GORILLA TREKKING SAFARIS IN UGANDA & RWANDA

GORILLA SAFARIS TO UGANDA AND RWANDA FROM $490PP

Encounter Africa safaris specializes in packaging gorilla trekking safari holidays to Uganda and Rwanda. Our gorilla and wildlife safaris will take you on an adventure into the tropical rainforest jungles of Rwanda and Uganda. Visit our great primates in the famous Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, Mgahinga National Park, and Volcanoes National Park on the Rwanda side to see the elusive mountain giants.

Our trips take care of all the hustle and bustle of a Rwanda and Uganda trip including processing the gorilla permit, entry fees & permits, putting together your itinerary, and transfers, and making sure you are booked in the best accommodation facilities.

Apart from gorilla trekking holidays, Encounter Africa safaris Holiday packages feature wildlife and cultural experiences in Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Congo. Are you looking for responsible and nature-friendly Gorilla trekking safari holidays and wildlife expeditions for 2024-25?

Are you looking for pocket-friendly and value-for-money Uganda safaris?  Speak to one of our experienced safari advisors for inspiration or friendly advice. Our team is on hand to provide personalized customer service and expertise.

2024-25 GORILLA TREKKING SAFARI OFFERS

Gorilla trekking is an outdoor activity where tourists are allowed to see mountain gorillas for one hour after purchasing a gorilla permit in Uganda and or Rwanda. On every East African Safari traveller's bucket list is gorilla trekking in the tropical jungles of Uganda and Rwanda. Encounter Africa has been in the forefront of creating unforgettable memories of seeing the mountain gorilla in the last decade (we have reviews to show off) and we celebrate this achievement by continuing to take our travelers through thick, misty, wet and impenetrable jungles and Rwanda's Volcanoes to spend those memorable 60 minutes with the mighty giant cousin and his family.

We specialize in preparing gorilla trekking safaris in Uganda and Rwanda. Check our blog for first hand information on gorilla permits prices and availability, which gorilla family you should track, when is the best time to visit mountain gorillas, what to pack, how to get there and what should be the best choice of accommodation. Take a private or group gorilla safari depending on your budget, include something else on the trip like a classic wildlife safari or take a shorter route through Kigali in Rwanda—choosing the best destination route is quite important for a great gorilla tracking trip.

GORILLA HABITUATION EXPERIENCE

Gorilla Habituation Experience is a new and unique way of spending a great wildlife holiday in the African jungles that offers a fantastic opportunity to spend up to four hours amongst a family of the remarkable mountain gorilla. Rather than an all-to-brief 60 minutes in their company, observe and photograph them interact, play and groom one another at a gentler pace paying the same price you would pay in Rwanda's Volcanoes National Park. This is a one time chance to take part in the valuable task of habituating gorillas to the presence of humans.

There are just two gorilla families that are currently being habituated, in the dense foliage of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Trek deep into the trees in search of these sociable creatures, led by highly trained trackers and guides. Pick up the trail of clues that they have left behind as they roam through the forest. After a challenging trek through the green wilderness, eventually reach the family’s location. Approach cautiously, getting close to these powerful yet intelligent creatures.

TRENDING GORILLA SAFARI HOLIDAYS FOR 2024-25

5 Day Gorillas & Rafting The White Nile
FROM $2385 per person

5 Day Gorillas & Rafting The White Nile

 

Explore the source of the mighty Nile river and later hike into Bwindi to track the elusive mountain gorilla..

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RWANDA GORILLA TOURS

GORILLA TOURS STARTING FROM KIGALI



LUXURY GORILLA TOURS

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CUSTOMER REVIEWS

  • star ratingExceptional service and an amazing experience!  - Excellent service - Was able to curate my own trip with assistance from the company. Everything was so easy and payments safe too. Easy booking, great communication, great driver/guide, really... read more

    KittyK1
    August 12, 2023

    star ratingAmazing trip to Uganda - I booked my trip with Encounter Africa Safaris. It was a five das trip As a solo traveller. Dennis, the organiser, was extremely helpful and caring during the whole... read more

    anamK1018DQ
    July 25, 2023

    star ratingAn amazing lifetime experience to see the most beautiful animals. Loved it! - I can wholeheartedly recommend this tour. It was awesome! My guide and driver for the 5 days was Stephen. He was friendly and knowledgeable. It was great meeting him. The... read more

