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If you are thinking about combining an East African adventure with thrilling primate viewing in the wild, than you should look no further than the Virunga Mountains. Shared between Uganda, Rwanda and Congo, the imposing and special mountain gorillas are spread across those mountains. For entry into the mountain ranges, you will have to go through either Mgahinga National Park, Volcanoes National Park, Virunga National Park, or Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park: which has over half of the world’s mountain gorilla population.

Which Country Should I Visit?

Since you have to hike to see the gorillas in the wild, you should consider the intensity level of each country. Most experts say Rwanda gorilla trekking can be easier than the other two countries because you can spot the gorilla family after 1-2 hours of hiking. On the other hand, the altitude is higher so endurance is key.

In Uganda, Mgahinga National Park has only one habituated gorilla family that visitors can see – the Nyakagezi group. It makes more sense to do Uganda gorilla trekking at Bwindi Impenetrable Forest which has around 17 habituated gorilla families. The hike could be more challenging due to the tropical climate: consider an ascent with potential of mud, rain and no trails.

Virunga National Park in the Congo is Africa’s oldest national park, and gorilla trekking in the Congo could be impacted by safety concerns by tourists. The on and off instability of the Eastern Congo could be a factor, but if you decide to gorilla trek here, you should pair it with a visit to Mt. Nyiragongo – an active volcano with the world’s largest lava lake.

Park Entry Fees

Luxury gorilla trekking mainly takes place in Rwanda due to the highest gorilla permit, which is $1,500. High end tourists usually choose the Rwanda park because of the good infrastructure in the roads and consistent safety. Uganda’s permit is $600, which raises to $700 in July 2020. The fee for the Congo is only $400, but experts advise to stay in Gisenyi on the Rwandan side of the border and only crossover to the Congo for the gorilla trekking experience. Taking all of these fees into consideration, it is advisable to sign up with a tour operator to arrange the gorilla trekking safari.

What Is The Best Time Of Year To Go Gorilla Trekking?

Booking your travel to East Africa should be easy because gorilla trekking in Africa is a year-round adventure. However, you can consider the high and low seasons and how that can impact the viewing with or without crowds. December to mid-March and June- mid-September are the dry seasons in the destinations which makes it peak tourist seasons. The rainy seasons are October-November and April-May, which means the safari costs can drop. Don’t be scared by the potential of rain as walking sticks and other hiking assistance will be given by the tour operators. Also, the low season means that there will be fewer tourists to impede your proximity to the primates.

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Customer Reviews

Ngoni Safaris Uganda

Customer Reviews

Michael T 06/June/2021

Above & Beyond
Review of: 3-Day Gorillas trekking and Batwa Experience
Sedrick went above and beyond to accomodate our request for an itinerary alteration due to our compressed time in Uganda. He also compeltely took care of scheduling our covid 19 testing and drove us to the site on arrival.

Our driver/guide Ben was also outstanding!

**We highly recommend using a porter during gorilla trekking as their are some complex parts to the trail/terrain. This also benefits the local people by providing them work.**

David 24/June/2021

Seeing Lots of Animals and Uganda
The schedule suited my time in Uganda exactly and was a great opportunity to view some of the top wildlife and natural wonders of the country. Lodgings range from mid-range to near upscale and are in beautiful locations. Food is good and ample. My driver, Stanley, was expert at spotting wildlife and, very importantly on the Ugandan roads, a careful and skilled driver. You see various parts of the country on this tour, and due to distances, be aware you'll spend quite a few hours on the road. One thing they might add is an itinerary going into more detail ahead of time on each day's activity and suggested things to bring. I was concerned about the needed COVID test for return home, but they took care of arranging that, and it turned out successfully. Overall the tour was a real highlight and is highly recommended.

Justo Nov 18, 2019

I went on an 11 day safari visiting Kampala, Jinja, Lake Mburo NP, Bwindi NP, Queen Elizabeth NP and Kibale NP. Communications with Ngoni were prompt and easy from the start. As soon as I made my booking, Sedrick contacted me through WhatsApp and guided me through the rest of the process. Leading up to the tour he made sure I was well-prepared to begin. He was always very clear and friendly. Service was exceptional. I had the pleasure of going on this safari with three members of Ngoni's staff - Sedrick, Nelson and Joel. These guys made my comfort their priority from the moment we met. Whether it was checking if I was okay with the accommodations or making sure I always had a bottle of water, I always felt like I was being well taken care of. Nelson is an excellent guide. His knowledge about the flora and fauna of Uganda was extensive, always able to answer any questions I had and was eager to teach - it's obvious that he has a great love for his country and it's environment and is eager to share this love with his clients. My experience with Ngoni and Uganda surpassed all expectations I had. Absolutely amazing, and thanks to the guys at Ngoni it feels like a new home - can't wait to come back and visit. Webale, brothers!

Stephany Aug 13, 2019
Sedrick was unique and stood out from the rest in the high quality communication he provided since the first inquiry. He called me to provide information about the itinerary and see if I had any questions even before booking the tour. We communicated through WhatsApp for any other questions that came to mind after that call. After picking me up from the airport, he and Pilot (additional tour guide) provided plenty of information about the country to give me some context and we started our long drive to the impenetrable forest. The food was delicious with many options; the accommodation was very clean with exceptional service; and the transportation from Entebbe to Bwindi park was very comfortable (although long). As a solo female traveler, both tour guides (Sedrick and Pilot) did an exceptional job at enduring I accomplished everything intended to in Uganda, and always made me feel safe. I highly recommend to book your safari with this company because the quality and professionalism will not let you down.

Shakira Dec 14, 2018

Ngoni safaris uganda is the best tour operator in Uganda. A few weeks back we traveled to Bwindi impenetrable with sedrick to explore the beauty that is Uganda. This company took care of us . with most comfortable car , Great guide .We highly recommend it to the next travelers

Winnie Dec 19, 2018
I was going on a gorilla safari with my friend and this was going to be the first ever safari for the both of us. Luckily, the communication with the office was super easy and we got answers to all of the questions we needed. The driver / guide (Sedrick) was very professional and funny and made our time very pleasant. Also, he had a proper knowledge of the local area close to the Mgahinga national park and he promptly spoke some 7 languages which we thought was super positive. The safari was surely the highlight of out East African trip!

Ritah Jan 2, 2019
My Team and I did a five day trip, including Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, Murchison Falls and Kidepo. It was truly an incredible experience. Our guide, Sedrick, was knowledgeable, skilled in driving in some challenging settings and just plain fun to hang out with for five days. The lodging was perfect, especially Savannah Lodge. The tents and beds were high quality. The views were spectacular. Meals were delicious and varied. I recommend Ngoni safaris Uganda with all my heart and soul!

Pilot May 28, 2019
Our six days trip was amazing. The driver/guide had an incredible knowledge of animal and bird-life and are so interesting to talk to. His driving skills through lashing rain and massive puddles was admirable! The cooks managed to produce varied and delicious meals from the kitchen, which we ate both at accommodation or roadside when we were travelling from one place to another . At all times we felt safe and well-looked after. All in all, an incredible experience, due not only to the abundance of wildlife we were lucky enough to see, but also to the great efforts put to have our Safari a better one . The safari was full of fun. Traveling with ngoni safaris is my life time memorable experience and I highly recommend it to travellers who would love to visit uganda or EastAfrica for holidays, vacations or Adventure.. Even five stars are too small .