Gorilla Safaris in Uganda, Rwanda, DRC, And Wildlife Safaris in Tanzania, Kenya

KromerGorillas - 20050804 - Gorilla Eating - Philip Kromer (248)

A com­bi­na­tion of goril­la safaris in Ugan­da, Rwan­da, DRC, and wildlife safaris in Tan­za­nia, Kenya guar­an­tees enthu­si­as­tic trav­el­ers expe­ri­ences of a life­time. Book­ing goril­la and wildlife safaris in these lead­ing East African coun­tries allows you to enjoy up close and per­son­al with not only goril­las but also the big game, plus oth­er wildlife while in their nat­ur­al habitat.

Goril­la safaris in Ugan­da, Rwan­da, and DRC offer the best of an on-foot-trek expe­ri­ence. Vis­i­tors on goril­la safaris under­take a guid­ed goril­la trekking expe­ri­ence to see goril­las and depend­ing on the des­ti­na­tion, moun­tain goril­las are with­out doubt the must-see across the 3 coun­tries. Unlike Rwan­da and Ugan­da, vis­it­ing DRC for goril­la safari tours offers you a remark­able oppor­tu­ni­ty to encounter not only moun­tain goril­las but also the East­ern low­land gorillas.

Our goril­la safaris in Ugan­da, Rwan­da, and DRC aren’t just causal vis­its to see goril­las, but they involve active par­tic­i­pa­tion, and you will have a deep under­stand­ing of how goril­las behave- how they cop­u­late, feed, groom, etc and you won’t return with­out shoot­ing the nicest pic­tures of these large apes in the wild.

Brief about endan­gered moun­tain gorillas

Moun­tain goril­las are a major rea­son why 1000s of tourists con­sid­er East African safaris a must-do. A trek to see a fam­i­ly of these unique apes is what many describe as a life-chang­ing expe­ri­ence. Moun­tain goril­las (Goril­la beringei beringei) are a sub-species of the East­ern goril­las, Africa’s most sought-for great apes in the wild. These spe­cial apes are on the IUCN Red list of endan­gered species, and a total of about 1063 still sur­vive with­in the East African jun­gles, par­tic­u­lar­ly in Ugan­da, Rwan­da, and DRC.

As of 2018, the moun­tain goril­la pop­u­la­tion was esti­mat­ed to be 1004, but with strict guide­lines and col­lec­tive efforts to con­serve and pro­tect these large pri­mates, their pop­u­la­tion is grad­u­al­ly increas­ing. Unlike oth­er ani­mal species or pri­mates, moun­tain goril­las don’t live at the zoo. To see them, a goril­la tour to Ugan­da, Rwan­da or DRC should be a must-do in Africa.

Ugan­da moun­tain gorillas

Uganda’s endan­gered moun­tain goril­las reside with­in two parks, which include Mgahin­ga Goril­la Nation­al Park and Bwin­di Impen­e­tra­ble For­est N. Park. The two Ugan­da goril­la parks were des­ig­nat­ed as parks in 1991. Mgahin­ga Park cov­ers a land area of 33.7sq.kms, while Bwin­di occu­pies up to 331sq.km. Over half of the remain­ing 1063 endan­gered moun­tain goril­las are pro­tect­ed with­in these pro­tect­ed areas.

Bwin­di and Mgahin­ga Goril­la Parks com­prise of 5 goril­la safari sec­tors, 4 in Bwin­di includ­ing Ruhi­ja, Rusha­ga, Buhoma, and Nkuringo. Mgahin­ga is where the fifth goril­la trekking region is found, Nte­beko. Over­all, there are 21 ful­ly habit­u­at­ed moun­tain goril­la group fam­i­lies, and on an actu­al vis­it to see goril­las, max­i­mum of 8 tourists are allo­cat­ed to ONLY one group.

The habit­u­at­ed Ugan­da goril­la fam­i­lies to explore on goril­la tours include Katwe, Christ­mas, Bikin­gi, Kyaguriro, Habinyan­ja, Nyak­agezi (Mgahin­ga), Oru­zon­go, Muk­iza, Nkuringo, Kutu, Bweza, Nshon­gi, Mucun­guzi, Busha­ho, Bituku­ra, Mubare, Bus­ingye, Mishaya, Kahungye, Rushe­gu­ra, Rwigi.

