Gorilla Trekking in Uganda Vs Rwanda

Gorilla Trekking in Uganda Vs Rwanda. Which One is Better for Gorilla Tracking Experience?

Seeing gorillas in the wild is an exciting but humbling Gorilla Trekking in Uganda Vs Rwanda experience. Gorillas, with their gentle but majestic presence, are the largest living primates in the world. These gentle giants, however, are endangered and can only be seen in the tropical rainforests of Uganda, Rwanda, and D.R. Congo.

Mountain Gorilla Trekking in Uganda Vs Rwanda involves hiking through thick natural rainforests in search of the endangered mountain gorillas. Uganda and Rwanda offer excellent opportunities to see gorillas in their natural habitat. Most people who have tracked gorillas in the 2 countries would find it hard to choose one over the other.

And while the experience is fairly similar, each country has its unique charm and gorilla trekking experience in Uganda Vs Rwanda but seeing the gorillas is equally mind-blowing. Some key differences might help you decide which experience suits you best and our team of safari consultants is available to help you choose and design your safari and align it with your choices.

Where to Go for Gorilla Trekking in Uganda Vs Rwanda?

Uganda is home to half of the world’s mountain gorilla population with 26 gorilla-habituated families. These populations are found in two national parks: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.

In Rwanda, mountain gorillas are found in Volcanoes National Park which is part of the larger Virunga Conservation Area.

Gorilla Trekking in Uganda vs. Rwanda – Which Destination Should You Choose?

Cost of gorilla permits

The cost of gorilla trekking permits is one of the main differences between the Uganda and Rwanda gorilla trekking experiences.

Gorilla trekking is more budget-friendly in Uganda with permits priced at $800 for foreign non-residents, $700 for foreign residents, and UGX 300,000 for East African residents. This option is great for anyone seeking an authentic gorilla encounter without breaking the bank.

Gorilla trekking in Rwanda on the other hand is a bit more expensive. Gorilla trekking permits cost $1500 for foreign non-residents and $200 for citizens and East African residents.

Keep in mind that this fee covers only the activity itself, the park ranger guiding your trek, and the trackers who locate the gorillas. Additional expenses like transportation, accommodation, and tips are not included.

Availability of gorilla permits

Strict regulations are in place to protect mountain gorillas because they are endangered. Therefore, each day, only eight visitors are allowed to spend one hour with a habituated gorilla group.

Uganda has more permit availability since it has more habituated gorilla families compared to those in Rwanda. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park alone has around 25 gorilla groups, while Mgahinga Gorilla National Park has 1 gorilla group.

Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda has about 12 habituated gorilla groups available for tracking.

Accessing the parks

Bwindi Impenetrable and Mgahinga National Parks can be accessed from Kampala and Entebbe both by air and road. Road transfer takes you through the beautiful Ugandan countryside but with a longer travel time (8-10 hours). By air, you can book a 1-hour domestic flight from Entebbe to Kisoro and then connect to the parks.

The parks can also be accessed from Kigali via road transfer which is a shorter drive time compared to driving from Kampala (4-5 hours).

Volcanoes National Park, on the other hand, is more accessible for gorilla trekking. It is located just 2 hours away from Kigali, Rwanda’s capital. The well-maintained roads also make the journey smoother and quicker.

Biodiversity and Landscape

In Uganda, trekking terrain in the national parks is characterized by dense rainforests, rugged mountains, and steep slopes. Gorilla trekking routes may involve navigating through thick vegetation, crossing streams, and hiking through challenging terrain. While the terrain can be physically demanding, it offers breathtaking views of dense forest and encounters with other primates, birds, and unique plant life.

In Rwanda, Volcanoes National Park offers a dramatic landscape with volcanic peaks and lush rainforests. Unlike the dense rainforests of Uganda, Rwanda’s trekking trails are generally less challenging, with well-defined trails and gentler slopes.  The gorillas here stay almost exclusively in the bamboo forest zone, providing an open and beautiful setting for easy viewing.

Accommodation Options for Gorilla Trekking in Uganda Vs Rwanda

From budget lodges to luxury safari resorts, Uganda has a range of accommodation options to suit every traveler’s preference and budget in Bwindi and Mgahinga National Parks. Located both within and near the parks, these lodges provide a comfortable retreat after a day of gorilla trekking.

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

Each of our Uganda safari packages shows the lodges chosen. You can also take a look at our lodges page to explore the various accommodation options one by one.

Additional Activities

Most people who come on our trips for Gorilla Trekking in Uganda Vs Rwanda usually combine gorillas with other interesting activities to make for a more wholesome safari.

Beyond Gorilla Trekking in Uganda Vs Rwanda, Uganda offers a wide range of activities to satisfy the adventurous spirit. From chimpanzee trekking adventures, birdwatching in diverse habitats, and scenic game drives through the savannah to mountain climbing and white-water rafting. Other Ugandan destinations such as Kibale and Queen Elizabeth National Park are very popular compliments for a gorilla trekking safari.

Rwanda also has plenty of activities such as golden monkey trekking, hiking in the Virunga Mountains, or visiting Dian Fossey’s grave. You can also explore hidden gems like Lake Kivu and Nyungwe Forest National Park, adding depth to your adventure.

Simplified Summary for Gorilla Trekking in Uganda Vs Rwanda

 Aspect  Uganda  Rwanda
 Location Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park  Volcanoes National Park
 Accessibility Longer travel distances between destinations within the country  Shorter travel distances between destinations within the country
 Permit Cost Lower permit cost at $800 per person  Higher permit cost at $1500 per person
 Permit availability More habituated gorilla families available hence more permit availability  A limited number of habituated gorilla families hence fewer permits available
 Terrain Dense rainforest with steep slopes can be physically demanding Varied terrain, including bamboo forests, may be less physically demanding
 Scenery Dense rainforests, diverse flora and fauna Beautiful volcanic landscapes, scenic views
 Accommodation Options Wide range of accommodation options catering to different budgets Limited accommodation options, mostly high-end lodges



In the end, both Uganda and Rwanda offer amazing gorilla trekking experiences. Your choice depends on what you value most – cost, accessibility, wildlife, culture, or other activities.

Remember that there’s no “bad” choice. You’re in for an unforgettable adventure, no matter which one you pick.

Our gorilla tracking safaris present the opportunity for such amazing adventures in both Uganda and Rwanda.

Look at the safari packages shared below for inspiration for your gorilla trekking holiday.

Most Trending Uganda Safaris and Tour Holidays Updated 2024, 2025