gorilla face

The best Gorilla trekking destinations in Africa

gorilla with a baby

The best Gorilla trekking destinations in Africa

silverback

The best Gorilla trekking destinations in Africa

silverback gorilla eating food

The best Gorilla trekking destinations in Africa

The best Gorilla trekking destinations in Africa

There are gorillas in Uganda, Rwanda and democratic republic of Congo, besides gorillas, more than half of the estimated 1060 plus Gorillas are in Uganda, Over one third of the remaining mountain gorillas live in the protected forests of Virunga National Park and the rest are in Rwanda's Volcanoes National park, Gorillas in Uganda are found in Bwindi and Mgahinga conservation areas in the south western region of the pearl of Africa.

Most Tourists are traveling to see Gorillas in either of these countries, whichever country you choose, you will definitely get a very unique but rewarding experience because gorilla tracking experience is highly influenced by culture, topography and nature of the place where you are tracking gorillas.

A number of factors influence the choice of a gorilla tracking destination, some of these factors include but are not limited to; Budget or how much a tourist is willing to spend, Political stability and personal safety; is the destination country safe? What is your governments travel advice about the destination?, Respect for human rights and corruption levels/ management of public resources in the destination country, The level of infrastructure development and availability of rescue services and insurance policies and Availability of other trip add-ons hustle free, are there other activities to do after gorilla tracking.

Table of Contents

  • Gorilla tracking in Rwanda.
    1. Where to see Gorillas in Rwanda
    2. How to get to Rwanda for Gorilla tracking
      1. By air - private chartered flights
      2. By road - private transport.
      3. By Road - public transport means - by bus
    3. Where to stay in volcanoes national park
    4. Gorilla tracking tips and Rwanda travel advice
      1. Always put Gorillas first
      2. Plan your tour in a dry season
      3. Book and pay your gorilla tracking permits ahead of time.
      4. Prepare well for bad weather conditions
      5. Keep all your electronics waterproofed
      6. Tracking and trekking time may vary
      7. Do fitness training within 3 months towards your visit.
    5. Best time to visit Rwanda
    6. Gorilla tracking Permit in Rwanda
    7. Other experiences in Rwanda
  • Gorilla tracking in Uganda
    1. Where to see gorillas in Uganda
      1. Bwindi impenetrable forest national park
      2. Other experiences and activities to do in Bwindi
      3. How to get to Uganda for gorilla tracking
      4. Connecting to Bwindi forest national park By air - local scheduled flights
      5. By road - private with a tour company or self-drive or private guide.
      6. By road - public means
      7. Where to stay in Bwindi national park
      8. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
      9. How to get to Mgahinga national park by air transfer
      10. Where to stay on a gorilla tracking tour in Mgahinga national park
    2. Advice and tips for the best gorilla tracking tour in Uganda
    3. Best time to visit Mgahinga Gorilla national park for Gorilla tracking in Uganda
    4. Other experiences to combine with gorilla tracking in Uganda
  • Gorilla tracking in Congo
    1. Where to see gorillas in Congo
    2. How to get to Congo for gorilla tracking
    3. Getting around Congo
    4. Where to stay while on gorilla tracking in Congo
    5. Best time to visit Congo
    6. How to book a gorilla tracking
    7. Other experiences to combine with gorilla tracking in the Congo
      1. Climb Nyiragongo Volcano
      2. Track Gorillas
      3. Cross the River Congo
    8. Advice and tips about travel in Congo
  • What is a gorilla tracking permit and why is a very important document?

Gorilla tracking in Rwanda

The unique opportunity to see gorillas in Rwanda in their natural habitat is an unforgettable once in lifetime experience that you must try. Shot time encounters with gorillas as they go about their daily lives are carefully executed. with teams of expert trackers and guides leading small groups of tourists up bamboo-covered slopes of volcanoes national park to spend one precious hour within a 7m radius around our closest primates.

Where to see Gorillas in Rwanda

Gorillas in Rwanda are found in the Volcanoes national park and there are twelve gorilla families living in this mountainous Park, which are fully habituated, A few others have been habituated solely for scientific research. Each group/troop is headed at least one silverback along with several females, youngsters/black backs and sometimes babies.

