Uganda gorilla safaris/Gorilla trekking Uganda safari tours take you on a lifetime adventure to the world`s greatest Uganda gorilla tours destinations of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park to spend time face to face with wild mountain gorillas, the largest and most powerful of the great apes.
Gorilla Safaris in Uganda take you in the tropical rain forests in search of the endangered Mountain Gorillas in their natural habitat and the experience of meeting the giant apes face to face is of a lifetime. Uganda is the best country for Mountain Gorilla holidays as it has half (50%) of the world’s surviving endangered Mountain Gorillas which is around 1,063 individuals.
Among this highest number of Gorillas in Uganda, most of them are habituated for human seeing & presence and others are still wild. Gorillas in Uganda are only found in two Uganda National Parks that is Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park which has only 1 Gorilla family. Tourists can also find Mountain Gorillas in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park and Virunga National Park of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Gorilla tours in Uganda also feature Mountain Gorilla habituation experience in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. These safaris can be combined with wildlife safaris to give you the full excitement of an African safari. These are best in Queen Elizabeth National Park home of the tree Climbing Lions, Murchison Falls National Park, Kidepo, and Lake Mburo Park. There are also primate tours to accompany the Gorilla tracking which is Chimpanzee trekking and Golden Monkey tracking.
Using your East African tourist visa, you can likewise tour Kenya for a more fulfilling experience to add to your Uganda and Rwanda excursions.
For over 10yrs, Prime Uganda Safaris & Tours organizes amazing tailor-made Uganda gorilla safaris & tours according to our clients' gorilla safari needs and budgets. Our Uganda Gorilla safari prices range from budget to luxury, catering for all price ranges.
Mountain Gorillas are only found in 3 countries of East Africa and that is Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo which also has Lowland Gorillas.
However, in Uganda, they are only found in two national parks and these are Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.
Gorilla tours in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park are one of the remarkable adventures for tourists on Uganda tours. You can trek Gorillas here for about 2 to 8 hours.
Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is a UNESCO World Heritage Site having almost half of the world’s surviving Mountain Gorillas. It has 19 habituated Gorilla families and these are accessed along the 4 trailheads.
The trailheads to follow in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest during your Gorilla tour are Nkuringo (south) easily reached from Queen Elizabeth National Park home to the tree Climbing Lions, Rushaga (south), Buhoma (north), and Ruhija (East).
The 19 Gorilla families are available for trekking. During your Mountain Gorilla seeing trips in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, you can as well come across other wildlife like primates and many bird species.
Mgahinga National Park is another destination for those who want to go Gorilla walking. It is located in the far Southwest of Uganda on the border with Rwanda.
This park has only one Gorilla family the Nyakagezi and it used to be a transboundary Gorilla group crossing from Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park.
This Gorilla family consists of 9 members and tourists can access the family via the Ntebeko trailhead that starts from the park headquarters. Also, Mgahinga National Park has Golden Monkeys and this makes it a good spot for a Golden Monkey trekking experience/Golden Monkey tracking.
Mgahinga Park also has 3 Virunga Mountains and the rest are in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park and Virunga National Park of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Gorilla habituation experience is the slow study of wild Mountain Gorillas so that they recognize human presence. The Gorilla habituation experience is only available in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
Gorilla habituation takes about 2 to 5 years for the Gorilla group to be fully habituated. Tourists during this experience can be with the gentle giants for 4 hours in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
You require a Gorilla permit to go Gorilla trekking in Uganda and it costs $700 for foreign nonresidents. It costs $600 and UGX 250,000 for East African citizens.
A permit is inclusive of park entrance fees both in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.
A Gorilla permit is issued by Uganda Wildlife Authority and it permits you to trek Mountain Gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga. You can purchase Gorilla permits from Uganda Wildlife Authority. Once you make payments then the Gorilla permit is given to you.
