Where can I go gorilla trekking?
Most gorilla trekking in Africa takes place in the Parc National des Volcans in Rwanda or Bwindi National Park Uganda, though we now have a trusted operator running gorilla trekking in Odzala National Park in the Republic of Congo (very different from the DRC we should stress!) Just contact us for more details on this.
How do the different gorilla trekking experiences compare?
In Odzala in the Republic of Congo you find western lowland gorillas, where two of the seven groups have been habituated for guests to track. Tracking groups are limited to four guests here (in Rwanda and Uganda it’s eight). At present we can only arrange tours to Odzala as part of a scheduled departure.
Over in Rwanda and Uganda you find mountain gorillas. Rwanda has ten habituated gorilla groups, and you are allocated to a group on the day. Rwanda’s generally best for a quick two or three day gorilla trek, and for those who want a good standard of luxury accommodation. The trekking is often slightly gentler going in Rwanda, as it’s often the case you need to walk up hill at the end of the day in Uganda.
In Uganda, Bwindi has 11 habituated gorilla families, which are scattered across different areas of the park. Your permit is for a particular area of the park, each one usually home to 3-4 gorilla families. This can dictate which accommodation makes logistical sense (don’t worry- we’ll advise you on what’s possible when we start planning your adventure with you). Uganda generally works better as part of a longer tour.
What can I combine with gorilla trekking?
If you do your gorilla trekking in Uganda, it’s possible to spend a couple of weeks in country, and combine your gorilla trekking with safari, incredible birding (just look at a shoebill stork and we dare you not to be intrigued), incredible landscapes, chimpanzee trekking, and extraordinary cultural experiences which seem to be unmatched elsewhere in sub-Saharan Africa. If you need R and R, you can hop over to the glorious beaches of Kenya and Tanzania, and flights from Entebbe into the Serengeti make a Tanzanian safari a very viable option.
Gorilla trekking in Rwanda works well as a shorter trip, combined with a night or so in Kigali, which we’d say should be a must for every traveller visiting Rwanda. If you have longer to spare, a few days of relaxation on Lake Kivu, or walking in the Nyungwe Forest are an added bonus. The game reserves of Northern Tanzania (or a luxury beach resort in Zanzibar or Kenya) are also just a light aircraft flight away and can make an easy addition to your gorilla trek. Just give us your wish list and we’ll see what we can do.
Trips to gorilla trek in the Congo are very much in their infancy. We have a trusted operator who we can arrange tours with for you, and pioneers who set off to the Congo travel as part of a group on a set package. However, it is possible to do flights via Kenya, so should you wish to add on a few days on safari this is something we can arrange.
Have more questions?