Mountain Gorilla Trekking in Uganda & Rwanda


Your Comprehensive Guide To Mountain Gorilla Trekking in Uganda & Rwanda

Mountain gorilla trekking offers an intimate glimpse into the world of the mountain gorillas. This encounter is more than just a safari – it’s a profound connection with one of Earth’s most fascinating creatures.

As a local Uganda-based safari company, we wanted to put together this guide to gorilla trekking in Uganda and Rwanda to help you turn your dreams of meeting mountain gorillas face-to-face into a reality.

Read on to discover the secrets of gorilla trekking and prepare for an expedition that goes beyond the ordinary, deep into the heart of East Africa’s untouched beauty.


What Makes Mountain Gorilla Trekking Unforgettable

The opportunity to spend an hour (or four) with a family of mountain gorillas is unique to our corner of the world. Here’s what makes this trek into the wilds of Uganda and Rwanda so spectacular.

In The Midst of Giants

Experience the thrill of coming face-to-face with mountain gorillas. These gentle giants dwell in the verdant forests of Uganda and Rwanda, and seeing them in their natural habitat is a deeply moving and transformative experience. Witness their complex social interactions up close and learn about ongoing conservation efforts that aim to protect these magnificent creatures for generations to come.

Exclusive Access to Remote Habitats

Gorilla trekking takes you into some of the most secluded and pristine areas of East Africa. Unlike more frequented safari destinations, the paths to the gorillas are less traveled, offering a more intimate and serene wildlife experience. Traverse through the lush, mist-covered rainforests that are as breathtaking as they are exclusive.

Immerse Yourself in Spectacular Scenery

The journey through Uganda and Rwanda’s landscapes is as captivating as the destination. From the mystical bamboo forests to volcanic mountains draped in alpine meadows, each step through these countries’ diverse terrains promises a visual feast and unparalleled opportunities for adventure and exploration.

Ethical Wildlife Encounters

Participating in mountain gorilla trekking contributes directly to the preservation of the species and their natural environment. Your visit supports community initiatives and conservation programs that ensure the gorillas and their habitats are protected. This responsible travel experience not only respects wildlife but also promotes sustainability.

Cultural Connection

Mountain gorilla trekking also provides a unique opportunity to engage with the local communities. Learn about the cultures and traditions of the Ugandan and Rwandan people who live in harmony with these great apes. Their hospitality and stories add a rich, human dimension to your wildlife adventure, making your experience even more memorable.


Where To Go Mountain Gorilla Trekking in Uganda and Rwanda

When it’s time to visit Rwanda and Uganda, you’ll experience firsthand just why mountain gorillas have the name they have. These misty mountain ranges and former volcanoes that make up the border between the Land of a Thousand Hills and the Pearl of Africa are something else. 

Among these countries, the mountain gorillas can be found in three national parks:

Bwindi Impenetrable & Mgahinga Gorilla National Parks

Step into the ancient rainforests of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, home to nearly half of the world’s mountain gorillas. The park offers a rare chance to encounter these majestic creatures in their natural habitat, ensuring a once-in-a-lifetime trekking experience that is both humbling and unforgettable.

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Uganda

Located where the Pearl of Africa meets the Land of a Thousand Hills, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is part of the vast Virunga Conservation Area. Here, you can trek through the mist-covered slopes to meet the gorillas amidst the dramatic backdrop of volcanic landscapes, providing another spectacular setting for gorilla encounters.

Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda

Crossing over to Rwanda, Volcanoes National Park is renowned for its pivotal role in gorilla conservation. The park's high-altitude forests offer visitors the extraordinary experience of meeting gorillas face-to-face, along with the potential to see golden monkeys and rich birdlife, making it a must-visit for those dedicated to the full gorilla trekking experience.


Choosing the Perfect Time for Your Mountain Gorilla Trekking Adventure in Uganda

Located along the equator, Uganda boasts a climate of relatively steady temperatures throughout the year.

The months of January and February shine as the warmest periods, offering an average daytime range of 24°C to 33°C (75°F to 91°F). These are ideal months for gorilla trekking, providing clearer paths and better visibility.

Uganda Safaris During The Dry Seasons

The dry months of June to September and December to February are perfect for gorilla trekking, as well as primate viewing.

