All about Gorilla Trekking

Gorilla trekking is a thrilling adventure through dense forests to observe mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. Trekking gorillas in Rwanda happen in volcanoes national park where experienced guides lead small groups of eight and encounter with these majestic creatures providing a unique wildlife experience. It is a conservation success story contributing to the protection of these endangered primates. Volcanoes national park is found in Rwanda; a haven for bio diversity known for lush landscapes and endangered mountain gorillas. The park encompasses a chain of volcanic mountains including Karisimbi and Bisoke, it is also a primate location where visitors get chance to witness these creatures within their natural environment as they enjoy beautiful views of the stunning scenery of the Virunga massif. Gorilla trekking in volcanoes is a captivating adventure of guided hikes through the lush terrain to encounter mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. The activity starts in the morning with a short briefing of the dos and don’ts of gorilla trekking, you are then accompanied by experienced guides who help in identifying your assigned gorilla family. The activity takes about 2 to 3 hours and once you get to encounter these creatures, you are given one hour to observe and learn their feeding ways and take a few snaps to keep for future memories. After trekking, you are supposed to go back to the starting point. In Uganda, gorilla trekking happens in Bwindi Impenetrable and Mgahinga gorilla national parks located in south western part of Uganda. These destinations provide awesome and adventurous gorilla trekking experiences where you get to encounter gorillas in their natural habitat. Gorilla trekking in Bwindi impenetrable national park starts early in the morning with a short briefing about the dos and don’ts of trekking, you are then divided into groups of eight and accompanied by experienced guides through the jungle in search of these creatures. Trekking takes about 2 to 3 hours depending on where gorillas will be found and once you get to encounter your assigned family, you are allowed to be with them for about 1 hour as you closely observe and learn about their daily activities. You are free to take a few snaps to keep for memories, once you finish, you are required to get back to the starting point for your certificate of participation. Gorilla trekking in Mgahinga gorilla national park offers a unique and intimate experience because it is home to one habituated gorilla group namely Nyakagezi. If you are looking for a quieter, less crowded and private trek, Mgahinga should be your number one choice. Trekking begins early morning with a short briefing of trekking guidelines and later experienced guides accompany you through the jungle, dense forests and volcanic terrain searching for these incredible creatures. Trekking takes about 2 to 3 hours and you get chance to see other primates along the way like chimpanzees and monkeys, and once you get to find the Nyakagezi gorilla family, you are given one hour to learn about their feeding habits as you take a few snaps to keep for memories. Once the trek is done, you can go back to the starting point and receive your certificate of participation.

How to book gorilla trekking permits?

For the side of Uganda, gorilla trekking permits can be booked through contacting the Uganda Wildlife Authority through their email or physically contacting them. If you are not able to do that, you can book a gorilla permit through a standard and trusted tour company.

For the side of Rwanda, you can reach out to the Rwanda Development Board which is responsible for issuing gorilla permits through their contacts, website or email, you can as well book physically.

You can as well book through a trusted and licensed tour operating company.  

Cost of gorilla trekking permits.

In Rwanda, gorilla permits cost USD 1500

In Uganda, foreign residents pay USD600, Foreign residents pay USD700 and East African citizens pay UGX 250,000

Gorilla trekking packing list.

• Long sleeved shirts and trousers • Waterproof jackets • Hiking boots • Water proof back pack • Garden gloves • Sunglasses and hat • Insect repellent • Sunscreen • First aid kit • Camera or binoculars • Passport • Trekking permits • Packed lunch and water • Batteries • Torch • Exchanged money • Hiking stick • Portable charger.

Gorilla trekking rules and regulations.

Flash photography is strictly not allowed as it may disturb gorillas

Always keep distance of at least 7 meters away from gorillas

Visitors are limited to one hour of visit to gorillas to reduce on stress of the gorillas

Eating and drinking or chewing in the presence of gorillas is not allowed to prevent potential contamination

Always follow the instructions of the guide or ranger to ensure a safe encounter

Stay in your group to avoid splitting away to maintain safety

Always cover your mouth and noise while sneezing, coughing and yawning to reduce transmission of diseases.

Dispose of litter appropriately and follow leave no trace principles.

Respect the wildlife and their habitat to avoid unnecessary noise, and respect the natural environment at large

Gorilla trekking often has a minimum age requirement to participate of 12 years and above.