Gorilla tracking – a truly unforgettable experience: The magic of the rainforest begins with the first step you take into it..the lush green of the trees, the chirping of the birds and the gentle rustling of the wind create the perfect scenery for an adventure that will change your view of the world and its inhabitants forever.
You are here, in one of the last refuges on earth, to meet the majestic mountain gorillas, an experience that is deeply moving and difficult to put into words. Once you meet the gentle giants, time will stand still. You feel a deep connection that goes far beyond what you ever imagined – this is what many who visit the mountain gorillas in Rwanda or Uganda report.
Encounter the majestic mountain gorillas in Uganda and Rwanda
Every encounter is unique and yet there are common feelings that almost every visitor describes: awe, respect, humility and a profound gratitude to be able to witness such a miracle of nature. It is a moment of pause, of wonder and of deep connection with nature and our closest relatives. Embark with us on a journey that will touch you deeply and make you aware of the beauty and fragility of our planet.
Do you dream of meeting mountain gorillas in East Africa? Then complement your tour to Uganda or Rwanda with gorilla tracking. We have compiled the most important information on this page. All trips can be customized. If you have any questions, please contact us by phone or email – we will be happy to help you.
Gorilla tracking in Rwanda or Uganda?
Bwindi – Uganda
Gorilla tracking, observing mountain gorillas in their natural habitat, is one of the most remarkable wildlife experiences you can have in Africa. Both Bwindi National Park in Uganda and Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda offer this unique opportunity. However, there are some differences between the two experiences. Here are some aspects that will make your decision regarding travel destinations or national parks easier. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda is home to almost half of the world’s population of mountain gorillas. The park is known for its dense forests and hilly landscapes that can make for a challenging and adventurous tracking experience. The trails are often steep and muddy, and the tracking time can vary from one to several hours, depending on the movement of the gorilla group. However, encountering the gorillas in the middle of the dense jungle of Bwindi is an unforgettable experience.
In contrast, the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda is located in a region with five volcanoes – the journey through the hilly and rolling landscape alone is worth a visit. The hikes here are often less strenuous than in Bwindi as the terrain is slightly more open. Additionally, access to the park from Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, is easier and quicker, making Volcanoes National Park attractive to visitors with limited time. For travel participants who are focused on meeting the mountain gorillas, Rwanda is more suitable than Uganda due to the time and travel factors.
Be sure to book permits in advance
In both countries, the number of gorilla tracking licenses per day is limited to minimize the impact on the gorillas. Therefore it is important to book these in advance. However, the price of the permits differs significantly: in Uganda a license costs around 700 US dollars, while in Rwanda it is 1500 US dollars per trek.
Overall, both Uganda and Rwanda offer unique and unforgettable gorilla tracking experiences. The choice between the two depends on various factors such as budget, fitness level, available time and personal preferences in terms of scenery, safari and other travel experiences.
Whichever option you choose, we will be happy to advise you on various combination options (BIG FIVE, for example in the Queen Elizabeth National Park, overnight stay in a specific lodge or even a few days on the beach in Zanzibar).
For the sake of completeness, it should be mentioned that tracking is also possible in the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo).
Book and film tips to get you in the mood
“The last mountain gorillas: The illustrated book” – Author: Frank Müller Our dream of Africa: Journey to the last mountain gorillas in East Africa” – Author: Stephan Schmidt “Gorillas in the Mist” – Author: Dian Fossey Englisch “Gorillas in the Fog” – The classic with Sigourney Weaver “Virunga” – Documentary about the rangers in the national park of the same name
6 FAQ about gorilla tracking
Wann ist die beste Reisezeit für das Gorilla Tracking?
The best time to visit is during the dry seasons, which occur from mid-December to February and June to September. During these periods, the trails are less muddy and visibility is better, making it easier to track and observe the gorillas. However, dry season does not necessarily mean no rain at all, especially in mountainous regions where the weather is often unpredictable. It is therefore advisable to be prepared for all weather conditions.
Although there is less rain during the dry season, the parks are also often more crowded as this is the most popular time for tourists. While the rainy season, which runs from March to May and October to November, presents more challenges, including potentially muddy trails and thicker bushes, it also offers its own benefits. During these periods the park is less crowded, allowing for a quieter and more personal experience. In addition, the gorillas are often easier to find in the rainy season because they don’t move as far to look for food.
