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Comparing Gorilla Trekking – Uganda versus Rwanda versus DR Congo

Posted by on March 5, 2021

Compare the Gorilla Trekking in Uganda, Rwanda, DR Congo

The choice is yours: Comparing Gorilla Trekking – Uganda versus Rwanda versus DR Congo.


Comparing Gorilla Trekking – Uganda versus Rwanda versus DR Congo. Compare and choose the Country that seems right for you. Mountain Gorillas can only be seen in the wild in three countries, Uganda, Rwanda, and DR Congo. 

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 right Country for your gorilla trekking experience?

There are three countries where you can track Mountain Gorillas in the Wild. Rwanda, the high-end exclusive destination, Uganda the Premier Destination for trekkers that want safety and affordability. Then there is DR Congo for those that have a penchant for extreme adventures.

The choice is for you to make. Put aside all the propaganda that floats on the internet and see what is right for you.


FAQ’s used in Comparing Gorilla Trekking – Uganda versus Rwanda versus DR Congo

1. What is the quality of the Gorilla Trekking Experience like?

The gorilla encounter experience that one hour with a family is the same in all three countries. All three countries offer gorilla trekking in the shadows of the Virunga Volcanoes. In Rwanda, trekking occurs in Volcanoes National Park. In DR Congo’s you trek in Virunga National Park. 

Uganda offers gorilla trekking in two distinct habitats. Mgahinga Gorilla Park is like gorilla trekking in Rwanda and DR Congo in the Virunga Volcanoes.

 Trekking in the Virunga Volcanoes takes place at higher elevations above 2,100 meters above sea level.

What makes Uganda different from Rwanda and DR Congo is the majority of the Mountain Gorillas are in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. You are trekking in an ancient Rainforest that is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Treks are up ridges and down into valleys. Due to the number of Families, easier treks are available upon request.

2.- Which Country has the most Mountain Gorillas?

Uganda is home to half of the remaining endangered Mountain Gorillas. 2020 was an unprecedented Baby-Boom year in both Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla Park.

3. What is the Cost of the Gorilla Permit?

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. 

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 Uganda cost is $5,600.

4. Availability of Permits   There are 152 permits available in Uganda, 80 in Rwanda, and 64 in DR Congo. Find out about the best time for gorilla trekking.  How to get your permits?

5. What is the drive-time from Airport to various Gorilla Parks?

The quickest way to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla Park is by air. 60 and 75-minute flight time.

The quickest way by road, 2 1/2 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 Virunga National Park from Kigali Airport is an eight-hour drive.

6. Which is the Safest Country for Gorilla Trekking?

Uganda and Rwanda are both safe for Tourists. Rwanda had an incident near Volcanoes National Park that did not involve tourists or tourist lodges. The perpetrators are now on trial (March 2021) in Rwanda. They include Paul Rusesabagina, made famous by the movie “Hotel Rwanda.” 

Visiting Virunga National is not recommended by us nor by the U.S., U.K., European Union, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Each year deadly incidents take place, and countless dedicated rangers have lost their lives over the years. Read more about Gorilla Trekking safety.

7. Which Country offers a variety of lodging that suits my budget?

Uganda offers more choices from budget to high-end lodges. Rwanda has a variety of high-end lodges fewer budget and moderately priced lodges. Virunga National Park offers a limited budget and high-end lodges.

8. Are there activities and Parks that I can add to my Gorilla Safari?

Uganda is the safe Safari Country where you can add on 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, which is 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 wishful thinking since it is too dangerous.


Our Take on Gorilla Trekking in Uganda vs. Rwanda vs. DR Congo

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. They were there long before the Colonial powers drew borders on a map.

It is not about Rwanda or Uganda or even the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is about that once-in-a-lifetime Experience for most, that encounter 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.

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, “concentrate on Uganda” for your Primate Trek.

Uganda, out of the three countries, 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.”

Post-COVID-19 Gorilla Trekking Protocols- each country has its own.

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