Gorilla Safaris Uganda – Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda & Congo.

Gorilla safaris are by far the key highlight of every African tour holiday. The beauty about embarking on gorilla safaris in Africa with an experienced tour operator like African Rock Safaris is that visitors are guaranteed of magical encounters with not only the massive mountain gorillas in Uganda and Rwanda but also the Eastern lowland gorillas in Congo. We also organise private Tanzania Safaris which we can combine with gorilla safaris to create an East African adventure for you and your loved ones.

Gorilla Safaris in Africa mean a complete interaction with all the sub-species of the Eastern gorillas. Your encounter with them isn’t possible in a zoo but rather in African impenetrable jungles and the entire process involves active participation. Our gorilla safaris in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo are often designed uniquely combining the inspirational big 5 game and other experiences.

Our expertly designed gorilla trekking tours focus on key destinations such as Mgahinga Gorilla National Park & Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (Uganda), Volcanoes National Park (Rwanda), Virunga National Park and Kahuzi-Biega National Park (D.R. Congo).

Gorilla Trekking in Uganda

Gorilla Safari Tours in Uganda

gorilla Trekking In Rwanda

Gorilla Tours In Rwanda

Gorilla Safaris in Uganda

Embarking on gorilla safari tour in Uganda is a lifetime opportunity to enjoy up close and personal encounter with the endangered mountain gorillas in the wild. The treks to see Uganda gorillas are only done while in the lush jungles of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.

Within Uganda’s Bwindi and Mgahinga NP, their reside over half of the world’s remaining 1063 endangered mountain gorillas. Interaction with Uganda’s mountain gorillas can be done on normal gorilla trekking or during gorilla habituation experience.

Considering Bwindi for your gorilla trekking in Uganda means a great chance to interact with anyone of the park’s 20 habituated gorilla families. These survive within the 4 sectors; Ruhija, Buhoma, Nkuringo and Rushaga.

Bwindi protects up to 459 of the mountain gorillas that still survive on earth today and holds the largest concentration of habituated gorilla groups compared to any destination. Like Mgahinga, the biodiverse Bwindi is found in the Southwestern part of Uganda. The 2 protected areas were established in 1991 and Bwindi was recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994.

2024 journeys
3 days bwindi gorilla

Popular Uganda Gorilla Safaris

This tour take you to the misty mountains of Bwindi impenetrable national park where you will be able to face our closet cousins the mountain gorillas, go on a hunt for the African Big4 in Queen Elizabeth National park and we close the trip with the chimpanzee trekking in Kalinzu forest.


This tour take you to the misty mountains of Bwindi impenetrable national park where you will be able to face our closet cousins the mountain gorillas, go on a hunt for the African Big4 in Queen Elizabeth National park and we close the trip with the chimpanzee trekking in Kalinzu forest.


The 20 days Uganda and Tanzania Adventure explores the best of nature's primates and big game wildlife of the two East African Countries.


Gorilla Families in Uganda

Gorilla families to explore on a gorilla safari in Uganda include;

  • Habinyanja group –comprising of 17 members and roams around the Nyamishamba ridges and this group underwent habituation beginning from 1996 in Buhoma sector.
  • Mubare group –located in Buhoma, this is the first group to undergo habituation and officially opened for gorilla tourism in 1993. Its current members comprise of 9 individuals.
  • Rushegura group –this group broke off from Habinyanja in 2002 around Rushegura area hence its name. This was under the Mwirima silverback gorillas who took with him about 12 members.
  • Nkuringo group – this group is composed of 19 members and is known for its exhilarating gorilla adventures.
  • Bitukura group –A gorilla group in Ruhija comprising of 14 members. This gorilla family was spotted around River Bitukura.
  • Oruzogo gorilla family –officially opened for gorilla trekking in 2011 and as of 2012, this group recorded twin birth from one of its adult females.
  • Busingye –a habituated gorilla family in Rushaga consisting of 9 individuals.
  • Bweza group –a group open for gorilla trekking in Rushaga and has 9 mountain gorillas. This group officially opened for trekking in 2012.
  • Mishaya –a group within Rushaga and has 12 members. This broke away from Nshongi under Mishaya silverback leadership.
  • Kahungye group –a habituated gorilla group with 13 individuals and it split from Busingye family.
  • Nshongi group –a habituated group with about 26 gorillas and was originally spotted around River Nshongi. This family officially opened for tourism in 2009.
  • Kyaguriro –a group found in Ruhija sector in the eastern side of Bwindi NP and has 15 members.
  • Nyakagezi group in Mgahinga –the only group open for trekking in Mgahinga NP and at one point used to go across borders to the D.R. Congo and Rwanda side. Since 2012, this family has settled in Uganda’s Mgahinga NP and has recorded new birth from 2013.
Volcanoes National park

You can only get a chance to enjoy a trek with Uganda’s endangered mountain gorillas if you have a valid gorilla permit. The current gorilla permit fees are at USD 800 per person and you can book your permit through our reservation team.


