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Uganda Gorilla Trekking Tours

4.3/5  –  259 Uganda Reviews

There are few wildlife encounters as exciting as coming eye to eye with the largest, if not most charismatic, of the great apes, the gorilla. What makes this experience so special is difficult to pinpoint. The fact that these gentle giants are so closely related to us (the difference in our nuclear DNA is only 1.6%) probably has something to do with it. Mountain gorillas are naturally restricted to a niche area of forested highlands. Unfortunately, this already-small habitat is shrinking due to overpopulation. The income derived from tourism is crucial to secure their future. By booking a gorilla trekking safari, you have the opportunity to contribute to the fight for their survival.

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1-20 of 722 gorila trekking tours to Uganda

6 Questions About Uganda Gorilla Trekking Tours

 
 

6 Questions About Uganda Gorilla Trekking Tours

Answered by Ariadne van Zandbergen

How does gorilla trekking in Uganda compare to other countries?

“Gorillas have a small range extending over Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Between these countries, four parks offer mountain gorilla trekking. Most popular and accessible are Bwindi Impenetrable NP in Uganda and Volcanoes NP in Rwanda. The experience in these parks is similar, but with some differences. While gorillas live in thick rainforest in Bwindi, their habitat in Volcanoes NP is mainly bamboo forest. Although you can’t predict where gorillas will be each day, the treks in Bwindi are usually more demanding than those in Rwanda. The tracking is part of the experience, so if you’re physically fit, a longer trek can be a positive. Volcanoes NP can be reached on a three-hour drive from Rwanda’s capital city, Kigali. The accessibility makes it an easy add-on to a safari in Kenya or Tanzania. Bwindi is more remote, reachable by a domestic flight or eight- to10-hour drive from Entebbe, Uganda’s entry point. The remoteness isn’t a factor if you are incorporating your Uganda gorilla trek into a larger tour within the country. Uganda has a lot more to offer. It is a popular safari destination in its own right. With the development of Akagera NP, so is Rwanda. However, safari options in this small country are still limited compared to those in Uganda. Last is the big difference in price for a very similar experience. The fee for gorilla trekking in Rwanda is US$1500, in Uganda it’s US$700 and in the DRC it’s US$400. All prices listed are per person.”

1

Can I add gorilla trekking in Uganda to a safari?

“It is easy to add a Uganda gorilla trekking experience to a general safari in Kenya or Tanzania. A short flight gets you to Entebbe, a leafy town on the shore of Lake Victoria in Uganda. From here your journey to Bwindi Impenetrable NP continues with a flight by small aircraft, followed by a two-hour drive on a bumpy road. While gorilla trekking fits into a ‘Best of East Africa’ tour, you can also slot it into a Uganda holiday. The highlights of Uganda packages include the following. Bwindi or Mgahinga Gorilla National Park for gorilla trekking, Kibale National Park or Budongo Forest for chimpanzee trekking, and Queen Elizabeth National Park for a classic safari and the possibility to see tree-climbing lions. Also Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary to track rhinos on foot and Murchison Falls National Park for a boat trip on the Nile and more general wildlife viewing.”

2

What fitness is required for gorilla trekking in Uganda?

“You’ll need to be fairly fit for gorilla trekking in Uganda. If you’re in good health and you’re used to walking or hiking, you shouldn’t have any problems though. As a last resort, you can book a ‘gorilla chair,’ where a team of strong men literally carry you on your chair to the gorillas. However fit you are, it is always important to come suitably prepared. Bwindi sees high rainfall throughout the year. So, you’ll need waterproof clothing and good hiking shoes. Gloves aren’t essential, but they are recommended to protect your hands from stinging nettles. A good walking stick always comes in handy on the slippery slopes. You might be offered a wooden stick at the start but it is safer to bring your own if you think you’ll need it. Porters are available at the trail head. They will carry your day pack and look after it while you’re with the gorillas (no bags are allowed then). A porter will also help you on the trail. So even if you don’t need anyone to carry your bag, you should definitely hire a porter if you are concerned about your fitness or ability on the steep trails.”

3

Is gorilla trekking in Uganda safe?

