New Year’s gorilla and chimpanzee trekking in Uganda and Rwanda
Traveling for gorilla and chimpanzee trekking in Uganda and Rwanda is an opportunity to broaden the year’s prospects. You do wind and unwind from the past year’s bustle and hustle because of the tranquility of the Virunga area.
The tranquility of the forests where chimpanzees live in Uganda and Rwanda gives you time off from the noisy environment in the towns. You can make time for yourself and plan your hope for the new year as you lay strategies.
Most Popular Safaris
Ensure you book your gorilla and chimpanzee permits from Uganda and Rwanda in advance because this is a festive season, yet a cap is put on the number of permits sold per activity. The maximum number of gorilla permits sold daily is 8 per gorilla family in Uganda and Rwanda. The maximum number of chimpanzee trekking permits sold daily is 6 per troop.
Everyone in the gorilla trekking group must obtain a gorilla and chimpanzee permit but must be eligible for this activity. The age limit for gorilla trekking in Uganda and Rwanda is 15 years and beyond. The age limit for chimpanzee trekking in Uganda and Rwanda is above 12 years.
To do gorilla and chimpanzee trekking in Uganda and Rwanda, you need to know the destination where each is done.
Where to do gorilla trekking in Uganda and Rwanda
Volcanoes National Park is the only gorilla trekking habitat in Rwanda, located in the Northwest of the country. Volcanoes National Park is home to about 12 gorilla families open to public booking.
This park hosts other primates like golden monkeys, blue monkeys, grey-cheeked mangabey, vervet monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, olive baboons, and others.
Birding in Rwanda can only be completed by visiting Volcanoes National Park, home to over 200 bird species, including Albertine endemics. Some birds you may get to identify include Archer’s Robin-Chat, Rwenzori Turaco, Shelley’s Crimsonwing, Dusky Crimsonwing, and others.
The beautiful scenery created by five Virunga Volcanoes makes an excellent backdrop for the park. These highlands include; Mountain Gahinga, Mountain Muhavura, Mountain Bisoke, Mountain Karisimbi, and Mountain Sabyinyo.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
In Southwestern Uganda lies the misty Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, home to many fauna and flora that have accumulated over time. This pristine forest is home to about 18 gorilla families formed from almost half the total number of mountain gorillas in the world.
Some of the so-far-recorded species in this park include over 310 butterfly species, 51 reptiles, 88 months, 200 trees, 10 primates, and 350 bird species, including seven on the red list of IUCN.
The growing list of fauna and flora in Bwindi forest is awed to a wide range of vegetation, including lowland forest from an altitude of about 1160 meters and Afromontane vegetation above 2600 meters.
Mgahinga National Park
Mgahinga National Park is one of the most dramatic parks on the slopes of three volcanoes: Mountain Muhavura, Mountain Gahinga, and Mountain Sabyinyo. At the moment, Mgahinga National Park has one gorilla family open for gorilla trekking: the Nyakagezi gorilla family.
In history, gorilla trekking in this park was only confirmed on the ground as the Nyakagezi gorilla trekking family used to wander into Rwanda. This gorilla family is steadily living in Uganda now, and Mgahinga National Park permits are available for pre-booking.
Mgahinga national park is a primate’s haven with others like golden monkeys, blue monkeys, grey-cheeked mangabey, vervet monkeys, black and white colobus, olive baboons, and others finding a home here.
Doing gorilla trekking in this park gives you a double opportunity to identify a wide range of birds, including Albertine endemics. According to ornithologists, Mgahinga National Park so far has 115 bird species recorded, but the list is expected to expand.
A hike of 8 hours return trip to Mountain Gahinga, Mountain Muhavura, and Mountain Sabyinyo is worth a try. You get to appreciate the great scenery of the new vegetation cover that Mgahinga National Park is known for.
Where to do chimpanzee trekking In Uganda and Rwanda
Nyungwe National Park
Nyungwe National Park is the only chimpanzee trekking habitat in Rwanda. The park has another chimpanzee trekking habitat at its periphery called Cyamudongo. The chimpanzee in Nyungwe National Park is semi-habituated, so expect them to show some wild behavior.