Some of the top accommodation options for visitors on gorilla trekking tour in Uganda include Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge, Gorilla leisure Lodge, Buhoma Lodge, Lake Mulehe Lodge, Chameleon Hill Lodge, Lake Mutanda resort, Bakiga Lodge, Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge, Volcanoes Bwindi Lodge, Four Gorillas Lodge, Silverback Lodge Bwindi, Ichumbi Gorilla Lodge, Rushaga Gorilla Camp, Rushaga gorilla havens lodge, Mount. Gahinga lodge, Travelers Rest hotel and more.

Gorilla Safaris in Rwanda

Gorilla trekking in Rwanda like in Rwanda takes you on a mesmerizing adventure to find a family of mountain gorillas. A total of 30% of the world’s remaining mountain gorillas are inhabited within the country’s lush Volcanoes National Park.

Trekking with Rwanda’s Mountain gorillas entirely involves exploring the jungles of Volcanoes National Park. This protected area forms part of the extensive Virunga Conservation Area (VCA) and it protects 12 habituated gorilla families.

Volcanoes National Park lies in the Northwestern side of Rwanda and its headquarters are in Kinigi where briefing about gorilla trekking guidelines and allocation of gorilla families plus park guides are all done by the park officials. The different gorilla families in Volcanoes NP include Agashya (Group 13), Umubano, Karisimbi, Susa, Sabyinyo, Hirwa, Kwitonda, Amahoro, Pablo, Titus, Ugenda and more.

Trekking with Rwanda gorillas takes between 2 and 6 hours with guaranteed 1 hour for your up close and personal encounter with a family of these huge apes. The adventure involves active hike through the lush rainforest and park’s elevation ranges from 2500 to 4507m.

Other special events worth adding on Rwanda gorilla safari include the Kwita Izina often conducted in September of each year; hike to the Dian Fossey tomb site, visit the Dian Fossey museum and more.

Rwanda gorilla permits are a must-book for you to embark on a journey to see the endangered mountain gorillas in the country’s Volcanoes National Park. A single valid permit here costs USD 1500 per person which you can secure through the reliable tour operator on the ground.

Popular Rwanda Gorilla Safaris

This tour take you to the misty mountains of Bwindi impenetrable national park where you will be able to face our closet cousins the mountain gorillas, go on a hunt for the African Big4 in Queen Elizabeth National park and we close the trip with the chimpanzee trekking in Kalinzu forest.


This tour take you to the misty mountains of Bwindi impenetrable national park where you will be able to face our closet cousins the mountain gorillas, go on a hunt for the African Big4 in Queen Elizabeth National park and we close the trip with the chimpanzee trekking in Kalinzu forest.


This tour take you to the misty mountains of Bwindi impenetrable national park where you will be able to face our closet cousins the mountain gorillas, go on a hunt for the African Big4 in Queen Elizabeth National park and we close the trip with the chimpanzee trekking in Kalinzu forest.


Gorilla Safaris in D.R.Congo

lowland gorilla male silverbackGorilla safaris in D.R. Congo allow you to interact with not only mountain gorillas but also the Eastern lowland gorillas. This is the only destination in Africa where the 2 Eastern gorilla sub-species can be spotted in the wild. These unique apes survive in the different national parks where mountain gorillas exist in the Virunga National Park and lowland gorillas in Kahuzi-Biega National Park plus Maiko National Park.

Virunga National Park is East-Central Africa’s biggest gorilla park, spanning over 7800sq.km. The park was created in 1925 making it one of the oldest and is also the most biodiverse protected areas on planet earth. Originally, this gorilla park was established as Albertine NP and encompassed the present Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda.

Today, the two parks stand alone and Virunga NP in the D.R. Congo is popular for its diverse ecosystem. These comprise of Virunga Volcanoes, wetland vegetation, grasslands, swamps, rainforests, woodlands, Craters, and more. Its boundaries extend to bordering areas with Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Queen Elizabeth NP, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, and Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda.

Within the Virunga National Park, there are 8 fully habituated gorilla groups such as Humba, Nyakamwe, Bageni, Mapuwa, Kabirizi group, Rugendo, Lulengo and more –each of which is visited by a maximum of 8 guests per day. Visiting a family of Virunga NP mountain gorillas requires you to have a valid gorilla permit and each costs USD 400 per person.

