Which Country is best for Gorilla Trekking? The gorillas are one of the species on the planet that many people want to see, and the African continent is the only place where you can see these thrilling gentle giants. These are the largest and most powerful primates, yet they are also the most modest. The fact that gorillas share 97 percent of their DNA with humans is the most appealing aspect of them. Chimpanzees are more clever and jumpier than gorillas in the ape family. The gorillas, on the other hand, are smart creatures with charm and a modest demeanour.
The gorilla species is native to Africa, and the two main species are the Western gorillas and the Eastern gorillas, which are further subdivided into four subspecies: the Cross river gorilla and the western lowland gorilla under the western gorillas, and the famous mountain gorillas and the eastern lowland gorillas, also known as the Grauer’s gorillas under the eastern gorillas.
There are around 1,060 mountain gorillas located only in Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 250,000 western lowland gorillas, 200 to 300 cross river gorillas found only in Nigeria and Cameroon, and approximately 3,800 eastern lowland gorillas remaining in the world.
The gorilla populations have declined dramatically in recent decades, owing mostly to poaching, disease outbreaks, political conflicts, and even animal trafficking, but with the enforcement of conservation measures in a number of these nations, the numbers are increasing.
Some characteristics are shared by all gorilla species, such as wide shoulders and chests, forearms that are bigger than the back legs, and hairless faces with huge nostrils and eyes that are close together. However, you may be able to tell them apart based on size since eastern gorillas are larger than western gorillas and their body fur is thicker, longer, and darker, with a fully mature man reaching around 200 kilos.
These gorillas are largely omnivores since they consume the green in the forest, but they also eat little insects and eggs. They live in families headed by a dominant male silverback gorilla, with up to 50 members, and the silverback is in responsibility of guiding and safeguarding each member of the group. He is only replaced when he dies or becomes weak, and a stronger guy from inside or outside the tribe overthrows him.
There are several locations where you may see different gorilla species, but only one continent where you can see gorillas in their native environment, which are the woods and mountain ranges of eastern and central Africa.
Angola, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Nigeria, Rwanda, and Uganda are among the nations involved. Uganda and Rwanda are the most popular gorilla trekking locations for tourists, but you have the option of visiting any of the above-mentioned countries. Western Africa has a lot of volatility, but it also has a lot of biological diversity, whereas East Africa has a lot of stability. Let’s take a closer look at each of these places.
Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda.
Rwanda, one of the most promoted and visited nations for gorilla trekking, is a home for mountain gorillas and has a 30% population of all the surviving mountain gorillas in the world. The mountain gorillas are walked in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park and a mountain gorilla permit costs $1,500 USD, making it the most costly of all destinations. However, your chances of encountering mountain gorillas in this park increase to 98 percent. This is also the park where the well-known primatologist Dian Fossey spent the most of her time and established a base in the 1960s in order to get closer to the modest giants and study their behavior.
A large number of visitors arrive at Kigali International Airport on their way to the Volcanoes National Park to spend an hour with the mountain gorillas. Rwanda has 12 habituated mountain gorilla groups, allowing more individuals to view the mountain gorillas on a regular basis.
Gorilla Trekking in Uganda.
Uganda is one of the best places in the world to go gorilla trekking and is home to mountain gorillas. The mountain gorillas of Uganda may be walked in two of the country’s national parks: Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga Forest National Park, Uganda’s smallest national park. The permit for mountain gorilla hiking in both parks is $700 USD. The Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park has 17 habituated gorilla groups, while Mgahinga National Park has one habituated gorilla family. Both parks are in their original condition, so plan to trek virgin routes and make your way through bushes until you come upon your day’s gorilla family.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda is also the only gorilla park that offers gorilla habituation experiences. Spend more than the allocated 1 hour for gorilla trekking and see how the gorillas adjust to human presence. Keep in mind that these are wild creatures, thus it is critical to obey the rules of your ranger guide. In this park, the odds of spotting mountain gorillas are greater than 98 percent.
You may fly into Uganda at Entebbe International Airport and drive 8 hours to the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, or you can take a local aircraft to Kisoro or Kihihi airstrips near the park. You may also fly into Rwanda at Kigali International Airport and cross the Rwanda-Uganda land border at Katuna. If you want to travel via Rwanda on your way to Uganda, be sure to apply for an East African visa, which will reduce visa charges between the two countries.
Gorilla Trekking in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is one of the most authentic mountain gorilla trekking sites. Aside from Uganda and Rwanda, this is another place where you may see mountain gorillas. The mountain gorilla trekking activity is done in the Virunga national park, and a mountain gorilla permit costs $400 USD, which is the cheapest offered permit.
However, when booking a gorilla permit, it comes in a whole package inclusive of transport, accommodation with meals, and visa offered by the Virunga national park with standard days and set off times from the Goma Grande barrier border building, which serves as the starting point for all tours headed to Virunga.
This was done as a security precaution for a country that has been plagued by insecurity and security worries. There should be no concern about entering the Virunga national park now that you are followed by a security convoy from the Grande barrier border till you are finished and return to the border.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is the only country that is home to both mountain and lowland gorillas. The Democratic Republic of the Congo’s lowland gorillas may be found at Bukavu Sud-Kahuzi Kivu’s Biega national park.
These lowland gorillas frequently migrate between the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Angola. You may also see the western lowland gorillas in the western part of the country along the slopes of the Madiakoko Mountains, although treks are only available in the Kahuzi Biega national park of Bukavu and the Virunga national park of Goma due to the continual instability across the country.
In regards to gorilla trekking safaris in Africa, Uganda, Rwanda and DR Congo are the top three countries for gorilla trekking in Africa. Other gorilla trekking destinations on the African continent include; Nigeria, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and the Republic of Congo.