Where to Go for Gorilla Trekking in East Africa

Where to Go for Gorilla Trekking in East Africa

Gorilla trekking is a popular activity among safari enthusiasts planning their trips to East Africa. It offers a rare opportunity to witness the unique way of life of mountain gorillas in their natural habitats. In this guide, we’ll explore the three countries in East Africa where you can go gorilla trekking: Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

When planning an adventure to encounter mountain gorillas in East Africa, one of the most commonly asked questions is where to go for gorilla trekking. These majestic creatures are not only rare but also unique in their way of life. Their survival is intricately tied to their natural habitats, making the experience of encountering them a truly exceptional one.

Understanding Mountain Gorillas

Mountain gorillas are a species that can only be found in select regions of East Africa. Their habitat primarily spans across Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. These gentle giants are renowned for their strength, intelligence, and social behaviors. With a population that has faced threats from habitat loss, poaching, and human encroachment, encountering them in their natural environment is a precious and unforgettable experience.

The Significance of Gorilla Trekking

Among the various activities available to safari goers in East Africa, gorilla trekking stands out as a highly sought-after experience. Travelers who have embarked on gorilla safaris in Uganda, in particular, often speak highly of this activity. Many attest that no other wildlife encounter on the African continent can rival the profound and exhilarating experience of spending face-to-face time with Uganda’s wild gorillas in their natural habitat.

Choosing the Right Destination

When contemplating a gorilla trekking adventure, one of the initial considerations is selecting the right destination. Each East African country that is home to mountain gorillas offers its own unique experience

Permits and Regulations

Obtaining permits for gorilla trekking is a crucial step in the planning process. Permits are typically issued by national park authorities and are limited to a specific number of visitors each day to minimize disturbance to the gorillas’ natural habitat. It is advisable to book permits well in advance, especially during peak seasons, to secure desired dates and avoid disappointment.

Countries to See Mountain Gorillas

Mountain gorillas are found only in two rainforest jungles in East Africa: Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. These countries are dedicated to protecting these majestic creatures, making gorilla trekking a special experience for travelers.


Uganda, often referred to as the “Pearl of Africa,” boasts a significant portion of the mountain gorilla population. The country’s diverse landscapes, including lush forests and sprawling national parks, provide an ideal habitat for these magnificent creatures. Popular gorilla trekking destinations in Uganda include Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Uganda is often considered one of the best destinations for primate safaris, including gorilla trekking. The experience involves walking through tall and ancient trees, immersing yourself in the natural beauty of Uganda’s forests. The country’s gorilla protection program, initiated in 1973, has been instrumental in safeguarding these primates. Gorillas are protected in two National Parks: Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla Park.


Rwanda is known for presenting itself as a luxury safari destination, offering a high-end experience for travelers. Gorilla permits in Rwanda are priced at USD 1500 per head, making it more expensive than Uganda or the DRC. Accommodation options in Rwanda also tend to be pricier. Gorilla trekking in Rwanda takes place in Volcanoes National Park, which is home to not only mountain gorillas but also other primates like golden monkeys and black and white colobus monkeys.

Democratic Republic of Congo

For the adventurous souls seeking a truly off-the-beaten-path experience, the Democratic Republic of Congo offers gorilla trekking opportunities in its untamed wilderness. Virunga National Park, Africa’s oldest national park, is renowned for its rugged terrain and diverse wildlife, including mountain gorillas Congo is often regarded as the cheapest gorilla trekking destination among the three countries. . While security concerns may deter some travelers, those who venture to Virunga are rewarded with unforgettable encounters and the satisfaction of supporting conservation efforts in a challenging environment.

Conclusion: In conclusion, gorilla trekking in East Africa offers a once-in-a-lifetime adventure to witness these incredible creatures in their natural habitat. Whether you choose Uganda, Rwanda, or the Democratic Republic of Congo, each country offers its own unique experiences and opportunities for travelers. Ultimately, the decision of which destination to visit depends on your preferences, budget, and desired level of luxury. Regardless of your choice, gorilla trekking is sure to be a memorable and life-changing experience.