You can pick up your Gorilla permit upon arrival from the Uganda Wildlife Authority offices. Tourists can use the help of a tour operator or tour company. Tour operators can help you get discounted Gorilla permits or a last-minute Gorilla permit.
Uganda has the highest number of Gorilla permits for Gorilla watching since the highest number of habituated Uganda Gorillas.
In total, Uganda has 20 habituated Gorilla families in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga and 8 people trek a family per day and this means that 160 Gorilla permits are available in this country per day.
This makes it the highest number among all Gorilla tracking destinations. The permits are presented at the park headquarters before the activity.
Seeing Gorillas in Uganda in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park requires either a Gorilla permit or a Gorilla habituation permit.
Tourists can get a Gorilla permit with assistance from the tour operator or Tour Company. Also, tour operators can help you get discounted Gorilla permits, especially in the low season. The discounted Gorilla permits are not available at all times.
Gorilla Tracking Fees
Foreign NonResident (700 USD)
Foreign Resident (600 USD)
East African Citizen (250,000 UGX)
Gorilla Habituation Experience
Foreign Non-Resident (1,500 USD)
Foreign Resident ( 1,000 USD)
East African Citizen (750,000 UGX)
The Gorilla safari cost depends on many factors and some of these include the cost of the Gorilla permit, transport, food, paying porters, visa and border crossing costs, the cost of your necessities like a camera, sunscreen, guides, insect repellants, etc.
a. A 1-day Gorilla trek safari in Uganda costs about $1000 inclusive of the Gorilla permit cost.
b. 2 days Gorilla tour in Uganda will cost about $1300, with the cost of the Gorilla permit inclusive.
c. 3 days Gorilla watching trip will take about $1500 with the Gorilla permit cost inclusive.
Tourists can go Gorilla trekking in Bwindi National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park while on a budget. Gorilla tours are not as expensive as most may think as anyone can trek Mountain Gorillas.
This is how you can track Gorillas on a budget;
Target the low season: This is when the accommodation facilities are at discounted rates and if lucky, you can get discounted Gorilla permits.
Consider budget accommodation: If planning to trek with Gorillas in Bwindi National Park and Mgahinga, then consider cheap accommodation.
Use public transport: This helps save since private transport is so expensive during Gorilla tours.
Join a group tour: This means that all expenses will be shared. But mind that the price of the Gorilla permit is constant.
Usually, before going for a Gorilla trek, the park rangers first take you through some cautious instructions at the park headquarters. These rules involve the dos and don’ts of Gorilla trekking in Uganda same as the Gorilla habituation experience.
These rules work both in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga Park.
Gorilla trekking rules before you set out;
1. Always make sure that you carry your payment receipts or the Gorilla permit.
2. In case you have a cold or any kind of infectious illness, please do not go track Gorillas. This is because Gorillas can catch human sickness easily.
3. Gorilla trekking in Uganda is only for those above 15 years.
4. If you want to help yourself, make sure that human waste is buried 30cm (12 inches) deep.
5. Also, only 8 people are permitted to visit a Gorilla group during Gorilla treks
Gorilla trek rules when you meet the Gorillas;
1. Make sure that there is a 7-meter (21ft) distance between you and the Gorillas.
2. You should not smoke, eat or drink when with the Gorillas. It helps in the reduction of transmitting diseases to Gorillas during Gorilla treks
3. Always cover your mouth and nose or even turn away if you sneeze or cough. This is because Gorillas can get infected with cough and cold
4. Tourists are only permitted or given only 1 full hour to be with the Gorillas
5. When you are photographing the apes, ensure not to use a flash during Gorilla treks
Gorilla treks last between 2 and 8 hours and you track Mountain Gorillas in Bwindi National Park and Mgahinga Park the Gorilla treks start at the park headquarters as long as you hold a Gorilla permit.
Once you spot a Gorilla family, you are only permitted to be in their presence for one full hour. During the Gorilla habituation experience, you be with gentle giants for 4 hours.
