Mountain gorillas are undoubtedly the main reason why so many people travel to Uganda and Rwanda, making a 3 days Gorilla Trekking Uganda is one of the highlights of every trip there.
A journey to view mountain gorillas in their native environment in the tropical woods of Africa is known as “gorilla trekking.”
In this article you will learn about gorilla trekking vacations to view gorillas in the wild, how to get a permit, and tour operators that organize such treks.
When Should You Visit Africa To See 3 days Gorilla Trekking Uganda?
In Uganda, Rwanda, and the Congo, gorilla trekking is possible all year round. Going gorilla trekking is most recommended between the months of June, July, August, September, and December.
This is due to decreased rain and dryer parks, which make hiking and seeing the gorillas easier. The average daily high and low temperatures in Bwindi are 11°C/52°F in the morning and 23°C/73°F in the afternoon.
- Low season months of January and February provide fewer crowded areas. hardly any or light rain.
- March, April, and May are the wettest months of the year. The trek’s slick slopes present the most challenge.
- June, July, and August are peak seasons, therefore it’s crucial to get your permits in advance since they sell out. The best time to visit Rwanda and Uganda for a gorilla safari.
Which company should I go with if I want to go gorilla trekking?
Top Ugandan Gorilla Tour Operators
In Rwanda and Uganda, there are a ton of travel companies offering gorilla safaris. The selection of a tour operator will be influenced by a number of variables, such as cost, the availability of gorilla permits, internet reviews, and suggestions on different websites.
Where Can I Stay?
Your ability to pay will determine which safari lodge or lodging is ideal for you. Some lodges price up to $2500, whereas the more affordable ones only charge $50 for a double room.
Everything depends on the amenities, surroundings, menu, services, and so much more.
Average Hotel and Lodge Prices
- $50 to $100 is the range for a cheap hotel.
- $150 to $200 for a midrange luxury room, with a daily rate of $300 to $2500.
- Ask your tour operator about booking near to the tracking location.
Uganda’s Top 5 Gorilla Safari Lodges
- From $760, Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Lodge
- From $700, Gorilla Height Lodge
- Mahogany Springs beginning at $ 240
- From $233, Gorilla Safari Lodge
- Starting from $173, Lake Mulehe Gorilla Lodge
What Will the Price of a Gorilla Safari Be in 2022?
- Cost of a Day of Gorilla Trekking in Uganda: $1100
- A 2 day gorilla safari would run you about $1280.
- An average 3 day gorilla tour costs $1450.
Of course, different tour companies may offer you rates, but generally speaking, the least expensive gorilla safari should cost around $1100, of course depending on how many people travel.
You could expect to pay between $ 4000 and $ 6000 per person for the super-luxury. Most visitors like the mid-range, not too budget, but inexpensive accommodations, according to reviews of the majority of gorilla tour providers in Uganda.
If you plan your safari during the off-season, those fees should be reduced! If you’re not interested in Uganda, go here for information about gorilla safaris in Rwanda or the Congo. Otherwise, read the remainder of the article.
You might be wondering why a gorilla trekking safari costs so much money and if it is worthwhile. This is a breakdown.
In Uganda, a gorilla trekking permit costs $ 700, and 75% of the funds are used to protect the remaining gorilla population.
The local communities near the parks will receive 10% of the funds, while the government keeps 15%.
Be aware that the permit price covers park admission costs, one hour of gorilla watching, advance trackers, and ranger fees.
Other Trekking Expenses To Think About
Food and drink expenses average $50 per day. The majority of tour operators offer soft drinks and meals.
- Transportation Fees.
- Your country’s airfare should range from $500 to $2400.
- Chartered planes costing $600 from the airport to locations near gorilla trekking sites.
- You could expect to pay around $80 per day to rent a car.
Crossing Borders and Visas
A $100 East African tourist visa will allow you to go on safari in Tanzania, Kenya, or Rwanda.
Porters will charge you $20 and $500 to rent a sedan chair so they can carry you.
Advice For Saving Money
- Do not go on your own.
- Top affordable hotels to stay at.
- Select Uganda instead of Rwanda.
- Buses for public transportation frequently leave late.
- Don’t take chartered planes.
- Plan your gorilla excursion during the off-peak period.
Where In Africa Can I See Gorillas?