During these periods, the trails are drier and visibility is enhanced, making your trek through the lush forests more manageable and enjoyable.

Uganda Safaris During The Wet Seasons

In the southern regions, the Wet seasons occur from mid-September to November and from March to May, introducing refreshing rains that enhance the lushness of the landscapes.

Typical days during the rainy season may feature a small amount of rain in the morning that clears up, as it’s not dramatically different from the rest of the year.

Lush Landscapes and Vibrant Flora

Travel during the wet seasons to see Uganda's landscapes transform. The rains invigorate the flora, turning the environment into a vibrant tapestry of green, bursting with life.

Exclusive Wildlife Encounters

With fewer tourists, the wet season offers an even calmer experience, ideal for observing animals in their most natural settings. This period provides a unique chance to see gorillas and other primates engaging with their environment in the rain-soaked forests, offering a different perspective on their behaviors.

Spectacular Birdwatching

The wet seasons attract an abundance of bird life, including migratory species. This time is perfect for birdwatchers to enjoy a diverse array of birds in their most active and colorful state.

Keep in mind that rainfall can occur unexpectedly, even during the dry season. Conversely, the northern regions experience a more extended wet season from March to November, followed by a clear dry season from December to February.


Experience Uganda With One Of Our Best-Selling Mountain Gorilla Trekking Safaris

As a seasoned Uganda-based tour operator with over a decade of experience, we understand that planning a safari in such a vast and diverse country can be daunting. 

To help kickstart your adventure, we’re highlighting three of our most popular mountain gorilla trekking safaris. 

The Grace of the Mountain Gorilla Encounters

 4-Day Uganda SafariVenture into the heart of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and meet the mountain gorillas face-to-face, a truly awe-inspiring experience.

Primate Habituation

10-Day Uganda Safari – Indulge in a unique African safari experience on a 10-day Uganda safari with chimp habituation, mountain gorilla habituation, and golden monkey habituation.

Revel in Rwanda

14-Day Rwanda Safari – This is a terrific two-week Rwanda safari that lets you in on all of the secrets of Rwanda with game drives, gorilla tracking, and plenty of exploring of the Land of a Thousand Hills’ beautiful lakes, dense forests and towering volcanoes.


Why Choose Kikooko Africa Safaris

At Kikooko Africa Safaris, we are more than just tour operators; we are stewards of East Africa’s natural and cultural treasures.

Our dedication to creating immersive, responsible, and impactful experiences sets us apart:

Local Expertise

We are a locally owned and operated Uganda safaris company based in Entebbe, Uganda.

Positive Impact

We ensure that your journey contributes to wildlife conservation and community development initiatives.

Tailored Experiences

We customize your safari to match your interests, ensuring every moment is unforgettable.

