Uganda, Rwanda Gorilla trekking
Uganda, Rwanda Gorilla trekking. These are two of the best destinations in the world for gorilla trekking. Both countries are home to the endangered mountain gorillas, and trekking to see them in their natural habitat is an unforgettable experience. In this article, we will explore the similarities and differences between gorilla trekking in Uganda and Rwanda and provide you with all the information you need to plan your gorilla trekking adventure.
Section 1: Gorilla Trekking in Uganda
Uganda is known as the Pearl of Africa and is home to over half of the world’s population of mountain gorillas. The country has two main gorilla trekking regions, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Both parks are located in southwestern Uganda and offer visitors the chance to trek to see the mountain gorillas.
1.1 Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is home to around 400 mountain gorillas. The park covers an area of 321 square kilometers and has 12 gorilla groups that have been habituated for tourism. The park is also home to other primates, including chimpanzees, colobus monkeys, and baboons.
Trekking in Bwindi involves hiking through dense tropical rainforest and steep hills, and the terrain can be challenging. The trek can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 8 hours, depending on the location of the gorilla group. Once you find the gorillas, you will spend one hour observing and photographing them from a safe distance.
1.2 Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is located in southwestern Uganda and covers an area of 33.7 square kilometers. The park is home to one habituated gorilla group, the Nyakagezi group. The park also has other wildlife, including golden monkeys and a variety of bird species.
Trekking in Mgahinga is less strenuous than in Bwindi due to the park’s smaller size and lower elevation. The trek can take anywhere from 2 to 6 hours, and once you find the gorillas, you will spend one hour observing and photographing them.
Section 2: Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda
Rwanda is known as the Land of a Thousand Hills and is home to the famous Virunga Mountains, where the mountain gorillas live. The country has only one gorilla trekking region, Volcanoes National Park, located in the northern part of the country.
2.1 Volcanoes National Park
Volcanoes National Park covers an area of 160 square kilometers and is home to around 320 mountain gorillas. The park has ten habituated gorilla groups available for tourism, and the trekking experience is similar to that of Bwindi, involving hiking through dense rainforest and steep hills.
The trek in Volcanoes National Park can take anywhere from 1 to 4 hours, and once you find the gorillas, you will spend one hour observing and photographing them.
Section 3: Differences between Uganda and Rwanda Gorilla Trekking
While both Uganda and Rwanda offer incredible gorilla trekking experiences, there are some differences to consider when choosing where to go.
Rwanda’s gorilla permits are more expensive than Uganda’s, with permits costing $1,500 in Rwanda and $700 in Uganda. However, Rwanda’s permits include a ranger guide, which is an additional cost in Uganda.
3.2 Trekking Difficulty
The trekking difficulty in Uganda and Rwanda varies depending on the location and the gorilla group you are trekking to see. However, on average, trekking in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is considered more challenging due to the steep terrain and dense vegetation compared to Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park.
Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park is more accessible than Uganda’s gorilla trekking regions. The park is located only a few hours’ drive from the capital city, Kigali, making it easier to reach. In contrast, reaching Uganda’s Bwindi or Mgahinga parks requires a longer journey by road or air.
Section 4: Conclusion
Gorilla trekking in Uganda and Rwanda offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to encounter the endangered mountain gorillas up close. Both countries provide unique experiences, and choosing between them depends on factors such as budget, trekking difficulty, and accessibility.
Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park offer a challenging yet rewarding trekking experience, with a higher number of gorilla groups available for tourism.
Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park provides a more accessible option, closer to the capital city, and with a lower trekking difficulty on average. However, it comes with a higher cost for gorilla permits.
Regardless of your choice, both Uganda and Rwanda guarantee an unforgettable experience, immersing you in the natural beauty of these countries and connecting you with the remarkable mountain gorillas that inhabit their rainforests.