Best Places to see Gorillas in Africa – Where to Trek Gorillas, Habitats and Tracking Guide
Places to see gorillas in Africa are very few and this explains why these primates attract a huge number of tourists who come to have a glance at them. Its these rare primates that have let to the growth of tourism in Africa.
Gorilla safaris have become every adventure travelers’ bucket list experience but where is the best place to see gorillas in Africa? This and many questions are often asked by visitors on plan to travel to Africa for gorilla trekking. Though you may have spotted gorillas in the zoos, gorilla encounter in the wild is amazingly what many have described as a priceless experience/encounter.
Trekking to see gorillas in Africa (Places to see gorillas in Africa) all involves visitors navigating through the dense rain-forest, steep slopes. All 2 species of gorillas exist in Africa; the Western and Eastern gorilla with the most sought for being sub-species of Eastern gorillas that is the mountain gorillas and Eastern lowland gorillas.
Best places to see gorillas in Africa
Uganda, best referred to as the Pearl of Africa protects half of the remaining 1063 mountain gorillas on the planet earth. While on Uganda gorilla safaris, the best places to see gorillas include Bwindi Impenetrable National park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. These 2 splendid Uganda safari parks have 21 habituated gorilla families all open for visitors to track to see the massive and endangered mountain gorillas in the wild.
Bwindi and Mgahinga, Uganda’s two prominent gorilla habitats are all located in Southwestern Uganda 8-9 hours’ drive from Kampala. However, you can also take a flight from Entebbe Airport to Kihihi or Kisoro airstrips and this is the fast option to get to any of the two parks to trek to see mountain gorillas.
In Uganda, gorilla trekking permits are among the essentials if you are to be allowed to visit mountain gorillas. The permits for Bwindi or Mgahinga gorilla trekking are available for visitors to book at USD700 (Foreign Non-Residents), USD600 (Foreign Residents) & East African Citizen UGX 250,000. While in Uganda, there are 2 options to see mountain gorillas- visitors can engage in normal gorilla trekking or gorilla habituation experience (this is done only in Bwindi). Gorilla habituation involves visiting semi-habituated families and permits cost USD1500 but you enjoy 4 hours face to face with gorillas compared to 1 hour while on usual gorilla trek.
Rwanda is another special place in Africa that is worth visiting for you to see endangered mountain gorillas. In Rwanda, gorillas are only in Volcanoes National Park and this is part of the Virunga Volcanoes region. The park spans on 160sq.kms of land area making up Virunga Conservation Area in Northwestern Rwanda and has about 13 gorilla families open for gorilla trekking.
Unlike Uganda, in Rwanda gorilla trekking permits are availed to tourists on Rwanda gorilla safari at USD1500 per person. Rwanda permits for gorilla tracking can be booked via a reputable local tour operator or agency or make a direct booking through reservation team at Rwanda Development Board (RDB).
D.R. Congo is one of the least visited gorilla safari destination yet endowed with all two sub-species of gorillas that is mountain gorillas and Eastern lowland gorillas. Mountain gorilla safaris in Congo are enjoyable in Virunga National Park, Eastern part of the country and this is part of the extensive Virunga Conservation Area while lowland gorillas exist in Kahuzi-Biega National Park (currently open for lowland gorilla trekking), Maiko National Park plus other areas.
Whether you plan to see mountain gorillas or lowland gorillas in Congo, a valid gorilla permit is required. Each of Congo gorilla safari permits costs USD450 per person and you can book for one via a reliable tour operator or park authorities.
Other places to see gorillas in Africa include Congo Brazzaville particularly in its Odzala-Kokoua National Park, Nouabale-Ndoki National Park for western lowland gorillas; Central African Republic for Western lowland gorillas.