5-Star Service

What Our Travelers Have Said About Our Uganda Safaris

Uganda by Kikooko - a unique experience Uganda's tourist potential is vast and to a large degree unspoilt. Kikooko as a whole and our tour guide Alex in particular gave us a truly unforgettable insight into the wonders of this amazing country. We were treated as friends and got to see the amazing variety of flora and fauna, enjoyed great places to stay and eat and, above all, experienced the friendliness of the Ugandan people. Every detail of our journey was perfectly planned and organized, and Alex displayed his passion for his profession and the country. Great experience, excellent service, passionate people!
Safari Company with heart and soul I met the founder of Kikooko at the travel fair in Zurich and told him about my dreams of Uganda and the Gorillas. He arranged a wonderful overland journey for me that was filled with activities around wildlife and culture. The driver-guide was friendly and professional, his knowledge and helpfulness great. I could just relax and feel safe and comfortable allover the country. Also traveling alone as a woman was no problem at all. People in Uganda are friendly and openhearted. Most of the lodges that were chosen for me were situated at beautiful spots and with delicous food. I can highly recommand KIKOOKO as a professional, trustworthy Safari Company with heart and soul. January 24 / Claudia Fauser
Denise S.
Denise S.
Es gab so vieles zu entdecken und Neues zu lernen. Es war Abenteuer pur! Die Reiseplanung mit Warren erfolgte per Mail. Die geplante Reise dauerte 3,5 Wochen und beinhaltete eine Rundreise von Entebbe zum Kidepo Valley National Park, zu den Gorillas im Bwindi Impenetrable Park bis zum Queen Elizabeth Park und zurück nach Entebbe. Auf Wünsche und Änderungen gingen das Kikooko Team immer ein und machten diverse Abklärungen. Die ganze Planung ging sehr gut und nicht stressig auf. Das Programm war voll mit sehr schönen Abenteuern und Begegnungen, sowohl mit den Tieren als auch mit den Menschen und ihren Kulturen. Die Menschen sind sehr freundlich und hilfsbereit. Sehr beeindruckend fand ich, dass immer sehr freundlich gegrüsst und zugewunken wurde! Kinder riefen und winkten am Strassenrand, teilweise rannten sie uns nach. In diesen 3 Wochen versuchte ich einzelne Wörter zu lernen, da war Ivan ein guter Lehrer, aber es ist eine sehr schwierige Sprache! Ich lernte sehr viel über dieses Land. Während der Reise fühlte ich mich immer sehr gut aufgehoben und sicher. Allein als Frau zu reisen, ist kein Problem. Ivan war ein sehr guter Guide, weiss sehr viel über die Tierwelt und schätzt Situationen gut und sicher ein. Er hat einen sehr angenehmen Fahrstil und umsorgte mich sehr. Ich konnte mir für die Fotografie sehr viel Zeit nehmen und ging immer auf meine Bedürfnisse ein. Lodges: die verschiedenen Lodges waren gut ausgestattet und sauber. WLAN war vorhanden, aber war tw. sehr langsam, je nach Wetter. Bei Dunkelheit wurde man in gewissen Lodges, dort wo Grosstiere wie Nashörner, Hippos, Elefanten oder Löwen zu Hause sind, zur Sicherheit ins Zimmer begleitet. Auto: es ist ein stabiles Auto und hatte diverse schwierige Strassen gut gemeistert (natürlich auch mit den perfekten Fahrkünsten von Ivan!). Ivan hatte es immer sehr sauber gehalten und geputzt. Das Dach liess sich anheben, damit man einen sehr guten Rundumblick hatte und perfekt fotografieren konnte. WLAN wurde kostenlos angeboten, was ich so noch nie gesehen habe. Gerade bei längeren Fahrten konnte man zu Hause ein Update geben und ein paar "Bilderkostproben" im Status hochladen. Handy laden im Auto ist mit Ladekabel und Adapter möglich! Wasser ist jederzeit abfüllbar im Auto parat, dazu wurde am Anfang der Reise von Warren eine Wasserflasche geschenkt, was ein super sinnvolles Geschenk und Erinnerung ist. Süssgetränke, Bier usw. ist alles da. Geld: Schilling lässt sich bei der Ankunft wechseln und Ivan schaut auch, wo der beste Kurs ist. 200 Dollar habe ich gewechselt, aber es ist kein Problem, mit Dollar, Euro oder sogar mit CHF zu bezahlen. Kreditkarten kann leider nur an wenigen Orten verwendet werden. Für jede Leistung von Guides usw. sollte man Trinkgeld gegeben. Es gibt keine ungefähre Definition, wie viel man mindestens geben sollte, denn man gibt, was man möchte. Wenn man sehr zufrieden ist, dann gibt man entsprechend. Das macht es sehr schwierig. Fotografie: die Stromversorgung in den Lodges waren immer gut und alle Geräte konnten problemlos mit dem entsprechenden Adapter geladen werden. Mein 3-Beinstativ habe ich nie gebraucht, da ich sehr gut mit dem Einbein im Auto und auch sonst fotografiert habe und sehr gute Ergebnisse hatte mit dem Teleobjektiv. Gorillatracking: ein 4h Besuch lohnt sich SEHR! Die Zeit zählt ab dann, wenn die Gorillas entdeckt wurde. Da sollte definitiv nicht gespart werden! Erst erwachen sie, gehen fressen und dann ist Chillen angesagt. Das braucht seine Zeit und ich hätte bereut, wenn ich nach 1h wieder hätte gehen müssen. Es war ein unglaubliches Erlebnis!!! Der Silberrücken streifte langsam und dicht an mir vorbei, 180kg geballte Ladung Muskeln! Ja doch, ich hatte etwas wacklige Beine. Die Guides gehen jeden Tag zu den Gorillas und kennen jeden Einzelnen und "kommunizieren" laufend mit dem Silberrücken und er antwortet darauf. Faszinierend! Es gibt keinen Weg im Wald, nur sehr anstrengende und steile Hänge mit sehr vielen Büschen und Stolperfallen. Gamaschen empfehle ich sehr einzupacken. Bei den Schimpansen habe ich es nicht angezogen und hatte dann einige sehr grosse Ameisen unter meinem Shirt und anderen Orten. Sie sind extrem schnell und können ganz schön kneifen, sind aber nicht giftig. Da die Gorillas auf 2200 m Höhe zu Hause sind, wird es gegen Abend/ Nacht kühl. Regenzeit: es ist nicht wie in der Schweiz, wo es Tagelang regnet. Meistens gab es einen 15 min Regenguss und dann kam wieder die Sonne oder es regnete in der Nacht immer wieder. Der Regen war warm. Tiere und Landschaft: einfach sensationell - das muss man gesehen haben! The Big 5 und noch sehr viel mehr durfte ich sehen! Unbeschreiblich schöne Landschaften, von Savanne, Buschlandschaft bis zum Wald. Highlight: alles! Ich komme wieder!
Robert S
Robert S
Must visit Absolutely epic! Everything exceeded expectations! Came for the Gorillas and they very much delivered. Coordinated by Warren and guided/driven by Alex, they went above to deliver a trip of a lifetime
John S
John S
Gorilla adventure of a lifetime Brilliant trip everything was better than expected, I came hoping to see gorillas and they exceeded expectations as did every day. I couldn't recommend the team more highly.
Adam P
Adam P
Come with high expectations, and expect them to be surpassed! This was the most amazing 7 days. From the second we landed we were treated to an unforgettable visit. The staff from the company were so accommodating and made sure that everything we did was perfect. There is honestly nothing I would change about my trip.
....a lifetime expierience.... Wir haben Kikooko Africa Safaris auf einer Ferienmesse im Februar 23 kennengelernt. Danach haben wir eine Offerte angefordert, worin wir unsere Wünsche geäussert haben. Auf diese Wünsche wurde super eingegangen und nach einigen Mail/WhatsApp Wechseln mit dem Geschäftsteilhaber entstand unsere Reise. Denoch zögerten wir zuerst ein bisschen- da wir niemanden kannen, der schon mit Kikooko gereist wäre- haben dann aber dank den ausgezeichneten Rückmeldungen und Reaktionen auf Fragen unsererseits, beschlossen, Kikooko zu vertrauen. Der Kontakt zu Warren blieb bis zu unserer Reise hervorragend. Wann immer eine Frage auftauchte, bekam ich sie prompt beantwortet. Wir wurden auch bezüglich der Gorillatrekking Permits usw immer auf dem Laufenden gehalten. Dann endlich Start der Reise. Wir wurden vom Flughafen abgeholt und gleich von einem sehr angenehmen, vertrauenserweckenden Guide in Empfang genommen. Am nächsten Tag kam Warren sogar selber noch vorbei, um uns zu begrüssen. Wir wurden am ersten Tag perfekt ausgerüstet- mit einer LifeStraw Flasche , einem Notfalltelefon und einem Kästchen, mit welchem wir immer gratis WLAN hatten. Chris, unser Guide war einfach perfekt. Er hat unsere Reise einfach super organisiert, an alles gedacht und uns immer vorzu informiert. Zudem wusste er einfach alles über Land, Leute, Vegetation und Tiere- was auf immer wir fragten- Chris wusste eine Antwort. Zudem war seine Gesellschaft äusserst angenehm- ein richtig toller Mensch. Wir haben uns in seiner Gesellschaft immer gut aufgehoben und sicher gefühlt. Die Strassen waren nicht immer einfach zu befahren- entweder wegen Schlamm, Pfützen, Löchern oder wegen viel Verkehr, Tieren oder Menschen. Chris hat uns überallhin sicher geführt. Zudem ist er schon auf unsere Wünsche eingegangen, bevor wir sie geäusster haben - so kam es uns jedenfalls vor... Unsere Camps und Lodgen waren alle wunderschön-nicht nur die gehobeneren, sondern auch die einfacheren. Die Tiervielfalt in Uganda unglaublich- an viele Tiere kann man ganz nahe heran. Die Menschen sind offen, fröhlich und freundlich, die Landschaft unglaublich grün und vielfältig. Ganz spezielle und unglaubliche Erlebnisse waren natürlich das Gorillatrekking und Schimpansentrekking. Ein weiteres unvergessliches Erlebnis war der Besuch eines Dorfes- abseits jeglichen Tourismuses. Es war eine absolut unvergessliche Reise- einfach perfekt von A-Z. Vielen Dank Kikooko African Safaris- wir werden euch jederzeit und allen uneingeschränkt weiterempfehlen- und gerne wiederkommen um eine weitere Reise mit Chris zu unternehmen.... Das schwierigste wird nun für mich, die vielen vielen vielen tollen Fotos so auszusortieren, dass ich ein Fotobuch machen kann..... :-)
Sally D
Sally D
Beautiful Uganda An exceptional company that goes above and beyond to guarantee you have an excellent time in Uganda. Highly recommend!
Mick K
Mick K
Een bijzonder bedrijf met de de beste gidsen What an amazing group of people at this company. They are very proud of their beautiful country and realy want you to feel welcome. They go the extra mile to let you get in touch with the local customs and communities.
Ollie R
Ollie R
The only team to book for your Uganda trip Incredible experience from the moment we were picked up from the airport by Alex and Godfried. The team were always professional, reassuring and kind. They are a business that truly cares for its customers and they are right in what they say, arrive as strangers, leave as friends. Highly recommended!


