Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda

The opportunity to trek the endangered mountain gorillas is one of Rwanda’s biggest attractions. These greatest of Apes are found in the Volcanoes National Park where the gorillas live in the mountainous forested area and are heavily protected. This population, broken into seven distinct groups, forms part of only around 900 individuals found anywhere on earth today.

The only way to see these incredible animals is to undertake a guided gorilla trek into the forest to find them. As they constantly move around, finding them can take some time, depending on where they have nested the night before. Rest assured, the expert Park Rangers will guide you each step of the way and to date we have a 100% success record in locating the gorillas.

“We (a group of 9 friends) had an amazing experience with The Gorilla Safari Company in Rwanda. We couldn’t have hoped for better weather, and getting into the jungle and finding a group of 40 gorillas just in front of us was something incredible that cannot be described with words. The warmth of the people in such a beautiful land just captivated us. Hoping to get there soon again!”

Jamie Alcántara, USA

Gorilla trekking footage by Jamie Alcántara & friends.

Although it is not necessary to be super fit to undertake a gorilla trek, bear in mind that walking at a reasonable speed is involved and it is mostly uphill, sometimes to altitudes of around 9000 feet above sea level. Luckily, finding the gorillas is relatively painless as trackers who monitor the group daily will know their exact location and convey it to your guides. The sheer adrenaline rush when you find them simply has to be experienced to be believed!

Mountain gorillas are impressive to look at but very gentle. In fact, they will go about their daily business of feeding and interacting as per their routine. They do know you are there, however and some of the braver youngsters may even approach the group.

The gorillas are far easier to photograph than other animals in the forest due to their restful nature but bear in mind, no flash photography is allowed. Keep a lookout for the group leader, the Silverback! Often around 200 kilograms in weight, he is an impressive specimen indeed and some groups even have two Silverbacks.

Check out our top gorilla trekking itineraries!

2 Day “Swift Gorillas”

Prices from $2,320 per person sharing, staying at Villa Gorilla (budget accommodation).

3 Day “Gorillas & Monkeys #1”

Prices from $2,805 per person sharing, staying at Mountain Gorilla View Lodge (mid range accommodation).

Gorilla Trekking in Uganda

Together with the troops found in the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, another 300+ gorillas living in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda and account for the two biggest populations in Africa. The Bwindi forest itself, over 321 km² in size, has four distinct areas where gorillas can be trekked; Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga, and Nkuringo.

Perhaps the most popular is the Buhoma sector which features a range of other activities other than gorilla trekking. Uganda is home to twelve habituated groups with each group comprising around 10 to 20 individuals. To find any of the gorilla groups requires a hike through the forest, which means you will need to be relatively fit, healthy and able to handle the humid rain-forest conditions as well as climbing up a number of steep slopes.

Experienced trackers will guide you every step of the way, but rest assured, the hike is more than worth it, especially when you spot a troop of these magnificent primates. Once found, you will spend an hour with the troop, watching them go about their daily routine. This includes eating, playing and grooming as well as caring for the infants in the group.

Check out our top gorilla trekking itineraries!

4 Day “Fly-in Special Offer”

Prices from $2,060 per person sharing, staying at Mahogany Springs Lodge (mid range accommodation).

8 Day “Scheduled Group Tour”

Prices from $2,835 per person sharing, staying in high quality mid range lodges. Gorillas, chimps and safari.