Valid goril­la per­mits are must-have tools if you are to vis­it and enjoy up close with moun­tain goril­las in the wild regard­less of the des­ti­na­tion. If Ugan­da is your dream moun­tain goril­la des­ti­na­tion, a goril­la per­mit is issued out at USD700 for the cat­e­go­ry of for­eign non-res­i­dents, for­eign res­i­dents 600, and cit­i­zens in East Africa pay 250,000= Ugan­da shillings. Reach out to your tour oper­a­tor on the ground to assist you to plan your goril­la tours in Ugan­da, Rwan­da, and DRC. Plan­ning a com­plete goril­la tour in East Africa involves book­ing goril­la per­mits, lodges, trans­porta­tion, guides, and every­thing that is required to make your goril­la trekking adven­ture a mem­o­rable experience.

Rwan­da and gorillas

Rwan­da is a spe­cial goril­la trekking des­ti­na­tion of its own. Rwanda’s moun­tain goril­las live with­in the Virun­ga region, which is in Vol­ca­noes Nation­al Park. This is a com­pact park and forms part of the exten­sive Virun­ga Con­ser­va­tion Area. Lying in North­west­ern Rwan­da, Vol­ca­noes NP accounts for 30% of the world’s endan­gered moun­tain goril­la population.

Trav­el­ing to vis­it goril­las in Vol­ca­noes Park takes just 2–3 hours’ dri­ve from Kigali or you can trans­fer from Kabale via Katu­na border/Kisoro through Chani­ka bor­der to North­west­ern Rwan­da. It is at Vol­ca­noes Park where Dian Fos­sey did her research for 18 years, and today, the park is home to 12 habit­u­at­ed goril­la groups – Agashya/Group 13, Susa B‑Karisimbi, Hir­wa, Ama­horo, Kwiton­da, Ugen­da, Bwenge, Susa A, Umubano, Sabyinyo, Titus, Pablo, etc.

Vol­ca­noes N/P derives its name from the Virun­ga Vol­ca­noes, and five of the eight Virun­ga Mas­sifs all exist here. The park was estab­lished in 1925 mak­ing it Rwanda’s old­est park, and its land area mea­sures up to only 160sq.km.

Goril­la per­mits to allow you to vis­it Rwan­da moun­tain goril­las are only issued to per­sons above 15 years. Each of Rwanda’s goril­la trekking per­mits can be booked at USD1500, and it is pos­si­ble to book it in advance via a reli­able tour oper­a­tor on the ground or con­tact Rwan­da Devel­op­ment Board- RDB. Trekking goril­las in Rwan­da begins at Kini­gi offices, and get­ting there takes just 2–3 hours’ dri­ve from Kigali.

On a goril­la safari tour in Rwan­da, it is also pos­si­ble to vis­it oth­er lead­ing pri­mate des­ti­na­tions. They include Nyung­we For­est Nation­al Park and Gish­wati-Muku­ra Nation­al Park- where you can enjoy chimp trekking.

Con­go and gorillas

Goril­las in Con­go include moun­tain goril­las and low­lands. The rare moun­tain goril­las in Con­go reside in the jun­gles of the Virun­ga Nation­al Park. The vast UNESCO pro­tect­ed area sits on the East­ern part of the D.R. Con­go, and shel­ters 300 moun­tain goril­las. This is a spe­cial habi­tat for Congo’s 8 habit­u­at­ed moun­tain goril­la fam­i­lies; Mun­ya­ga, Bageni, Nyakamwe, Rugen­do, Lulen­go, Hum­ba, Kab­i­rizi, and Mapuwa.

Con­go and low­land goril­las- the East­ern low­land goril­las in the DRC reside in Maiko and Kahuzi-Bie­ga Nation­al Parks. Vis­it­ing goril­la beringei Grauer’s in Con­go also requires you to have valid goril­la per­mits, which costs USD450 per person.

