When it comes to Gorilla trekking, the biggest debate is which country between Uganda and Rwanda is better for trekking gorillas. Comparing Rwanda vs Uganda Gorilla trekking is very vital and offers helpful information for tourists who want to take Gorilla safaris either in Uganda or Rwanda.
There are only three countries in the world that have mountain gorillas and these are Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. However, due to the instability of the later, many travelers visit either Uganda or Rwanda for Gorilla trekking.
Rwanda’s Gorilla trekking permit is at US$ 1500 whereas a Uganda Gorilla permit costs US$ 700 which makes the later a far more affordable option if a traveler is choosing a destination primarily for Gorilla trekking.
With reference to accessibility from the national airport, Rwanda is better than Uganda. Volcanoes National Park of Rwanda is just about 2 hours from Kigali International Airport unlike in Uganda where it’s about 8 hours’ drive from Entebbe International Airport to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
If you want to have a safari more than just Gorilla trekking then Uganda offers a better experience. Unlike Rwanda, Uganda has a total of 10 national parks as well as other sanctuaries that host several wildlife species.
Uganda has over 330 mammal species, about 20 primate species and over 1080 confirmed bird species. The savannah parks make it an ultimate destination for wildlife safaris, chimpanzee tracking and birding tours offer best experiences too.
Overall, Uganda is more affordable than Rwanda and as well offers a wider array of wildlife experiences.
Uganda Gorilla trekking permits are cheaper than those or Rwanda. Rwanda Gorilla trekking permit is almost twice the price of a Uganda Gorilla trekking permit. A Ugandan permit costs 700 USD for foreign nonresidents whereas that of Rwanda costs 1500 USD.
Uganda is host to almost half of the remaining Mountain gorillas which makes it an amazing and sure sighting destination. 19 Gorilla families have been habituated for trekking both in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.
Mountain Gorilla habituation is only possible in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park unlike all of the other parks that have habituated all of their gorillas. The habituation experience offers a chance to spend more time with the gorillas, learning their behavior and understanding how they actually behaved in the wild before getting used to human presence.
Unlike in Uganda, in Rwanda as soon as you arrive at Kigali International Airport you are just a few hours away from Volcanoes National Park the Gorilla safari Rwanda destination.
Mountain gorillas in Rwanda are all fully habituated and open for trekking within their natural habitat. Rwanda’s gorillas are the easiest to trek as they live in the bamboo covered slopes of the Virunga Volcanoes and live within an easy reachable range.
Gorilla trekking is an activity that brings tourists up close to the jungle since it involves walking and therefore security is important.
Both Rwanda and Uganda are safe to visit and so is gorilla trekking. Yes, it is safe to trek Gorillas both in Uganda and Rwanda.
To ensure Gorilla safaris are safe, each Gorilla trekking group, is accompanied by armed park rangers to ensure the safety of each trekker. These ranger guides are familiar with the jungle and will do the needful if need be.
Before each trek, tourists are advised on how to keep safe while trekking Gorillas in Uganda, you just have to follow what your guide tells you.
Gorillas are gentle animals and very peaceful. Their social life is so accommodative and can interact with humans as long as you keep a distance and treat them as wild animals.
Always follow the rules and be cautious while in the forest, the gorillas will always mind their business and you will share this amazing habitat for a while.
However much gorilla trekking is regarded as an all year round activity, the best time for a gorilla trekking safari experience in Uganda is during the 2 dry seasons of the country. This is during the months of late December – February and June – September.
Gorilla trekking is possible each single day of the year however, the dry season offers better trekking opportunities and the trails are drier and more clear photography. However, the dry season is always the peak season and therefore more tourists in the park making early permit booking recommendable.
Best time: December – February and June – September.
Peak season: June-September
Rainy season: September – November and March-May
The advantage with trekking gorillas in the rainy season is that there is less congestion in the park and the lodges. Most Lodges in Uganda will in most cases reduce the cost of accommodation. Since Uganda is along the equator there are no extreme weather conditions and therefore minimal trekking interruption.
The best time to go gorilla trekking is still the best time to visit Rwanda. Though Gorilla tours Rwanda are an all year round activity, the best time of the year to go Gorilla trekking is during the long and short dry seasons.
The long dry season is during the months of June to September and the short dry season is during the months of mid-December to early February.
During these two dry seasons, the park receives less rains and therefore offering the easiest hiking conditions to the bamboo forest.
The other time of the year is the rainy season and therefore it is less recommendable to trek gorillas since trekking becomes difficult and slippery. However, this is also a time when tourists are fewer in number and therefore you could enjoy an advantage of discounted accommodation in some hotels/lodges. The time to go Gorilla trekking in Rwanda can be any time of the year depending on what is favorable to you.
Comparing Rwanda vs Uganda gorilla trekking or asking Is Uganda or Rwanda better for Gorilla trekking? Our guide offers the latest and factual information to help any traveler whether on a Uganda safari or Rwanda tour to choose right where to trek gorillas.