The Best Gorilla Trekking Destinations Rwanda vs Uganda vs Congo

The Best Gorilla Trekking Destinations Rwanda vs Uganda vs Congo: The Best Places, Where to see gorillas in Africa: Rwanda vs Uganda vs Congo. Here’s our guide to gorilla trekking in Rwanda, Uganda and Congo.

World’s Best Destinations for Gorilla Trekking; Volcanoes National Park, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, and Odzala-Kokoua National Park. The Greatest places in the world to Go Gorilla Trekking.

Gorillas, the largest of the primates, gorillas are fascinating creatures to see. They have broad chests and shoulders, as well as huge human-like hands. We appear to be drawn to these majestic creatures, which is not surprising given that we share 98.3 percent of our genetic code. Seeing wild gorillas in their natural home, equatorial Africa’s forests have become one of the world’s pinnacle wildlife experiences.

Best Places to See Gorillas in Africa

Through the verdant expanse of a tropical rainforest, you hike along a tiny route, wiping sweat from your eyes and appreciating your hiking gaiters. All of a sudden, a tracker who has been scouting ahead returns and enthusiastically stops your group. Now all you have is your camera and the excitement of moving forward slowly. With a smile on her face, your guide turns to whisper the words you have been waiting for: “There they are.”

Since mountain gorillas cannot thrive in captivity, there are only about 900 of these highly endangered primates left in the world. The only way to see them is to walk into their native woods. One of life’s greatest pleasures is undoubtedly going on a gorilla trekking expedition through Africa’s emerald rainforests to see the daily interactions of these fragile animals. Observe the daily activities of gorilla families. Watch as a mother caresses her cubs with gentleness, aware of the wary gaze of a 200 kg (440 lb.) silverback who is watching over his group. Spending time with gorillas in Africa is an unparalleled wildlife experience, enhanced by the deep sense of locking eyes with a distant cousin.

But where are the greatest locations for unadulterated gorilla viewing? We’ve put together a comprehensive guide on where to see gorillas in Africa based on our personal gorilla trekking experiences in the most remote areas of the continent:

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park | The Ultimate Guide to Gorilla Trekking

Overview: Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda vs Uganda vs Congo

Rwanda Uganda Congo
Gorilla species Mountain gorillas Mountain gorillas Western lowland gorillas
Best gorilla trekking destination Volcanoes National Park Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park Odzala-Kokoua National Park
Best time to go All year round, but driest from June to September and December to February All year round, but driest from June to September and December to February All year round, but driest from June to September and December to February
Cost of gorilla trekking permit (USD) $1 500 $800 $400 (included in gorilla trekking package)
Trekking time Up to 5 hours, depending on weather, fitness levels of guests, and proximity of gorilla families Up to 5 hours, depending on weather, fitness levels of guests, and proximity of gorilla families Up to 5 hours, depending on weather, fitness levels of guests, and proximity of gorilla families
Trekking terrain Hiking at altitude through thick forested slopes Hiking at altitude through thick forested slopes Hiking on ground level through thick rainforest
Time allowed with gorillas (excluding trekking time) 1 hour 1 hour 1 hour
Protocols Max 8 guests per trek

Minimum age: 15

Guests must be healthy – no cold or flu symptoms

Max 8 guests per trek

Minimum age: 15

Guests must be healthy – no cold or flu symptoms

Max 4-6 guests per trek

Minimum age: 15

Guests must be healthy – no cold or flu symptoms

Trekking with face masks is compulsory

Best Gorilla Trekking Destinations

The top three nations in the world for a gorilla safari are all in Africa. In the safari sector, Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo have established themselves as the top choices for travelers who want to embark on gorilla treks through wild, unspoiled rainforests in pursuit of these elusive primates. For those who have had the honor of taking advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime chance, seeing mountain gorillas in their native habitat is believed to be a transformative and eye-opening experience that leaves a lasting memory.

Gorilla treks are a must-see for passionate safari travelers and animal lovers alike, offering unparalleled up-close interactions. Our top destinations for gorilla trekking in Africa are as follows:


Offering the most easily accessible gorilla trekking in Africa, Rwanda is a little nation whose breathtaking natural beauty far exceeds its size. About three hours by driving, or about 80 kilometers (50 miles) from Kigali International Airport, is its flagship reserve, Volcanoes National Park.

Where to See Gorillas in Rwanda

Five of the eight volcanoes that make up the Virunga Mountains range are located within the 160 square kilometers (62 square miles) of superb rainforest that make up the breathtaking Volcanoes National Park in northwest Rwanda. In Rwanda, it provides a mystical setting for engaging gorilla conservation adventures. Gorillas are highly gregarious and critically endangered primates that spend the most of their waking hours on the ground looking for food. They move less than one kilometer (0.6 miles) each day, making it easy to follow these animals. An expert gorilla tracker will lead you past the park’s towering African redwoods, bamboo, weaving vines, and blooming lobelias to the spot where you will have an incredible up close and personal encounter with one of humanity’s closest living relatives.