How to get to Rwanda for Gorilla tracking

Flying into Rwanda the heart of Africa and how to get around the land of thousand hills has been made easy by the very many international flagships having scheduled flights to Kigali international airport. The airport has actually been positioned to act as a regional hub through expansion and technology advancement, Airlines that operate scheduled flights to Kigali include Turkish airlines, Qatar Airways, Egypt air , , Kenya Airways and Ethiopia Airlines,

By air - private chartered flights

Once you have landed in Kigali you are one step close to the mountain gorillas, even if there are no scheduled local flights between Kigali international airport and volcanoes national park , but you can access the park by chartering a flight with Akagera aviation from Kigali international airport to Ruhengeri airstrip in musanze district, the flight takes only 30 minutes to arrive, from the airstrip, if you are staying in musanze or kinigi, your local guide/lodge will pick you up to your next destination,

If you are here for a one day gorilla tracking, your guide will transfer you immediately to the briefing point or gorilla tracking starting point, gorilla tracking takes in most cases half a day after which your chattered copter will take you back to Kigali to connect to your international flight. If you are staying at Bisate lodge, Akagera aviation will land you at the door step of the lodge, there are many other lodge options to choose from in Kinigi area.

By road - private transport.

Road trip to Volcanoes national park is awesome , the rolling hills , green clean country side and photogenic views should lock in, you can connect either by private car (self-drive) or you can book your transfer through a tour operator, either-way , the 2.5 to 3 hours drive is memorable adventure in its self,

By Road - public transport means - by bus

Regular scheduled buses and mini buses (Taxis) commute this Northern circuit daily, they take between 60 people for buses and 14 people for small /mini buses, both stop at Musanze bus stop, from here you will hire a private cab or bodaboda to take you to your lodge or park reception for your activities, if you lodge has pick up services it will be helpful, try to ask ahead of time. Even when these are regular commuters, they are not reliable due to the very many stop overs they make and time they take for the transfer. Contact us we will help you to pick the best options.

Where to stay in volcanoes national park

There are various accommodations/lodges in this region with varying budgets, luxury to mid-range should be good for you but there are also budget lodges around kinigi in Musanze district, we have a host of luxury and mid-range lodges that we recommend to our clients, and these include Bisate lodge, one and only, gorilla nest, Gorilla Mountain View Lodge, Virunga Lodge, Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel, Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge, Mountain Da Vinci Gorilla Lodge, Gorilla Solution Lodge.

Gorilla tracking tips and Rwanda travel advice

Musana tours and travel has been planning gorilla tracking in Africa since 2011, we therefore believe we have acquired a lot of experience that should guide about your next gorilla tracking journey, here below is our list of 8 core tips and advices for a successful gorilla tracking experience in Rwanda.

01

Always put Gorillas first

Human interactions with gorillas may not only have negative alter natural behavior but can also putting the Health of the gorillas at risk, humans and gorillas share over 98% similarities in DNA therefore it should be every trekker's priority to protect these creatures. Below are some of the practices trekkers must follow while in the company of gorillas.

  • Respect the 7m (21ft) distance rule from the gorillas at all times.
  • If they approach, retreat slowly and calmly, if they charge, please freeze and don't run or fight back.
  • Postpone your gorilla tracking tour if you have a form of contagious disease, and every time you want to sneeze or cough turn away and cover your mouth and nose, Gorillas share 98% of human DNA so are extremely susceptible to human infections.
  • Stay tight in a group to avoid surrounding and therefore intimidating gorillas.
  • Avoid eye contact with the gorillas as it can intimidate them and cause them to become aggressive
  • Keep your voice down, cameras and phones in silence, communicate with signs if possible.
  • Respect a maximum of one hour rule with a group of gorillas, beyond that gorillas may become over stressed and frightened.
  • Follow instructions from your lead guide and always do as they instruct they are experts in this business.
  • Don't eat, drink, smoke or liter in the forest, those may pose a threat to the health of Gorillas, return all trash to the briefing point for proper disposal.
02

Plan your tour in a dry season

Gorilla trekking is a year-round activity, owever, it's best to visit during the dry season. Conditions are more comfortable for hiking and generally make gorilla tracking less difficult and comfortable. Rwanda has a tropical climate. With two dry seasons and that is when tracking conditions are the best: December to February and June to September. This is also, the best time to combine gorilla tracking in Rwanda with other destinations such as Masai Mara in Kenya and Serengeti or Nyerere national park in Tanzania.