Gorillas may be seen in Congo, Rwanda, and Uganda. However, take notice that gorillas are mostly split into mountain and lowland subspecies, with a few others included.
For viewing mountain gorillas, we advise Rwanda and Uganda. For viewing lowland gorillas, we advise the Republic of Congo.
Mountain gorillas can also be found in the DR of Congo, but it has proven difficult to do so in some locations because of internal unrest.
Some visitors believe that gorillas may be found in Tanzania even if they want to go on safari there! This is untrue.
You may search for things like Kenya gorilla trekking on Google. South Africa, Kenya, and Tanzania are all devoid of gorillas. We always urge you to take one of these multi-destination safaris, especially if you’re in East Africa.
In general, mountain gorillas are bigger with heavier black coats whereas lowland gorillas are smaller with brownish-gray far coats and a pronounced forehead ridge.
Less than 800 mountain gorillas remain in the African bush, making them the rarest primate in the world. On the other hand, the Republic of Congo alone is home to more than 100,000 lowland gorillas.
Also Read: Safari in Kruger National Park, South Africa
Where To Go In Uganda For 3 days Gorilla Trekking Uganda
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park are the two gorilla safari destinations in Uganda.
There are a total of 18 gorilla groups or families, and you are only permitted to follow one group every day.
The finest location or park to watch gorillas in the wild is Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, which includes 17 gorilla groups.
With Bwindi tours, you may see 11 primates, including the black-and-white colobus monkey, and 90 other kinds of mammals.
Groups for Bwindi Gorilla Trekking
- Gorilla families, Mukiza, Oruzogo, Bitukura, and Kyaguliro are part of the Ruhija Trek.
- Buhoma Trek: Rushegura, Katwe, Mubare, and Habinyanja.
- Rushaga Trek: Kutu, Bikingi, Mishaya, Bushigye, Kahungye, Rwigi, Bweza, Nshongi, Mucunguzi Nkuringo Trek: Christmas, Nkuringo, Bushaho
Family of Mgahinga Gorillas
You can follow the Nyakagezi group at Mgahinga Park, which is bordered by the slopes of the Virunga Volcanoes, including Mts. Muhavura (4,127m), Gahinga (3474m), and Sabinyo (3645m).
Safari with Luxury Gorilla Trekking
The Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda offers the most opulent gorilla treks.
A 9-day luxury Rwanda safari costs over $ 15,000 when staying in opulent hotels like Bisate Lodge, Singita Kwitonda Lodge, or Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge in Rwanda, yet a gorilla permit is $ 1500 per person.
Clouds Lodge, Mahogany Springs, and Gorilla Forest Camp are the best accommodations in Uganda.
African Gorilla Tours on a Budget
Congo and Uganda both have gorilla permits with the lowest prices, both at $450. For Uganda gorilla trips, inexpensive lodging in Bwindi National Park starts at $100 a night.
Choose from the Buhoma Community Rest Camp, Gorilla Valley Lodge, and Bwindi Backpackers Lodge. The most cheap hotel in Rwanda is Hotel Muhabura.
Which nation offers the best chance to see mountain gorillas? Uganda and Rwanda Comparison
Given that they are all forest-dwelling mountain gorillas, this is a very challenging topic. Almost the same surroundings.
Since Uganda has more wildlife than Rwanda does, comparing the two countries is not a smart idea.
Please take aware that the price of gorilla permits in Rwanda has just raised to $1500 per person, while those in Uganda cost USD 700 per person.
The permit allows you to spend an hour in a group of eight with mountain gorillas.
If the fee seems intimidating, consider the fact that you are helping to protect mountain gorillas and will be rewarded with an hour of close observation and enjoyment of their company as a way of saying “thank you.”
Remember that only 80 individuals are permitted to view the gorillas each day in their natural environment.
Every step you take in this forest leaves a trace since their ecosystem is so delicate. In conclusion, the greatest spot to watch gorillas is in Uganda.
African Gorilla Tours Packing List
- Hiking boots with waterproofing.
- Day pack.
- Insect repellents.
- A lightweight raincoat
- Water in bottles
- Footwear: boots for trekking
- Vintage gardening gloves
- Long trousers or pants
- Energy bites.
How Difficult Is the 3 days Gorilla Trekking Uganda?