    Jonathan B
    August 3, 2023

    star ratingOUR TRIP WAS INCREDIBLE - My partner an I had the most incredible vacation! It is difficult figuring out which safari company to choose since there are so many. BOOK THIS ONE!! We travel the... read more

    Seeheathergo
    July 21, 2023

    star ratinggreat agency - we had an amazing experience using Encounter Africa, very professional staff, super reactive, reliable and friendly. the hotel selection that was proposed was very good value for money and the... read more

    edouard h
    August 21, 2023

    star ratingWe did the 3 day Gorilla Tracking Safari and it was a truly once in a lifetime experience. Leading up to the event, Dennis was wonderful for communicating and Godwin,... read more

    Jasminejuwvipart
    August 27, 2023
  • star ratingExcellent experience with Encounter! - Seamless experience from start to finish. Great communication with Denis when booking. Denis gave me several options for lodges/tours and provided guidance along the way when deciding which was the... read more

    NYCgirl04
    July 9, 2023

    star ratingGreat Safari Tour - Wow, what an amazing tour we had. Gorillas, chimps, tree climbing lions, elephants and much more. Our guide Jason was really knowledgeable and very easy going. Thanks alot for a... read more

    Lewis B
    July 28, 2023

    star ratingWorth every penny! - We did the two-day Gorilla Trek excursion from Kigali, Rwanda to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and back.

    SimonGeo98
    July 10, 2023

    star ratingThe whole experience, from start to finish, was absolutely amazing. Adams is THE MAN!! Everything ran seamlessly, from pick up to drop off. Adams was great at keeping us entertained... read more

    Sarah B
    July 28, 2023

    star ratingAmazing experience!  - My husband and I did the three day gorilla trekking tour. We had an amazing time! Our driver Martin really made the experience. When we travel we like to try... read more

    Serene S
    July 4, 2023

    star ratingUganda the Beautiful - Writing for my husband as he did a solo tour in Uganda: Absolutely amazing journey and wonderful country. Encounter Africa delivered everything that they said they would, and Patrick... read more

    Kristine K
    August 14, 2023

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)

 What is gorilla trekking?

Gorilla trekking refers to the activity of tracking and observing gorillas in their natural habitat, typically in dense forests and mountainous regions of Central Africa. This experience allows individuals to venture into the natural habitats of wild gorilla populations and witness these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat. To see gorillas, one must enroll on one of our Rwanda Gorilla safaris packages or Uganda gorilla treks listed on our website. For those seeking something special tailored to their needs, get in touch.

One needs to acquire a gorilla permit for gorilla trekking in Bwindi National Park, Mgahinga, Volcanoes NP, or Virunga to be able to see these mountain gorillas. The process of gorilla trekking in Rwanda and Uganda normally starts with an early morning briefing at the respective park headquarters, then a hike or walk into the forest following the trail used by mountain gorillas, and once found, you spend only one hour with the mountain gorillas. You will then return back and be offered a certificate. The trek itself may take up to 30 minutes or three-quarters of the day, but once you find gorillas, you are allowed to spend only one hour with them. Encounter Africa Safaris offers tailor-made Rwanda gorilla safaris to see gorillas in Volcanoes National Park. Feel free to contact us.

What is Gorilla hesitation Experience

The Gorilla Habituation Experience is a specialized and extended version of gorilla trekking, where visitors have the opportunity to spend more time in the presence of wild gorillas during the habituation process. Habituation is the process by which wild animals become accustomed to the presence of humans and learn to tolerate them without exhibiting aggressive behavior.

The Gorilla Habituation Experience is a specialized and extended version of gorilla trekking, where visitors have the opportunity to spend more time in the presence of wild gorillas during the habituation process. Habituation is the process by which wild animals become accustomed to the presence of humans and learn to tolerate them without exhibiting aggressive behavior. 