Frequently Asked Questions

Have more questions about what gorilla trekking in Uganda and Rwanda is like? Here are answers to common questions we receive from travelers like you.

The costs associated with gorilla trekking can vary, primarily based on the location and the type of permit you choose. Here’s an overview to help you plan your adventure.
As of 2024, the costs for these permits are as follows:

A one-hour mountain gorilla permit to visit to the gorillas in Rwanda costs $1,500 per person. This permit gives you a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to observe the gorillas in their natural surroundings in one of Rwanda's esteemed national parks.

A standard one-hour gorilla trekking experience costs $800 per person. This allows you access to the incredible biodiversity of Uganda's forests and the chance to see the gorillas up close.

For a more in-depth experience, a four-hour gorilla habituation experience is available at $1,500 per person. This unique experience involves accompanying researchers and conservationists as they accustom the gorillas to the presence of humans, providing a deeper understanding of these majestic animals.

Safari costs vary based on itinerary, accommodations, and activities. Here are some averages we have seen. Please keep in mind that these prices may vary based on specific itinerary details and the season of travel.

If you prefer Budget Accommodation Safari Tours, the rates are approximately $275 per person per day for private tours and $225 per person per day for group tours.

For a more comfortable experience, consider Mid-Range Accommodation Safari Tours, with private tours costing about $425 per person per day and group tours at $275 per person per day.

Luxury Accommodation Safari Tours offer the ultimate experience, with private tours priced at approximately $600 per person per day and group tours at $550 per person per day.

Contact us for personalized pricing.

Both "mountain gorilla trekking" and "mountain gorilla tracking" are commonly used terms, but they can imply slightly different aspects of the experience:

  • Mountain Gorilla Tracking refers to the specific activity of searching for gorillas in their natural habitat. It involves following signs like footprints, knuckle prints, and food remains to locate the gorillas.
  • Mountain Gorilla Trekking usually refers to the overall adventure, which includes hiking through the gorillas' forest environment, observing them, and often spending an hour or so watching their behaviors.

While both terms are accurate, " trekking" is more commonly used and encompasses the full experience, from the hike to the observation of gorillas in the wild.

The ideal time for gorilla trekking in both Uganda and Rwanda is during the dry seasons, which offer the most favorable conditions for hiking and wildlife viewing. These periods are characterized by less rainfall, making the forest trails less muddy and more accessible, and generally provide more comfortable travel conditions.

