If you've ever dreamed of coming face to face with majestic mountain gorillas in Uganda but dread the long drive from Kampala, then Gorilla Safaris from Kigali should be the best option. Bwindi Impenetrable National and Mgahinga, where gorilla trekking adventures happen, are located 500 km from the International Airport, requiring almost 10 hours of driving.

Since the two gorilla parks offer the most budget-friendly options to trek gorillas, tourists prefer Uganda for gorilla safaris, and the shortest route is through Kigali. On this page, we give you the best offers for this incredible journey into the magical world of Uganda Gorilla Safaris, starting from the vibrant city of Kigali.

Traveling from Kigali and Border Crossing

Your unforgettable journey begins in Kigali, the capital city of Rwanda, known for its lush greenery, friendly locals, and rich cultural heritage. Kigali International Airport is the main entry point for travelers heading to Uganda for gorilla safaris. The city itself is a fascinating blend of modernity and tradition, making it an ideal place to start your adventure. From Kigali, you'll embark on a scenic drive through the picturesque landscapes of Rwanda. The journey itself is an adventure, offering glimpses of rolling hills, terraced farms, and local villages. As you approach the Uganda-Rwanda border, you'll begin to sense the anticipation of what lies ahead. It takes about 3 hours to reach the border and about 30 minutes to go through immigration procedures. Expect to drive for about an hour to reach the gorilla destinations in Uganda.



Uganda is an ideal choice for remarkable gorilla safaris that leave a lasting impression, especially if you take the short route from Kigali. With a diverse selection of safari options, there is an adventure suited for every type of explorer. Immerse yourself in the vibrant natural scenery and have the incredible opportunity to visit the magnificent gorillas from a close proximity. Don't solely rely on our endorsement; take a moment to peruse the enthusiastic feedback shared by individuals who have gone on our extraordinary gorilla tours.

  • 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 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 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

    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

    July 9, 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

    July 25, 2023
  • 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

    August 12, 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

    July 21, 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

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

    July 10, 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

Places you can trek gorillas coming from Kigali

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest 

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, located in southwestern Uganda, is a remarkable sanctuary renowned for its exceptional biodiversity and its crucial role in the conservation of endangered mountain gorillas. The park encompasses a vast lush rainforest, mist-covered hills, and rugged terrain, creating an enchanting and seemingly impenetrable landscape. 

One of its most notable inhabitants is the mountain gorilla, of which nearly half of the world's population resides within the park's borders. To access Uganda gorilla safaris in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park from Kigali, the capital city of Rwanda, travelers a scenic drive that takes approximately four to five hours, covering a distance of around 170 kilometers. This journey typically involves crossing the Rwanda-Uganda border at Katuna or Cyanika, followed by a drive through the beautiful countryside of southwestern Uganda.

More details about Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

Volcanoes National Park

Volcanoes National Park, nestled in the dramatic Virunga Mountains of Rwanda, is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts and a sanctuary for the endangered mountain gorillas. This stunning park is renowned for its lush bamboo forests, mist-shrouded peaks, and captivating biodiversity. Home to a significant portion of the remaining mountain gorilla population, it offers visitors a unique opportunity to trek mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. To access Volcanoes National Park from Kigali, the capital city of Rwanda, travelers can take on a scenic drive of approximately two to three hours, covering about 110 kilometers. The well-maintained roads wind through picturesque landscapes, with stunning views of the rolling hills and rural countryside. It's also possible to arrange domestic flights from Kigali to the nearby Musanze airstrip, reducing travel time to a short 30-minute flight, followed by a brief transfer to the park entrance.

More details about Volcanoes National Park

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, located in southwestern Uganda, is a captivating gem in the Virunga Mountains. This small yet remarkable park is renowned for its unique blend of captivating wildlife, stunning landscapes, and rich cultural heritage. It is home to the rare mountain gorillas, golden monkeys, and various other wildlife species. To access Mgahinga Gorilla National Park from Kigali, the capital city of Rwanda, travelers can embark on a scenic drive that takes approximately four to five hours, covering a distance of around 160 kilometers. The journey typically involves crossing the Rwanda-Uganda border at either Cyanika or Katuna, followed by a drive through picturesque countryside and rolling hills.

More details about Mgahinga National Park

Best time to go for a gorilla safari?

The best time to go for Uganda gorilla trekking safaris from Kigali is during the drier months of June, July, August, and early September. These months offer more favorable weather conditions, with less rainfall and less mud on the trekking trails. It's the peak season for gorilla trekking, so it's important to book your permits well in advance, as they tend to sell out quickly. The demand is high due to the limited locations where mountain gorillas can be found and their endangered status.

Read month-by-month details >>

Trek Gorillas in Uganda vs Rwanda

Both Rwanda and Uganda offer incredible gorilla encounters, but the choice depends on personal preferences. Rwanda's Volcanoes National Park provides convenience and accessibility with shorter travel times and well-developed infrastructure. Uganda's Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park offer a more immersive experience with larger gorilla populations and diverse landscapes. Conservation efforts are prioritized in both countries, and encounters with mountain gorillas are equally awe-inspiring. Consider factors such as accessibility, costs, and additional attractions when deciding between the two destinations.

A more comparative detail >>

Uganda and Rwanda Entry Visa

Apologies for the previous incorrect information. Both Uganda and Rwanda offer the convenience of online visa applications. Travelers can apply for the Uganda visa at and Rwanda visa at in advance. This allows for smoother entry into both countries, eliminating the need for visa-on-arrival procedures. Additionally, for those planning to visit multiple East African countries, including Uganda and Rwanda, obtaining an East African Visa is highly recommended. The East African Visa allows for multiple entries and covers travel to Uganda, Rwanda, and Kenya, making it an excellent option to streamline the visa process and facilitate hassle-free travel within the region. It's important to check the latest visa requirements and application procedures before planning your trip.

How to book an East African Visa >>

Frequently Asked Questions

Why go gorilla trekking in Uganda via Kigali, Rwanda?

Which Uganda gorilla national park is better for gorilla safaris from Kigali?

Which Uganda-Rwanda border do I use if I want to trek Uganda gorillas from Kigali?

Which Uganda-Rwanda border is better if I want to visit Rushaga and Nkuringo gorillas from Kigali?

Which Uganda-Rwanda border is better if I want to visit Ruhija and Buhoma gorillas from Kigali?

Which Uganda-Rwanda border is better when planning a Mgahinga gorilla safari from Kigali?

How far is Kigali from Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda?

How far is Kigali from Mgahinga National Park in Uganda?

Why should I use Encounter Africa Safaris to book my Uganda safari via Kigali, Rwanda?

Is it possible to do a Uganda gorilla safari from Kigali in two days?

Should I use Rwanda or Uganda tour operators to book my Uganda gorilla safari from Kigali?

Which regions of Bwindi are better for Gorilla Safaris from Kigali?

When is the best time to book Uganda gorilla safaris from Kigali?

What other safari activities can I add to my Uganda gorilla safari from Kigali?

Is it possible to do a gorilla habituation experience safari from Kigali?

How do I secure a Uganda gorilla permit when I book a safari starting from Kigali?

Why should one avoid doing a one-day gorilla trek from Kigali?

Which visa should I apply for when planning a Uganda gorilla safari from Kigali, Rwanda?

Are there delays on Uganda-Rwanda borders that can affect my gorilla trekking experience?