The minimum number of days you need for Uganda gorilla trekking or gorilla habituation safari is 3 days Uganda gorilla trekking. Rwanda’s minimum gorilla trekking days is atleast 2 days Rwanda gorilla tour.
Although one day gorilla trekking safari is possible in Rwanda, it’s a rushed and tight program. You do not get to immerse into the other life outside gorilla tracking. Even the time of returning from gorilla trekking in Rwanda is unknown which may cause you to miss calculate your flight time. Chances of missing your departure flight because of late check in after gorilla trekking are high with one days gorilla trekking in Rwanda.
The one day Rwanda gorilla trekking experience is supported by the short drive time from Kigali Airport to Volcanoes National park which is 3 hours. The roads from Kigali airport to Musaze is smooth giving tourists a better ride compared to Rwanda’ counterparts Uganda and D.R.Congo.
in Uganda, the drive time from Entebbe Airport or Kampala to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga National Park is about 8 hours to 9 hours. One cannot drive to these uganda national parks and do gorilla trekking the same day. Not even when you take the fly- in gorilla trekking experience in Uganda.
How much time do you need for gorilla trekking safari
The minimum number of gorilla trekking day in Uganda is 3 days gorilla tour because the first day is driving from Entebbe or Kampala to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park which takes about 8 hour to 9 hours. The second day is gorilla trekking the third day is departure day.
Rwanda’s minimum number of gorilla trekking day safari is 2 days Rwanda safari with the first day being the arrival day. You may not be in position to connect to Volcanoes National Park, unpack your gorilla trekking gears and catch up with briefing at the ranger station. The drive time from Kigali airport to Volcanoes National Park is about 3 hours.
Although the time of finding the mountain gorillas during gorilla trekking is unknown incase you have a tight holiday schedule, you can still catch up with late night departure flights after gorilla trekking. You can still take part in
The cost of gorilla trekking safari in Uganda starts with the gorilla permits which costs $700 for foreign nonresidents, $600 for foreign residents and 250000 shs for East African residents.
Rwanda gorilla trekking permits costs $1500 per person per trek for foreign nonresidents, $500 for foreign residents and $200 for East African residents.
Gorilla safari packages are categorized into luxury, mid-range and budget. Each of these categories has different content that makes it unique from another.
When calculating the cost of gorilla safari, some of the below are considered:
The number of people on gorilla safari, number of days on gorilla safari, activities to combine with gorilla safari, category of gorilla safari package and others.
The cost of gorilla permit include the below park entrance fees, security during gorilla safari, mountain gorilla conservation support, local community support, ranger guide fees, one hour with the mountain gorillas, certificate after gorilla trekking.
Exclusion of gorilla trekking permit area: transport, accommodation, tips, porter hire and any other items of personal nature.
When Is The Best Time To Book A Gorilla Trekking Safari?
Gorilla trekking is open all year however tourists prefer the dry season which is normally June, July, August, September, December and January. During this season, the mountain gorillas walk freely in the wilderness, the mountains keep hoping from one branch to another, birds are exciting to watch and so much more. Although the Virunga area has a dense network of Rivers, during the dry season they flow with in there normal course.
Since the dry season is also the peak Uganda or Rwanda tourism season, the competition for the gorilla permits is extremely high. You need to secure your gorilla permit in advance to avoid last minute panic while trying to find permit availability.
In the wet season which is normally March, April, May, November, chances of finding last minute gorilla permits are more open. The demand for these gorilla permits is slightly less than the peak season but however, you have to secure the gorilla permit in advance. Availability of gorilla permits changes any time no matter the season.
Is gorilla trekking adventure safe?
Gorilla trekking is safe in Uganda and Rwanda however, because the rangers are highly trained to support tourists during gorilla trekking safari and the forest dwellers. Each day a team of trackers follows the mountain gorilla families to establish there possible hangout spot. They communicate this to the ranger station and it is these clues that ranger guides escorting tourists use to lead the trekkers in the wilderness.
Before a gorilla family is open to public booking, it is first habituated for some time until ready to be visited by the public. Gorilla habituation is a process where a team of rangers and researchers follow a wild gorilla family to get them used to human presence without altering there nature. Through this process, the mountain gorillas get familiar with human presence and can stay with humans for atleast one hour.
The topography of the gorilla trekking area is mountainous with ridges and plateaus where mountain gorillas spend part of there life. You may need to hike in order to get to the mountain gorillas. Having some level of fitness helps you get where the mountain gorillas may be spending the day.
