Is Uganda or Rwanda better for gorilla trekking?
Mountain gorilla trekking takes place in three countries of Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is only in these countries in the whole world where you can travel and explore the endangered mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. Uganda and Rwanda have been and are the destinations where most tourists have trekked gorillas as compared to the Democratic Republic of Congo which has been destabilized by insecurity.
Most people and writers have compared the gorilla trekking in Uganda and Rwanda and whenever such comparisons come out, the price of a gorilla trekking permit comes out as an important factor in determining the destination country to visit but all countries offer better gorilla trekking experiences.
Firstly mountain gorillas in Uganda live in two destination parks of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla national park and in Rwanda mountain gorillas live only in Volcanoes National park traced in the Northwestern part of the country. Volcanoes national park has twelve habituated gorilla families with about 150 individual gorillas and each group is allowed 8 visitors per day which means that 96 gorilla permits are available per day in Volcanoes national park.
Gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest national park and Mgahinga gorilla National park are divided into 19 habituated families available for tourism and this makes to around 192 gorilla permits that are available in Uganda. There is only one group of habituated gorilla families in Mgahinga national park known as the Nyakagezi gorilla family and the rest are found in the four sectors of Bwindi namely Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga, and Nkuringo.
Gorilla trekking is a bit easy in Rwanda the fact that volcanoes National park can easily be accessed and the gorilla’s families do not move long distances. Just from your hotel, you can meet the gorillas as it difficult with Uganda gorilla trekking where you will need to trek for long distances to see the gorillas by the experience is so rewarding after all the strenuous and here the issue of physical fitness come in although at times there are gorilla families that are near and not in the hiking the steep slopes. Additionally, Rwanda as the destination is very good, stable, clean safe, and with organized infrastructure that makes the gorilla trekking experience so nice and memorable.
For visitors looking for a cheaper destination for gorilla trekking destinations between Uganda and Rwanda then Uganda stands out to be the best destination because gorilla trekking permit costs in Uganda are cheaper as compared to Rwanda. Gorilla trekking permit in Uganda costs USD 700 as compared to Rwanda where the gorilla trekking permit costs USD1 500. It is because of this that you will need to book in advance the gorilla permit since Uganda is a competitive destination in terms of gorilla trekking permits.
In Uganda, you can as well affordable accommodation ranging from budget to luxury accommodation facilities where you can stay and enjoy your stay with gorilla experience at your fingertips. You can access Bwindi via Kigali international airport which is about 4 hours’ drive to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National park while using Entebbe international airport it will take you more than an hour to access the park.
For high-end and luxury traveler then the classic and intact gorilla trekking destination ideal for you is Rwanda with a high-end luxury gorilla experience, the hotels and lodges extremely classic and available adjacent to volcanoes national park. Some of the outstanding lodges include Bisate lodge, one and only gorilla nest, and Kwitonda lodge well situated, offering the best first class accommodation facilities for tourists.
Meeting face to face with a gorilla is an important tourist activity that has made tourism in the East African region popular, Uganda presents better opportunities and high chances of seeing mountain gorillas though it requires moving for long distances and hiking up and down the steep slopes in search of mountain gorillas as compared to easy accessible Volcanoes that can be accessed easily. All in all both countries presents better destinations for gorilla trekking and the price of gorilla trekking permit is a major factor that most travelers have considered to access both destinations. However cheap or expensive it is the gorilla experience is rewarding and fantastic that you don’t need to miss.