It’s true Gorillas in the Mist country because Volcanoes National Park was home to famed primatologist Dian Fossey; you can even pay your respects at her tomb. There are plenty of woodland birds and monkeys, including the endangered golden monkey, in this well-kept and supervised reserve. A minimum of 10% of tourism earnings is allocated to community initiatives within the park, so strengthening the benefits of gorilla trekking in Rwanda and providing practical support to local people for the preservation of these magnificent primates. Conservation projects hire reformed poachers, giving them a legal source of income.


Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda’s – Volcanoes National Park

When to Go: Best Time to See Gorillas in Rwanda

Gorilla trekking in Rwanda is considered a year-round pastime, however the best hiking conditions and lowest danger of malaria are found during the country’s dry seasons.

The extended rainy season in Rwanda runs roughly from March to May. The extended dry season, which begins in June and lasts until roughly mid-September, is when gorilla trekking in Rwanda is most popular. There is a shorter rainy season from October to November, and then a short dry season from December to February. Though a bit more humid than the June to September period, this is also a great time to watch gorillas in Rwanda.

Gorilla Trekking Permits

A permit costs $1,500 USD per person and allows you to spend an hour with the gorillas in Rwanda. For a trek during the extended dry season (June to September), they are frequently sold out up to a year in advance, so we advise making travel plans as soon as you decide you want to go gorilla trekking in Rwanda.

Traveller Types: Best For…

Rwanda is the best place in Africa to visit gorillas if you’re on a tight schedule. You can complete your gorilla trekking vacation in five days or less if you only land in Kigali, get transported to your lodge, hike the following day, and depart for the airport the morning after.

Other Wildlife Experiences

In addition to tracking gorillas, Rwanda offers up-close encounters with Africa’s famous Big 5: lion, leopard, buffalo, rhino, and elephant. Lions were released into Akagera National Park in 2015, and two years later, black rhinos from Eastern Africa were added. For the first time in nearly 20 years, Akagera is now a well-known Big 5 safari destination thanks to these effective reintroduction initiatives.


Trekking into mountain gorillas’ native woods, such as Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, is your sole chance to witness these primates in their natural habitat. To protect the health and welfare of these animals, stringent laws are in place, such as those governing the requirements for obtaining a Ugandan gorilla trekking permit. Because there are extremely few opportunities to see each gorilla group each day, we advise planning your Ugandan gorilla trekking trip at least a year in advance. Uganda is the best place to visit gorillas in Africa if you’re on a limited budget, thanks to the country’s incredibly reasonable trekking permits.

Where to See Gorillas in Uganda

The eponymously named Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, which envelops Uganda’s southwest mountain range in a thicket of verdant foliage, is home to the mountain gorillas. You can take a swift, but more expensive, charter aircraft or a day’s drive (about 10 to 11 hours) from Kampala, the country’s capital. Although getting there will require more effort than it would in Rwanda, the trip will be worthwhile!

Bwindi is a montane and lowland forest World Heritage Site that supports over 120 species of animals, 350 bird species, 220 kinds of butterflies, and several more reptiles and amphibians. The park’s critically endangered mountain gorilla population has increased positively to around half of the global total, largely due to the money received from tourists. And throughout your Uganda gorilla trekking journey, Bwindi will provide amazing interactions with colobus monkeys and chimpanzees if you’re interested in viewing primate species other than gorillas in Africa.

Gorilla Trekking in Uganda, Everything You Need to Know

Gorilla Trekking, Uganda | Wildlife Photography | Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

When to Go: Best Time to See Gorillas in Uganda

There are two distinct seasons in Uganda, one being dry and the other being wet. While gorilla trekking in Uganda is officially year-round, most tourists choose the drier months of June to September and December to February because these are the best times for trekking conditions. Because fewer people visit Uganda during the low seasons (March to May and October to November), parks are less crowded and lodging costs are lower.

Gorilla Trekking Permits

A permit to visit the gorillas in Uganda for an hour costs $700 USD per person. A $1,500 USD habituation permit is another option that enables you to accompany the researchers on field trips and spend up to four hours with the gorillas.

Traveller Types: Best For…

The nation provides a fantastic opportunity for those who love animals to combine their gorilla trekking experience in Uganda with a safari in one of Africa’s most promising safari areas. Additionally, Uganda is a fantastic alternative for those searching for inexpensive ways to visit gorillas in Africa because of the low cost of trekking permits there.

