Comparing Gorilla Trekking Tours/safaris In 2017-2018 Uganda Vs Rwanda Compare prices and Tracking Experience
Comparison of 2017-2018 Gorilla Tracking in Uganda and Rwanda – Which is the best place to do a gorilla trek – Uganda or Rwanda? Which is more viable or cheaper: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Mghinga Gorilla National Park or Volcanoes National Park, Which is more easy to access, Is tracking Rwanda better than Uganda?
Call it gorilla trekking or tracking or whatever, but it’s one of those really thrilling, lifetime experiences you should take time for before you leave planet earth.
The exhilaration attached to the first setting eyes on a wild mountain gorilla is difficult to describe. Yet in the same sense, that magical one hour spent with the gorillas does not come cheaply considering that a permit goes for US$750 in Rwanda and $600 in Uganda However, Uganda has introduced discounted gorilla permits/low season gorilla permits for 2017-2018 at USD450.00 per person per trek in months of March, April, May and November every year. You can therefore take advantage of this discount on gorilla permit to plan an affordable gorilla trekking tour by seeing gorillas during the above mentioned months. By doing so, you stand to save USD150.00 per permit. but it is unusual to find someone who regretted the financial outlay.
Mountain gorillas live in families similar to those of humans. Although the current mountain gorilla population is about 840, gorilla tracking can only be done on the habituated mountain gorilla families. 10 of the habituated families live in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, another 15 in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, 1 in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and 3 in D.R.Congo’s Virunga National Park.
A maximum of 8 persons can visit a given gorilla family per day in Uganda,Rwanda or DR Congo
All else being equal, Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park has a slight edge over the rest because its gorillas are the most wholly habituated, and they are often found in bamboo than the dense forest which makes photographing easier.
The major challenge with tracking gorillas in Rwanda is certainly the price of the gorilla permit at US$750 compared to Uganda’s US$600 per permit and discounted gorilla permits/low season gorilla permits for 2017-2018 at USD450.00 per person per trek in months of March, April, May and November every year.. However, Rwanda’s pride is in the ability for one to do the gorilla trek even in one day and fly back home which is impossible for Uganda. Volcanoes National Park is located 116 km from Kigali and can be driven in just 2 hours. On the other hand, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is located 500 km from Kampala/ Entebbe Airport and a drive can take 8-9 hours plus. In that sense, you will spend at least 3 days for your gorilla trek tour – one travelling to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, another doing the gorilla trek, and the other driving back to Kampala/Entebbe. If a tour operator is making you a tour package, they shall definitely have to consider this cost and include it in your tour cost.
With the on coming of daily scheduled flights to Bwindi and other National Parks in Uganda, tour operators now can have 3 days flying packages to Bwindi.
In real practice though, the one-day gorilla trek tour is not recommended because of the pressure it exerts on the trekker. For those limited on time, we would suggest the 2-days gorillas package.
However, the long drive to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mghinga Gorilla National Park is quite enchanting with great sceneries all through like the Equator, Lake Mburo National Park with abundant wildlife, terraced mountains with flowing rivers, and a lot of rural Villages of Africa. This is not so really the case for the drive from Kigali to Volcanoes National Park.
You will certainly need spend more on transport and time to trekking the mountain gorillas in Uganda than it’s for Rwanda although this cost is compensated for by a cheaper gorilla permit.
Besides, some sections of the roads to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park are and Mghinga Gorilla National Park not so comfortable to drive on yet in the case of Rwanda, you drive on smooth tarmac at least up to the Volcanoes National Park head office. Not to mention though, the roads leading from Volcanoes park office to the gorilla trek trail-heads can only be accessed with a raised 4×4 vehicle.