When is the best time to trek gorillas in Rwanda and Uganda?

While it is possible to trek mountain gorillas in Rwanda and Uganda year-round, the periods of June, July, August, and early September, as well as December through February, are generally considered more favorable due to drier weather conditions. It's essential to note that despite these recommendations, there is no absolute assurance of avoiding rain, given that Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, a tropical rainforest, is subject to microclimatic variations. Consequently, weather conditions may vary even during the suggested months.

During the high season, gorilla permits for visiting gorillas in Rwanda's Volcanoes National Park and Bwindi National Park are priced at USD 1500.00 and USD 700.00 per person, respectively. For budget-conscious travelers, taking advantage of Rwanda's low season gorilla permits at USD 1050.00 provides an opportunity to experience Rwanda gorilla trekking at a more affordable rate. Planning the trek during the low season can be a strategic approach for those mindful of costs while still seeking an enriching gorilla encounter. For more information about Uganda and Rwanda gorilla treks, get in touch on whatsapp or email.

Read More about best time for gorilla trekking.

How much is a gorilla permit in Uganda or Rwanda?

In Uganda, a gorilla permit costs USD 800.00 for non-residents and USD 700.00 for foreign residents. In Rwanda, the gorilla trekking permit is priced at USD 1500.00 for non-residents. This permit is like your special card that allows you to spend an hour with the mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (Uganda) or Volcanoes National Park (Rwanda). All Gorilla safaris to Rwanda and Uganda require you to hold a valid gorilla permit which must be booked and paid for in advance.

Read more about gorilla tracking and permit booking.

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Uganda

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, situated in southwestern Uganda, is a unique and biodiverse natural haven that is home to the endangered mountain gorillas. The park is divided into four regions, each offering a distinct gorilla trekking experience. In the North, there's the Buhoma region, while the Ruhija region lies to the east. Moving south, one encounters the Rushaga and Nkuringo regions. Each of these regions is associated with habituated gorilla families, making them accessible for gorilla tracking. When planning a gorilla trek in Bwindi, it's crucial to consider the specific region you want to explore, as this choice influences factors like the lodge you'll stay in, the gorilla permit, and your transportation. For detailed information on Bwindi gorilla treks and holidays, you can reach out to Encounter Africa Safaris. They can provide guidance on the best options based on your preferences and plans.

Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda

Volcanoes National Park is a renowned conservation area located in the northern part of Rwanda, known for its captivating landscapes and the protection of the endangered mountain gorillas. The park is part of the larger Virunga Massif, a chain of volcanic mountains that spans Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Volcanoes National Park is famous for its role in gorilla conservation and Rwanda gorilla trekking safaris.

The park is divided into sectors, each offering a unique gorilla tracking encounter. Visitors can explore different regions, such as Kinigi, Bisate, and Sabinyo, each home to specific habituated gorilla families. When planning a Rwanda gorilla tour in Volcanoes National Park, the choice of sector matters, influencing accommodation options, gorilla permit details, and transportation arrangements. For personalized guidance on Volcanoes National Park gorilla treks and holidays, contacting Encounter Africa Safaris can provide valuable insights and assistance tailored to individual preferences and plans.

When should I book my Rwanda or Uganda gorilla permit?

It is recommended to secure your Rwanda or Uganda gorilla permit at least three months in advance, particularly during high season, to avoid potential shortages. To ensure availability on your preferred date for gorilla tracking in Uganda or Rwanda, please reach out to us with your intended booking date for Uganda holidays or Rwanda gorilla trekking safaris. We will provide guidance on permit availability for that specific day and assist you in planning your unforgettable gorilla trekking experience.

When should I book a gorilla permit?

It is recommended to secure your Rwanda or Uganda gorilla permit at least three months in advance, particularly during high season, to avoid potential shortages. To ensure availability on your preferred date for gorilla tracking in Uganda or Rwanda, please reach out to us with your intended booking date for Uganda holidays or Rwanda gorilla trekking tours. We will provide guidance on permit availability for that specific day and assist you in planning your unforgettable gorilla trekking experience.

What is included with the gorilla permit?

