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Uganda vs Rwanda for gorilla trekking

Are you searching for the best gorilla trekking destination in Africa? both Uganda and Rwanda are countries in Africa that are known for mountain gorilla trekking in Africa.

It is important to note that there are only three countries in Africa that have the endangered mountain gorillas. These countries are Uganda “the pearl of Africa”, Rwanda “the land of a thousand hills” and the Democratic Republic of Congo. However, among these three countries, Uganda has largest population of mountain gorillas with bwindi having half of the total mountain gorilla population in the world and its therefor receives the highest number of visitors coming to see the gorillas every year as compared to Rwanda and Congo.

Gorilla trekking Uganda vs Rwanda; where to go?

Uganda has two national parks where can go for gorilla trekking as a major activity then other primates and wildlife will follow. These are the Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and mountain Mgahinga national park.

While as Rwanda has only one national park where you can go to see the gorillas, that is volcano national park which is part of the Virunga massif conservation area. The Virunga massif conservation area also covers Mountain Mgahinga national park in Uganda and Virunga national park in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Uganda has around 18 habituated mountain gorilla families for tourism while Rwanda has about 10 habituated gorilla families those that are found in volcanoes national park.

Bwindi forest in Uganda has an approximate population of the mountain gorillas of around 400 gorilla species surviving in the high altitude areas of the montane forest of the Bwindi impenetrable forest park. The park is said to be a home for 17 habituated endangered mountain gorilla families and one mountain gorilla family has been habituated for tourism to make the total of 18 habituated gorilla families found in Uganda.

In Uganda the best gorilla trekking destination which is famously known and liked by majority of travelers is Bwindi impenetrable forest national park. However, the Uganda wildlife authority sells permits for both Bwindi forest and Mgahinga national park.

 Gorilla trekking permit Uganda vs Rwanda

For both countries to trek the mountain gorillas, all travelers are required to have a gorilla trekking permit that allows them to go gorilla trekking in either Bwindi forest/ Mgahinga national park in Uganda or volcanoes national park in Rwanda.The two countries have governmental bodies that governs the tourism sector. In Uganda it is the Uganda wildlife authority (UWA) and in Rwanda it is the Rwanda development board.

A gorilla trekking permit in Uganda costs 600 USD per day per person per gorilla family and a maximum of 8 people are allowed to see a gorilla family per day and permit is only sold and purchased at the Uganda wildlife authority headquarter offices in Kampala and it can’t be purchased online. And gorilla habituation permits costs 1500 USD per person per day and you are allowed to stay with a gorilla family for four hours yet with gorilla trekking you are allowed to stay with a gorilla family for only one hour from the time you have found it.

In Rwanda the gorilla trekking permit costs 1500 USD per day per person per gorilla group and a maximum of 8 people are allowed to trek a gorilla family. Unlike Uganda, the gorilla trekking permit is sold at the headquarters of Rwanda development board in Kigali city but it can also be purchased online which is not the case with Uganda.

It is also important to note that gorilla habituation activity is only done in Uganda in the southern part of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park but there is gorilla habituation in Rwanda. Gorilla habituation is the process where the wild mountain gorillas are trained to get used to the presence of human being in their natural habitat before being habituated for tourism.

Gorilla trekking age limit Uganda vs Rwanda

Both in Uganda and Rwanda gorilla trekking age limit is to a person above 15 years of age and a person below 15 years of age is not allowed to trek the mountain gorillas. However, there are instances where a person below 15 years of age is allowed trek the mountain gorillas.

Some of these instances include, when a person is about to celebrate 15 years of age, when the child exercises some level of maturity, and when the parents of the child accepts to sign an agreement which explains that incase anything happens the parents to the child are responsible.

Gorilla trekking accommodation Uganda vs Rwanda

Bwindi forest in Uganda has got four sectors located in different parts of the park that has got habituated gorilla families for tourism. Each of these sectors has its own accommodation facilities ranging from budget, mid –range and luxury facilities that can be used by travelers who have enjoy their gorilla trekking adventure in Uganda

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