The headquarters of Nyungwe National Park are in Uwinka. From Kigali Airport, Nyungwe National Park is about 230 kilometers, which you can cover in 5 hours.
Nyungwe National Park hosts other primates like Angola Colobus, Mona monkeys, blue monkeys, Dent’s Mona monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, silver monkeys, olive baboons, and others.
Nyugwe forest is a hotspot for keen birders on Rwanda Safari, hosting over 283 bird species, of which 27 are endemics, with a high population of Albertine rift endemics. Some of the birds you may identify in Nyugwe National Park include Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher, Red-faced Woodland Warbler, Mountain Masked Apalis, Red Collared Mountain Babbler, Kivu Ground Thrush, Shelley’s Crimsonwing, Red Throated Alethe, and others.
Kibale National Park
Kabale National Park is Uganda’s primate haven, with the highlight being the chimpanzees. Over 1500 chimpanzees are believed to have a home in Kibale National Park. Two chimpanzee trekking sessions are available in this park: morning at 0800 and afternoon at 1500.
Other primates that find home in this park include black and white colobus, vervet monkeys, L’Hoests, blue monkeys, olive baboons, red-tailed monkeys, bush babies, potatoes, olive baboons, and others.
The ever-expanding bird list of this park so far has 325 bird species and more than 6 Albertine rift endemics recorded. The Bigodi wetland in Magombe swamp is the birder’s go-to area when visiting Kabale National Par. Some birds you may identify in Kibale National Park include the Yellow Spotted Nicator, Yellow-Rumped Tinkerbird, Little Greenbul, Blue Breasted Kingfisher, Abyssinian Ground Thrush, Crowned Eagle, and others.
Kyambura Gorge In Queen Elizabeth National Park
Doing chimpanzee trekking in Kyambura Gorge, about 100 meters deep, is adventurous. The erosion of River Kyambura that flows into the Kazinga channel formed Kyambura Gorge. You must wet chimpanzee trekking gear and get ready to hike slippery ground during the wet season.
Daily chimpanzee trekking in Kyambura Gorge happens at 0800 hours and 1400 hours.
Kaniyo Pabidi Forest In Murchison Falls National Park
When you use Masindi Road, Kaniyo Pabidi Forest is about 8 kilometers from Kichumbanyombo Gate. This home of chimpanzees is composed of giant Mahogany Trees and Ironwood trees. Look out for other primates like vervet monkeys, grey-cheeked mangabey, olive baboons, etc.
Kalinzu Forest Reserve on the Periphery of Queen Elizabeth National Park
This forest is located on the outskirts of Queen Elizabeth National Park. Although this is known for research about chimpanzees, during the peak season, tourists may be allowed to do chimpanzee trekking here due to demand.
Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary
Ngamba Island is home to chimpanzees that have been rescheduled from snares, abandoned, orphaned, and cannot return to their communities. This sanctuary was formed to educate visitors, the local community, and the general public about remarkable species and the relevancy of their fragile environment.
Two visitor sessions are conducted each day, early morning and afternoon. If you find feeding time, you can participate from the feeding platform. Watch the food drama showcased by the chimpanzees as they bring to life the idiom of survival of the fittest.
How To Book Gorilla and Chimpanzee Trekking Permits For Uganda And Rwanda
Have the dates when you wish to do gorilla and chimpanzee trekking. Our Tours consultant can advise you on how these activities can be done and the suitable days. Gorilla trekking takes a day and cannot be combined with chimpanzee trekking on the same day.
When you enquire about gorilla and chimpanzee permit availability for either Uganda or Rwanda, our safari consultant checks the permit list of either country.
If availability is favorable, we advise you to purchase your gorilla and chimpanzee trekking permits in advance. This is because they get sold out fast, especially in the peak season when demand for primate safaris in Uganda and Rwanda is at its peak.
