Gorilla Trekking

uganda wildlife gorilla bwindi Credit RogerDeLaHarpe
uganda_wildlife_gorillas_bwindi_04
Rwanda Gorillas-RDB (7)

Introduction

Gorilla Trekking is one of Africa’s greatest wildlife encounters and something we consider to be a unique African adventure. It offers both magically beautiful and soul changing encounters with these incredible countries and the magnificent beings that inhabit them.

Mountain gorillas (a subspecies known as Gorilla beringei beringei) can only be found in 3 countries in the world in East Africa.

We also offer packages to Sangha Lodge in Central African Republic where Western lowland gorillas may be trekked.

Where Can You See Them?

The wilderness of the Virunga highlands that lies within Le Parc National Des Volcans in Rwanda, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park as well as Mahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda, and the Virunga National Park found in the Democratic Republic of Congo. These parks are found approximately 48 km from each other, and within Uganda as well as Rwanda they are easily accessible.

There are approximately 1004 Mountain Gorillas remaining in the world with an estimated 400 staying in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest within Uganda found in East Africa.

Although tracking mountain gorillas can be conducted all year round in Uganda & Rwanda, due to the rainy seasons experienced by the national parks in which these gorillas live, preferred months to visit are from June to September as well as from December up to February.

There is a lot of planning and preparation involved in gorilla trekking safari and pre-booked permits are essential.

We also offer packages to Sangha Lodge in Central African Republic where Western lowland gorillas may be trekked.

Uganda

Uganda is home to two different groups of Mountain Gorillas. The majority live in the aptly named Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, a great ancient forest so dense that parts of it have remained hidden from human view for centuries. Here over 450 gorillas live in the dense jungle terrain. We are fortunate to own one of only two lodges within the park, Buhoma Lodge, set just steps away from the gorilla trekking meeting point.

In the south of the country lies Mgahinga National Park, which borders on the Volcanoes and Virungas National Parks. The park is home to one family, the Nyakagezi Group, and allows only eight people to see visit per day. The fact that the area is so remote means it often books out far into the future, and offers a more exclusive experience.

The Democratic Republic of Congo

Virunga National Park was founded in 1925 (as Albert National Park). It was the first national park to be established on the African continent to protect the mountain gorillas living in the forests of the Virunga Massif. This is the only place on earth to have three types of great apes – the mountain gorilla, eastern lowland gorilla, and eastern chimpanzee.

In southern Virunga, around Bukima, there are currently ten gorilla families and four solitary males which are habituated, meaning that they are unafraid of human presence.

We operate set trips to the DRC in partnership with Virungas National Park – contact us for details.

Rwanda

At the latest count, there are approximately 604 gorillas in the Virunga Massif. Thanks to concerted efforts between governments, communities and NGOs, this population is slowly on the increase.

There are twelve habituated gorilla families in the Volcanoes National Park, with a total of 96 permits per day available in Rwanda. Hikes can last anything from 30 mins on the lower, bamboo covered slopes, to a full day at high altitudes (up to 4,000m) in dense vegetation. This was the home of Dian Fossey, and her tomb can be visited on a tough three hour hike through the forest.

The annual Kwita Izina gorilla-naming ceremony is a fascinating time to visit. This ceremony is based on the traditional Rwandan cultural practice of naming newborns in front of family and friends, and has been adapted to celebrate gorilla conservation efforts.

10% of the income received from permits is channelled back to the local communities, to build health centres, roads and schools. A compensation fund has been set up for local farmers should their crops suffer damage from gorillas, which helps to ensure peaceful co-existence.

Buhoma Lodge

One of Wild Frontiers’ premier properties, Buhoma Lodge is one of just two lodges located within the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. The lodge offers incredible views, a homely atmosphere and warm comfort; all while seamlessly blending into the forest environment it gets to call home.

Let our chefs prepare you a decadent meal after your day out trekking, before retiring to one of the 10 comfortable en-suite chalets which sit within the forest itself, raised above the treeline.

Find out more about our lodge by going to the page here.

Wild Frontiers can tailormake a trip to just about anywhere in Africa. So if you’re looking to visit this destination then get in touch and we’ll help you design your perfect trip!

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