They say you cannot eat your cake and have it but going for gorilla trekking after a safari in South Africa is definitely close to it. You get to enjoy the very best of the animal kingdom; the big 5 in south Africa and then gorillas in Uganda or Rwanda.

After enjoying classic game drives in South Africa, being in the presence of the majestic mountain gorillas will leave you in awe. It is an experience that is mind-blowing, humbling, and satisfying in a way that cannot be compared – that you would surely not want to miss while visiting Africa.

gorilla in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Gorilla Trekking will take you to through dense tropical rainforests in search of mountain gorillas. You will spend an hour with them watching them display many human-like behaviors and emotions.

Where to See Mountain Gorillas

Mountain Gorillas are endangered animals that can only be found in the tropical rainforests of Uganda, Rwanda and D.R Congo

Uganda has over half the world’s remaining population of mountain gorillas. These can be found in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.

In Rwanda, mountain gorillas are found in Volcanoes National Park while in DR Congo, they are located in Virunga National Park.

Most of our guests prefer to do their gorilla treks in Uganda and Rwanda as it is safer compared to DR Congo.

Cost of Gorilla Trekking

The cost of gorilla trekking differs from country to country and if you are planning to do gorilla trekking in any of the three destinations, you will need to acquire a gorilla permit which is basically a document that allows you to access the gorillas.

The cost of gorilla trekking is a bit high compared to other wildlife encounters. The gorilla trekking permit alone costs $800 in Uganda, $1500 in Rwanda and $400 in DR Congo per person. This fee does not include other expenses like transportation, accommodation, meals, visas, air tickets, porters, and tips for guides.

Our trips are oftentimes all-inclusive packages that take care of all the details for your safari. Take a look at some of our gorilla trekking safari packages or simply reach out to our team of safari specialists.

African Safari from America

Getting to Uganda from South Africa

The most common way to travel from South Africa to Uganda is by air. You’ll likely need to fly from major South African cities like Johannesburg or Cape Town to Entebbe International Airport, which is the main international airport in Uganda. Several airlines operate flights between South Africa and Uganda, including South African Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Airways, and RwandAir.

Once you arrive in Uganda, you’ll need transportation to get to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. You can either take a domestic flight or take a long scenic drive to these parks.

Alternatively, you can fly to Kigali, Rwanda and then drive into Uganda. This may be more time-efficient and cost-effective.

We have a wide variety of 4WD off-road vehicles and experienced guides to help you with your ground transportation.

Getting to Rwanda from South Africa

The most convenient way to get to Rwanda from South Africa is by air. Kigali International Airport is the country’s main airport located in the country’s capital, Kigali. You would first need to book a flight from a major city in South Africa, such as Johannesburg or Cape Town, to Kigali – the capital city of Rwanda.

There are direct flights available from Johannesburg to Kigali, and the flight duration is approximately 4 to 5 hours.

Upon arrival in Kigali, we can arrange transportation for you to Volcanoes National Park.

Visa Requirements

You will need to apply for a tourist visa to be able to enter Uganda and Rwanda. If you are visiting Uganda only, you can obtain a visa online from the Immigration Portal and if you are visiting Rwanda only you will obtain a visa on arrival at the airport or any other border entry points.

The Uganda and Rwanda visas each cost $50 per person.

If you plan on visiting both countries, you can apply for an East African Tourist Visa. This is a multiple-entry visa for Uganda, Rwanda, and Kenya. This visa allows you to move freely through any of the 3 countries with one visa. The East African Visa costs $100 per person

Where to Stay

Uganda has a range of accommodation options to suit every traveler’s preference and budget in Bwindi and Mgahinga National Parks from budget lodges to luxury safari resorts. These are located both within and near the forest and provide a comfortable retreat after a day of gorilla trekking.

nkuringo evening

In Rwanda, accommodation options are more limited and tend to be higher-end lodges, providing a luxurious retreat after a day of trekking. They offer panoramic views of the surrounding landscape with top-notch amenities to ensure a luxurious and unforgettable stay.

Our safari specialists will help help you get the best accommodation that matches your desires and budget. We have great relationships with many lodges and we trust their services.

Best Time to Visit Uganda and Rwanda from South Africa

If you want to visit both South Africa and do gorilla trekking in Uganda and Rwanda without too much concern for weather, the best time to visit is from June to August.

This is the best time because the countries are experiencing the dry season. Wildlife is easier to spot during the safaris because vegetation thins, and animals gather around waterholes and rivers and trails are drier for gorilla trekking.

This period provides a good balance between wildlife experiences in South Africa and gorilla trekking in Uganda.

What to pack for gorilla trekking

To make the most of this once-in-a-lifetime experience, thorough preparation is key. You will need to pack the right gear and essentials to ensure your comfort and safety.

Here are some of the things you should pack for your gorilla trekking adventure.

  • Long-sleeved shirts and long pants to protect against nettles and insects. Avoid bright colors as they can startle the gorillas.
  • Waterproof and windproof jacket or poncho for potential rain and cooler weather.
  • Gaiters to protect your lower legs from thorns, mud, and insects.
  • Sturdy, comfortable hiking boots with ankle support and good grip.
  • Gloves for gripping branches and protecting your hands
  • A small, lightweight daypack to carry essentials.
  • Binoculars for wildlife viewing.
  • Necessary medications and a basic first aid kit.

Take a look at this full article that explains the complete packing list for gorilla trekking.


Going on a safari in Africa is a dream come true for many. The majestic landscapes, diverse wildlife, and captivating culture make it an unforgettable experience. However, an extra dose of adventure and a chance to encounter one of the rarest creatures on the planet – the mountain gorillas, is the perfect addition to your African safari itinerary.

So, if you find yourself planning a safari in South Africa, consider adding gorilla tracking to your itinerary. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime adventure that will leave you with memories to last a lifetime.