Rwanda gorilla trips or Gorilla safaris in Uganda can only be guaranteed if one has secured a gorilla permit for Volcanoes National Park, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga. Your gorilla permit grants you the unique opportunity to spend one hour with mountain gorillas in the breathtaking surroundings of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (Uganda), Mgahinga, or Volcanoes National Park (Rwanda). The permit cost includes entry fees for the respective parks, giving you access to the gorillas' natural habitat. Additionally, the services of experienced National Park guides and rangers, who will accompany you through the forest and enhance your gorilla trekking experience, are also part of the package. To ensure a seamless adventure, Gorilla Tracking Uganda will take care of securing your permits well in advance, ensuring a hassle-free and unforgettable encounter with these magnificent creatures.

How long does a gorilla trek in Uganda or Rwanda take?

The duration of a mountain gorilla trek in Uganda or Rwanda can vary widely, ranging from a brisk twenty minutes to a substantial three-quarters of the day. It's essential to be prepared for a range of possibilities. Several factors influence the trek's duration, including the movement patterns of the mountain gorillas, the location where they spent the previous night, and the mood of the gorillas. Additionally, the pace of the trek can be influenced by the individuals in your group, as guides and rangers move at the pace of the slowest person. Gorilla Tracking Uganda, operating as Encounter Africa Safaris, is more than happy to provide you with all the necessary advice and information to ensure you are well-prepared for this unique and captivating experience.

What are the chances of seeing a mountain gorilla?

We are delighted to assure you that the likelihood of encountering gorillas in either Bwindi National Park or Volcanoes National Park is an impressive 98%. It's common for some tourists to consider booking multiple gorilla treks, fearing they might miss out on seeing gorillas during the first trek and hoping for better luck on subsequent treks. The reality is that gorilla trekking in Bwindi, Mgahinga, and Volcanoes in Rwanda is well-organized. Every day, an advanced team of trackers sets out early to locate the gorilla groups.

Once located, they communicate the whereabouts of the gorillas to the park headquarters and your assigned ranger guide for the day. Your trek then begins from the area where the gorillas spent the previous night until you find them. Throughout the trek, the advanced team maintains communication with your guide to ensure you stay on the right track. If the gorilla family is on the move at a rapid pace, the team will coordinate with your guide. If necessary, and to ensure your safety and enjoyment, the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) may decide to redirect you to another gorilla family.

For more detailed information and personalized advice, please feel free to contact us.

What is the age limit for gorilla tracking?

The age limit for gorilla tracking in Uganda and Rwanda, as well as golden monkey trekking in Uganda, is 15 years. It's important to note that authorities strictly adhere to this age restriction. Therefore, all clients and children must be 15 or older to participate in these activities to avoid any disappointments, such as being refused to track. Before booking your Gorilla Tracking Uganda safari holidays with us, we ensure that you have all the necessary details regarding age restrictions.

For trekking chimpanzees in Uganda, the age limit is 15 years old. In Rwanda, children aged 10 years and older are allowed to trek golden monkeys as long as they are accompanied by an adult. While children under 15 years are permitted to visit Dian Fossey's tomb, it's essential to note that the hike to the tomb is challenging, so it is not recommended for children under 15-13 years.

What to pack for a gorilla trekking trip

When planning for your gorilla safari in Rwanda and Uganda, thorough preparation is key. We recommend packing trousers, long-sleeved shirts or blouses, and long socks to tuck into your trousers for added protection. Don't forget to bring garden gloves, a hat, sunglasses, and hiking boots for comfort and safety on the trek. Insect repellents are essential to ward off bugs in the forest environment. Additionally, pack some energy-giving foods to keep you fueled and energized throughout the trek. Being well-prepared ensures a more enjoyable and comfortable gorilla trekking experience.

What to pack for a gorilla trekking trip

When gearing up for your gorilla trek in Uganda and Rwanda, thorough preparation is key. We recommend packing trousers, long-sleeved shirts or blouses, and long socks to tuck into your trousers for added protection. Don't forget to bring garden gloves, a hat, sunglasses, and hiking boots for comfort and safety on the trek. Insect repellents are essential to ward off bugs in the forest environment. Additionally, pack some energy-giving foods to keep you fueled and energized throughout the trek. Being well-prepared ensures a more enjoyable and comfortable gorilla trekking experience.