The minimum number of days for Gorilla trekking holidays is 3 days. This is because it is a long journey and Mountain Gorilla tracking starts at 8 am meaning that day 1 is for heading to the tracking point, day 2 is for Gorilla tracking, and day 3 is for departure.
Gorillas are most active during the morning hours and that’s the reason why Gorilla tracking starts in the morning and it is also the best time for Gorilla watching. They also become active late in the evening as they look for shelters.
There are various lodges where you can stay during your Gorilla trekking holidays in Bwindi National Park and Mgahinga Park and these range from luxury, midrange, and budget lodges.
Luxury lodges include; Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge – one of the best lodges in Bwindi National Park Nkuringo Sector, Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge, Buhoma Safari Lodge, Mahogany Springs Lodge, etc.
Midrange lodges include; Ichumbi Safari Lodge, Gorilla Valley Lodge, Gorilla Mist Camp, Silverback Lodge, Lake Mulehe Safari Lodge, etc.
Budget lodges include; Wagtail Eco Safari Camp, Bwindi View Bandas, Nshongi Gorilla Resort, Buhoma Community Rest Camp, Trekkers Tavern Cottages, etc.
Tourists can go trekking with the Gorillas or for Gorilla habituation experience to meet the gentle giants at any time of the year. However, the best time to go Gorilla walking is in the dry season which is from June to August and December to February.
The wet season is from March to May and from September to November and during this time the trails become slippery. The wet season is also the low season in tourism as few tourists go Gorilla seeing and you can have a chance to get discounted Gorilla permits during this time.
The best month to go Gorilla trekking in Uganda or for Gorilla tour holidays is from June to August and December to February as these make the dry season.
Below is what to wear before you go Gorilla trekking in Uganda on your Gorilla tour;
1. Light hiking boots: these hiking boots protect your feet when in the jungle
2. Long-sleeved light trousers and shirts
3. Garden Gloves: Protect you from itching plants.
4. A cap or hat; protects your face and head from the strong sunlight
5. Sunglasses; protect your eyes from the strong sunlight rays
There are essential items you need for Gorilla seeing in Uganda safaris and these include;
1. Gorilla trekking permit to present at the park headquarters
2. A good camera with extra batteries
3. Binoculars; zoom in on sightings of wild animals for you to get clear views
4. The poncho/ rain jacket; keeps you dry when its
5. Insect Repellents; Keep away bugs and always carry insect repellents.
6. Bottled water; keeps you hydrated
7. Backpack; used for carrying smaller items like insect repellents.
8. Walking sticks; give you more support on the trails along with hiking boots.
Yes, trekking Gorillas/Gorilla tracking is safe as you trek habituated Mountain Gorillas and also, you are accompanied by armed park rangers.
During Gorilla treks, follow the instructions of rangers and guides so that you don’t fall victim.
Only those who are 15 years and above are allowed to trek Mountain Gorillas in Uganda during Gorilla treks.
Yes, Uganda has over 459 Mountain Gorillas which is half of the population in the world making it a good destination for Gorilla treks.
Yes, a Gorilla trek is ethical because as you trek Mountain Gorillas, you help to protect and conserve them as part and parcel of our environment. When tourists follow the right guidelines on their Gorilla safari holidays, then they make Gorilla tours an ethical act.
Yes, when you go Gorilla walking in Uganda, it is worth it and it’s worth the money. When you trek the Mountain Gorillas, it gives you memories of a lifetime as you meet them in their natural habitat feeding and caring for each other.
Also, the money collected is used in the conservation of the Mountain Gorillas.
Mountain Gorilla seeing is not as hard as many think though it requires some physicality. It involves hiking through terrains, thick vegetation, and hills and valleys making it a bit challenging.
When you go Gorilla viewing in the dense forests and once you meet the apes, you will forget about the challenging part.
You can prepare for Gorilla tracking by doing some physical exercises to make your trek less strenuous when you finally go for it.