03

Book and pay your gorilla tracking permits ahead of time.

If you are planning a gorilla tracking safari in Rwanda. Then you need to obtain a permit to see the gorillas ahead of time. A gorilla permit in Rwanda costs $1,500 USD. And they can be bought online via the Irembo website. But the easiest way to organize your permits is booking with us, all of our gorilla tracking tours and safaris and tours in Rwanda include gorilla tracking permits.

04

Prepare well for bad weather conditions

whether you visit in a dry season or the right season of the year, it's very important to be prepared for changes in weather conditions. Expect weather that can hot and humid as well as cold and wet during the course of a single day. Tracks/trails can be more challenging in wet weather, you therefore need to bring a strong pair of hiking boots with ankle support that has been thoroughly worn in beforehand, along with thick socks.

Mountain trails can be notoriously uneven, muddy and slippery that foot blisters can pose a problem. We advise that you keep your skin covered as much as possible in the jungle to avoid stinging plants and insect bites. Lightweight quick-dry hiking tops and pants are recommended. You will also need a waterproof lightweight jacket and eventually thick clothing in case it gets chilly at night or later in the day.

04

Keep all your electronics waterproofed

Volcanoes national park is tropical rain forest and May have a significant precipitation throughout the year. As such, it's worth investing in water proof covers for your cameras and phones to protect then during the trek. If that is not worth an investment, consider traveling with some plastic bag or ask your guide ahead of time to get you some of those to protect your gadgets Incase.

04

Tracking and trekking time may vary

Gorillas are always on the move and we can't ask them to wait in open and look at the camera or stand in better light for you to take a picture, Sometimes it takes longer than usual to locate the gorillas or you may not be able to stay in their company for as long as you would like. In such events it's regrettable, the only way to avert this is to be in the right place at the right time. Whatever case it may be , you will never regret your time spent with gorillas,

04

Do fitness training within 3 months towards your visit.

Normally gorilla treks have been completed by anyone with a basic level of fitness, some elderly in their 80s but a little preparation is an added advance, for people who have never hiked, then finiteness training and altitude endured is necessary, try to get comfortable with hill walking, short distances jogging and altitude training to increase your endurance and breathing rates, you can also spend more time outdoors, ascend, descend steep uneven slopes carrying a daypack, use steps instead of lifts, walk your dog daily, swim or jog a few times in a week.

Best time to visit Rwanda

It's very important to note that weather affects gorilla tracking experiences due to the fact that the activity takes place in rain forests, you there need to plan in the dry seasons, Rwanda dry seasons fall in the months between June to September and the short dry season of December to February. Gorilla trekking during the dry season has is not only the best but It is also the best time when you can combine wildlife safaris in other popular destinations in Africa such as Masai Mara in Kenya, Tanzania's Serengeti and Murchison falls national park in Uganda.

Gorilla tracking Permit in Rwanda

Gorilla tracking permit cost US $1500 per person per day. The minimum age limit to track gorillas is 15 years old. This means one must be 15 years and older, the highest age limit is not limited as long as you thing you can manage the trek , Rwandan and East African Community residents have special rates, $500 per person for foreign residents, and $200 for East African residents.

Other experiences in Rwanda

Rwanda has more to see than just gorilla tracking, keep your days open. The land locked country is a standalone rich destination, it commands the best of Africa in one small country of 10,169 square miles only. Nicknamed the 'Land of a Thousand Hills' Rwanda packs a bunch of attractions, Beyond gorilla tracking in the Volcanoes national park, there are also golden monkeys , Rwanda has some of Africa's finest inland fresh water beaches on the shores of Lake Kivu, while the incredibly biodiverse Nyungwe Forest National Park offers the chance to track chimpanzees, canopy walks or community visits in the neighboring tea estates, a game drive in the Akagera national park offers you an opportunity to try your lack on the search for the big five.