Ultimately, the best time to travel for gorilla tracking depends on each traveler’s personal preferences and circumstances and further travel plans. Regardless of the time of year, gorilla tracking in Uganda and Rwanda is an incredibly rewarding and unforgettable experience – at any time of year.
Wie fit muss ich sein, um das Tracking mitzumachen?
Tracking can be physically demanding as it involves traveling through rough terrain for long periods of time. A good physical condition or a moderate fitness level is therefore recommended. By the way, you should not have colds, flu or other contagious diseases, as gorillas are very susceptible to human diseases.
Wann sollte ich das Permit buchen?
About 6 months before your trip. The number of permits is limited, so you should book the permit well in advance. As a tour operator, we will of course take care of finding the right permit for your stay and benefit from our local contacts. If you would like to join a particular group because you have concerns about your fitness, for example, we will take that into account.
Gibt es eine Altersbeschränkung?
Yes, children under 15 are not allowed to participate in gorilla tracking. However, there is no upper limit for older participants. If you are traveling with younger children, we will definitely find a way together so that you as an adult can still take part in tracking.
Welche Kleidung ist für die Tour zu den Gorillas empfehlenswert?
We especially recommend a sturdy pair of shoes and long pants and a long-sleeved top. A packing list could look like this:
Trekking or hiking shoes: The terrain can be slippery and uneven, so sturdy shoes are essential.
Waterproof clothing: The weather can change quickly, so you should be prepared for a sudden rain shower.
Long pants and long sleeves: These protect you from prickly plants and insects.
Insect repellent: There can be a lot of mosquitoes and other insects in the woods.
Sunscreen: You should protect yourself from the sun even if you are in the forest
Hat or baseball cap: This can protect you from the sun and prevent insects from getting into your hair.
Drinking water: Gorilla tracking can be strenuous, so it’s important to stay well hydrated.
Snacks: You might be on the road for several hours, so high-energy snacks are helpful.
Binoculars: To get a better view of the gorillas and other animals.
Camera: To capture the unforgettable moments. Please note, however, that flashlights are prohibited as they may disturb the animals.
Gloves: These can be helpful if you need to hold on to trees or bushes.
Rain cover for your backpack: To keep your things dry.
Welche Verhaltensregeln gibt es zu beachten?
The guides will inform you about the most important rules on site. These include, among other things, a minimum distance of 7 meters and avoiding direct eye contact with the gorillas. It is also forbidden to eat or drink during the encounter.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park Travel Guide – 6 Interesting Facts
1. Location and access: The over 330m² large is located in the southwest of Uganda. The park is accessible from Kampala by car or domestic flight.
2. Due to its altitude of up to 2607 m, the park has a remarkably diverse ecosystem and thus contributes significantly to Uganda’s biodiversity.
3. Biodiversity: In total, over 120 species of mammals, more than 350 species of birds, 220 species of butterflies and over 1,000 species of flowering plants live in the park.
4. Sustainable tourism: The park is strongly committed to sustainable tourism. Part of the revenue from tourist activities is used to support local community projects and wildlife conservation.
5. Research and conservation: The park is an important place for research and conservation. Scientists from all over the world come here to study the unique flora and fauna.
6. Pristine Wilderness: Despite its popularity among tourists, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park remains an untouched wilderness that offers an authentic adventure in nature.
Visiting the chimpanzees
If your heart beats for primates, then in addition to gorilla tracking, you should also take part in chimpanzee tracking. Although smaller than their massive relatives, the mountain gorillas, chimpanzees are known for their intelligence and social behavior, which share many similarities with human communities.
Watching them interact, play and communicate in their natural habitats is an unforgettable experience. Chimpanzee tracking is available in various parts of Uganda and Rwanda, including the Kibale Forest National Park in Uganda and the Nyungwe Forest National Park in Rwanda.
Similar to gorilla tracking, you will be accompanied by experienced guides who will guide you safely through the jungle and help you find the chimpanzees. As unique and exciting as the encounter is, it also requires respect and sensitivity towards these sensitive animals. It is important to follow the rules of conduct so that the chimpanzees are not disturbed.
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