Gorilla trekking is one of the reasons travellers come to Uganda and Rwanda as its the only destination where gorilla trekking is carried out in the whole of Africa. Gorilla trekking is done both in Rwanda and Uganda and travellers who have been to either countries can testify that its more less the same when it comes to this activity. However, most people intending to go for gorilla safaris always ask about Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda vs Uganda. Visit and tour Rwanda is here to tell two differ especially in price!
Visit and tour Rwanda will help differentiate the two countries for you but the choice on which country to visit still depends on you. There are a number of factors that you need to consider as you choose the perfect gorilla trekking destination.
The Gorilla permit is a must for both countries so one has to purchase a gorilla permit before you can go gorilla tracking. Gorilla permits in Uganda are 600 USD each, while the Gorilla permits in Rwanda cost 1500 USD per person.
All round pricing of a 3 day gorilla safari in Uganda is almost the same as the price of a 3 day gorilla safari in Rwanda. The difference is that there are more activities to add to your safari in Uganda than in Rwanda.
Gorilla trekking Time and Travel
Uganda’s main entry point is Entebbe international airport. It is a 9-10 hour drive from Entebbe international airport to Bwindi impenetrable forest and to one of the four starting points for gorilla trekking in the thick rainforest. You can book a flight to Bwindi Impenetrable forest at an added cost of course. You will either have access to Rusahga and Nkuringo in the north of the Bwindi impenetrable forest or Buhoma and Ruhija in the south. All these are gorilla trekking sites within Bwindi Impenetrable forest. If you choose to travel by road, however, you will need three days for gorilla tracking. The good thing is you can add many more things to do on your trip such as chimpanzee trekking, golden monkey tracking, game viewing or enjoy some cultural tourism.
In Rwanda, gorilla tracking sites are close to the airport is a 3-4 hour drive from Kigali. Two days are enough for one to take a gorilla safari in Rwanda. You can visit one wildlife park probably Akagera national park and go chimpanzee or golden monkey tracking in addition to the gorilla tracking, or explore Kigali and visit the memorial center.
Gorilla Tracking Experience
Gorilla tracking in Bwindi impenetrable forest requires more physical fitness and energy. The rain forest is very thick and takes more physical effort to track the gorillas through it. It for most people this makes the experience more exciting. Tracking the gorillas is just as thrilling as or even more thrilling than finally seeing the gorillas up close.
In Rwanda on the other hand, gorilla tracking is done on the side of a volcano, and the tracking is a bit easier. On a Rwanda gorilla trek, you are assigned a group based on your physical abilities while in Uganda you are assigned a group according to your gorilla permit.
Gorilla Viewing and photography
Bwindi impenetrable forest is a very thick forest and it is quite dark if you want to take pictures, but whether you get good pictures depends on a number of factors such as the family you are visiting, the camera, the time and the location. But it is very possible to get good pictures of the gorillas within the impenetrable forest, many have done it before.
In Rwanda, you will be climbing up the side of a volcano, tracking through the vegetation might be a little challenging but you will still get a clear view of the gorillas and some pictures as well. So whether its Rwanda or Uganda, you will see the gorillas just fine, and will be able to take good pictures.
Safari lodging in both countries is quite good and very reliable.
Bwindi Impenetrable forest has a number of lodges and campsites locates around the forest and in the nearby towns, many of them over look the forest. There is something for everyone, up-market, and budget lodges, so you can select one according to your budget and preference and you enjoy your gorilla trekking.
For the most part, accommodation in Rwanda is found in town in the city Kigali.
Which of the 2 countries has more mountain gorillas?
The gorilla population in the African wild is over 880. Some of these are in Democratic Republic of Congo, some in Rwanda and some in Uganda. 1/3 of the 880 gorilla sis found in Rwanda, and 480 of them, which is more than half of those found in Uganda. 400 in Bwindi impenetrable forest and 80 in Mgahinga gorilla national park.
There are 10 groups of habituated gorillas in Rwanda, one in Virunga National Park and 11 groups in Volcanoes National Park. Habituated gorillas are those that have adapted to human presence and are open to visitors.
What other activities can be done in addition to gorilla trekking?
Both Rwanda and Uganda has more to offer than the gorilla trekking experience.
In Rwanda you can go chimpanzee tracking, or golden monkey tracking. You can also go on the Nyungwe forest canopy walk, visit Akagera national park, or hike the Congo trail in addition to tracking mountain gorillas.
In Uganda, there is a lot of things to do as well. you can chimpanzee tracking, visit some of the game parks such as Queen Elizabeth national park and go on game viewing drives, or bird watching, see some tree climbing lions, go white water rafting on the Nile, enjoy some mountain climbing and enjoy a bit of cultural tourism. Both countries are destinations rich with tourist sites and activities. So you can go for your gorilla safari in whichever one feels right and more adventurous for you. At visit and tour Rwanda can plan a trip for you to either country and do our best to make sure it is an adventure and unforgettable.