More about packing list and gorilla trekking gear.

Does Rwanda have discounted gorilla tours?

Yes, Rwanda offers discounted gorilla tours during the low season months of May and November. While Uganda stopped low-season discounted gorilla permits in 2017, Rwanda still provides this option. To benefit from Rwanda's discounted gorilla permits, you are required to book at least three additional days in one of Rwanda's National Parks. These parks include Akagera National Park and Nyungwe Forest National Park.

The cost of Rwanda's discounted gorilla trekking permits is USD 1050.00 per person per trek to experience gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park. This fee covers the Volcanoes National Park entry fees, the opportunity to spend one hour observing habituated mountain gorillas, and the services of a well-trained gorilla ranger or guide. Taking advantage of these discounted permits allows you to enjoy the incredible experience of gorilla trekking in Rwanda at a more affordable rate.

Is it possible to track Uganda gorillas via Kigali Airport?

Yes, it is indeed possible to track Uganda gorillas via Kigali, Rwanda. By flying into Kigali International Airport, travelers can significantly reduce the drive time to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, which takes approximately 5-6 hours. This is a more time-efficient option compared to using Entebbe International Airport, where the drive time can range from 8-9, and sometimes up to 10 hours from Entebbe to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

The introduction of the East African tourist visa has further streamlined travel between Uganda and Rwanda. With this visa, costing USD 100.00, you can easily visit three East African countries: Uganda, Rwanda, and Kenya. Additionally, travelers can now apply for a Rwanda visa upon arrival, simplifying the visa acquisition process. For more details about Bwindi gorilla safaris through Kigali Airport and assistance with travel arrangements, feel free to contact Encounter Africa Safaris. They can provide you with the necessary information to plan a seamless and enjoyable gorilla trekking experience.

Does DR Congo have discounted gorilla permits?

Yes, the Democratic Republic of Congo offers discounted gorilla permits. The regular gorilla permit to trek mountain gorillas in Congo's Virunga National Park is priced at USD 400.00. This fee covers park entry fees, one hour of observing gorillas, and the services of a ranger guide during the trek. However, Congo also provides discounted gorilla permits at a reduced rate of USD 300.00. These discounted permits can be arranged for you when booking an all-inclusive tour with Encounter Africa Safaris.

For more details about Congo's discounted gorilla permits and affordable Congo gorilla safaris, you can contact Encounter Africa Safaris through phone or email. They will be able to provide you with the necessary information and assist you in planning a memorable and budget-friendly gorilla trekking experience in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

How many people are allowed to trek a gorilla family?

Only a maximum of 8 people are allowed to trek or visit a given gorilla family in Bwindi, Mgahinga, and Volcanoes National Park in Uganda and Rwanda. In Bwindi, where there are about 14 habituated gorilla families, each family is limited to hosting a maximum of 8 people per day for one hour. While this is the standard guideline, there may be rare circumstances where park management allows more than 8 people, and if such situations arise, the park authorities will provide explanations.

For gorilla habituation experiences, which involve spending an extended four hours with mountain gorillas under habituation, only 4 people are permitted to be present. This smaller group size ensures a more controlled and intimate experience for those participating in the gorilla habituation process.

When you should book a gorilla permit?

To secure your spot for gorilla trekking, it is highly recommended to book your Rwanda and Uganda gorilla permit well in advance. Gorilla permits are in high demand and tend to sell out quickly, especially during peak seasons. At Encounter Africa Safaris, we advise booking your gorilla permit 3-4 months ahead of your planned trek to prevent last-minute disappointments. The high seasons, including June, July, August, September, December, January, and February, are particularly busy, and permits are likely to be scarce.

For detailed information about the availability and cost of securing gorilla permits, please reach out to Encounter Africa Safaris. They can provide assistance and guide you through the process of booking your gorilla permit to ensure a smooth and successful gorilla trekking experience.