GORILLA TREKKING SAFARI

The ultimate wildlife encounter

It involves a wet and muddy hike but wildlife encounters don’t get much more exhilarating than this: face to face with a gorilla family in their rainforest sanctuary. Gorilla trekking in Uganda or Rwanda gives you the best opportunity to see these critically endangered great apes. You’ll be rewarded with unforgettable memories as well as the homely comforts of specially designed trekking lodges.

Expert guides and rangers lead the way, their expertise promising a 90% success rate at finding a gorilla family. Accustomed to our excitement and tolerant of our presence, the gorillas range from wide-eyed babies and their fussing mothers to mischievous teenagers and stern-browed silverbacks – you’ll have amazing photographic opportunities as well as time to simply sit and watch the gorilla family at work and play.

Planning your Gorilla Trekking Safari

When to Go Gorilla Trekking

Uganda and Rwanda have a similar climate so the best time for gorilla trekking applies to both countries. The rainforest has two dry seasons: from mid-December to the end of February and from early June to late September. These are considered the most comfortable times for trekking as there is little rain but note that rainforest conditions are still humid and muddy. Temperatures stay in the mid to late 20s Centigrade (77 – 83 degrees Fahrenheit) for most of the year.

 

Gorilla Trekking Permits

You can’t go gorilla trekking without one; one permit per person per visit. We include them in our trekking packages and there are a few things you should know about them.

A gorilla trekking permit allows you an hour with the gorillas at a distance of at least 7 metres/20 feet. Flash photography is not permitted though personal video recorders are allowed. Trekking permits are non-refundable except for valid medical reasons with a medical certificate. You will not be allowed to go gorilla trekking if you are sick with a contagious disease like a cold. Gorilla trekking may further be cancelled at short notice by park authorities: in such circumstances, refunds are at the discretion of the authorities and lie outside our control.

What to Expect on a Gorilla Trek

Led by local expert guides, gorilla trekking involves hiking through dripping rainforest while trackers cut a path through the dense foliage. There’s a lot of up and down walking on muddy paths and even during the dry season it’s wet and humid in the forest. Given the altitude, it’s also cold at times, especially in the evenings.

You’ll need to be walking fit and wearing the right gear: boots (waterproof gaiters are recommended) and light, breathable hiking clothing with a waterproof outer layer. Waterproofing for your camera is strongly advised.

Back at camp however you’ll enjoy roaring log fires, hot showers and home-cooked suppers. Gorilla trekking accommodation in Uganda and Rwanda is very comfortable and you’ll have your own suite with private bathroom, viewing deck and plenty of facilities.

Rwanda or Uganda - Where's Best?

Both destinations deliver Africa’s safest and easiest mountain gorilla trekking plus the same 90% success rate at finding gorillas. Accommodation in each country is similar and you’ll enjoy the same levels of guiding and hosting.

Rwanda is the easiest all round. Fly to the capital Kigali and transfer by road or air straight to your lodge in the Volcanoes National Park and you go gorilla trekking the next day. It’s ideal for a 2 or 3 day add-on tour.

Uganda gorilla treks are usually part of a longer itinerary which includes other wildlife destinations across the country such as Queen Elizabeth National Park and Kibale Forest. Transfers to Uganda’s gorilla hotspot Bwindi Impenetrable Forest are usually by road though air transfers are also available and recommended for travellers on limited time.

Selected Tours

Browse our recommended tours below, each featuring a gorilla trekking safari in Uganda or Rwanda. If you’d like us to tailor-make an itinerary based on your needs and budget, then simply contact us and we’ll be happy to help.

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GORILLA TREKKING SAFARI
Face to face with mountain gorillas in their natural rainforest environment – it’s both a humbling & invigorating experience.
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Reviews

Absolutely Perfect

I was already last year in South Africa and Zambia organized by Safari Online. It was a absolutely gorgeous trip. Everything was perfect. This was the reason I booked this year in May and June an new trip to South Africa, Namibia and Botswana. I got everything I expected. It was a dream again. I know I´m coming back.

Bernard (DE)
Faultless service, attention to detail and quality of accomodations.