Things to pack for Ugan­da, Rwan­da, and DRC goril­la safaris

Pack right for all goril­la trips to Rwan­da, Ugan­da, or DRC. Begin with essen­tials such as water­proof hik­ing boots, bot­tled drink­ing water, long-sleeved shirts, sweaters, rain jack­et, cam­era, day­pack, long trousers, pair of socks, insect repel­lents, high ener­gy giv­ing snacks, gar­den­ing gloves, extra cam­era bat­ter­ies, mem­o­ry card, etc.

Wildlife safaris in Tan­za­nia, & Kenya

Tan­za­nia and Kenya are East Africa’s top big 5 game des­ti­na­tions. Boast­ing of their breath­tak­ing land­scapes, Kenya and Tan­za­nia are the 2 places where the world’s great­est spec­ta­cle of wildlife can be expe­ri­enced- the wilde­beest migra­tion. The two pre­mier wildlife safari des­ti­na­tions have plen­ty of oppor­tu­ni­ties for tourists to explore and expe­ri­ence dif­fer­ent wildlife in the wild.

Kenya wildlife safaris are done in var­i­ous pro­tect­ed areas. Locat­ed in East Africa, Kenya offers the best wildlife tours in both nation­al parks and reserves. If your dream expe­ri­ence is the wilde­beest migra­tion, then no bet­ter place is worth vis­it­ing on Kenya safaris than the Masai Mara. This sweep­ing 1510sq.km nature reserve is where the annu­al wilde­beest migra­tion occurs in East Africa, and mil­lions of wilde­beest, elands, zebras, etc can be observed while cross­ing the Mara River.

Oth­er lead­ing safari des­ti­na­tions in Kenya include Aber­dare Nation­al Park, Tsa­vo Parks- Tsa­vo East and West, Lake Naku­ru, Sam­bu­ru Nation­al Reserve, Amboseli Nation­al Park, Mount Kenya N/Park, etc. To enjoy the best of Kenya wildlife safaris, there are plen­ti­ful of excit­ing activ­i­ties to indulge in and they include guid­ed game dri­ves, hot air bal­loon tours, walk­ing tours, boat cruis­es, canoe­ing, horse­back, wilde­beest migra­tion safaris, bird­ing, and more.

A Kenya wildlife tour is a great oppor­tu­ni­ty to enjoy the view of diverse ani­mals. These include impalas, zebras, lions, gazelles, hip­pos, chee­tahs, leop­ards, wilde­beest, buf­faloes, ele­phants, warthogs, kobs, top­is, hye­nas, and others.

Tan­za­nia wildlife ‑explore Tan­za­nia, one of the lead­ing big five game view­ing des­ti­na­tions. Game/wildlife tours in Tan­za­nia are pos­si­ble across most of its pris­tine parks and nation­al reserves. The prime des­ti­na­tions for wildlife safaris in Tan­za­nia include Lake Man­yara, Serengeti Nation­al Park, Rua­ha Nation­al Park, Ngoron­goro Crater/Conservation Area, Selous Game Reserve, Gombe Nation­al Park, Miku­mi, etc.

The wilde­beest migration

In Tan­za­nia and Kenya, the wilde­beest migra­tion is the main rea­son why the two des­ti­na­tions are buck­et list on most of the African safari pack­ages. The best time to enjoy wilde­beest migra­tion is dur­ing the dry months, specif­i­cal­ly July to August. The birthing sea­son for wilde­beest is from Decem­ber to February.

Wilde­beest migra­tion in Kenya occurs in the Masai Mara Nation­al Reserve which is set in the far South­west­ern part, Narok coun­ty. In Tan­za­nia, the best des­ti­na­tion to con­sid­er for wilde­beest migra­tion tours is Serengeti Nation­al Park, one of the lead­ing parks in the North­ern tourist circuit.

When to trav­el for goril­la & wildlife safaris?

Goril­la and wildlife safaris in Africa are enjoy­able at any time of the year, although the dry months are the most pre­ferred. The dry months are the best months of the year to vis­it moun­tain goril­las or go game view­ing to see the big 5 game. For goril­la trekking, con­sid­er trav­el­ing to Ugan­da, Rwan­da, and DRC around June, July, August, Sep­tem­ber, and Decem­ber, Jan­u­ary to Feb­ru­ary. To enjoy wilde­beest migra­tion in the Masai Mara, Serengeti, vis­it Kenya/Tanzania from July to August.

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