How long does Gorilla trekking take?

How long does Gorilla trekking take? lot of tourists planning to trek mountain gorillas in Africa are always pondering on one common question, ‘how long does gorilla trekking take? Gorilla trekking in Africa is such an exciting and adventure thrilling experience. Trekking of gorillas is among one of the top tourism activities done on the African continent. Getting to trek mountain gorillas in Africa is a very humbling and memorable experience that has got lots of tourists flying into the continent to track gorillas and spend quality time with these majestic primates.

Trekking of mountain gorillas is such a captivating primate activity that involves visitors hiking through dense forest vegetation in search for gorillas or a specific gorilla group. Trekking gorillas involves identifying fresh nests that have been recently made by the gorillas, tracking fresh gorilla footprints and fecal matter as well. All this helps you, the trekker, easily identify or rather locate a group of gorillas.

How long does Gorilla trekking take?
Gorilla Trekking Rwanda

How long does gorilla trekking take?

How long gorilla trekking takes entirely depends on a number of factors such as; where the gorillas spent the previous night, and availability of food for the gorillas. Other factors that determine how long gorilla trekking lasts include; mating season for the gorillas, the fitness of trekkers, and conditions of the trekking trails among others. Given these factors, these activities can take between 2-7 hours. Once a group of gorillas has been located, trekkers are only give one hour to spend in the presence of the gorillas. This is the moment that you want your camera close to you. You can take as many pictures as you want with the gorillas, just make sure that the flash light on your phone or camera is disabled. Gorillas are very sensitive primates and that includes the flash lights on your camera.

Where to go for gorilla trekking?

In case you are looking for the best destinations for trekking mountain gorillas, you might want to consider Uganda as gorilla trekking Uganda , Rwanda ( Rwanda gorilla trekking) and the Democratic Republic of Congo( congo gorilla trekking). There are about 1004 mountain gorillas believed to exist in the world and half of this population can be found in Uganda alone in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Other half of the population of mountain gorillas is divided between Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and Virunga National Park in Congo.

A great majority of these gorillas have been habituated and are totally safe for visitors to track. Uganda has about 18 habituated gorilla groups that you can trek, which include 17 habituated gorilla groups in Bwindi impenetrable national park and only 1 in Mgahinga national park. Currently there are now 2 gorilla groups in Mgahinga following the migration of the Hirwa gorilla group from Rwanda’s Volcanoes national park. However, there is no telling if this gorilla group will settle permanently in the park or migrate back to Rwanda.

There are 8 habituated gorilla groups that visitors can track in Volcanoes national park in Rwanda, and 8 habituated groups in Congo’s Virunga national park. Gorilla expeditions in all three countries take place in groups of a maximum of 8 people.

Purchase your gorilla trekking permit early enough.

Given the high demand for gorilla permits, visitors are always advised to obtain their gorilla permits at least 6 months before setting off to actually trek the mountain gorillas. In Uganda, gorilla permits cost $600 per person, $1500 per person for a gorilla permit in Rwanda, and $400 for a gorilla permit in Congo. Visitors can choose to acquire a permit through a reliable tour operator company like Explore Rwanda Tours or directly through the reservation office at Uganda Wildlife Authority for those who want to trek gorillas in Uganda, Rwanda Development Board for those in Rwanda, and Virunga National Park in Congo. The advantage of using a reliable tour operator company is that it saves you the long process of acquiring your gorilla permit. Such trusted tour operator companies like Explore Rwanda Tours, can help you acquire a gorilla trekking permit in any of the three countries that you choose to trek gorillas from.

How long does Gorilla trekking take?
Gorilla trekking Rwanda

What to pack when going gorilla trekking.

In case you are going to trek gorillas in either of the three mentioned countries, it is quite important that you pack the appropriate clothing like; long sleeved shirts/t-shirts, long trousers, sun glasses, a hat/cap, bottled water, snacks, a light rain jacket, some insect repellent, binoculars, a camera and extra batteries, first aid kit, and a good pair of hiking boots.

Best time to go gorilla trekking.

This activity can be done all throughout the year, but the activity is best done in the dry seasons which are in June, July, August, September and December, January, and February. During the dry season, the gorilla habitats are kept dry which makes it easier for trekkers to hike through the dense vegetation and steep slopes in search for the gorillas.

Other activities that can be done alongside gorilla trekking.

In case you are planning your gorilla trekking safari, there are other activities that you can incorporate into your travel itinerary like a wildlife game drive, a boat cruise, city tours, nature walks, bird watching, chimpanzee trekking, mountaineering, hiking, and community cultural tours among others. Hiring the services of a trusted tour operator company can make planning your tour a lot easier. Check out some of our gorilla tour packages for both Uganda, Rwanda and Congo.


The exact duration of these activities can never be determined by one since the gorillas are always on the move in search for food, mates and nesting grounds among other factors. Trekking gorillas is such a wonderful experience with lots of memorable moments to capture. It is important to take the above notes into consideration when planning your gorilla trekking safari.

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