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Is it safe to Track Gorillas in Uganda – Rwanda – or the Congo ?

Posted by on February 22, 2021

Is Gorilla Trekking Safe in Uganda, Rwanda, or DR Congo?

A question often asked? Is it safe to track Gorillas in Uganda or Rwanda in 2019?

Is it safe to track GorillasIs it safe to track Gorillas in Uganda, Rwanda, or the Democratic Republic? Your wellbeing, Safety, and Congo. Safety and Security remain the Focus of the Park Rangers, Police, and the Military in all three Countries.

Gorilla Tourism is a significant source of income for the governments of Uganda and Rwanda. It pays mostly to conserve the gorillas, park maintenance, and infrastructure projects in surrounding communities.

Gorilla Trekkers pay for permits ranging from 400 USD in DRCongo, 700 USD in Uganda, to 1500 USD in Rwanda.  

Stringent security measures are in place in each country to keep Tourists safe and secure in the Heart of Africa.

Most of the Gorilla Tourism Security Actions are behind the scenes. Crack soldiers patrol parks in Uganda and Rwanda. Each country has secured its borders to keep guerrillas out.

In Rwanda, Uganda, and DR Congo, Gorilla conservation is linked together with Gorilla Tourism. Gorilla Trekkers are the significant contributors to Gorilla Conservation.  Thus protecting them is only logical. Without safety and security, Tourists will not come.

Take Virunga Volcanoes National Park in DR Congo. It is one of the best-managed parks in Africa, yet Guerrillas continue to endanger park rangers. Residents of the area and tourists. The last incident took place in January of 2021 when six rangers were ambushed and killed by a rebel group in the park.

Gorilla Tourism in Virunga National Park in DR Congo has come to a screeching halt. Various countries have once again issued travel alerts and advisories admonishing their citizens not to go to the Congo’s eastern province, including Virunga Volcanoes park.

Furthermore, most Travel Insurance Policies will not cover you unless you have an expensive, high-risk travel insurance policy.

The Safety and Security of Gorilla Trekkers are on everyone’s mind, but there are times when a country cannot deliver, as in DRCongo.

Is it safe to track Gorillas in Uganda? 

Uganda is the Premier Mountain Gorilla Trekking Destination in Africa for two reasons, Affordability and Safe Gorilla Trekking.  Affordability is meaningless without Safety and Security for Gorilla Trekkers.

There have been no Gorilla Trekking security Incidents in Uganda during the past 20 years.  Along with the Military, there is the Presence of Armed Rangers for your Gorilla Trek. Uganda has the added presence of the Tourism Police.

One of the safest places to be in Uganda is Gorilla Trek in Bwindi Impenetrable Park or Mgahinga Gorilla Park. The Rangers in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda are highly motivated, adequately equipped, and trained to Keep Gorilla Trekking safe and secure.

Gorilla Trekking Security Measures in Uganda are one of the main reasons that Uganda has become the favorite Gorilla Trekking Destination.  Everyone involved in Gorilla Tourism adheres to the Security Standards issued and implemented by the Uganda Wildlife Authority.

The communities around Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla Park have Police, including Tourism Police and Military Police presence. They are there to provide another layer of Safety and Security for tourists and the local community alike.

The Gorilla Parks, unseen by most, is patrolled daily. The Borders, including the one with DR Congo, are monitored by the UPDF, the Ugandan Army.

The local community is aware of how vital Gorilla Tourism is. They Benefit directly and indirectly from Gorilla Tourism and report any suspicious activity inside or outside the parks to the Authorities.

Uganda is Guerrilla-Free and is doing all that it can to keep it that way for ordinary Ugandans and Gorilla Trekkers’ safety.

When it comes to Safety and Security in Africa, Uganda gets a lousy wrap compared to Safety and security in countries like the USA and Europe—tracking Gorillas in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest or Mgahinga Gorilla Park.

Is it safe to track Gorillas in Rwanda?

Rwanda has the distinction of being one of the Safest Countries in Africa, if not the world. Kigali is one of the safest towns in Africa. Security and Police presence can be seen everywhere in the country, including at Tourist Destinations such as Volcanoes National Park, where Gorilla trekking is the Focus.

Rwanda prides itself as being the deluxe Gorilla Destination.  Exclusive Hotels and Lodges abound, and new ones are being built — Safety and Security, Guests’ well-being, Tourists, if a focal point.

There have been no direct Gorilla Trekking Security Incidents, only the opposite, causing celebrities such as Ellen DeGeneres to proclaim how wonderful it is to visit Rwanda.

Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda’s Gorilla Park, has been a safe and secure area for gorillas and gorilla Trekkers alike. No Tourist can enter the Park without a Ranger Escort. Armed Security Protection is the norm for those trekking gorillas, golden monkeys, hiking, or climbing inside the Park.

Volcanoes National Park borders both the stable, safe, and secure Mgahinga Gorilla Park in Uganda and the less stable Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic.

