Uganda Travel Blog

How to Meet a Gorilla in Africa (Ultimate Guide)

Do you want to meet a gorilla in the wild? Planning a gorilla tour is not so hard as many think. I will show you the step by step guide on how you can meet African gorillas.

Mountain Gorillas are only found in three countries and no where else in the world. These countries include Uganda in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Rwanda in Volcanoes National Park and Congo in Virunga National Park.

So as you plan to meet a gorilla, there are a couple of things that you have to consider. Some of these include your travel budget, destination, the tour operator you are going to use, preparation and lots more.

If you intend to go gorilla trekking when pregnant, communicate your condition to your tour operator as prior as you can.

I will only try to bring forward the most important factors that you have to consider. If you don’t know what gorilla trekking is, you can read the definition here.

Travel Budget

Gorilla trekking safaris are expensive and you should know that. A gorilla permit alone costs $400, $600 and $1500 in Congo, Uganda and Rwanda respectively.

It actually gets more expensive if you are booking a luxury gorilla trekking tour. and  a bit affordable when you settle for a budget gorilla tour.

So when reaching out to an operator, do not get shocked when your quote reads a higher price. Do not bargain so much either! Africa is generally an expensive destination to visit.

As per budget, you have to consider your flights and the price of the package. A gorilla tour can cost as little as $1200 and as much as $10000 depending on the number of days, gorilla trekking iterations, level of travel (low end or high end) and a few more factors.

Go ahead and first request for a quote from a safari company. It will help you plan and budget better. Feel free to contact these recommended companies. You can also do a search online for more operators.

Destination

Apparently there three mountain gorilla trekking destinations. You have to decide where to go. Uganda is currently the best place to see gorillas in Africa followed by Rwanda and Congo respectively.

Uganda accounts for over half of the remaining gorilla population. Do not get taken over by Rwanda’s claims of having more mountain gorillas. This is wrong! Uganda has way more gorillas than Rwanda and that’s the fact.

Most of these gorillas reside in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

Uganda would be a great option. You can book gorilla trekking safaris that start from Entebbe or Uganda tours that begin from Kigali.

If you are looking for a luxury experience, you should try out Rwanda.

Booking your safari

You have to book your safari with a trusted tour operator. You can check out these gorilla trekking companies or do your search online.

Endeavor to book your trip in advance especially if you are planning to trek Uganda gorillas. Gorilla permits get booked out quickly yet it determines your trip.

If permits are booked out, you either have to switch your dates or postpone your trip. Booking your trip in advance will help you secure your dates as planned with no ease.

Preparation

You can begin preparing for your trip 1 month prior. Your tour company will advise best on what clothes to pack.

You can also apply for your visa online. If you have booked Bwindi gorilla trekking from Kigali then you have to apply for for an East African Tourist Visa.

The Visa approval process takes between 3 days to 1 week.

You also have to get the necessary vaccinations like yellow fever vaccination shots and more. When all the preparations are done, you can then wait for your date of departure.

The actual encounter

When you arrive, your tour company will pick you up and begin off with your safari. Gorilla trekking usually takes 2 – 6 hours depending on how long you take to meet the gorillas.

The time includes a full hour encounter with the gorillas. When you meet them, you will be allowed to take as many photographs as you can.

When your time elapses, you will have to return to your starting point, pick your respective gorilla trekking certificates then return to your lodge or depart Bwindi.

Gorilla trekking is an awesome experience and you will surely love it. Book your trip from here.

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