Other Wildlife Experiences

The secret to Bwindi is to customize your schedule to include visits to the adjacent Kibale and Queen Elizabeth national parks. This will enable you to combine gorilla trekking in Uganda with chimpanzee trekking and big game viewing.


The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the Republic of the Congo (ROK) are two different African nations. Congo is little, but the DRC is huge. But when it comes to gorilla trekking adventures, it’s everything but light.

Congo offers a unique experience for gorilla trekking: after leaving camp, you and your guide can stroll directly into the forest to begin looking for gorillas in their natural habitat. Occasionally, you can discover them in about an hour. This is not like other gorilla trekking destinations, such as Rwanda and Uganda, where you have to drive inside the national park before beginning a two- to five-hour journey into the highlands. It is also warmer in Congo than it is in Rwanda and Uganda due to the country’s flatter topography and lower elevation. Additionally, there is the chance to go hiking for three days straight, an activity that is only available for one day in the other countries. This enables you to spend more time observing the several gorilla families and contrasting their intriguing variations in social dynamics and personalities.

Where to See Gorillas in Congo

Approximately 100 mammal species and one of Africa’s most diversified primate populations find refuge in the nation’s 13,500 square kilometer (5,200 square mile) unspoiled tropical rainforest, known as Odzala-Kokoua National Park. Congo is the greatest location to witness western lowland gorillas in the wild because of the park’s well-known efforts to conserve these primates. Lowland gorillas are smaller and less unkempt than their mountain siblings, which are found in Rwanda and Uganda. They also have softer fur, narrower cheeks, and rounder noses. However, they are always a pleasure to see, much like their larger relatives who live at higher altitudes.

Gorilla trekking in Congo offers the best possible “Heart of Africa” experience. Navigate trails through dark forests shrouded with brilliant butterflies, following knowledgeable guides as you go closer to one of the most profound wildlife experiences on Earth and learning to recognize the calls of monkeys and tropical birds.

Gorilla Trekking in the Congo (DRC) – Kahuzi Biega National Park

LARGEST Gorilla Found in Congo

When to Go: Best Time to See Gorillas in Congo

Rain is a vital component of the unique ecology found in the equatorial rainforest of the Congo Basin, often known as the “green lungs” of Earth. Its seasons are therefore appropriately characterized as being wet, wetter, and wettest.

In Congo, the months of June through September, known as “low rainfall,” and December through February, known as “gentle rainfall,” are the best times to undertake gorilla trekking. It is said that July and August are the driest and coolest months of the year.

Gorilla Trekking Permits

Your tour package pricing includes the $400 USD per person cost of a gorilla trekking permit in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Traveller Types: Best For…

For daring adventurers and seasoned travelers who have seen all of the major African places and simply want to “get away from the crowds,” Congo is a genuinely secluded and perfect getaway.

Other Wildlife Experiences

The ability to combine your gorilla climb with incredibly exciting birding or quite distinct large game viewing is another benefit of visiting Congo. Odzala-Kokoua is dotted with bais, marshy forest clearings that provide several species with significant nutritional advantages. These draw shy buffalo and elephants in the jungle, as well as big antelope known as bongos and bush pigs. This place is a must-visit for kayaking in the bais, followed by a delectable BBQ on the riverbank.

What are the different types of gorillas?

There are two types of gorillas: eastern gorillas (Gorilla Beringei) and western gorillas (Gorilla savanna) (Gorilla gorilla). Eastern gorillas are divided into two subspecies: Lowland and Mountain Gorillas. Western gorillas are further subdivided into two subspecies: western lowland gorilla and Cross River gorilla. This is crucial to consider when arranging a gorilla trekking trip because the optimum location for seeing gorillas in the wild is determined by the species you want to see.

Where to find Gorillas

Eastern gorillas can be found in three countries: the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Uganda, and Rwanda. Western gorillas can be found in Nigeria, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, the Republic of Congo, Angola, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

If you want to see mountain gorillas (a subspecies of Eastern gorillas), go to Africa’s high altitude montane forests in the Virunga Mountain chain, which spans three countries and three national parks – Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and M’gahinga National Park in Uganda. Or go to Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

Ready to Start Planning Your Gorilla Trekking Adventure

It pays to get ready for your hike well, no matter where you decide to go. It can be somewhat muddy labor hiking in a hilly rainforest. A more comfortable hike can be achieved by wearing appropriate clothing, strong hiking boots, and equipment like trekking poles and gaiters. It can get hot and humid there and occasionally see brief downpours. It’s an unforgettable experience because it’s difficult to get up close and personal with gorillas in the wild, but when you do, you won’t be disappointed. And we can assist you in getting there.