Let us know what you wish to do in Rwanda, we will take you there.

Gorilla tracking in Uganda

Uganda is home to 53.9% of the wild Gorilla population with over 500 individuals in 24 habituated families, these make only 50% of the gorillas in Bwindi and Mgahinga Gorilla national parks, mountain gorillas in Uganda live in the Bwindi impenetrable forest National Park and Mgahinga gorilla national park, Gorilla groups of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park are accessed through four trail heads of Buhoma in the north, Ruhija and Rushaga in the south and Nkuringo in the west, with only Rushaga sector offering Gorilla habituation experience.

Gorilla tracking in Uganda has been and continues to be Uganda's trip highlight because of its uniqueness and the feeling it creates, Gorilla tracking in Uganda include Hiking and nature walk and allows you to see gorillas in their untouched natural habitat, the activity takes between 2to 8 hours maximum with one full hour of intimate gorilla experience, other activities that can be done alongside Gorilla tracking, forest nature walks, research (botany and zoology) birding, batter fly watching, sightseeing, hike to top of the world, Batwa trails , Batwa forest experience and Batwa community life experience, where you will get a full Gorilla tracking tour/safari and get to interact with the indigenous people who lived in the forest harmoniously with the gorillas before conservation pressure toll in early 1990s.

Where to see gorillas in Uganda

Uganda has two gorilla national parks, such us, Bwindi and Mgahinga gorilla national parks and are all located in the southwestern region, let's take a look at them,

Bwindi impenetrable forest national park

Bwindi impenetrable forest national park covers an area of 321 km2 and stands between 1,160 to 2,706 m ASL, the forest was gazettes as a national park in 1991 and declared as UNESCO natural world heritage site in 1993 April, since then a total of 23 Gorilla groups have been habituated and are trekked through four trail heads of Rushaga, Ruhija, Buhoma and Nkuringo.

Gorilla tracking through Uganda's remote Bwindi impenetrable forest national park is Uganda's and the world's most remarkable wildlife encounters by the fact that the giants are both rare and endangered primate species. The total wild gorilla population staggers at slightly above 1000 (recent research says 1063) individuals and 53.9% of these live in the forests of Bwindi and Mgahinga in Uganda.

Other experiences and activities to do in Bwindi

This amazing destination has got more to offer other than just gorilla Tracking from forest trails, scenic waterfalls, rift valley views, Gorilla habituation to community walks that will take you deeper into the life of the people and the Batwa in particular who live at the edges of the forest, As if this is not enough, Bwindi is one of Uganda's best Bird watching spots with 23 Albertine rift endemics notably in the high and dry Ruhija sector.

Other activities such as a boat cruise, kayaking, fishing or birding around lake Mutanda are 30minutes away, community walks are popular, and the famous lake Bunyonyi is only one hour away, this lake is ideal for a two day's relaxation after the trek, There is Queen Elizabeth and kazinga channel in the north where you can do a memorable safari , chimp tracking in Kibale forest , safari and boat to the bottom of Murchison falls and finally white water rafting in on the source of River Nile , such tours guarantee you a chance to see the big five and test your adrenaline, check them out here below.

How to get to Uganda for gorilla tracking

Uganda has one major international airport with another one coming up soon, Entebbe International Airport revives so many international scheduled flights such Qatar airways, emirates, KLM, Turkish Airways, Rwanda air and Uganda airlines the country's flagship, and so many others , you can work out this with your agent, Entebbe International airport is one of the best airports in Africa by geographical location,

Connecting to Bwindi forest national park By air - local scheduled flights

Once you have landed at Entebbe, you are 45 minutes away from the gorillas, Aero Link and Barr aviation operate daily scheduled flights to Bwindi impenetrable forest national park through kihiihi and Kisoro airstrips, flights are available every day and take one trip to and from each. You just need to book this with your tour operator or private guide, and everything will be taken care of.

