Comparing Gorilla Trekking in Uganda, Rwanda & DRC

Comparing gorilla trekking experience in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo – Which is the best destination to go for gorilla tracking safari – Uganda, Rwanda or the Democratic Republic of Congo? Which is more viable or cheaper?, In which country where I can get an east gorilla trek.

Gorilla trekking or tracking in Africa is one of the most truly exciting, lifetime experiences you should not miss to enjoy before you leave this planet earth.

The excitement attached to the first setting eyes on a wild mountain gorilla is difficult to describe. But in the same sense, that mysterious one hour spent with the gorillas does not come cheaply considering that a gorilla permit goes for US$750 in Rwanda, $600 in Uganda and USD450 in DRC– however, it is usually to find somebody who regretted the financial outlay.

Gorillas live in families like those of people. Despite the fact that the current mountain gorilla population is around 880, gorilla trekking must be done on the habituated mountain gorilla families. Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park host 10 habituated gorilla families, Bwindi Forest in Uganda has 12 and Virunga National park in DRC has 4 habituated gorilla families.

A maximum of 8 persons can visit a given gorilla family per day.
All else being equal, gorilla trekking experience in Volcanoes National park Rwanda has a slight edge over the rest on the ground that Rwanda gorillas are completely habituated and they are often found in bamboo than the thick jungle which makes photographing easier.

The main challenge with Rwanda gorilla trekking is absolutely the cost of the gorilla trekking permit at US$750 contrasted with Uganda’s US$600 per permit and DRC’s 450$ per permit. On the other hand, Rwanda’s pride is in the possibility for a tourist to do gorilla trekking in one day and fly back home which is impossible for Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Volcanoes National Park is situated in only 2 hours drive from Kigali International Airport and is about 116km from the Kigali city. On the other hand, Bwindi Forest is located in around 500km from Entebbe International Airport and can take 7 – 8 hours drive. In that sense, in Uganda you will send at least 3 days for your gorilla trekking safari – one day for traveling to Bwindi Forest, the second day for gorilla trekking, and the other day for driving back to Kampala/Entebbe. In a travel agent is organizing your tour package, they shall definitely have to consider this cost and include it in your tour cost.

With the on daily schedules flights to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, travel agent now can have 3 days flying packages to Bwindi Forest National Park.

In practice however, the 1-day gorilla trip is not recommended as a result of the much pressure it exerts on the tourist. For those with limited time, we would recommend the 2-days gorilla safari package.

Nonetheless, the long drive from Kampala to Bwindi Forest is quite interesting and rewarding with incredible landscapes all through like the Equator, Lake Mburo National Park, terraced mountains with flowing rivers, and a lot of rural Africa. This is not so really the case for the 2 hours drive from Kigali International Airport to Volcanoes National Park.

You will surely have to spend more on transport and time to trek gorillas in Uganda than it is for Rwanda in spite of the fact that this expense is compensated for by a cheaper gorilla trekking permit.

Furthermore, some parts of the road to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest are not in so good conditions to drive on yet on account of Rwanda, you drive on the smooth tarmac at least up to the Volcanoes National Park head office. Also, however, the roads driving from Volcanoes Park office to the gorilla trek trail-heads must be accessed with a raised 4×4 safari vehicle.