Uganda Vs Rwanda Gorilla Trekking

Mountain Gorilla

Ugan­da and Rwan­da still stand out as Africa’s most vis­it­ed coun­tries when it comes to goril­la trekking, which coun­try is the best to vis­it? A vis­it to these two East Africa for goril­la trekking is a life­time oppor­tu­ni­ty to explore more about the endan­gered moun­tain goril­las. An esti­mat­ed pop­u­la­tion of 1063 moun­tain goril­las, the sub-species of East­ern goril­las still live on plan­et earth. They live in the 3 East-Cen­tral African states- Rwan­da, DRC, and Uganda.

Moun­tain goril­la pop­u­la­tion per destination

With only 1063 moun­tain goril­las left on earth, Ugan­da hosts almost half of them, and about 30% live in Rwan­da. Inter­est­ing­ly, Ugan­da has 2 loca­tions with 5 sec­tors where tourists can begin their jour­ney to see, inter­act and take pic­tures of the mas­sive moun­tain goril­las in the jun­gles. The parks to vis­it for goril­la trekking in Ugan­da include Mgahin­ga and Bwin­di Impen­e­tra­ble Nation­al Park, all these 2 con­ser­va­tion areas are locat­ed in far South­west­ern Uganda.

Rwanda’s moun­tain goril­las occu­py the Vol­ca­noes Nation­al Park, one of the Virun­ga Con­ser­va­tion Areas locat­ed in the North­west­ern side of the coun­try. 12 habit­u­at­ed goril­la fam­i­lies live in this park alone, and they are open to goril­la tourism. This is almost half of Uganda’s habit­u­at­ed goril­la fam­i­lies. In Ugan­da, 21 groups of moun­tain goril­las are open for track­ing, and 20 of them are in Bwin­di then one lives in only Mgahin­ga Goril­la Nation­al Park.

Goril­la per­mit price comparison

Vis­it­ing goril­las in Ugan­da and Rwan­da is pos­si­ble, but only for guests who trav­el to the parks with valid goril­la per­mits. The rates for goril­la trekking per­mits dif­fer, with Rwan­da issu­ing its goril­la per­mits at USD1500 per vis­i­tor, mak­ing it a favorite high-end goril­la destination.

Unlike Rwan­da, Ugan­da is a pre­ferred bud­get goril­la des­ti­na­tion although lux­u­ry safaris are also pos­si­ble to be arranged. Each of valid goril­la per­mit in Ugan­da costs USD700- for for­eign non-res­i­dents, East African cit­i­zens shs 250,000 while for­eign res­i­dents USD600 per person.

Whether you plan to enjoy up close with moun­tain goril­las in Rwan­da or Ugan­da, you need a goril­la per­mit, and it should be obtained ear­ly before an actu­al vis­it to see goril­la fam­i­lies in the wild. We encour­age all our clients to ensure that their Ugan­da or Rwan­da goril­la per­mits are secured at least 2–4 months/1 year before trav­el­ing to enjoy a goril­la tour.

Dis­tance from city centres

Before under­tak­ing a goril­la trek either in Rwan­da or Ugan­da, vis­i­tors have to trav­el up to the parks and these are locat­ed a bit far from the city cen­ter. In Ugan­da, a road trip from Kam­pala or Entebbe city to Bwin­di or Mgahin­ga Park, it takes vis­i­tors from 8–9 hours. From Kigali to Vol­ca­noes Park, it takes guests about 2–3 hours to drive.

There are alter­na­tive options that make your con­nec­tiv­i­ty eas­i­er to your dis­tant des­ti­na­tions for instance in Ugan­da, you can fly from Entebbe Inter­na­tion­al Air­port to Kisoro/Kihihi airstrip. Con­nect­ing from Kinigi/Kisoro airstrips to Mgahinga/Bwindi is eas­i­er since it takes about 1 hour’s dri­ve, and you would have saved much time.

Lodg­ing options

Rwan­da and Ugan­da all have a vari­ety of lodg­ing or accom­mo­da­tion options- bud­get, midrange, and lux­u­ry. Uganda’s lodges are rel­a­tive­ly bud­get-friend­ly, and in Rwan­da, most accom­mo­da­tion choic­es are high-end for instance Sabyinyo Sil­ver­back Lodge, Bisate Lodge, Five Vol­ca­noes, and others.

Extra experiences/activities

Both Ugan­da and Rwan­da have options for guests to enjoy oth­er expe­ri­ences oth­er than goril­la trekking. These include chim­panzee trekking although in Rwan­da, you have 2 options- Nyung­we For­est and Gish­wati-Muku­ra NP, and in Ugan­da, there are over 5 loca­tions that tourists can vis­it to trek chim­panzees in the African jun­gles. Game dri­ves in Ugan­da are car­ried out in over 4 des­ti­na­tions, with an oppor­tu­ni­ty for guests to get up close and per­son­al with the tree-climb­ing lions, and this is opposed to only one loca­tion in Rwan­da- Akagera Nation­al Park.

Explore Destinations
Share Article

“A long journey to East Africa begins with a single step…”

Book Your Safari Now
Book With Us!

We have proper understanding of the local context of Safaris in Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, DRC and Burundi which helps us secure pleasant, safe, and memorable experiences for our clients from the time they arrive into the country, to the time they depart.

    Our Partners
    Uganda Tourism Board
    Uganda Wildlife Authority
    Association of Uganda Tour Operators