If you traveling on your own, Your lodge should be able to arrange for pick up and transfer services on landing at the airstrip near Bwindi, Both Kisoro and Kihiihi airstrip are one hour drive to Bwindi impenetrable forest national park, the choice of the airstrip depends entirely on your gorilla tracking permit and lodge, clients tracking in the Buhoma sector must stay In the north of the park and use the kihiihi airstrip, If you are tracking in Rushaga or Nkuringo, the you ,must land at Kisoro airstrip in the south.

Private chatter air transfers are also available for more convenient travel, these will take you even closer to your lodge, and people staying at Rushaga camp can land at the door step, the same as those staying in Buhoma and other sectors.

By road - private with a tour company or self-drive or private guide.

Bwindi is located in the far southwestern region of Uganda , about 500kms away from Entebbe international airport, this scenic countryside drive will take you about 8 hours on a paved road, with numerous photo, bathroom and food Stop overs, all in all it's worth an adventure, however many travelers prefer to break this long drive by adding in other activities like a day at lake Mburo or just a sleep over, Combining gorilla tracking with other activities in Uganda saves you this travel distance, you can look at our selection of combined tours in this regard,

By road - public means

There is a bunch of 70 seater buses that operate scheduled routes to the south but they don't reach with Entebbe or Bwindi forest, if you must use these you will either need to hire a cab from the airport and another cab from the bus stop to complete your journey, these are always available, and affordable between $15 and $50 respectively. Send us a free inquiry for assistance on this, a bus journey need a lot of patience and perseverance, you stop a couple times and May take you more than 12 hours to arrive at your destination.

It's a very unique experience and needs to be taken by someone who has done it before. There are 70 seater public buses available daily and costs range While travelling with a bus you must go by their set rules to avoid being dropped at a long destination, if you are tracking in the northern sector of Bwindi then choose Bwindi Coach, tourists tracking in the southern sector bust board either Gateway bus services or jaguar bus and endeavor to tell them that you are stopping in Muko, from there you will get a bodaboda and proceed to your booked accommodation. Don't forget to obtain a gorilla tracking permit ahead of time.

Where to stay in Bwindi national park

There is host of wide range options to choose from when it comes to lodging, ranging from high through luxury up to budget, you don't need to worry, whichever Accommodation you choose it has to be planned well to match with your tracking location since we have four trail heads, make sure you ask about this before confirming, we are always there to offer free assistance, Take a look at our lodge options in a round Bwindi national park

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Mgahinga is Uganda's smallest National Park covering an area of 33.7km2 The name Mgahinga comes from a local word “Gahinga” - which means piles of volcanic stones cleared from farmland at the foot of the volcanoes, Mgahinga has one habituated transboundary gorilla group. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park sits at an altitude low 2,227m and 4,127m high. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is not only important for wildlife, the park also has a huge cultural significance, in particular for the indigenous Batwa pygmies. This tribe of hunter-gatherers was the forest's “first people”, and their ancient knowledge of its secrets remains unrivaled.

Mgahinga hosts over 76 mammals which include elephants, giant forest hogs, bush pigs, bush back. Buffalos, leopards, a bird checklist of over 180 species including the 14 Albertine rift endemics such as the Kivu ground thrush and Rwenzori turaco.

Mgahinga most striking features are muhabura, Gahinga and sabinyo the three conical, extinct volcanoes, part of the spectacular Virunga Range that lies along the border region of Uganda, Congo, and Rwanda. Mgahinga forms part of the much larger Virunga Conservation Area which includes adjacent parks in these countries. The volcanoes' slopes contain various ecosystems and are biologically diverse, and their peaks provide a striking backdrop to this gorgeous scenery.

How to get to Mgahinga national park by air transfer

Kisoro airstrip is located only 40 minutes from Mgahinga gorilla national park there are daily scheduled flights by Aero Link and Bar aviation. You just need to book this with your tour operator or private guide, and everything will be taken care of. If you traveling on your own, your lodge should be able to arrange for pick up and transfer services on landing, it is also possible to fly to Kisoro airstrip transfer to Mgahinga gorilla tracking and return to Entebbe on the same day, the return flight for the same day may require you to chatter a private flight. Private chatter air transfers are also available for more convenient travel, these will take you even closer to your lodge.

