Comparing Gorilla Trekking – Uganda versus Rwanda

Posted by on August 10, 2017

Where should I go Gorilla Trekking – Rwanda or Uganda? – Compare

Comparing Gorilla Trekking – Uganda versus Rwanda – Pros and cons of each country


Today Gorilla Trekking – whether in Uganda or Rwanda means a Choice:Comparing Gorilla Trekking - Uganda versus Rwanda

Rwanda’s Gorilla permits are now 1500USD – Uganda remains at 600 USD – now, you have to make a choice about which country to choose for your trek and it often is based on available Financial Resources.

Added to the other normal choices about which country you would like for your Trek – there now is the choice whether you can afford 900 USD more for permits in Rwanda.

Rwanda raised its Permit Prices in order to help it pay the way for Gorilla Conservation, assist the local communities surrounding the trekking areas with much-needed infrastructure and to market Rwanda as an upmarket Gorilla Trekking Destination.

Uganda is not raising prices and permits remain at 600 USD.  One thing that will end is discounted permits after November 2017.  That is the last time you can trek gorillas with a 450 USD permit.

In order to make sense out of the Confusion of Where Gorilla Trekking is best, we have created the “Ultimate Gorilla Challenge” where you trek Gorillas in both countries and judge for yourself.

There are countless of pages about Gorilla Trekking – many are not current such as the number of Gorilla Families you can trek in Uganda and Rwanda.  

The prices will be often off, the information ala Trekking, even if they have gone do not know the ins and outs of Gorilla Tourism, writers on Forums are often simply out to lunch, another reason we keep a page like our others updated with current information.  

Why go with a local Tour Operator?  We give you the straight scoop – we know the prices and the latest changes regarding Gorilla Trekking and the Gorilla Habituation Experience.


Find out the pros and cons of Gorilla Tracking in either Rwanda or Uganda – we take people on Gorilla Treks in both Rwanda and Uganda, some trek in both countries – Comparing Gorilla Trekking – Uganda versus Rwanda.

There is a lot of confusion about Gorilla Trekking, accurate information is lacking and we attempt to give you the straight facts.

Fron our perspective as a tour operator taking clients to trek gorillas in both countries.  Gorilla Trekking is not about a country, it is about the endangered Mountain Gorillas found in both countries. 

Gorilla Groups that do not hold passports, in some cases travel across borders.  Gorillas that are the sought after Gentle Giants of the Forests of Uganda or Rwanda by visitors from around the world.


Where is the Best Gorilla Trekking – Rwanda or in Uganda?  This is a question we often receive in an email or in a phone call. The answer depends on you, your likes and preferences, even what besides you want to see and to in either Rwanda or Uganda besides Primate Trekking.  Pricewise and affordability it is in Uganda.

This is a question we often receive in an email or in a phone call. The answer depends on you, your likes and preferences, even what besides you want to see and to in either Rwanda or Uganda besides Primate Trekking.  Pricewise and affordability it is in Uganda.

This is a question we often receive in an email or in a phone call. The answer depends on you, your likes and preferences, even what besides you want to see and to in either Rwanda or Uganda besides Primate Trekking.  Pricewise and affordability it is in Uganda.

Compare Rwanda with Uganda Gorilla Tracking:

Rwanda has done a terrific job in promoting its country and in particular its Mountain Gorillas which is the main tourist draw that Rwanda has.  It invites journalists from around the world to visit the Land of a Thousand Hills and they paint Rwanda, its scenery and especially its Mountain Gorillas in a positive light endearing the tiny country of Rwanda to the Travel Community around the world.

Uganda, with more of the Gentle Primate Giants than both Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of combined (480  total 880) has not done as well as Rwanda when it comes to PR and promoting its Mountain Gorillas in 2016 steps are taken, including Uganda Wildlife Authority working in Conjunction with the Association of Uganda Tour Operators Promoting Gorilla Trekking

Comparing Gorilla Trekking – Uganda versus Rwanda – choosing the right place for you

The Advantages of Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda:

The Cons of Rwanda:

  • Cost of Permits in Rwanda 1500 USD compared to Uganda at 600 USD
  • Higher Lodging Cost around Volcanoes National Park and fewer Lodging Choices
  • Lodging in town – not in the wilderness
  • Limited Add-Ons – Rwanda is not like Uganda – a total African Wildlife Safari Destination of the Big – 5.
  • Has limited Chimpanzee Tracking
  • Has less daily Permits than Uganda – 10 Gorilla Groups – 80 Permits
  • No Gorilla Habituation Experiences of 4 hours with gorillas like in Uganda.
  • Elevation causes some a temporary problem with some.
  • 10% of permit revenue given to local community – Uganda gives 20%
  • Rwandans have to pay the same price for Gorilla Trekking as Visitors.