The number scale for Gorilla Trekking ranges from 50 to 100.
Moderate Hike, Moderate Difficulty
The most frequent element affecting the difficulty of gorilla trekking is your level of physical fitness. Others include the outside temperature and the weight of your gear.
You may request a troop of gorillas that will march to the beat of your level of fitness. Although gorilla trekking is not very difficult, some individuals in their 60s and 70s have completed it. A porter is essential.
How challenging is the hike then? To start, 60% of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is over 6,600 feet in height.
The elevation range for the whole park is 3,904 to 8,553 feet. Some of the hills are really steep. Depending on the gorilla family, the experience lasts 2 to 6 hours.
Visitor Guidelines For Gorilla Tracking
Since these apes share 98% of our DNA, gorillas might get the corona virus. Gorillas are susceptible to the flu and other airborne infections, making Covid 19 a serious threat to their life.
- Keep your distance from the gorillas at 7 meters.
- There is a 15-year minimum age requirement.
- You only have one hour to view the gorillas.
- The wearing of masks is crucial.
- Do not sneeze.
- Sanitize while adhering to other SOP rules.
Expectations for a Gorilla Safari
Expect to get out of your cozy bed on the morning of your trip and arrive at the briefing location by 7:30am.
Following a briefing, eight visitors will be assigned to each of several tracking routes. Set off towards the jungle in search of gorillas with the assistance of guides and rangers.
You could witness different species of monkeys, butterflies, animals, and much more in the forest. Sometimes the wilderness presents difficulties, therefore being physically fit will be necessary.
Be prepared to be sweaty and muddy at the end of the day.
It’s alright to snap pictures with your camera or iPhone after you see the gorillas, but don’t use flash since the animals could charge.
You will be with these gentle giants for anywhere from forty minutes to an hour. It will be a very transformative experience.
After the hike, return to your lodging or choose to visit a Batwa pygmy community for a cultural experience.
What About The Habituation Experience With Gorillas?
Gorilla habituation is the process of acclimating wild gorillas to people. For three years, gorillas are trained by scientists and park rangers.
You can join the group of researchers and park rangers after completing the training. Only four guests are permitted. It is unique due of this.
The price of habituating a gorilla is $1500 per person per day. The most thrilling aspect of this encounter is that you directly participate in the habituation of the gorilla!
How To Acquire A 3 days Gorilla Trekking Uganda Permit
At Uganda, gorilla trekking is done in Mgahinga National Park or Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
But the majority of the sold licenses are for Bwindi NP because of the unpredictable behavior of gorillas in Mgahinga.
Each gorilla permit in Uganda costs US $ 700. April, May, and November used to cost US $ 450 in previous years.
Please be aware that these deals are no longer available. Only 8 individuals are permitted to view a gorilla family on any given day, despite the fact that roughly 72 people visit Bwindi to observe gorillas.
The most common error is choosing a gorilla family that is distant from your preferred lodging, thus we strongly advise you to schedule your gorilla permit via a safari agent!
This is an isolated place, thus getting to Bwindi and its many districts might be challenging.
To save costs, you can wind up spending more if you decide to travel on your own on the gorilla trip. This is something that qualified safari guides can assist you with.
Price of a Gorilla Safaris Permit
- $700 Uganda gorilla permit (1 Hour with the gorillas)
- A Gorilla Habitat Permit in Uganda Costs $1500 ( A full Day Experience)
- Costs $1500 for a gorilla permit in Rwanda.
- A $400 Congo Gorilla Trekking Permit
- East African nationals must pay the permit fee of 250,000 shillings.
Many tourists who wanted to hike gorillas found the process to be exhausting and chose the speedier, less exhausting alternative of booking their trekking permits through a local Uganda safari company.
These tour companies often charge an additional price of $60 to $100 for each permit.
These gorilla tour companies won’t charge you for purchasing a gorilla permit if you also use their other tour services, like transfers, but if you only want a permit from them, they may charge an additional fee of up to US$100 per gorilla permit they reserve because they have to make calls, pick the permit up from the Uganda Wildlife Authority and deliver it to you, as well as pay other administrative costs.
The procedure is more or less the same as described above, except the tour companies typically expedite the reservation so you may confirm your gorilla permit more quickly.