Where to stay on a gorilla tracking tour in Mgahinga national park;

Is there descent accommodation in and around Mgahinga Gorilla national park?

There is a limited availability of high end lodges in and around Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, if you plan to come for Gorilla tracking in this remotest destination, be sure that you confirm availability of lodging options, lodges here fill up in high tourist seasons and those who book late are left with far options to choose from. Listed below are some of our researched accommodation options near Mgahinga national park.

Lodge Name Location Distance(KM) Category
Mount Gahinga Lodge Mt Mgahinga Ntebeko 260m / 1 minute Luxury
Mutanda Lake Resort Lake Mutanda 28km / 1hr 30 min Mid range
Lake Murehe Safari Lodge Lake Murehe 20.8km /57min Mid range
Ndere Tala Resort Lake Mutanda 34.3 km/1hr 35min Mid range
lake mulehe gorilla lodge Lake Mulehe 31,7km /1hr 17min Mid range
Mgahinga gorilla triangle lodge Nyarusiza 10.2km /35min Budget
Mucha riverside Mucha River 20.4km/56min Budget
Neeza eco lodge Nyakabande 21.2km/59min Budget
Ichumbi hotel Kisoro town 13.8km 41min Mid Range
Ikoro resort hotel Kisoro town 18.8km /31min Mid Range
Gahiza island retreat Lake Mutanda 16.5km /43min Mid Range
Mt. Muhabura Climbers Rest Mt Muhabura 10.7km/37 min Back Packing
Camp Nkanda
Amajambere Iwacu Community Camp Ntebeko gate 23m/1min Camping
Travellers Rest Hotel Kisoro town 11.7km /36min Midrange
Mondi lodge Kisoro town 12.1km /37min Budget
Sawa Sawa guest house Kisoro town 11.8km/37min Budget

Advice and tips for the best gorilla tracking tour in Uganda

These are tips and travel advices about what you must know before planning your Gorilla tracking trip to Uganda, this section covers gorilla tracking tips, visas, currency and so much more

Best time to visit Mgahinga Gorilla national park for Gorilla tracking in Uganda

Mgahinga Gorilla national park and Bwindi impenetrable forest national park are located in the same geographical region and share the same weather and seasons, the best time to visit both parks for gorilla tracking in Uganda is the same remains the dry seasons of June - September and December to February, wet seasons are also possible.

Other experiences to combine with gorilla tracking in Uganda

Uganda has 10 National parks, 14 rich game reserves, five high roof mountains including the second highest and toughest in Africa, the largest inland fresh water lake in Africa and the source of the world's longest river, one of the most powerful waterfalls, white water rafting, primates such as chimpanzees and golden monkeys , Uganda is a cultural diverse country with over 50 tribes which all unique, you can experience all these in only three weeks, if you have limited time you can combine the big five with gorilla and chimpanzees to make the big seven in only 11 days, combining your gorilla trek with some of these activities makes it even more rewarding and enjoyable.

We have put together experiences exclusive to Uganda that you can combine with gorilla tracking in the pearl of Africa.

Gorilla tracking in Congo

The Democratic Republic of Congo, also known as Democratic Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Congo- Kinshasa, or simply the Congo, is the southernmost country located in Central Africa and Africa's largest country by land mass, . It is sometimes referred to by its former name Zaire, which was its official name between 1971 and 1997 during the regime of mobutu Seseko wazabanga. Musana tours and travel has been conducting Mountain Gorilla Trekking and Lowland Gorilla Trekking.

Nyiragongo Volcano Trekking in eastern democratic republic of Congo. If you're a longtime lover of Africa, sick of safaris and savannah tours, this is time to add a stamp of the Democratic Republic of Congo to your passport. After years of war and bloodshed, the region's doors are slowly opening up to tourism, thanks mainly to the high profile conservation of the western mountain gorillas in the Virunga national park.

