Gorilla Journeys Africa – Rwanda & Uganda

Gorilla Safaris in Uganda take you to Mgahinga and Bwindi national park in Uganda. Bwindi has the highest number of mountain gorillas (45% of the overall population). Gorilla trekking in Uganda stands out because she has many gorilla groups available for tracking. It is only in Uganda where tourists can spend 4 hours with gorillas in what is known as the gorilla habituation experience.

While gorilla tours in Rwanda are also popular because the Volcanoes National Park is very close to capital Kigali. There is also this belief that gorilla safaris in Rwanda offer easier treks to the gorillas compared to other national parks.

This safari will start will Kigali city tour where you will visit museum, the genocide memorial, the market and the organized city as well. After that city enjoyment, drive to volcanoes national park for your gorilla encounter.

Situated in the far northwest of Rwanda, Volcanoes National Park protects the steep slopes of this magnificent mountain range home of the endangered mountain gorilla and a rich mosaic of montane ecosystems, which embrace evergreen and bamboo forest, open grassland, swamp and heath.

Use this chance to see a chain of dormant volcanoes making up the Virunga Massif: Karisimbi the highest at 4,507m, Bisoke with its verdant Crater Lake, Sabyinyo, Gahinga and Muhabura. Don’t miss out on the calls of 200 species of colourful birds and chattering of the rare golden monkey, the only one of the truly unique experiences in the area.

The drive to Volcanoes national park is 2 hrs and hence one can do gorilla tracking on the same day and drive back to Kigali after the trek. You will be required to arrive at the headquarters of ORTPN in Kinigi, at the park entrance, by 7:00 am, therefore, if you hope to trek gorillas for one day, you have to wake up very early for your journey so that you are on time.

A hike to Dian Fossey tomb has presently become a not miss on every Rwanda safari to Volcanoes national park. Dian Fossey was an American primatologist and anthropologist who committed her life to the conservation of the Mountain Gorilla by conducting an 18-year comprehensive study about the fateful ape. Go hike the Dian Fossey grave as a tribute to her great work of protecting the Volcanoes Mountain gorillas which today are still existing and your able to come see them. Very advisable to go do the tomb hike the day after your gorilla safari in the Volcanoes Forest.

After all that is done why go without golden monkey trekking yet it’s on that same transport cost? Golden monkeys trekking takes place in Volcanoes national park and at the same time 7:00 just like gorillas. These rare species are also listed as endangered and Volcanoes national park currently has two habituated golden monkeys’ troops that are available for visiting by tourists in the park, both of which make about 80 members.

Just like in mountain gorillas, travelers to see golden monkeys are required to buy permits at $100 per permit which allow them to access and spend an hour with these amazing creatures. It is worth going for while in Volcanoes National Park and if you’re interested in wildlife, this is a rare and delightful experience not to be missed!

They live in the bamboo vegetation towards the base of the volcanoes and habituation has helped them to overcome their initial shyness to accept their daily visit by researchers and tourists. Trekking golden monkeys and gorillas is a similar experience in a small group of no more than eight people, and you can spend one hour with the monkeys once you find them. The endangered species are very active creatures, and jump from tree to tree which is really interesting and a little difficult to photograph!

After a number of days experiencing once in a lifetime, drive back to Kigali and head to Uganda for yet another gorilla adventure. Cross to Bwindi via Kisoro where you will have another close encounter with mountain gorillas thereafter take a rest at Bunyonyi.

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest has 17 gorilla groups making it the best place or park where you can see the gorillas in the wild. Bwindi safari gives you access to 90 mammal species, 11 primates including the black and white colobus monkey.

The permit of $700 offers you one hour with the mountain gorillas in a group of 8 people. In case you are threatened by the price look at it in this point of view that you are contributing to the conservation of mountain gorillas and as a form of thank you, you will be rewarded with an hour in the midst observing and enjoying their company.

Keep in mind that just 80 people are allowed to see the gorillas in their natural habitat each day. Because their habitat is very fragile, every time you walk in this forest you leave a footprint. Uganda is the best place to see gorillas. Take a one-day relaxation at Bunyonyi to refresh from the jungle hikes then after cross back to Kigali for your flight.