You let them know the details of your trip to Uganda, including the day you want to go gorilla trekking.
If your desired dates are open for trekking, they will let you know and also temporarily reserve them.
They will provide you with our bank account information so you may transfer funds for the gorilla permits or even pay with a credit card.
You will receive an email from them acknowledging the money transfer. Please don’t forget to tell your bank to take the transaction’s bank fees out of your account.
If you book the remainder of your tour via them, they don’t charge an additional fee for the gorilla permit.
Any extra expenses paid throughout the permit application process will be for telecommunication and transportation services.
A copy of your passport with the information needed to register for your permission will be sent by you. Typically, all that is required is your entire name, country, and passport number.
You will register your names before obtaining the gorilla permission. When they get the money, they will purchase the gorilla permit, but even with this permission, there is no 100% assurance that you will see gorillas, even though your odds are 98% or higher.
It’s important to remember that tour operators in Uganda typically purchase up to 80% of the permits through their joint organization, AUTO, for a period of up to two years prior to the desired date of gorilla trekking.
The maximum number of permits that any member agency may purchase in a single month is 20.
But three months before to the chosen month for gorilla trekking, when bookings open on the very first working days from Monday to Friday of that month, people and those not covered by the AUTO umbrella may purchase a maximum of two gorilla permits per month.
The number of licenses sold by a single operator or even a single person is not capped; those that are not sold at the start of the booking days are resold the following day.
Also Read: Etosha National Park in Namibia
Safaris to Other Primates in Africa
In addition to tracking mountain gorillas, you may also see chimpanzees in Kibale Forest National Park, golden monkeys in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, and various other monkey species in Uganda.
The finest wildlife safaris in Uganda may be had after your gorilla safari by visiting the tree-climbing lions of Ishasha, Murchison Falls National Park, Kidepo Valley National Park, and PianUpe Reserve.
Chimpanzee tracking in Kibale Forest National Park
13 different species of primates may be found in Kibale Forest. The usual track for hiking is the Kanyanchu, and it lasts from 8 am to 2 pm.
This place also offers chimpanzee habituation experiences. Obtaining a $150 permission is necessary for the tracking of the chimpanzees.
The best safari plan is a 3-day trip to Kibale. We advise booking a room at Primates Lodge Kibale.
Chimpanzee trek and wildlife safari in Queen Elizabeth National Park
To view chimpanzees, go to Kyambura Gorge. Each day, 16 permits are granted. Trekking here is more difficult than it is in Kibale.
Depending on where the chimpanzees are and how fit you are, the trip lasts roughly 3 hours. Each journey costs $50 per person.
The minimum age is twelve. Baboons, colobus monkeys, vervet monkeys, and red-tailed monkeys are among the other primates present.
Other fauna in Queen Elizabeth National Park includes lions that can climb trees, hippos, buffaloes, leopards, elephants, antelopes, several bird species, and more. Visit the Mweya Safari Lodge, Katara Lodge, or Jacana Safari Lodge for the night.
Gorilla Safari in Volcano National Park
In the Volcanoes National Park in the Virunga Mountains, gorilla tracking is done in Rwanda. A permit for gorillas costs $1500. 17 gorilla families live in Rwanda.
The Susa group is the ideal choice for our Rwanda gorilla trips. The months of late June, July, and August are the ideal times to visit Rwanda.
One of the eight Virunga Mountains is Volcanoes National Park. In Karisimbi, Bisoke, Sabyinyo, Muhabura, and Mgahinga, primates may be found. Congo’s Virunga National Park and Kahuzi Biega National Park are home to additional gorillas in Africa.
African Golden Monkey Tracking
The second-best primate trekking activity, right after chimpanzee tracking, is finding golden monkeys.
In the Virunga highlands, in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda, and in Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, you may see golden monkeys.
How Do I Dress? Selecting the Correct Clothing
Gear for Gorilla Trekking, dependable walking shoes If you undertake any treks or even climbs, remember to bring thick layers of clothes for the chilly evenings and wet weather attire because it gets cold and rainy up here.
A thin jacket is a need. It’s vital to have gloves, long sleeves, pants, and knee-high hiking gaiters. For gorilla trekking, you need to pick the best hiking footwear.