Also, ensure that you get your Gorilla trekking permit ready, accommodation, transportation, and the best tour operator or Tour Company.
Both Uganda and Rwanda are amazing destinations when it comes to Gorilla tour holidays as each is unique.
1. Volcanoes National Park of Rwanda is just 113 km from Kigali airport making it a short distance and this means you can reach Volcanoes National Park for Rwanda Gorilla trek in one day. Trekking Mountain Gorillas in 1 day is not possible in Uganda as you need at least 3 days to trek.
2. Volcanoes National Park of Rwanda has 10 Gorilla families meaning that 96 Gorilla permits are sold per day to see Rwanda Gorillas whereas Uganda has 20 habituated Gorilla families meaning that 160 Gorilla permits are sold per day.
3. A Gorilla permit in Uganda costs $700 and if you want to track Rwanda Gorillas, Rwanda Development Board sells their Gorilla trek permit at $1500.
4. Gorilla trips in Rwanda in Volcanoes National Park are combined with wildlife tours in its only savannah park Akagera National Park and Uganda has 4 amazing savannah national parks.
5. Uganda has more lodges during Gorilla tracking trips though the ones in Volcanoes National Park are more high-end when it comes to Rwanda Gorilla trek safaris.
Visitors can trek with Gorillas in both countries when they attain an East African tourist visa and the experience got from the Gorilla tour trips is amazing.
Below are the reasons why you should go for Gorilla tours in Uganda;
1. Uganda has half of the world’s surviving Mountain Gorillas
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park hold half of the world’s surviving Mountain Gorillas. Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest has 19 habituated Gorilla groups and Mgahinga has one Gorilla family of the Nyakagezi.
The rest of the Mountain Gorillas are within Volcanoes National Park and Virunga National Park of the Democratic Republic of Congo in the Virunga Mountains.
2. Gorilla holidays In Uganda Are Cheaper
Gorilla permits in Uganda are way cheaper than those in Rwanda. Gorilla permits in Uganda cost $700 and in Rwanda cost $1500 for you to track Gorillas in Volcanoes National Park.
However, the Democratic Republic of Congo has the cheapest Gorilla permits.
3. Uganda Is a Safe Country for All Tourists
Uganda is secure for all tourists and it is friendly as the people are welcoming.
4. You Can Contribute To Gorilla Conservation and Supporting Communities
When you purchase a Gorilla permit for Gorilla trekking in Uganda, you contribute to Gorilla conservation purposes. Also, a percentage of the Gorilla permit is used in supporting the local communities.
5. More Primates along the Gorilla trek
When you track Mountain Gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga, you get opportunities of seeing other primates during the Gorilla safari experience. Some of the primates include; Golden Monkeys ideal for Golden Monkey trekking, Baboons, L’Hoest’s Monkeys, Red-tailed Monkeys, etc.
6. Gorilla trips Can Be Combined with Other Uganda Safaris
There are 10 national parks in Uganda, wildlife reserves, and other safari destination places. Visitors who come for Gorilla tours can always engage in other safaris like wildlife safaris, birding safaris, culture safaris, etc.
Several tour operators can organize for you Gorilla holidays in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Park. Prime Safaris & Tours Ltd is best tour operators to use for your Gorilla holidays
In summary, Gorilla safaris in Uganda offer you the best opportunities of trekking Mountain Gorillas in the tropical rain forests in Bwindi National Park and Mgahinga. You can enjoy Gorilla watching and Gorilla habituation to be with the gentle apes.
Gorilla trekking safaris in Uganda will give you amazing adventures of a lifetime as this experience can be combined with wildlife tours in Queen Elizabeth National Park home of the tree climbing Lions, Murchison Falls National Park, and Kidepo Valley National Park for the best game viewing.
Gorilla adventures will bring you attachment to the apes and guarantee you excitement.
Inquire for the best Gorilla trips in Uganda