GORILLA SAFARI TOURS

A gorilla safari tour is a unique opportunity to see the largest, most majestic, and sadly, the rarest of all apes; the mountain gorilla. Only 700 of these magnificent creatures remain in the world, and half of these are found in Uganda.

A gorilla watching holiday is an awesome experience and a major part of any Ugandan safari. We can't recommend this one highly enough.

Mountain Gorilla Trakking

GORILLA TREKKING AFRICA

Mountain gorillas are only found in the forested mountain region of Uganda, Rwanda and the D.R.C. Due to instability in the D.R.C., gorilla safari tours currently operate only out of Uganda and Rwanda.

Tours operate in both these countries, but gorilla watching holidays commonly form part of an inclusive Ugandan safari.

We offer the best of gorilla trekking Africa. Whether you require a gorilla safari tour in Uganda, a gorilla watching holiday in Rwanda, or a complete safari with gorilla trekking included, we are happy to oblige.

MOUNTAIN GORILLA TREKKING

  • Mountain gorillas only survive in their natural habitat. No zoos, no parks, no where else - a gorilla safari tour is the only way to see them.
  • Only a few gorilla families have been habituated for humans to visit. Gorilla trekking Africa is limited to Uganda and Rwanda.
  • Trekking or tracking? They’re the same thing and may involve serious hiking. A gorilla tour Uganda or Rwanda can be a strenuous but rewarding activity.
  • Gorillas tend to stay in the shady forest and because flash photography isn’t permitted don’t expect amazing photos.
  • Gorilla permits currently cost US $500 and a large part of this goes back into protecting these magnificent creatures. Unfortunately gorilla watching holidays don't come cheap.

Where

Gorilla safari tours are possible in two national parks in Uganda, and one in Rwanda. Where we go depends on permit availability and gorilla whereabouts.

When

Gorilla watching holidays are possible all year round. However, conditions become more difficult in the wet and so many visitors prefer to avoid the wettest months (March to May) for gorilla safari tours.

GORILLA WATCHING HOLIDAYS

Uganda gorilla tour

4 days and 3 nights from Kampala to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in search of the gorillas

Rwanda gorilla tour

An alternative to the 4 day Uganda gorilla tour if permits are unavailbale for Uganda's 2 gorilla parks

7 day primate tour

The best of Uganda's primates in 1 week. A gorilla safari tour at Bwindi & chimp tracking at Kibale.

10 day primate tour

A gorilla watching holiday, chimp tracking safari and tour of Uganda's best parks in 10 days and 9 nights.

Gorilla Trakking Information

A gorilla safari tour is an intense experience that can take up a whole day and although there is a good chance of seeing the gorillas, it is not guaranteed. Despite the skill and experience of the trackers and guides, the gorillas can easily disappear into the forest.

Trekking always begins by heading to where the gorillas were last seen on the previous day. This could be 20 minutes from base or several hours away. Be warned that gorilla trekking can be a strenuous activity. Eight hour walks over steep slopes and uneven muddy floors have been known. Because of this, we highly recommend regular hiking in preparation for gorilla trekking Africa.

Overexposure to humans can be harmful to the gorillas and so visitors are permitted to spend one hour with them.

Despite the difficulties, a gorilla watching holiday remains an immensely rewarding experience, so please don’t let them put you off. It is rare to hear someone complain about their gorilla safari tour experience.

A percentage of the permit fees go into local communities, towards natural resource development management. The lands adjacent to the parks are some of the poorest and most densely populated in Uganda and for many years, conflict with the gorillas has been inevitable. It is only through developing alternative options that both the gorillas and the local communities will survive.

Permits

Permits cost US $600 and should be purchased as far in advance as possible (we recommend 6 months).

They are expensive, but for good reason: poaching and destruction of their unique habitat have left mountain gorillas one of the most endangered species in the world. Funding from the permits is perhaps all that keeps them from extinction.

Please note that permits must be paid for along with your deposit and are not refundable.

About Mountain Gorillas


  • Mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei) only became known to western science in 1902 and since then have captivated our imagination.
  • They are the largest of the primates, rarest of the 3 gorilla subspecies and share 98% of our genes.
  • They live in groups of 2-40 individuals, averaging 10, and led by a dominant silverback male.
  • Silverback males can weigh up to 200kg.
  • They are predominantly herbivores and enjoy a diet of roots, leaves, stems, bamboos and vines.
  • Much like humans, they communicate using a wide range of facial expressions, gestures and noises (including barks, screeches and chest beating).

Concern

Mountain gorillas are critically endangered.

Recent efforts have brought the population from 650 up to 720 but they are still very much in danger.

Habitat destruction and poaching in the D.R.C. are still major concerns.

Females live for 40-50 years and produce only 2-6 offspring. This slow rate of reproduction adds to the concerns facing the survival of this beautiful species.

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