Where to see gorillas in Congo

Virunga National Park is one of the most biologically diverse protected areas on the planet. Half of all the biodiversity in sub-Saharan Africa can be found in Virunga. The park is also a geologic wonder and contains two of the world's most active volcanoes. For much of its long history, though, Virunga National Park has been severely threatened by armed conflict. Had it not been the dedication of the park's rangers and wardens, we would lost most of the wildlife here, Virunga has been able to survive. Certain politicians, the European Union, conservationists, philanthropists, and private donors have also played a vital role in Virunga's survival.

Congo has both mountain and low land gorillas in Virunga National Park and kahuzi biega national park respectively, in the eastern part, as of now kahuzi biega national park is more safe and is open to tourists, Virunga national park is still contested and may not be a good idea to go there now and more so most of the places are closed to visitors including the Nyiragongo hike,

How to get to Congo for gorilla tracking

There are various gateways into Congo and are all good, Kinshasa International Airport (FIH), 15km from the capital city of Kinshasa but this may not help of you are going to track low land gorillas in the east.

One of the best optional gateways is Goma international airport, Located in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo in the city of Goma, Goma International Airport operates about 94 international flights on 13 different routes from the airport connecting Goma International Airport to 11 different destinations in 6 different countries such as Kinshasa, Entebbe, Congo, Beni and the Middle East.

The third and most safe option is landing at Kigali international airport and transferring by road through Nyungwe forest and cross to Congo, this is safe and more scenic.

Getting around Congo

Once in Goma, Getting around is relatively easy, with buses and taxis serving as simple (yet often risky) internal public transport is not highly recommended, we would insist on private tour operators whatever case it maybe, Traveling outside of DRC's main cities is also a different story. Roads and bridges have often washed out and even main routes are often completely impassable.

Added to this is the fact that independent overland travel through rural areas can be incredibly dangerous due to continued instability and lawlessness. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office advises strongly against all but essential travel: travel with guides, guards, and a large amount of caution.

Putting safety first , we would highly reconnect that you land throb Kigali international airport and transfer to the kahuzi biega after all there is a lot to see and a chance to combine two countries one visit. remember you can always track gorillas in Congo and return to stay in Rwanda in the lake kivu region or even Nyungwe forest in you love a deep jungle.

Where to stay while on gorilla tracking in Congo

Top end accommodation (US$200+) in DRC's main cities is generally very good quality, with rigorous security, clean rooms, and a wide range of food and drink options. Lower price hotels and hostels are, as a rule, harder to come by - especially if you're looking for value for money and somewhere secure to store your backpack. Contact our travel assistant for accommodation tips, and go with an open mind. When you are tracking low land gorillas in Kahuzi Biega, you can always cross and stay in the Lake Kivu region on the side of Rwanda .

Best time to visit Congo

Due to her size and topography, the climate in Congo varies greatly. The southern highlands tend to be cooler and drier than the hot and misty equatorial Congo River basin. The country is crossed by the equator and there had equatorial climate like her neighbor Uganda North of the equator, the wet season runs April to October, and the dry season from December to February. Further south, the wet season falls November to March, and the dry season from April to October. Plan carefully, as temperature and rainfall can be extreme but worth and adventure, gorilla tracking is best done in a dry season as earlier mentioned and you should always stick to this, thorough preparations still apply as the weather May change abruptly.

How to book a gorilla tracking

Clients can book gorilla trekking permits directly in by contacting Virunga park offices in Goma town through email or telephone calls. A gorilla permit in Congo costs $400 per person per trek. For Congolese nationals and SADC nationals the permit goes for $150 and $200 respectively there are Occasionally discounts for all visitors sometimes in a year, always contact us for the latest developments.

Other experiences to combine with gorilla tracking in the Congo

Activities you must look out to in the DRC

Climb Nyiragongo Volcano

Towering over the city of Goma, this spectacular natural wonder last erupted in May 2021. The lava lake at the top is not recommended for swimming in - it may be spectacular, but it-s also deadly

Track Gorillas.

