With a diverse collection of tourism activities, mountain gorilla trekking stands out to be the leading activity in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo. Today the mountain gorilla is confined to the Virunga’s, a cluster of forested volcanoes that straddle the borders of Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The moment you visit these countries, the welcoming atmosphere is an evidence of adventure filled of natural beauty. But don’t forget that CNN picked Bwindi Impenetrable National Park as one of the top parks in all Africa in May 2017. Comparing gorilla trekking safaris in Uganda and Rwanda is based on range of aspects.
One of the major aspects is the price of a gorilla trekking permit. Rwanda’s Gorilla permits are now 1500USD, Uganda remains at 6005-USD now, you have to make a choice about which country to choose for your trek and it often is based on available Financial Resources. Uganda is not raising prices presently and in the distant future 2019. Uganda also has off-season discounts at 450 USD for April, May, and November. The seasonal discounts will most like be discontinued at the end of 2017. Budget tourists are therefore likely to track gorillas in Uganda and save for other expenses in other national parks.
Addition to the price, Uganda has two places where these Mountain Gorillas may be seen, one is Mgahinga Gorilla Park; a stunning park and a component of the Virunga chain of towering volcanoes that extend into the DRC and Rwanda, and then in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park.
Another aspect is the travel distance. Bwindi forest Impenetrable National Park from Kampala takes 10 hours’ drive to get there, while Rwanda’s gorillas live in Volcanoes National Park and can be accessed easily and quickly because Rwanda is a small country and it takes 2 hours’ drive from Kigali to reach the national park.
However, despite the long distance, Uganda presents a scenic country side and a range of features that offer impressive en-route stops that make the long travel day transfer rewarding contribution to the memories of your Uganda gorilla safari including Lake Mburo National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park and Kibale Forest National Park. This is best for tourists on long holiday vacations and those interested in viewing Uganda’s wild animals.
Uganda’s gorillas are just over the border in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, a full day’s drive from Entebbe or Kampala. Allow three nights. Treks start from four different points that is Buhoma, Ruhija, Nkuringo and Rushaga sector, a several hours’ drive apart. This will determine which lodge you stay in. Mgahinga Gorilla Park is very nice and easy to trek in Uganda and from the side of Rwanda, the park is open as opposed to Bwindi forest, but the Nyakagezi keep on crossing to another country. If you are to trek these gorillas, you will visit UWA offices in Kisoro and cross check if the gorillas are on Uganda side, then you will buy the gorilla permit to trek them the following morning.
Another aspect is the gorilla trekking experience itself. The gorilla adventure can be seen in two countries although the duration in Bwindi forest tends to be extended as the trekkers hike the slopes up and down in search of the might apes enjoying the bird sounds and this gives value for money than Volcanoes National Park where at times the trekkers have been able to come to sight with gorillas from 1 to 2 hours of their trek.
Though generally the gorilla trekking duration is not predicted in any of the two countries, besides this, gorilla viewing experience at times varies. Volcanoes National Park features short vegetation and the gorillas are clearly seen and the opportunity for photography are more clear whereas Bwindi Impenetrable forest has a dense jungle and the trekkers are at times hindered by the climbers
Uganda is an excellent safari destination and wildlife hot spots which include Queen Elizabeth National Park (lions and other big game) and Kibale Forest (chimps and other primates), Murchison Falls National Park the world’s most powerful waterfall in Africa. Rwanda’s more limited attractions include the beautiful Lake Kivu, and Nyungwe Forest National park, a haven for chimps and other wildlife. For a full Big Five experience, you can combine Bwindi Impenetrable gorilla trek with a safari in Kenya most operators offer combined packages.
Besides Rwanda and Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo is also home to the mountain gorillas. The country is gifted with both mountain gorillas and lowland gorillas prompting it to become a gorillas trekking safari to several travelers.