Want to go gorilla trekking in Uganda from Kigali Rwanda? Uganda gorilla trekking safaris from Kigali have become the trend nowadays. So many tourists opt for this kind of arrangement to save money and time.
If you find Rwanda gorilla permits too expensive or rather prefer to see gorillas in Uganda then this option is for you. Want to know why? Would you rather spend eight to nine hours travelling by road from Kampala to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or spend four hours travelling from Kigali to Bwindi? Almost one our of every 10 tourists will book bwindi gorilla trekking from Kigali.
These recommended gorilla trekking companies, Uganda tours and travel operators or Rwanda travel companies are experts in organizing such trips at affordable prices. Consider inquiring with them and they should tailor for you a lifetime gorilla trekking safari.
In this article we look at why so many travelers prefer to start their trips from Rwanda and not Uganda. We also look at the good side and bad side of this. Before we get into the pros and cons, i suggest you check out my Uganda gorilla trekking review and Rwanda gorilla trekking review so that you know what its like to go gorilla trekking in either countries.
Why book Uganda gorilla trekking from Kigali
Just like i mentioned earlier, lately so many tourists prefer to trek Uganda gorillas from Kigali in Rwanda. Lets have a good look at why this is so. Basing on my experience, i will try to point out every little factor that favors you when you got this way.
Cheaper flights: If you didn’t know, Rwanda has their own fleet of flights. Clients from United Kingdom / Great Britain and a few select countries get the most out of this since Rwandair has direct routes to Heathrow Airport. This makes flight tickets extremely cheap and way cheaper if you are travelling for tourism purposes. You can check out Rwandair’s website: https://www.rwandair.com/ for more details.
This is not the case with Uganda as Uganda Airlines closed operations decades ago. However, Uganda is considering to revive its national airlines through Canadian support. I will update this part the moment Uganda Airlines resumes operations.
Short distance: The drive from Kigali to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is only four hours. This is five hours shorter than the nine hours’ drive from Kampala to Bwindi. You will get to save about 5 hours of travel time. This could have been short if it wasn’t for Rwanda’s strict driving laws. Drivers should not exceed 40 km per hour when driving around cities like Kigali and not more than 60 km per hour when driving to or in provinces. if it wasn’t for the speed limit, this drive should have been 2 hours and 30 minutes to 3 hours. All the same you get to save on lots of driving time.
Saves you money: Clients who book Uganda gorilla trekking safaris from Kigali can arrive and transfer to Bwindi in Uganda on the same day. This saves them money they would have spent on accommodation.
As you all know, Rwanda gorilla permits cost $1500 each where as Bwindi permits cost $600 each. When you trek in Bwindi, you save yourself $900 on each permit.
Clients who book Uganda gorilla trekking safaris from Entebbe in Kampala have to book accommodation for the first night and in most cases the last night too. You cannot arrive and transfer to Bwindi on the same day unless your flight arrives earlier than 09:00 hours (EAT).
Besides, such flights are rare to find unless luck is on your side and trust me, you do not want to spend hours on a flight, land and spend another eight to 10 hours on road traveling to Bwindi. Either way, you have to spend a night in Entebbe or Kampala and depart the next day. On your departure day, you could book spend a night in the country if you cannot find night flights back home.
Visit the Gisozi / Kigali Genocide Memorial Monument: Arriving through Kigali means visiting one of the most historic monuments in the world – The Gisozi Genocide Memorial Monument in Kigali. This monument commemorates the 1994 Rwanda Genocide that saw millions of Rwandans lose their life. Consider visiting it if you are in Kigali before 12:00 hrs. The activity takes about 2 hours and IS FREE!
Shorter Trips: Uganda gorilla trekking tours from Kigali Rwanda makes it possible to trek gorillas in 2 days. The first day is for arrival and transfer. The second day is for trekking and departure. Yes, its possible to trek gorillas in bwindi and transfer to Kigali for departure.
Less Fatigued: Travelling less means less fatigue unless you enjoy travelling for long hours. 4 hours is an average time to spend on road. It keeps you in good shape for your gorilla trek the following day.
The downs of starting your Uganda gorilla trek from Kigali
More expensive: This option is more expensive unless you book your gorilla safari through a Rwanda travel company or gorilla trekking company that has an office in Rwanda. A few Ugandan operators will not consider the first and last day that builds up on the trip.
If you realize, i mentioned earlier that booking Bwindi gorilla trekking from Kigali save you money and here i contradict it. Truth is it saves you money and lets you spend more indirectly hence, its a 50 / 50. Most Uganda tour operators are based in Kampala or Entebbe in Uganda hence, have to send a tour guide to Kigali in Rwanda a day before so that he is able to pick you up from Kigali on time the following day.
The same applies to the last day of your gorilla trip. A guide drops you in Kigali and he has to spend a night in one of the western Uganda towns, then transfer back to Kampala the following day. So with this, a 2 and 3 days safaris become a 4 and 5 days safari indirectly. They will charge you for the vehicle, guide and fuel for these extra days.
Please note that not all operators do this. Our select gorilla trekking companies do not charge extra days for clients who book Uganda gorilla trekking safaris from Kigali Rwanda.
Miss out on seeing the country side of Uganda: Uganda is a very beautiful country! Arriving through Rwanda will make you miss glancing at the country side of Uganda or visit the Equator on Masaka road. There is so much to see on the 8 hours drive from Kampala to Bwindi Forest National Park in South Western Uganda.
Most likely to meet only a guide: It becomes disturbing to have a tour consultant tailor your safari and then meet a whole different person on the day of your pick up. Most companies send only tour guides to go pick clients in Rwanda. Any tourist will feel comfortable and belonged when they meet the consultant who confirmed their safari on the first or last day of arrival. When you book Uganda gorilla tours from Kigali, this hardly happens but does happen.
Traffic Jam at the Border: Sometime you will find crazy traffic jam at the border. Each vehicle has to clear at the border before crossing to Uganda. The same also applies when you are departing Uganda for Rwanda. Depending on the volume of vehicles, sometimes you will a lot of traffic jam at the border than you will spend close to an hour waiting to be worked on.
Applying for Visas
If you choose to go Uganda gorilla trekking from Rwanda then consider applying for an East African tourist visa instead of applying for two separate visas. Its a single visa that allows multiple entry into Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya.
Either way, gorilla trekking in Uganda from Kigali is superb! I would recommend every tourist to try it out. It saves you a lot of travelling time. Check out these genuine gorilla trekking companies to spark off your trek.