Gorilla Trekking Uganda Vs Rwanda

Gorilla trekking Uganda vs Rwanda

Gorilla trekking Uganda vs Rwanda

Gorilla trekking Uganda vs Rwanda : Mountain gorillas are one of the most sought for animals in Africa and the world as well, there are only about 1,000 mountain gorillas left on the planet living in two population. One population is found in Bwindi impenetrable national park in Uganda (considered to be the biggest population) and the second population is found in the Virunga Mountains/ Virunga Conservation Area which is made up of Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda, Volcanoes national park in Rwanda and Virunga National Park in Democratic Republic of Congo.

Mountain gorillas are considered critically endangered species as their population is still threatened by poachers and encroachment on the forests where they live, the majority of mountain gorilla live in the wild and with the conservation efforts and gorilla habituation process. Some gorillas have been habituated by the wildlife experts and they can be tracked and observed by visitors, only a small group of 8 people are allowed to visit each gorilla family a day under the cautious eyes of the park rangers.

Many visitors from all over the world visit Africa to see the critically endangered mountain gorillas (the endangered mountain gorillas are on many people’s travel bucket list), however the most asked question is which gorilla trekking experience is better between Rwanda and Uganda.

Where do gorillas live in Rwanda and Uganda?

Mountains gorillas in Rwanda

In Rwanda, Mountain gorillas live in Volcanoes national park which is situated approximately 2 hours’ drive from Kigali City and Kigali International Airport, the park is part of the Virunga Conservation Area and is located in the Northwestern Rwanda in Ruhengeri – Kinigi.

For a gorilla trek in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, a minimum of 2 days and 1 night is enough and 3 days and 2 nights would be optimal, mountain gorilla trekking in Rwanda is typically easier as the gorillas are easily found along the slopes.

Rwanda has only one mountain gorilla trekking destination that is Volcanoes National Park.

Mountain gorillas in Uganda

In Uganda, mountain gorillas live in both Bwindi impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park both found in the South western region of Uganda.

Bwindi impenetrable National Park hosts the biggest population of mountain gorillas, one of the two population of mountain gorillas which is the biggest population of mountain gorillas in the world. Bwindi impenetrable national park has a number of mountain gorillas found in 4 gorilla trekking sectors that is Buhoma sector, Ruhija sector, Nkuringo and Rushaga sector.

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is part of the Virunga Conservation Area together with Volcanoes national park in Rwanda and Virunga National Park in DR.Congo.

Gorilla trekking in Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park takes a minimum of 3 days and 2 nights safari, this is because of a drive of a full day (8-10 hours) from Entebbe International Airport or Kampala City to Southwestern Uganda.  It is also possible to visit Bwindi and Mgahinga from Kigali City and Kigali International Airport.

Which gorilla trek is easier, Rwanda or Uganda?

Both Uganda and Rwanda offer great opportunities for a gorilla trekking adventure however the question is which trek is easier.

In Rwanda, most of the terrain encountered on gorilla trekking is more open and less surrounded by the jungle vegetation, this makes it easier to get a good view of the magnificent mountain gorillas. The terrain is also less difficult for tracking when compared to Uganda, although altitudes can be higher which adds to the difficulty.

Rwanda is simply a smaller country which makes the travel distances relatively shorter.

Uganda’s gorilla trekking can be more challenging as the infrastructures are less developed, also it rains often in Bwindi and Mgahinga even in dry season so conditions may be slippery.

In Bwindi impenetrable national park, each gorilla family covers large territories and tracking time can vary widely from day to day, from 30 minutes up to 8 to 9 hours.

The vegetation in Bwindi impenetrable national park can be also extremely thick, slopes are steep and there are no trails so gorilla trekking in Uganda is not for the faint of heart.

In conclusion, gorilla trekking in these two countries can be tricky in terms of ease and at least Rwanda wins.

What are the cost differences between Rwanda and Uganda?

The cost of a gorilla trekking permit in Rwanda is currently $ 1,500 while a Uganda gorilla trekking permit costs $ 700, however Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park is only about 75 miles from the arrival airport in Kigali City making it much easier to access by road.

Uganda’s Bwindi impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla national park takes approximately 8-9 hours of drive from Entebbe International Airport or Kampala City and another 8-9 hours back to the airport. This means you need at least 2 days (1 night) to complete your gorilla trekking safari in Rwanda and 3 days (2 nights) for a Uganda gorilla tour.

So even though, a gorilla trekking permits in Rwanda are cheaper, you would incur transport costs of about $ 500 – $ 600, visitors can choose to arrive in Kigali city and visit Bwindi impenetrable national park from Kigali City, this makes the long journey short thus making the experience more comfortable.

The drive from Kigali International Airport to Bwindi impenetrable National Park is stunning with terraced mountains, sweeping coffee fields and flowing river and the local people going on with their daily life which is Africa at its finest.

In conclusions, you will spend more on transportation and time to track the mountain gorillas in Uganda than in Rwanda, still the gorilla trekking permit is cheaper than that of Rwanda.

Choosing between Uganda and Rwanda as the perfect destination for gorilla trekking is a decision to be made by a travel a both destinations offer fascinating and exceptional gorilla trekking experiences.

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