How Much Can I Buy A Gorilla Permit For Uganda and Rwanda?
Uganda gorilla permits cost $700 per person per trek for foreign nonresidents, $600 per person per trek for foreign residents, and 250000shs for East African Residents.
Rwanda gorilla permits cost $1500 per person per trek for foreign nonresidents, $500 for foreign residents, and $200 for East African Residents.
What is included in the cost of a gorilla permit?
The gorilla permit cost in Uganda and Rwanda includes park entrance fees, security during gorilla trekking, gorilla conservation support, local community support, one hour with the mountain gorillas, ranger guide fee.
Exclusions of Gorilla permit cost are tips, transport to gorilla destinations, porter cost, packed lunch, and any other items of personal nature.
What is the Cost of a Chimpanzee Trekking Permit For Uganda and Rwanda?
The cost of Uganda chimpanzee permits varies with the destination. The Kibale National Park chimpanzee permit currently costs $200 per person per trek for foreign none residents, $150 for foreign residents, and 150000shs for East African Residents.
Note The cost of Kibale National Park includes Park Entrance fees.
Rwanda Chimpanzee trekking permit currently costs $90 per person per trek.
Inclusions of chimpanzee trekking permits in Uganda or Rwanda
Ranger guide fees, security during chimpanzee trekking, chimpanzee conservation, community support, one hour with the chimpanzees
Exclusions Of Chimpanzee Trekking permit For Uganda Or Rwanda
Transport to the destination, tips, porter fees, snacks, and any other items of personal nature.
What Is The Best Time To Book Gorilla and Chimpanzee Trekking Permit For Uganda And Rwanda?
6 months in advance for the gorilla permits and 3 months for chimpanzee permits, especially during the peak season, which is June to September and December to January.
Which Country Is Best For Gorilla And Chimpanzee Trekking Safari Of Uganda And Rwanda?
Combining gorilla trekking with chimpanzee trekking in either Uganda or Rwanda gets you closer to the great African Primates. During this safari, you understand the difference between mountain gorillas and chimpanzees. No matter where you go for gorilla and chimpanzee trekking in either Rwanda or Uganda, the feeling you get is magical.
Some of the differences between gorilla and chimpanzee trekking safari in Uganda or Rwanda include:
The number of gorilla permits
Uganda has about 19 gorilla trekking families with 152 gorilla permits open to the public daily, while Rwanda has 12 gorilla trekking families with 96 gorilla permits.
Number of activities to combine with gorilla and chimpanzee trekking
Uganda has a number of other activities like white water rafting, visiting the source of the River Nile, sport fishing, game drives, and others that you can combine with this primate safari. Rwanda has limited options to combine with this primate safari, like game drives in Akagera National Park, Kigali city tour, etc.
Cost of a gorilla permit
A Uganda gorilla permit costs $700 per person, while a Rwanda gorilla permit costs $1500 per person per trek.
Uganda chimpanzee trekking permit costs vary with location, while the current Rwanda chimpanzee permit costs $90 per person per trek.
Time is taken from Airport To Gorilla trekking Destinations
The drive time from Entebbe Airport to either Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga National Park is about 9 hours, while the drive time from Kigali Airport to Volcanoes National Park is about 3 hours.
How To Behave During Gorilla And Chimpanzee Trekking Safari In Uganda And Rwanda
- Keep a distance of about 8 meters from the mountain gorillas or chimpanzees when you locate them, as they are susceptible to human infections like flu, cough, covid-19, and others.
- When you catch a communicable infection, volunteer to stay behind before doing gorilla trekking or chimpanzee trekking.
- The age limit for gorilla trekking is 15 years and beyond, while the age limit for chimpanzee trekking is above 12 years.
- If you need to defecate, do it in a hole of at least 30 centimeters deep and cover well beyond recognition.
- No using flash photography when you locate mountain gorillas or chimpanzees.
- Try not to provoke the mountain gorillas or chimpanzees as you may agitate them, yet only one hour is allowed in their presence.
Contact us for more information.