Gorilla trekking is a highly sought-after activity in Uganda, drawing thousands of visitors from all over the world to the country. Uganda is the most visited gorilla destination in Africa, hosting half of the world’s mountain gorillas in two national parks: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, which is located in the southwestern part of Uganda, is known for having the highest number of mountain gorillas in the world. The park is home to 19 habituated gorilla families that are divided into four sectors for tracking purposes: Buhoma in the north, Nkuringo in the south, Ruhija in the east, and Rushaga in the south. These sectors are easily accessible from Kigali, Rwanda, and are a great way to experience the gorillas in their natural habitat.
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, on the other hand, is located in the southwestern part of Uganda, on the border with Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The park is home to two habituated gorilla families: Nyakagezi and Hirwa family.
All 21 habituated gorilla families in Uganda are available for trekking on a daily basis. Gorilla trekking permits are required to track the gorillas, which can be purchased through the Uganda Wildlife Authority or through a reputable tour operator. It’s important to note that the permits are limited and tend to sell out quickly, so it’s advisable to book in advance to secure a spot.
The Uganda Gorilla Trekking Tour from Kigali is a great safari option for visitors who want to experience the endangered mountain gorillas of Uganda. Travelers will fly to Kigali International Airport and then make their way to Uganda via the Cyanika border in Kisoro or the Katuna border in Kabale. They will then visit either Mgahinga Gorilla National Park or Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. This tour option is a great choice for budget travelers who have limited time but still want to see the mountain gorillas.
There are several factors that make visiting the mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga Gorilla National Park from Kigali an appealing option. These reasons include:
Gorilla trekking in Uganda takes place in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, which are both located in southwestern Uganda, and can take an 8 to 10 hour drive from Entebbe Airport or Kampala. However, when traveling from Kigali, it only takes a 3 to 4 hour drive to reach the gorilla trekking destinations. This makes it a more convenient option for visitors who prefer a shorter distance drive to view the mountain gorillas in Uganda, and they are advised to book a gorilla trekking safari in Uganda from Kigali.
Gorilla trekking in Uganda from Kigali can help you save money in several ways. One of which is the cost of the gorilla trekking permit. A gorilla trekking permit in Rwanda costs $1500 per person for all nationalities, which is double the amount of a gorilla trekking permit in Uganda which costs $700 for foreign non-residents and $600 for foreign residents. Additionally, the minimum number of days required for a gorilla trekking safari from Entebbe is three days while from Kigali it is two days, and sometimes even one day if you have an early flight or you choose to stay in Kigali overnight and head to Uganda for the briefing which starts at 7:00am at the park headquarters. This can help you save money on accommodation and other expenses as well.
Gorilla trekking in Uganda from Kigali allows visitors to book a compact 2-day safari where they fly to Kigali International Airport and then travel to either Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga Gorilla National Park to carry out gorilla trekking on the second day, before returning to Kigali for their next flight. This is not possible if coming from Entebbe airport, as a minimum of 3 days is required, with the first day spent traveling to the national park (8-10 hours drive), the second day for gorilla trekking, and the third day for the return trip to Entebbe. By opting for a gorilla trekking safari in Uganda from Kigali, visitors can save on transportation, the length of the safari, and accommodation costs.
By choosing a gorilla trekking safari in Uganda from Kigali, visitors have the opportunity to explore not just one, but two countries. On this adventure, you will trek to see mountain gorillas in either Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda and also take in the breathtaking views of the rolling hills as you travel to Uganda. Additionally, you will have an opportunity to take a city tour of Rwanda post gorilla trekking safari in Uganda which will allow you to experience the different cultures, landscape, and local traditions of these two countries.
Uganda Gorilla Trekking Tour from Kigali also offers the unique opportunity to participate in a Gorilla Habituation Experience, which is only conducted in the Rushaga sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Gorilla Habituation is the process of acclimating wild gorillas to human presence, so those who take part in this experience will have the chance to spend four hours with the gorillas in their natural habitat, as opposed to just one hour during a traditional trekking experience.
On your Uganda Gorilla Trekking Tour from Kigali, you will fly to Kigali International Airport and then travel to Uganda via the Cyanika border in Kisoro. This will give you access to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, as well as the Rushaga and Nkuringo sectors of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Another option is to travel via the Katuna border in Kabale, this way you will have access to Ruhija and Buhoma sector in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
There are other options for trekking mountain gorillas in Uganda that involves air transportation for those who prefer not to travel long distances by road. One option is to take a domestic flight in Uganda, such as Aerolink, which offers scheduled and chartered flights daily from Entebbe International Airport or Kajansi Airfield to Kihihi or Kisoro Airstrip. Another option is to drive 8 to 10 hours from Kampala to the gorilla destinations, with the chance to take in the spectacular views of landscapes, Kigezi hills, homesteads, roadside markets, the Equator, and local people along the way.
When booking a Gorilla Trekking Tour in Uganda from Kigali, it’s important to note that a valid passport and an East African Tourist Visa is required. This visa will allow you to visit both Uganda and Rwanda. It is possible to obtain the East African Tourist Visa upon arrival at Kigali International Airport or through the Rwanda Immigration website prior to your trip.
When you book a Gorilla Trekking safari in Uganda from Kigali, your journey will start and end in Kigali city. Gorilla trekking is an exceptional experience that takes you into the thick tropical rainforests in pursuit of Mountain gorillas. Once found, you will spend one hour with them in their natural habitat. The trekking of mountain gorillas in Uganda is done in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. The activity usually starts early in the morning with a briefing about the rules and regulations at the park headquarters. Afterwards, you will be grouped into 8 people and allocated a gorilla family to trek and a park guide who is well-versed with the jungle trails.
Gorilla trekking begins around 8:00 am, and the duration of the hike can vary from 30 minutes to 7 hours, depending on the location of the mountain gorillas. Once found, you will be granted a one-hour encounter with the gorillas in their natural habitat, where you will have the opportunity to take photos, record videos, learn about their habits, behaviors, among other things. This will provide you with an unforgettable experience on your safari.
Visitors seeking unforgettable and lifetime-worthy gorilla trekking experiences should consider booking a 2-day Uganda gorilla trekking tour from Kigali or a 3-day Bwindi gorilla trekking tour from Kigali with Trek Africa Expeditions at a reasonable price.