There are fewer than 1005 mountain gorillas in existence, and gorilla trekking provides a rare opportunity to observe the everyday interactions of these gentle, mysterious primates.
Mountain gorillas only live in the dense vegetation of Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and along the dormant volcanic Virunga mountain range that stretches across Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, Uganda’s Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, and Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Gorilla trekking is an experience like no other. Visiting these gentle primates in their natural habitat has become one of the planet’s ultimate wildlife experiences.
Gorillas are, usually, found at high altitudes (2,500-4,000 m) in montane forests, as well as bamboo forests.
Your trek is conducted under the supervision of park rangers. They will guide you to one of several habituated troops, whose movements are monitored around the clock.
The hike through the forest is challenging and tough-going (your guides will often have to machete a path through the ferns that clog the undergrowth), but it’s within reach for anyone with a reasonable level of fitness. Beneath the forest canopy the humidity is very high, you will get muddy and sweaty!
Eventually, after trekking through the forests, you’ll come across a gorilla family, peacefully playing in a forest clearing. You’ll have a good 45 minutes to an hour to just sit and observe these animals in their natural habitat. We promise it’s something you’ll never ever forget.
To trek gorillas, you will need a permit.
We provide gorilla trekking tours to both Rwanda & Uganda.
Rwanda’s gorillas live in, the beautiful, Volcanoes National Park (Parc National des Volcans), roughly two hours’ drive from the capital Kigali.
Covering a vast 8,000 kilometres square, this stunning area protects five of the nine staggeringly beautiful Virunga Mountains, each characterised by steep slopes that are blanketed in a thick green, tropical rainforest.
It is widely regarded that gorilla families in Rwanda are more accessible, thanks to easier trekking. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that you are at higher altitude here which carries its own effects.
There are two gorilla trekking spots in Uganda: Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Bwindi is home to half of the world’s mountain gorillas.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is an ancient, montane and lowland forest spanning 128 square miles.
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park accounts for 13 square miles of the larger Virunga habitat, which stretches across 168 square miles into Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
In Uganda, the hikes are often longer and steeper, although some prefer this “wilder” challenge.
A very common question when looking into gorilla trekking is; Uganda or Rwanda? It’s a great question and one which can only be answered by individual circumstance and preference.
This can be influenced by:
We are very familiar with both destinations. You can use our expertise to help make your decision.