Millions of tourists have traveled and left their homelands from different parts of the world to Africa, mainly East Africa in the countries of Uganda, Rwanda and Congo with the main purpose of encountering mountain gorillas. Gorilla trekking is today the leading and trending touristic activity that almost all visitors to Uganda have engage to in.

In the world, mountain gorillas are highly endangered species that are found only in the forested areas of Rwanda, Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo. Guided gorilla tours have taken shape in the jungles of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park, Virunga, Volcanoes and Mgahinga National parks. Travelers interested in trekking these gentle apes choose to visit one of those jungles for a memorable experience.

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Uganda

The popular Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is located in southwestern Uganda in East Africa. The Park is part of the Bwindi impenetrable forest and is situated along the democratic republic of Congo boarder next to the Virunga national park on the edge of the western rift valley.

Regarded to be one of the most bio-diverse forests in Africa, Bwindi is a true rainforest, source of five major rivers that flow into Lake Edward and spreading over a series of steep ridges and valleys that form the eastern edge of the Albertine rift valley. It comprises 331 square kilometers of jungle forests and contains both montane and lowland vegetation.

Gorilla tracking is the major tourist activity in Bwindi. There are four gorilla regions in Bwindi available to visit daily by tourists. They include Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga and Nkuringo, all harboring a total of up to 13 gorilla families.

The forest supports the hugest population of mountain gorillas of about 440 which is half of the worlds’ total population. It is an ancient forest also called place of darkness. The tree cover makes it very dark with in the forest that favors the well-being of the gorillas. While in the thick forest, they feel comfort and protected.

Tourists who indulge in gorilla safaris, after the long hours of trekking, they retire to the neighboring towns of Buhoma and Nkuringo for refreshments and resting. The two towns have an impressive array of rustic bandas and budget campsites for resting as well as restaurants, craft stalls and cultural experiences in neighboring communities that are accessible only on foot.

Check out the guide to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

The Volcanoes National Park of Rwanda

The Volcanoes National Park lies in northwestern Rwanda, bordering the Virunga national park in Democratic Republic of Congo and Mgahinga gorilla national park in the Ugandan side. The haven to the endangered mountain gorillas and golden monkeys is home to five of the eight volcanoes that make up Virunga ranges and spans 160 km squared covered in rain forest and bamboo.

The park has 10 habituated mountain gorilla families that include, Susa, Karisimbi, Amahoro, Titus, and Umubaono, Sabyinyo, Agashya, Hirwa, Ugenda and Bwenge mountain gorilla groups. Volcanoes national park is a home to half of the mountain gorillas in the Virunga conservation area.

From Kigali, it takes about 2 to 3 hours to reach Volcanoes national park implying that one can track gorillas and depart the same day though it may be a little bit tiresome.

Check out Volcanoes Rwanda for more information

The Virunga National Park, DR Congo

The park is located in south-eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. It has six habituated gorilla groups of Kabiriza, Humba, Rugendo, Mapuwa and others. Tourists who encounter gorilla safaris in Congo pay a cost of $400 for a gorilla permit, making it cheapest in the region. The park can be best accessed from Uganda and Rwanda.

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, DR Congo

The wonderful gorilla national park is found in the southwestern Uganda on the boarder of Rwanda and Congo. The park covers an area of about 33.7square kilometers and is an abode for man’s closest mountain gorillas, which move around the entire forest searching for food and shelter. It’s a hub for one habituated mountain gorilla group known as Nyakagezi comprising of 10 mountain gorillas and 3 silver backs.

Mgahinga national park is one of the few destinations in the world where the endangered mountain gorillas live and attract a great number of visitors from many different areas of the world. The tourists who involve in the gorilla safari tours here part with $600 for a gorilla permit and they are allowed up to 1 hour to meet and interact with the gorillas in their natural habitat.

From Kampala to Mgahinga, it can take about 9 to 10 hours drive through the beautiful countryside of Uganda. While on the way, travelers encounter different physical attractions; they view scenery, sweeping hills, agricultural plantations, and most importantly the equator.

Source : www.mgahinganationalpark.com

Kahuzi Biega National Park

Kahuzi-Biega National Park is of no doubt one of the hidden gems in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). A visit to Kahuzi-Biega never leaves you out of options when it comes to things to see and do. The park is comprised of 136 mammal species and these include not only the Grauer’s gorillas but also several other primates and other species. They include civets, African forest elephants, buffaloes, Rwenzori otter shrew, Mt. Kahuzi climbing mouse, L’Hoest monkeys, owl faced monkeys, lowland bongos, leopards, bush squirrels, baboons, forest hogs, hippos and many more.

Prior setting off to Kahuzi-Biega National Park, you must have a Congo Visa and an invitation from the park to be permitted in. Not to encounter challenges in arranging your holiday, the best is to deal with a reliable ground tour operator in DR Congo. The ideal route for you to have access to Kahuzi-Biega takes you from Kigali Rwanda through Cyangugu town where you can connect to Bukavu Town. By air, fly from Kigali airport in Rwanda to Goma airport in the DR Congo. By water, take a speed boat from Goma up to Bukavu.

Conclusion

In Africa, gorilla trekking can be done any time of the year and if you are planning a mountain gorilla safari in Africa, there are a number of safari offers that you can pick from different trekking destinations. So do not miss a chance come and get involved in this thrilling moment.

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