The communications and service from Walter was excellent, and we were continuously fully informed. The information package and book received on arrival were excellent. We felt that we had been allocated carefully selected lodges at each camp and every detail met or exceeded our expectations.
The safari tour was wonderful, and a particular feature was the variety offered at each location which combined perfectly

Carolyn (AU)
Outstanding experience!

We have booked at the Elephant Plains Lodge. We stayed there for a few nights and went on safaris. The lodge, the guide, the food and all the animals we have seen were fantastic. Really an outstanding experience. We can recommend Elephant Plains to everybody. Maybe you will not be as lucky as we were, becaucse we have seen the Big 5! But however you will not forget your stay at Elephant Plains.

Silvio (CH)
Best experience ever!!

They provide us the most taylored and customized honeymoon possible! everything was much better than we expected. We loved the feeling of being in the middle of nowhere and everyone made us feeling so incredibly special and gave us a unique insight. Over our game drives we managed to see all the big five plus some!!

Salvatore (IT)
The trip was sensational and tailored to our needs. Simply fantastic!

The care by Walter was great from planning to leaving Johannesburg. The accommodations were perfectly chosen. If after a few days you thought it could not be better, you were told otherwise. It was an increase every day, with the 3 days safari in the Kruger, including overnight in tree house, the grand finale.
I would book a trip anytime again at Safari Online.

Ulrike (DE)
Karina was absolutely instrumental to our safari success.

Our experience with Safari Online was excellent. After becoming very frustrated trying to search for a safari destination on our own, we turned to Karina for help and she was a lifesaver. She responded to our requests promptly and gave us several options with links to each option; we ultimately chose Lukimbi. She then coordinated our flights to and from the property, arranged the drivers necessary to get us from the airport to the lodge and back again, and sent the appropriate paperwork to each of us to verify each step of the process. We had an amazing safari adventure at the lodge–the experience of a lifetime–and are so grateful for her help. We literally couldn’t have done it without her!

Chris (USA)
Experience of a lifetime and wonderful service!!

Our extended family (16 travellers, including 8 children under ten years of age!) went on a wonderful safari adventure curated and organised by Walter Kohrs of Safari Online. It could not have been any better than we experienced. From our time in Cape Town, to visiting Victoria Falls, all the way through Zimbabwe and finally wrapping up at the amazing Chobe Safari Lodge, all the locations chosen by Walter were amazing.

His attention to detail, willingness to fine-tune and excellent responsiveness (over a period of several months!) could not have been better. He took time to visit us personally upon our arrival in South Africa, with lovely gift-packs and shared a wealth of advice, recommendations and tips. I cannot recommend Safari Online (and Walter Kohrs in particular) any higher. Absolutely amazing.

Oisin (AU)
We had a wonderful holiday with no hitches, perfectly planned for us and so professional.

Though we live in Australia, Safari online made planning for our family holiday so easy. Walter understood our requirements and nothing was too much trouble. The holiday was everything we wanted it to be and so much more. Every camp was ideally suited for our family and we loved each day, every early morning and evening game drive. Thank you to Walter for his attention to detail and his friendly, professional and caring manner. It was a trip of a lifetime and one that we will talk about forever.

Mary (AU)
Exceptional service ensuring a wonderful holiday. Highly recommended

Attention to detail & service provided was first class, from our very first email to the last day of our trip. Walter went above and beyond to ensure that we were notified of any changes, even up to our last day with a change to our flight time, at short notice. The safari was so much more than expected, from the rustic to the exceptional, every camp was different in it’s own way and our highlights are hard to single out just one as each camp was great.

Cyndi and Dave (AU)
Trip of a lifetime: Five countries, six camps, Vic Falls, Big Five plus more game

In June/July 2016 we undertook a trip to Southern Africa to fulfill a lifelong intention. We stayed at six camps, safari style, and had a great time. All of our expectations were met or even exceeded. For example, we never expected to see honey badgers or sitatunga, given the secretive nature of those species, but we did! All travel arrangements and connections worked smoothly, which is astonishing since we had several dozen transfers and meeting points; all of the connecting personnel were prompt, professional, and welcoming.

Michael (USA)