighboring Rwanda.
Rwanda has a variety of high-end lodges, fewer budgets, and moderately priced lodges. It must be noted that Rwanda markets itself as a high-end African Safari Destination.
Virunga National Park in DR Congo offers a limited budget and high-end lodges.
Are there other activities and Parks that I can add to my Gorilla Safari?
Uganda is a safe Safari Country where you can add cultural immersion activities. There are six Savannah Parks with abundant wildlife for your Big-5 African Safari plus Gorilla and Chimpanzee Trekking.
Rwanda has the excellent Akagera National Park, a privately managed savannah Park. There is also Nyungwe Forest, one of the best rainforests in Africa. Chimpanzee still is an uncertain experience, but the park is a hiker’s paradise.
DR Congo’s Virunga National Park is dreaming since it is too dangerous for most at this time. Hopefully, it will soon change.
Our Take on Gorilla Trekking in Uganda vs. Rwanda vs. DR Congo
Confession to make: We are a Ugandan Tour Operator and think that Uganda is the best choice for trekkers. However, we did our best to present conditions in each country.
The Choice is yours to make. With us, the focus is on your Experience with the Gentle Giants.
Gorillas have no passports, no patriotic loyalties, and they were there long before the colonial powers drew borders on a map. In fact, it is not uncommon for a gorilla family to move to another country without a visa.
It is not about Rwanda, Uganda, or even the Democratic Republic of Congo. For most, it is about that once-in-a-lifetime Experience of encounters with the Gentle Giants.
The Bottom Line – As we see it:
The Choice is yours to make. Suppose you want an Indiana Jones-like adrenaline-pumping adventure. In that case, it is Virunga National Park in DR Congo. Keep in mind that you just might also see some guerrillas.
Suppose you want to trek Gorillas in a modern country that represents the hopefully future face of Africa. In that case, Rwanda is the place for you to track Gorillas.
Suppose you want to do your Primate Trek in Africa as you imagine it, but even better. Then you, as in the words of Winston Churchill, ” should concentrate on Uganda” for your Primate Trek.
Out of the three countries, Uganda is the one that offers the most. Lonely Planet said, ” Uganda is all of Africa concentrated into one country.” No wonder Winston Churchill called it “the Pearl of Africa.”
If you choose Uganda for your gorilla trekking experience, we would love to assist you by creating a personalized Hakuna Matata – No Worries, Safari for you. Contact us today!