Gorilla Trekking in Africa’s Forested Mountains
Gorilla tracking in Africa is carried out in three countries including; Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Viewing the mountain gorillas within the wild is one of the most fascinating wildlife safari encounters on earth. Mountain gorillas are endangered species that make the life experience of viewing these primates in their natural habitats extraordinary and so beautiful.
The gorillas are over 1000 individuals that are remaining in the world and according to the national geographic. The world Wildlife Fund estimates that the number of gorillas remaining is 1060 individuals. The opportunity to trek the mountain gorillas in these rain forests is once a lifetime adventure and is one of the greatest wildlife experiences in Africa.
Where to Go Gorilla Trekking?
The best places to trek the mountain gorillas in Africa are the three countries that offer gorilla trekking in Africa and they include; Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. These countries are all found within central Africa. These are naturally found within the dense rain forest s and are also found within the moist tropical as well as the sub-tropical forests of the Albertine Rift in central Africa. These places are two forested mountainous areas that are occupied by the African mountain gorillas. These national parks where tracking is carried out include; Mgahinga Gorilla National park, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda.
Gorilla Trekking in Uganda
Gorilla trekking in Uganda is carried out in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest as well as Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Bwindi has got 18 habituated gorilla groups. Located in southern Uganda, Bwindi is the most popular touristic place in Uganda. Most Uganda safaris feature gorilla tracking in this impenetrable forest as one of the major highlights that you should not miss. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park has got one gorilla family, the gorilla families that are found in the southern part of the park include; Mubare, Rushegura, Habinyanja, are found in the Buhoma area, Rushaga has got Mishaya, Nsongi, Kahungwe, Bisingye, and the Bweza. Nkuringo family has one group in Nkuringo Area and Ruhija area has got three families including; Kyaguriro, Buitukura, and Oruzogo.
Mgahinga has got one gorilla family and it’s called Nyakagezi and it moves between Rwanda and Uganda, and in the past two years have been staying in Uganda and it consists of ten individuals which include; four silverbacks.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is known as a UNESCO World Heritage site and also lies in southwestern Uganda, it has half of the wild remaining mountain gorillas totaling 440 which is half that remaining in the whole world. This national park covers an area of 331km of this thick montane as well as the low land rain forest.
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is also located in the east western part of the country and it borders Rwanda just near Volcanoes national park and also near the Democratic Republic of Congo around the Virunga National Park. It’s also a gorilla territory that is in the Virunga Volcanoes region and spans three main central African countries. This national park is the smallest of all the parks and it covers 34km forming part of the large Virunga Conservation Area, which is also 434km of the volcanic mountains. More so, the park is home to one gorilla family that moves between Uganda and Rwanda and this has made it hard to trek.
The national parks are managed by Uganda Wildlife Authority and it takes over 12 hours to drive to both the national parks. The drive will give the tourists a real picture of what a rural area looks like and also goes through the beautiful scenery that is so fantastic to the eyes of the viewer. There is also an alternative way of reaching these two national parks, this is by taking a domestic flight from Entebbe International Airport by a charter to Kayonza Airstrip which is also near Bwindi and the guests can be driven for a short distance to the park headquarters.
Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda
Volcanoes national park also covers an area of 125km and it’s a unique scenic forest that is covered with mountains as well as six volcanoes. The park has got over 480 mountain gorillas and is found along the border of the Virunga Conservation Area which is known as the Virunga Mountains. This conservation area includes the volcanoes national park which is also managed by Rwanda. This park is where the great primatologist Dian Fossy lived and also carried her research about the mountain gorillas. The main gorilla groups that are found here include; Amahoro, Agashya, Karisimbi, Sabyinyo, Umubano, Kwitonda, Bwenge, and Ugenda family.
On a gorilla safari in Rwanda, you can also witness the Kwita Izina, a big event where the naming ceremony of mountain gorillas is carried out in Rwanda. This activity attracts many people and this has brought in lots of revenue to the country. If you are looking for such an experience, you should consider booking a safari in the first week of Sep
Gorilla Trekking in Congo
Gorilla trekking in Congo is carried out from Virunga National Park, this park is a UNESCO World Heritage site and it’s located in the eastern Democratic of Congo and borders both Uganda and Rwanda. The park covers an area of about 7800km and is home to over 200 gorillas that are mostly located in the southern part of the park.
When is the Best Time to Go?
The best months to go are the months that fall in the dry season: June to October and December to March.
What are the Essential Things to Pack?
Here are the essential things to pack for a gorilla safari in Uganda, Rwanda, or DR Congo.
Great Deals for Travelers
Looking for a discounted gorilla safari? Why not take advantage of the promotional offers for both Uganda and DR Congo? The Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) offers discounted gorilla permits at US$400 per person (per trek) during the months of April, May, and November. The Virunga National Park also offers discounted gorilla permits from mid-March to Mid May at just US$200 per person (per trek).