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Is it better to see Gorillas in Uganda or Rwanda?

Is it better to see Gorillas in Uganda or Rwanda?

Is it better to see Gorillas in Uganda or Rwanda?, Gorilla Trekking is an amazing experience that enables Tourists. To get up close and physical with mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. In reality, Gorillas are gentle giants and thereafter trekking them is the most amazing experience ever. Travelers who are willing to go for this activity in Uganda. Make all the necessary arrangements through Tour Operators registered with the Uganda Tourism Board (UTB). In Rwanda, Tour Operators still do the job, however it is important to note that Ugandan Tour Operators. Take you through gorilla tracking in both countries and the reverse is true.

Uganda and Rwanda are Africa’s most visited countries when it comes to mountain gorilla trekking experience. While these destinations all offer mesmerizing gorilla trekking experiences in Africa. One may wonder which one is better than the other.

Only 1,063 mountain gorillas estimated to still be surviving in the natural forests of Africa. Treks to encounter them are conducted only in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Each of these destination has a unique experience to offer to visitors on gorilla trek. And therefore visiting both Uganda and Rwanda for gorilla trekking is a lifetime opportunity for you to make comparisons.

Both Uganda and Rwanda have outstanding gorilla trekking hikes. Standing only a few steps away from these gentle giants in their forest environment. Watching them nibble on fruit and plants, play with or groom one another and lazily stare at the curious bipeds staring at them are some of the amazing moments. That you will live to remember for the rest of your life.

Mountain gorillas that visitors travel to see are those that have gotten used to human presence. And it takes about two years to habituate them to humans. Even when they become accustomed to human presence, strict laws are put in place. To ensure that we interfere with their environment and their way of life as little as possible. A group of 8 people is allowed to visit each gorilla family every day and spend a maximum of 1 hour in their presence.

Uganda and Rwanda are the best countries for mountain gorilla trekking both with great safari options. Rwanda limits permits to Volcanoes National Park (Parc National Des Volcans) for a conservation-focused experience. Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park has 4 usual gorilla trekking sectors which are; Nkuringo, Buhoma, Ruhija and Rushaga.


Where to see the Mountain Gorillas

Some visitors prefer Rwanda as most of the terrain is a bit more open during gorilla trekking. Therefore it is easier to get a good view. All mountain gorillas in the World live in the Virunga Mountains of Central and East Africa. The two most important countries for gorilla trekking are Rwanda and Uganda. In Rwanda, you can hike to see mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park.

In Uganda, you can visit mountain gorillas at Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga National Park. The gorilla population in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is not as large and stable as Bwindi’s, making the latter the better and most popular option for most visitors. Since this is a comparative contribution, I choose Uganda. Nothing feels as cool as a long drive to a tourist destination, the trip can give you more memories than the destination.

For Cost conscious people looking for a greater diversity beyond gorilla trekking and outdoor adventures, Uganda is the place to go. It offers wildlife enthusiasts who want to go on a Ugandan gorilla trekking expedition a wonderful opportunity to combine it with a safari in one of Africa’s sought after safari destinations.

Since comparing gorilla trekking between Rwanda and Uganda, the cost of the permit has been the main deciding factor for most visitors. However, Uganda is the chosen destination for many.


Ease of trek

The Gorilla trekking activity physically demanding and shouldn’t be under-estimated. The first thing to point out is that for those who perhaps have mobility issues. But do not want to miss out on this amazing experience, both Uganda and Rwanda have a ‘gorilla chair’ which can be hired for visitors to be carried on by porters to the gorilla encounter.

Rwanda’s Gorilla Families feel more accessible compared to those in Uganda. There are certainly more gentle treks available in Rwanda, although it’s worth having in mind that you are on a higher altitude, which carries its own effects.

In Comparison between Rwanda and Uganda, despite Uganda being certainly trickier and tending to involve more hiking and a longer trek, it is still a great option for those visitors with a reasonable level of fitness. Regardless of which country you choose, it is worth taking the time to prepare for the trek and discussing tips with your local Tour Operator so that you feel fully prepared and know exactly what to expect.


Where to stay during your gorilla trekking safari?

Both Uganda and Rwanda have some un-matched options when it comes to accommodations. But there is an increasing drive in Rwanda to the highest level of luxury accommodations with the opening of Bisate Lodge, Singita Kwitonda Lodge, Nyungwe House and also One&Only Gorilla’s Nest. Rwanda is thus a better option for those who crave to enjoy their trekking experience in the most comfortable way and stay.

When it comes to Uganda, its accommodations tends to come at a lower price. However, there are still fabulous options here with Bwindi Lodge, Buhoma Lodge and Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp being among our favorites.


Distance and accessibility

Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park  much more accessible compared to Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable forest National Park. Volcanoes National Park is about 3 hours’ drive from the Capital City, Kigali. On a well-maintained tarmac road and this is the easiest option.

Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is not however as accessible as Volcanoes in Rwanda. Upon your arrival at Entebbe International Airport, it takes about 8-9 hours’ drive to reach Bwindi. However, Bwindi has the advantage over Rwanda of having more activities to do as an additional experience both with wildlife. But more so Cultural and Community Projects.

Some visitors who may want to go to Bwindi impenetrable forest for gorilla trekking actually fly to Kigali Airport in Rwanda and head north across the border as this is a shorter drive that takes about 4 hours.