Other experiences to add on your Virunga gorilla trek include birding, landscape viewing, Nyiragongo volcano hike, chimpanzee tracking, nature walks, Senkwekwe orphanage visit and more.

Visitor overnight stay is possible in any of the budget, midrange or luxury accommodation options. The available lodges in and around Virunga NP include Kibumba Tented Camp, Lulimbi Tented Camp, Mikeno Lodge, Tchegera Island Camp and Bukima Tented Camp.

Kahuzi-Biega National Park –this happens to be the only location for tourists to enjoy a trek to see Eastern lowland gorillas. This park lies in the Eastern Province of D.R. Congo and holds up to 5 habituated gorilla families. Kahuzi-Biega Park expands up to 6000sq.km and has families like Nganwe, Bonnani gorilla family, Mugaruka group, Chimanuka group and Mpungwe group.

Visitor overnight stay is possible in the accommodation around the park including Orchid’s Safari Club, Mont Kahuzi Hotel, Hotel Begonias, Exodus Bukavu Camp, Lakeside Hotel and more. Note, the cost of gorilla permits for lowland gorilla safaris is same as that of mountain gorilla adventures that is USD 400 per person.

FAQs about gorillas in Uganda, Rwanda and DRC

Mountain gorilla trekking is specifically done in the 4 parks where the massive mountain gorillas survive from. That is in the Virunga National Park in the D.R. Congo, Uganda’s Bwindi and Mgahinga NP, then Volcanoes National Park Rwanda. The Eastern lowland gorilla trekking takes place only in Kahuzi-Biega National Park in the D.R. Congo.

The lowland gorilla trekking involves searching for already habituated Eastern lowland gorilla families and mountain gorilla treks entirely take you on a close interaction with the rare mountain gorillas.

All gorilla families (whether mountain gorillas or eastern lowland gorillas) are led by dominant male silverbacks. These are huge mature male gorillas with silver like hair grown on their backs up to the hips. They are popular for their physical strength and they take charge of the entire group, defending the rest of the members from attacks or enemies, responsible for mating and also search for areas for feeding in the course of the day.

  • About 1063 mountain gorillas still live in the wild.
  • Mountain gorillas exist in the 2 isolated groups –the Virunga Conservation Area and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
  • They share about 98% of their DNA with humans.
  • They have 16 distinct types of call.
  • Mountain gorillas stay in families each led by a mature silverback.
  • They are found only in the 4 parks and 3 countries.
  • Scientifically, mountain gorillas are referred to as Gorilla beringei beringei and as of 2018, IUCN listed them as endangered.
  • Like mountain gorillas, the Eastern lowland gorillas are a sub-species of Eastern gorilla.
  • The Eastern lowland gorillas is famed as Grauer’s gorilla.
  • They are notably the biggest of the 4 sub-species of gorillas
  • They have stocky bodies, huge hands and shorter muzzles.
  • They can be trekked in the D.R. Congo’s Kahuzi-Biega National Park (KBNP).
  • About 6000 individuals of Eastern lowland gorillas are left on earth today.

Visits to interact with Uganda gorillas or in the D.R. Congo and Rwanda can be done at any time of the year. But the dry season is incredibly the most preferred thanks to its favorable weather conditions characterized by low or completely no rains. The best months of the year to go gorilla trekking in Uganda, Rwanda and D.R. Congo is around June, July, August and December to February.

Regardless of the month or period that you intend to visit gorillas, packing right should be considered. The essentials that you may require for a successful gorilla trek in Uganda, Rwanda and DRC include waterproof hiking boots, camera free of flashlight, waterproof daypack, long-sleeved shirts, a rain jacket, a sweater, trousers, a tin of an insect repellent, first aid kit, snacks and bottled water, etc.

If you intend to engage in a gorilla trekking adventure, then be ready for active hike because this is not the ordinary town or city walks you have had. The trek with gorillas takes 2-6 hours involving winding via the lush rainforest and at times steep slopes. These apes often spend their time in high altitudes of 1160 to 2607m and the entire adventure requires moderate level of fitness.

Different gorilla families offer varying gorilla trekking experiences from easy to hard thus presenting guests a choice. In case you desire a family that provides trekking challenge, the park official can still allocate one for you.

The cost of a gorilla trekking tour varies depending on a number of factors including the length of stay in the destination, means of transportation, accommodation type, the destination choice as each has a set rates for gorilla permits; and others. But a Uganda gorilla tour may cost around USD 1250 to 2900 per person sharing.

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