Experience the extraordinary

Gorilla trekking

Mountain gorillas live only in the thick vegetation of Uganda's Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and along the dormant Virunga mountain range that extends across Rwanda's Volcanoes National Park, Uganda's Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, and the Democratic Republic of Congo's Virunga National Park.

Environmentalists estimated, in 1981, that there were only 254 mountain gorillas left on earth, but due to intense global conservation attempts, the tiny population is growing slowly. Since these critically endangered creatures can not survive in captivity, walking to their natural habitat is the only way to see them: misty cloud forests that can reach altitudes of 14,763 feet.

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Gorilla by tree
Two gorilla sitting


Historically, Uganda has always been well known for seeing gorillas and offered the chance to see gorillas in two destinations – the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and the Mgahinga National Park. Both regions are in the south-west of the country, at least two days drive from Uganda’s capital city Kampala, although there is now a scheduled air service to the Bwindi region. Bwindi is still very much a key region to consider, but, in recent years Mgahinga has been troubled by inconsistent sightings as the family groups cross the border into Rwanda.

Gorilla scratching nose


In Rwanda, the gorilla tracking industry has developed hugely over the last few years. The range of Virunga volcanoes form the Volcanoes National Park, the area made famous by researcher Dian Fossey and this area is generally regarded as the easiest option if your priority is purely seeing the gorillas rather than enjoying an extended tour of the region. Kigali, the capital, is just two hours drive south of the Virunga and with regular international flight connections, access is made very easy.