The Pros of Uganda:

  • Most Mountain Gorillas in Africa -480 out of 880.
  • Gorilla Trekking in both Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and in the Virunga Volcanoes in Mgahinga Gorilla Park that is just like trekking in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park 3 hours drive from Kigali
  • More Habituated Mountain Gorillas than any other country- 12 gorilla groups habituated.
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  • Easier Availability of Gorilla Permit
  • Golden Monkey trekking and Habituation Experience in Mgahinga Gorilla Park.
  • Fly into Rwanda – Trek Gorillas in Uganda – 3-hour drive and save 900 USD plus
  • Spend 4 hours with a gorilla group being habituated on an all-day trek.
  • Lower priced permits – 600 USD in Uganda compared to 1500 USD in Rwanda
  • Uganda’s slow season of 450usd – April-May-November (ends in 2017)
  • Lower priced Lodging including upmarket not in towns but in the Forest or overlooking the Forest.
  • Have a total African Primate – Wildlife Safari in Uganda
  • Best Chimpanzee Tracking and all day habituation in all of Africa.
  • Mountain and Volcano Climbing including both the Virunga Volcanoes and the Rwenzori Mountains Mountains
  • White Water Rafting, Kayaking,
  • Relax and Chill out on Lake Bunyonyi, Lake Mutanda, Ssese Islands on Lake Victoria
  • A variety of Scenery such as is not found in Rwanda.
  • English is more often used in Uganda than in Rwanda.
  • More than a Gorilla Safari Destination – Big 5 – plus  Gorillas and Chimpanzees – 10 National Parks.
  • Cultural experiences abound
  • Ugandans – East Africans and Expats living in Uganda can do Gorilla Trekking with a lower permit price.  That changed in Rwanda in 2017.

The Cons of Uganda:

  • Long Drive times, unless one flies into Kigali and drives to Bwindi – or flies from Entebbe to Bwindi Forest or breaks drive-times by staying a night in another park such as Lake Mburo National Park.
  • Road Conditions in places are in need of improvement.
  • In-Country Flights tend to be on the expensive side, however many take advantage of the short 1 1/2 hour flight to Bwindi.
  • Not as clean as Rwanda – there is no Umuganda Day in Uganda.
  • The Traffic lights in the main towns often do no not work.
  • 4 Gorilla Starting Points in Bwindi Impenetrable – some find that confusing.  We take the confusion out of it.
  • Has no Gorilla Baby Naming Ceremony like in Rwanda once a year.
  • Does not serve coffee at the orientation for the trek, not is a cultural dance offered for visitors.
  • Park Offices at Gorilla Trek Starting points are not as elaborate as the one in Rwanda.

Where is the Best Gorilla Trekking? Comparing Gorilla Trekking – Uganda versus Rwanda


Much of what you find online about Rwanda is better than Uganda or UgBest Gorilla Trekking - Rwanda or Uganda?anda is better than Rwanda are myths, many of them spun in the minds of travelers that have never trekked in one country or the other, or have trekked Gorillas in only one of the two countries.

At the end of the day, the choice is yours.  There are countless arm-chair gorilla trekking experts that have never set a foot in Africa who will freely give their prejudiced opinions which are merely opinions not based on facts and reality in either Rwanda or Uganda,  some will even suggest conflict-riddled Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo where your travel insurance is useless and made void where the US State Department the UK Government have issued stern travel warnings for your safety in spite of Rwandan and Ugandan tour operators taking clients there.

You hear things such as Rwanda is easier for Gorilla Trekking than Uganda.  Uganda has 12 habituated Gorilla that can be visited – like in Rwanda some treks are easier than others. Some treks in Uganda can be as short as 2 to 3 hours…another internet myth.

If you are looking at price – Uganda wins hands down on permit prices and lodging accommodation prices.  Deal with a tour operator such as ourselves – we will tell you the Good – Bad and the reality.  With us it is not Rwanda versus Uganda – it comes down to making the dream of a lifetime become reality on a Gorilla Trek in Uganda or Rwanda.


Our Take on Gorilla Trekking in Uganda vs. Rwanda:

A Gorilla Trekking is what could call a “Pure Life Experience” – an experiential adventure bar none on the planet.

No Mountain Gorilla can be seen in any zoo, they do not survive captivity, they are meant to be wild and free in the Virunga Volcanoes – Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and Mgahinga Gorilla Park in Uganda plus Bwindi Impenetrable Forest – a truly ancient forest where over 400 gorillas are found and the only park where you can spend the full day on a Gorilla Habituation Trek which includes being four hours with a gorilla family.

With us it is about the experience – Gorillas have no passports, no patriotic loyalties – they were there long before the Colonial powers drew lines on a map.  The parks were shaped in Uganda and Rwanda – they can and in some cases travel from one country to another, they go through no customs or immigration check – this land – diminished as it now is was theirs and for the most part the original people of the forest –

It is not Rwanda or Uganda or even the Democratic Republic of Congo – it is the endangered Mountain Gorillas that are actually increasing in numbers due to conservation funded through Tourism.

Added Plus for Uganda:

In May of 2017, CNN picked Bwindi Impenetrable as one of the Best 5 parks to visit in all of Africa. This is another accolade for this UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Pearl of Africa – Uganda.

You can now track Gorillas in one of the best parks in all of Africa with over 400 Mountain Gorillas.

Enjoy a visit with our close cousins – the Gentle Giants of the Forest – the Mountain Gorillas in Volcanoes National Park Rwanda, Mgahinga Gorilla Park and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda.


If you like to include Rwanda and Uganda Gorilla Treks in your Safari – let us know – you can always Trek Gorillas in both Countries