Uganda VS Rwanda: A Point-by-Point Gorilla Safaris Comparison

Mountain Gorillas are found only in three African countries namely Rwanda, Uganda and DR Congo. For this reason, they can only be trekked in four National Parks namely ; Volcanoes National Park (Rwanda), Virunga National Park (Democratic Republic Congo), Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (Uganda) and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park (Uganda).

Permits And Charges

A gorilla permit in Uganda is still at $600 per person. The accommodation options are affordable and range from luxurious lodges to budget facilities depending on which area you will trek from.

Rwanda increased the cost of one gorilla permit from $750 to $1500 which doubles Uganda’s cost per permit and literally triples DR Congo’s cost.

Accessibility and Time

Gorillas in Rwanda live in Volcanoes National Park which is about 113 km from Kigali usually a 3 hours drive. The park lies in the North-western part of the country at the border with Uganda and DR Congo. The short distance and less time spent while traveling to the home of gorillas gives Rwanda the biggest advantage over the other two countries hence it makes Rwanda the easiest option for travellers with limited time in Africa.

Bwindi is approximately 550 km from Kampala. You will need to drive for approximately 9-10 hours to rich Bwindi National Park for your gorilla trek. You can get to experience the beautiful sceneries of the Kigezi rolling hills, changes in vegetation, rivers and escarpments before reaching the home of mountain gorillas.

Gorilla Population

Uganda hosts about 400 mountain gorillas which is half of the world’s remaining number of these endangered species. There are 17 Gorilla groups to trek with 15 in Bwindi and 2 in Mgahinga National Park.

Volcanoes National Park is home to about 150 habituated gorillas which are divided into 10 groups and many others that are wild. And every day 96 gorilla trekking permits are issued to visitors.

The Cheapest Safari

If all you want is the cheapest Gorilla safari, DR Congo would be the best country to visit. It is also affordable and relatively easy to get to Virunga since you fly to Kigali and drive 3 hours to cross to Goma. However, there are a number of safety challenges in DR Congo.

You can watch the habituated chimpanzees or Climb Mount Nyiragongo to wrap up your trip while in DRC, these are other activities to do after trekking.





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