A momentous effort has been made to open up the Virunga National park with its resident mountain gorillas. Gorilla tracking here is a rather wilder experience than across the border in Rwanda's volcanoes national park and Uganda's Bwindi Impenetrable Forest national park: in the wake of conflict in the eastern region, it's safer to track the lowland gorillas in kahuzi Biega national park near Bukavu town in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is situated near the western bank of Lake Kivu and the Rwandan border.

Cross the River Congo

Packed to within an inch of its life, a public ferry commutes Kinshasa to Brazzaville, giving you the chance to get another exotic passport stamp just a step away. Don't get stranded though: it stops running in the afternoon, never runs on Sundays, and sometimes just stops running at all, always ask ahead of time we will guide you.

All border crossings can close without notice and that includes Kinshasa's airport and the ferry to Brazzaville. The Democratic Republic of the Congo shouldn't be the destination of choice for relaxing breaks or momentous cultural happenings but if you are looking for adventure you may get too much.

While in Kinshasa like any other cities beware of armed robbers, sometimes disguising as policemen, keep your valuables away from tempting sight.

Advice and tips about travel in Congo

Deep rural Democratic Republic of the Congo is dotted with armies, rebel groups and simple bandits, the major roads are routinely washed out and only the most intrepid of travelers would ignore such travel advice against unguarded rural travel. Only travel in there if you must, alternatives are Always available please take those.

What is a gorilla tracking permit and why is a very important document?

A gorilla permit/ Gorilla tracking permit is an authorization from a specific body governing wildlife in a given country, for Uganda it's called Uganda wildlife authority, in Rwanda it's called Rwanda development board, These permits are very important documents and must be acquired way ahead of time due to their limited numbers, the way they influence gorillas tracking and accommodation and most importantly your whole trip.

A permit offers you one hour with the mountain gorillas in a group of 8 people, but the whole tracking experience takes about 2 to 8 hours but always in one day, it all depends stress and strain factors affecting gorillas In case you are threatened by the price of a gorilla permit remember that you are contributing to the conservation efforts towards mountain gorillas, other national parks and game reserves and as a form of supporting communities surrounding conservation areas where gorilla tracking takes place, worthy of mention also you will be rewarded with an hour in their midst observing, enjoying and photographing them. Keep in mind that just 8 people are allowed to see a group/family of gorillas in their natural habitat each day.

Because their habitat is very fragile, every time you walk in this forest you leave a footprint. If you are single traveler or a family of less than eight people, you will be teamed up with other people to make eight, in some cases you will be allowed a whole group if visitors are not many on that day. Gorilla trekking is conducted in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park or in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Both places offer a rewarding experience, every gorilla permit goes for US $ 700. In the past years, April, May and November used to cost US $ 450, Please note that these offers no longer exist.

On a single day, over 200 people travel into Bwindi to see gorillas. We strongly encourage you to book your gorilla permit ahead of time and we can help you do that; the most prominent mistake is to book a gorilla family which is far away from your choice of accommodation! The routes to Bwindi and its various regions are often tricky; this is a remote area. If you would like to do the gorilla trek on your own so as to save costs, you might end up incurring more. We have experienced tour consultants that have been doing this since 2011, they will help you.

For More information and to start booking your gorilla trekking trip

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Gorilla Trekking Tips

  • Remember to get a permit before you arrive
  • Be prepared for any weather
  • Take food and water with you
  • Waterproofing for your camera and absolutely no flash
  • Train before you leave and know your fitness levels
  • Travel in the dry season
  • Respect the gorillas' space
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Is there any other information you need?

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I obtain a gorilla permit?

Gorilla permits are obtained through the wildlife authorities of the respective countries. It's essential to book well in advance due to limited availability.

Is gorilla tracking safe in all countries?

While Rwanda and Uganda prioritize safety, the Democratic Republic of Congo still faces security challenges in some areas. Always consult your embassy for up-to-date safety information.

What is the best time to go gorilla tracking?

The dry seasons (June to September and December to February) are generally considered the best times for gorilla tracking.

How can I support gorilla conservation efforts?

Your gorilla permit fees directly contribute to conservation. Additionally, respecting guidelines during tracking helps protect their habitat.

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