Learn more about the appropriate safari attire to wear while on an African safari, as well as the finest camera and binoculars to bring along.
How Do Gorillas Look? Mountain Gorilla Trekking
Usually Males may reach heights of 6 feet and weights of 350 to 500 pounds, making them twice as big as females.
These have long, powerful arms and are sturdy. The reason why the males are known as silverbacks is that as they become older, the hair on their backs begins to resemble silver.
Even with the use of drugs, guys have 10 times the strength of the strongest boxer. Silverbacks have seven-foot-long arms.
Because they live in colder climes and higher elevations than their lowland counterparts, mountain gorillas have longer and darker hair.
They have a life expectancy of 40 to 50 years. Although they will occasionally climb a tree if it can sustain them, mountain gorillas prefer to stay on the ground for the most part.
However, just like kids, their young often play in trees. The 98% genetic similarity between gorillas and humans is an amazing number.
The lowlands gorillas of western Africa make up the majority of the gorillas you may have seen in zoos, while the mountain gorillas are actually a subspecies known as Gorilla beringei beringei.
These are unique to the wilds of Rwanda’s Virunga mountains within Volcano Park. Visit Rwanda, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda, Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
The distance between these parks is only 48 kilometers. While these parks are easily accessible in Uganda and Rwanda, there was a potential hazard to tourists’ lives in the Democratic Republic of the Congo owing to rebel activity.
There are more than 786 mountain gorillas in existence worldwide. Nearly half of all people in Uganda reside in Uganda, with the bulk of them in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and the remainder in Mgahinga Gorilla Park, however some of them occasionally travel into Rwanda.
Fortunately, the gorilla population is increasing due to the protection provided by the Ugandan government, which also includes the efforts of the nearby communities to the parks receive a portion of the USD 600 price for gorilla tracking licenses levied by international tourists to Mgahinga and Bwindi.
Mountain Gorillas’ Feeding Behavior
Mountain gorillas may be spotted in two locations in Uganda: Mgahinga Gorilla Park, a gorgeous park that is a part of the Virunga range of massive volcanoes that stretches into the DRC and Rwanda, and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park.
Gorillas are most numerous in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. It is an old woodland that is also referred to as “the Place of Darkness.”
This woodland is incredibly gloomy because of the tree cover. The elevations of the forest range from 1,160 to 2,607 meters above sea level.
Both the Bwindi and Mgahinga have unique qualities as well as commonalities. While the Mgahinga is a zone of extinct volcanic activity, the Bwindi is not.
The Mountain Gorillas migrate up to the higher elevations of Mgahinga Gorilla Park to graze on some of the afro-montane plants.
The critically endangered mountain gorillas often consume enormous amounts of seasonal flowers, leaves, fruit, roots, bamboo, and shoots. The daily caloric limit for adults is 75 pounds.
A Mountain Gorilla’s day begins at 6 am and lasts until 6 pm, including a nap at noon. Light first reaches Uganda soon after 6 am, and darkness sets in around 7 pm.
These migrate daily to new areas, where they build their nests from of twigs and leaves and spend the night. These have proven to be just snug enough for some folks to fall asleep in.
Do Mountain Gorillas Pose a Risk to Humans?
Do mountain gorillas pose a threat to visitors to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest?
Although dominating and powerful, these gorillas are peaceful and quiet, and the mountain gorillas tourists meet in Uganda have become used to people.
In other words, they become used to people, which takes around two years.
Dian Fossey really opposed the practice of going on mountain gorilla tours, but the money raised now ensures the survival of this critically endangered species, as seen by the rise in mountain gorilla populations in recent years.
Mountain gorillas strike when they feel threatened in order to defend their own. The leader Silverbacks fights to death when various Mountain Gorilla clans collide.
Recent fighting between two silverbacks in the Democratic Republic of the Congo required ranger intervention.
Mountain gorillas can be found in groups of two to thirty or forty, although ten are the most usual number. Since infants are born all year round, there is no set time of year when mating occurs.
While females start giving birth between 10 and 12 years old, men start reproducing at 15 years old. Females might have four to six children during their lifespan by giving birth every two to three years.
Over half of the females will leave their group, whereas males typically leave at around age 11. There are now 25 noises that experts have identified as being used by mountain gorillas to communicate. These sounds include roars, grunts, and yells.