Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo are famous for Gorilla Trekking however, due to political un rests in DRC, Gorilla tourism is on and off. On the other hand, Uganda is peaceful and Gorilla trekking is done all year round.
Uganda hosts Mountain Gorillas in two parks namely; Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (BINP) and Mgahinga Gorilla national Park (MGNP). For more information, Uganda protects only one specie of Gorillas called Mountain Gorillas. DRC protects both Lowland and Mountain Gorillas in Kahuzi – Biega and Virunga National Park respectively.
Uganda protects a large number of Mountain Gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. In other words, Uganda has two Mountain Gorilla parks and on the other hand, Mountain Gorillas are only residing in Virunga National Park.
Uganda Gorilla permit cost US$700 while in Democratic Republic of Congo, gorilla permit cost US$400. For more information, Rwanda gorilla permit is the most expensive at US$1500.
Uganda offers Gorilla habituation for clients which is not the case in Democratic Republic of Congo. Gorilla Habituation cost US$1500 per person per day but it enables you to spend 4hrs with Gorillas which is fur better that normal gorilla trekking which offers 1hr.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park are situated far from Entebbe Airport (9-10hrs drive). If you are not interested in enduring long hours drive, you can board a domestic flight from Entebbe to Kihihi air strip or Kisoro Air strip and then drive shortly to the park. On the other hand, Virunga national Park is situated few Kilometers from Coma city to Virunga National Park (35kms).
It’s believed that Uganda protects almost half of the world’s still exiting Gorillas. More than 400 members are available based on 2018 census which took place in Bwindi and Virunga crescent.
Virunga National Park is the oldest Gorilla Park with rich biodiversity. The Park still stands as one of Africa’s most unique destinations with a number of breathtaking features like the active volcanoes; Nyiragongo which can be hiked in one day and the Nyamuragira Volcano which last erupted in 2011.
Virunga National Park protects Gorilla but co-exist with chimpanzees. Also, the number of tourists visiting the park has increased since 2014 when the park was re-opened after a long time of being closed. Its an advantage for tourists visiting Virunga National park- they can trek both Gorillas and chimpanzees in the same park.
It sometimes become hard for the tourists to choose where to trek from basing on several factors however, there other factors to look at before final decision like airport to fly to, the location where gorilla trekking starts from, number of habituated gorilla families, accommodation options, weather conditions, safety and other activities to do.
While on gorilla Trekking, visitors can do Gorilla filming in Bwindi, Mgahinga and Virunga National Parks.