Practical-minded Rwanda has taken a tough-minded security stance to protect tourists and its citizens alike.

Rwanda has a proven track record for being a safe and secure country to visit an African Safari. President Paul Kagame is a no-nonsense purpose-driven man whose vision for a safe and unified Rwanda is reflected by all those involved in government, including the Military, Police, and rangers.

Rwanda’s peace has been threatened by external forces such as the FDLR -The Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (French): Forces démocratiques de libération du Rwanda, FDLR) is an armed rebel group active in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. An ethnic Hutu group oppoRwanda’s the present government and took part in the Genocide against the Tutsi, fleeing to then Zaire at the end of the 1994 Genocide. Each Threat has been repelled successfully by the Rwandan Military, and Rwanda remains safe for Tourism, including Gorilla Trekking Tourism.

At present, captured members of the FDLR are being tried in Rwanda for their crimes. There have been no recent incidents that threatened tourists.

Is it safe to Trek Gorillas in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park at present?

The answer is a resounding yes. Rwanda remains one the safest countries to visit in Africa. The security breaches in 2019 have been dealt with, and Rwanda has further increased security measures for tourists.

One can also be sure that one of Rwanda’s Number One Fans, Ellen DeGeneres, will go once again the Mountain Gorillas in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park.

Rwanda is tough on security. When there is an incident is immediately dealt with, and prevention measures are put into place. Most tourists and visitors feel safe and secure in Rwanda, one of Africa’s safest countries to visit.

We will update this page should there be any changes that Gorilla Trekkers should know about.  The enthusiastic and patriotic Rwandan Press is often a bit skimpy with details, unlike the International Press.

Is it Safe to Trek Gorillas in Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo?

Unfortunately, the answer in 2021 is no. Safety and Security are different in Virunga National Park. Guerrillas and criminals all too often make their presence known in one of Africa’s most incredible Parks, making it a High-Risk and No-Go Zone.

Many in the International Community, such as the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the UK, recommend that you not visit the area, including Virunga National Park.  Except for those specializing in high-risk insurance, most insurance companies will not cover you while you are there.

Hopefully, soon, peace will come to Virunga National Park. Unfortunately, we have said that for many years now. Each year they have been new incidents that bring mayhem to the area.

Safe and Secure Lodges for Gorilla Trekkers:

You spend more time at your Gorilla Lodge than you do within the park trekking Gorillas. Most lodges, especially midrange or Luxury Lodges, provide all the comfort, meals, and service you need. Behind the scenes, lodges offer additional security that is beyond police protection.

Lodges know that you value security in an unfamiliar country. It is essential to all of us in Gorilla Tourism that you feel at home at the lodge where you are staying.

African Hospitality means that when you come under one’s roof, the host is responsible for the guest’s wellbeing. A tradition practiced by my many lodges.

Security does not stop after the Gorilla Trek. It is continuous from the time you arrive in the country until your departure.

As a Tour Operator, we only select mid-range and luxury with an appropriate security level in place for their guests.

I am not worried about Gorillas, but Guerrillas- Are there Guerrillas in Uganda?

There are no Guerrillas in Uganda at present. Rwanda had the October 2019 attack by FDLR Rebels. Rwanda had an attack that it claimed came from Burundi in the summer of 2020. Once again, it did not involve any tourists.

Today Uganda is Guerrilla Free and is doing its best to keep it that way. You can still find information about Joseph Kony and the Lord’s Resistance Army, but his LRA has not disturbed Northern Uganda for over a decade.

One can sympathize with Rwanda since the October FDLR Rebel attack will have a ripple effect on tourists for some time.  We know about that in Uganda, but fortunately, we have been guerrilla Free and hope to remain that way.

Like in the rest of the world, things can change here. We post such changes on our website.

Your wellbeing is our concern.

Kabiza Wilderness Safaris creates Hakuna Matata – No Worries Gorilla- not Guerrilla Safaris:

Due to Virunga National Park incidents, clients of ours have questioned whether it is safe to track Gorillas in Uganda and Rwanda.  In response to such inquiries, we have created this page to answer questions Gorilla Trekkers, concerned about Safety and Security, may have.

Kabiza Wilderness Safaris takes the Safety and Security of our clients quite seriously. The driver-guide has one thing on his mind: our clients have a Hakuna Matata – No-Worry Gorilla Safari Experience.

The Safety of our Clients is foremost on our minds when it comes to Gorilla Trekking.  This year, the safest place to be in Uganda or Rwanda is on a Gorilla Trekking Safari.

As we often say, it is more dangerous to cross the street in Kigali or Kampala than it is trekking Gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Mgahinga Gorilla Park, and Volcanoes National Park.

In 2021, Uganda and Rwanda are Guerilla Free – the Gorilla Parks are safe and secure for Trekkers.

The Safest Place to be is on a Safari



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