How Long Is Gorilla Trekking Safari In Uganda Or Rwanda?
The time of locating the mountain gorillas is unknown because they are free primates that move in the wilderness without stopping. Some tourists have go the chance to locate the mountain gorillas in two hours while other have spent over three quarters of the day.
Finding the mountain gorillas depend on factors like proximity of mountain gorilla food, prevailing weather conditions, death of a family member, pace of trekkers and others.
Some level of patience is required so as to enjoy the gorilla trek and make your dream safari come true. Having an open mind during gorilla trekking safari keep your mind focused on other interesting features in the forest other than the mountain gorillas.
The ranger guide follows the pace of the slowest trekker but do not use this to your advantage to delay the rest of the trekkers.
Upon locating the mountain gorillas, you have one hour in the company of the mountain gorillas. This is to allow them go on with there day today life like feeding, grooming there infants, procreation to mention but a few.
Both Uganda and Rwanda are great for gorilla trekking because the mountain gorillas are living in only three countries in the entire world that is Uganda, Rwanda and D.R.Congo. Visiting the mountain gorillas is a dream come true experience worth adding on your African safari bucket list.
The moment you stand before the mountain gorillas makes you forget all you may have gone through trying to plan this adventure. No matter where you do gorilla trekking, watching the mountain gorillas is a heart-melting experience. Some of the few differences between gorilla trekking in Uganda and Rwanda are:
The number of gorilla trekking permit
Uganda currently has 152 gorilla permits per day in 19 gorilla trekking families while Rwanda currently has 96 gorilla permits from 12 gorilla families.
Cost of gorilla permit
The cost of Rwanda gorilla permit is currently $1500 per person per trek while the Uganda gorilla permit cost is $700 per person per trek.
Additional activities to combine with gorilla trekking
Uganda has more optional activities to combine with gorilla trekking like game drives, chimpanzee trekking, visit source of river Nile, white water rafting, Uganda multi-cultural experience, uganda birding to mention but a few.
Rwanda is limited with additional activities to combine with gorilla trekking including visit genocide memorial, birding, game drives, chimpanzee trekking to mention but a few.
Drive Time from Airport to gorilla safari destination
The drive time from Kigali airport to Volcanoes National Park is about 3 hours while the drive time from Entebbe airport to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga National Park is about 8 hours to 9 hours.
Which Assurance Can I Have To Find The Mountain Gorillas?
Seeing the mountain gorillas has 98% assurance because they live in cohesive families and feed from a particular area for sometime. They normally relocate when food is exhausted and move as an entire family. Each day a team of trackers follows these mountain gorillas earlier and delivers a report that acts as a clue for rangers leading the tourists.
Although gorilla trekking is in the vast Virunga area, the ranger guides start the trek from the trails leading where the mountain gorillas where last seen the previous day. locating the mountain gorillas depends on a number of factors prevailing in the wilderness.
The trackers also keep in constant communication with the ranger guides so that they follow the right direction of the mountain gorillas.
Be sure to find the mountain gorillas during gorilla trekking because failure to locate them calls for a refund. The Uganda wildlife Authority and Rwanda Development invoke the gorilla permit refund policy in case you fail to locate the mountain gorillas.
How difficult is Gorilla trekking in Uganda or Rwanda?
Gorilla trekking is strenuous because of the nature of the topography where the mountain gorillas live. This area is volcanic with remnants as deep valleys, ridges and plateaus. Sometimes the mountain gorillas spend there day at the slopes and so you need to locate them.
During the severe wet season, the mountain gorillas love spending there day at the slopes and so you need to find them. This is quite strenuous as you need hike to find them.
You need to have some level of fitness before the gorilla trek in order to get to the mountain gorillas.
A pair of safari boots to use in the soggy and slippery jungle while you trek to find the mountain gorillas. They must be comfortable enough to use in case you have to hike where the mountain gorillas may be spending there day.
Safari hat to cover your head from water that drips off the large tree branches
Rain gear as its rains in the jungle without warning no matter the season. this area received untimely rains.
A torch because solar energy is the main source of power in this are and yet there is less sunlight received at times. You need to use the torch.
Safari attire in colors that are wilderness friendly like tan and Khaki which do not show dirt when you go through the jungle.
Insect repellent to keep away biting insects that may hurt you while in the jungle.
Extra pairs of fully charged batteries in case one runs low. Yet you need to take photos of your gorilla safari experience.
A duffle bag to carry with your belonging because you may not get assistance when carrying your belongings.