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Mountain Gorillas in Uganda and Rwanda.

Mountain Gorillas in Uganda and Rwanda.

“To touch the soul of another human being is to walk on holy ground.” – Stephen R. Covey

In the remote corners of Uganda and Rwanda, hidden within the folds of lush vegetation, resides a species that shares an astonishing kinship with humanity—the mountain gorillas. These gentle giants, with their soulful eyes and majestic presence, beckon explorers and nature enthusiasts to embark on a transformative journey through the heart of Africa. As we navigate the fascinating realm of mountain gorillas, let’s delve deep into their evolutionary history, intricate behaviors, and the unparalleled experience of encountering them in their natural habitat.

Gorillas through the Ages

The evolutionary saga of gorillas spans millions of years, weaving a tale of resilience and adaptation. Belonging to the Hominidae family, which includes humans, chimpanzees, and bonobos, gorillas have evolved to become the largest primates on Earth. Diverging from their common ancestor with humans around 10 million years ago, the two main species—eastern and western gorillas—have further branched into distinct subspecies.

The evolutionary path of gorillas has been shaped by environmental changes and the diverse landscapes they inhabit. From the lowland swamps to the mist-covered mountain slopes, each habitat has contributed to the unique characteristics and adaptations of these magnificent creatures.

Behaviors and Social Dynamics

Gorillas, like humans, are highly social beings with complex familial structures. Living in cohesive groups known as troops or bands, these groups are typically led by a dominant silverback—the mature male distinguished by the silver-gray hair on his back. The silverback not only ensures the safety of the group but also plays a crucial role in decision-making and mediating conflicts.

Communication within gorilla troops is a fascinating interplay of vocalizations, body language, and gestures. Grunts, roars, and chest-beating are among the varied sounds that convey messages ranging from warning signals to expressions of contentment. Observing these interactions provides a profound insight into the intricate social bonds that form the foundation of gorilla communities.

Gorillas are primarily herbivores, their diet consisting of leaves, stems, fruits, and occasional insects. Their foraging activities, characterized by a deliberate yet gentle demeanor, reveal a remarkable balance between strength and sensitivity. While their massive size may be intimidating, gorillas are known for their peaceful nature, with aggression reserved for rare instances of territorial disputes or threats to their young.

Encountering Gorillas in the Wild: The Jewel of Uganda and Rwanda

To witness the awe-inspiring presence of mountain gorillas in their natural habitat, one must venture into the dense forests of Uganda and Rwanda. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Uganda, and Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda stand as veritable sanctuaries for these endangered primates.


Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda: A Tapestry of Biodiversity

Nestled in southwestern Uganda, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a treasure trove of biodiversity. Home to nearly half of the world’s remaining mountain gorilla population, this ancient rainforest offers an immersive experience for wildlife enthusiasts and conservationists alike.

Our visitors with one of our senior guides ready to trek for gorillas.

Traversing the rugged terrain of Bwindi, visitors are treated to a sensory symphony of sights and sounds—vibrant birdlife, elusive forest elephants, and the melodious hum of insects. The park’s name aptly reflects its dense vegetation, which can be challenging to navigate but adds to the mystique of the gorilla trekking adventure.

Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda: Where Mist Meets Majesty

In the northern reaches of Rwanda, Volcanoes National Park unfolds like a canvas of mist-clad mountains and verdant slopes. This park, part of the larger Virunga Massif, is renowned for its panoramic landscapes and its contribution to the conservation of mountain gorillas.

Trekking through Volcanoes National Park is a journey through a living tapestry of ecosystems. The ascent through bamboo forests, traversing open meadows and volcanic slopes, culminates in intimate encounters with gorilla families in their natural habitat. The panoramic views of the Virunga Mountains add an extra layer of grandeur to this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Best Time to Visit: Embracing Nature’s Rhythms

The magic of gorilla trekking unfolds throughout the year, each season painting a unique portrait of the jungle. However, there are optimal times when the conditions align to enhance the experience.

Dry Seasons: June to September and December to February

The dry seasons are considered the best times for gorilla trekking. From June to September and December to February, the weather is generally favorable, with reduced rainfall making trails more accessible. The clear skies offer breathtaking vistas of the surrounding landscapes, and the lower vegetation density enhances the visibility during treks.

Gorilla moms are nurturers

Planning ahead is crucial, as permits for gorilla trekking are limited, and securing them well in advance ensures a spot on this exclusive journey. The demand is high, emphasizing the need for early reservations to secure this coveted adventure.

Accommodations: Where Luxury Meets Wilderness

The accommodations near gorilla habitats bridge the gap between luxury and the untamed beauty of nature. These lodges and resorts cater to a diverse range of preferences, offering a seamless blend of comfort and immersion into the wilderness.

Buhoma Lodge, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Found, on the edge of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Buhoma Lodge welcomes guests with an atmosphere of rustic elegance. The lodge provides stunning views of the forest, and its eco-friendly design ensures minimal impact on the environment. Each cottage is a haven of tranquility, offering a perfect balance between luxury and the authentic jungle experience.

Virunga Lodge, Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda

Perched on a ridge with panoramic views of the Virunga Mountains, Virunga Lodge is a testament to luxury in the heart of the wilderness. The lodge’s commitment to sustainability is reflected in its eco-friendly practices, while the spacious bandas provide a sanctuary for relaxation after an exhilarating day of gorilla trekking. The culinary delights and attentive service add a touch of sophistication to the jungle experience.

Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge, Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda

Situated at the foothills of the Virunga Mountains, Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge combines opulence with a deep connection to nature. The lodge’s charming cottages, adorned with Rwandese artifacts, offer a cozy retreat after a day of exploration. With a strong emphasis on community engagement and conservation, Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge is a testament to responsible tourism.

Joining Ngoni Safaris: A Commitment to Excellence

“The Earth does not belong to us: we belong to the Earth.” – Marlee Matlin

Embarking on a gorilla safari with Ngoni Safaris is an invitation to explore. With our experienced guides and expansive knowledge of the destinations we promise only the best for you.


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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 .