“Gorilla watching is very safe. Incidents with these gentle giants are very rare. Although the gorillas are habituated and used to people visiting them, it is important to pay attention during the safety briefing at the start. It goes without saying that you should also listen to the instructions given by your guide, especially in the event of a gorilla approaching you. The biggest danger on a gorilla trek is perhaps twisting an ankle on the slippery slopes. Make sure to wear good hiking boots that have been worn in before the big day.”

4

What is the cost of a gorilla trekking safari in Uganda?

“The fee for gorilla trekking in Uganda is US$700 per person. This is the fee paid to the national park and proceeds are used to maintain and develop Uganda’s protected areas. Gorilla trekking is one of Africa’s most amazing wildlife experiences. Due to the limited availability, it doesn’t come cheaply. If you can afford it, it is more than worth it though. The price for a three-day road trip from Entebbe/Kampala, including a gorilla trek, accommodation and transport, starts at about US$1250. A similar three-day fly-in safari starts at about US$2600. Three days is really the minimum time required to travel from Entebbe to Bwindi and track gorillas. I would, however, recommend spending more time in the country as there is a lot more to see and do. The price for five-day tours including gorilla and chimpanzee trekking start at about US$1600 and seven-day highlights tours (including gorilla trekking) start at about US$2000.”

5

Are gorilla sightings guaranteed on a gorilla trek in Uganda?

“When going on a gorilla trekking trip, you’re near certain to see these big apes as long as you are fit enough for the hike. I say near certain because, although habituated, the gorillas are totally wild. They move throughout the days searching for food and they spend their nights sleeping in different locations. So, sightings can never be totally guaranteed. To keep track of the locations of the different habituated gorilla groups, trackers stay with the gorillas throughout the day until they make their nest for the night. This way, the trackers will know where to find them the next day. When they rejoin the gorillas at dawn, they send the location coordinates by radio to the guides. This doesn’t only facilitate a smooth gorilla trekking experience, it also helps to protect these endangered primates from poachers.”

6

Uganda Safari Reviews

4.3/5 259 Reviews
Expert
Mark Eveleigh  –  
United Kingdom UK

Mark is a travel writer who grew up in Africa and has written over 700 titles for CNN Traveller, Travel Africa, BBC Wildlife and others.

Fantastic wildlife and some of the friendliest people in Africa make Uganda unbeatable
5/5

I spent a month travelling around Uganda with a self-drive, expedition-prepared Landcruiser and visited almost every national park in the country. Uganda was a revelation! I had not expected such a richness of wildlife or such great...

Full Review

Expert
Sue Watt  –  
United Kingdom UK

Sue is an award-winning writer who specializes in African travel and conservation. She writes for national newspapers, magazines, Rough Guides and Lonely Planet.

Great apes, great landscapes, great adventures
4/5

Most people understandably come to Uganda for its mountain gorillas – half of the world’s population of around 730 lives in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, and spending that precious hour with them has become a “must-do” for...

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King Kenny  –  
Uganda UG
Reviewed: Apr 12, 2021
Amazing Murchison falls
5/5

I and my hubby booked a 4day Murchison falls trip, Esther was so helpful in all the arrangement process, email reply was prompt and very knowledgeable. We saw amazing wildlife, high concentration of animals and birds, beautiful sceneries...

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Zsolt Banyai  –  
Hungary HU
Reviewed: Feb 22, 2021
5/5

First of all, we have to define "safari destination". In my response, I rather took this as "wildlife destination", since neither Kibale nor Bwindi are really "safari destinations" for me. I saw 10 different pimates, which is...

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Nick Groocock  –  
Canada CA
Reviewed: Apr 3, 2020
I was mostly interested in the Kidepo Valley landscape - not the wildlife - and enjoyed every moment
5/5

I had been wanting - but that’s another story - to visit Kidepo Valley National Park for decades but the PLO Entebbe airport hijacking in 1976 put paid to a first visit. While I did visit Uganda in the early 1990’s our trans-Africa...

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Brandon Barnes  –  
United States US
Reviewed: Mar 16, 2020
Once in a lifetime trip!
5/5

We booked a 6 day trip with the tour company Home to Africa through this site. Everything about the trip was amazing. The wildlife and beauty of Uganda was amazing and the hospitality of the people is un-paralleled compared to every place...

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