June to September (Dry Season): This peak season for gorilla trekking sees drier weather and pleasant temperatures. The reduced moisture in the forests makes trekking less challenging, and the gorillas are often easier to locate since they move less distance.

December to February (Dry Season): Another excellent time for gorilla trekking, these months are characterized by warm weather and clear skies, enhancing visibility and making your trekking experience more enjoyable. It is also a great time for birdwatching, as many species are active and visible.

While mountain gorilla trekking can be conducted year-round, these dry months are particularly recommended for the best experience. It's crucial to book your gorilla permits well in advance—ideally six months ahead—to secure your spot, as permits are limited and highly sought after. Whether you're planning a visit during the peak or off-peak seasons, both Uganda and Rwanda offer unique opportunities to witness the majesty of the mountain gorillas in their natural habitats

Shoulder Seasons (March to May, October to November): These months mark the transition between the wet and dry seasons. While there might be occasional rain, it's a good time for budget travelers, as prices tend to be lower, and fewer tourists visit during these periods. Wildlife can still be seen, and landscapes are lush and green.

Additionally, mountain gorilla permits, which are essential, should be booked well in advance (we recommend six months). Regardless of the time of year you plan to visit, as they are in high demand.

Uganda is home to a diverse range of safari parks and reserves, each offering unique wildlife and landscapes. For mountain gorilla trekking in particular, Uganda has two parks: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.

For trekking mountain gorillas in Rwanda, you’ll head to Volcanoes National Park.

The minimum age for mountain gorilla trekking is 15. However, it’s possible to request an age waiver for children that are slightly younger from the respective Wildlife Authorities. This is done on a case-by-case basis, and if you’d like to learn more about what this process looks like, please get in touch with our team so we can assist. 

Choosing whether Uganda or Rwanda is better for gorilla trekking depends on a few factors including personal preferences, budget, and the kind of trekking experience you’re looking for:


  • Accessibility: Volcanoes National Park is just a two-hour drive from Kigali, the capital city, making it easier to reach compared to Uganda’s gorilla parks. This is ideal for travelers with limited time.
  • Terrain: The terrain in Volcanoes National Park is generally considered to be more manageable with some of the trekking areas being less steep and densely forested compared to those in Uganda.
  • Cost: The cost for a gorilla permit in Rwanda is higher, with each permit costing $1,500. This might be a significant factor for budget-conscious travelers.


  • Variety of experiences: Uganda offers more variety in gorilla trekking experiences, including the standard one-hour visit as well as the option for a more immersive four-hour gorilla habituation experience. Uganda has more habituated gorilla families, which can provide more flexibility in booking.
  • Cost: The cost for a standard one-hour gorilla trekking permit in Uganda is $800, significantly lower than in Rwanda. The four-hour habituation experience costs $1,500, which is the same as a one-hour trek in Rwanda but offers more time with the gorillas.
  • Scenery and biodiversity: Uganda's Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park not only offer gorilla trekking but are also home to a richer biodiversity, including other primates, birds, and butterflies.

The DRC is also home to mountain gorillas, but is not currently recommended for travelers.


How We Make Your Uganda Safaris Experience Unique

We believe that every traveler is unique, and your Uganda safari should reflect your individual preferences and desires. Our team is here to assist you in creating a tailor-made itinerary that captures your interests and captures the essence of this captivating destination.

Design Your Itinerary

Dream big and let your imagination run wild. Whether you envision encountering gorillas in the mist, exploring diverse landscapes, or immersing yourself in local culture, we'll help you shape your ideal itinerary.

Personalize Your Experience

Our experts are skilled at transforming your vision into a reality. We'll work closely with you to ensure that every detail aligns with your preferences, from accommodations to activities.

Adjust to Your Budget

Your Uganda safari is an investment in unforgettable memories. We understand the importance of budgeting, and our team is skilled at creating experiences that match your financial comfort without compromising on quality.

Inquire Now

Kikooko Africa Safaris is more than a travel agency. We’re your partners in creating exceptional experiences.

Your journey begins from the moment you inquire with us. Let’s embark on this adventure together, shaping a safari that reflects your interests, suits your budget, and captures the essence of East Africa’s vibrant landscapes and cultures.

Get in touch today to start planning your personalized Uganda safari.

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