YES, gorilla trekking is worth the cost, energy and time. Past travelers have reviewed the experience as unforgettable, magical and life-changing worth the penny. Despite the high costs, discomfort and time, gorilla watching tours in Rwanda, Uganda & Congo remain the best wildlife experience worth doing. Over time, most people who have never been to the jungles of Uganda, Rwanda and Congo ask themselves “is gorilla trekking worth it”? Yes, we assure you that a close encounter with the endangered species is an exceptional experience, which no traveler to Africa should miss. The magical feeling that one gets on seeing the silverback gorilla, the human-like characters of gorillas in their families and their social interactions make these gentle giants worth visiting. The gentle giants live in the jungles of Bwindi, Volcanoes, Mgahinga and Virunga national park. Gorilla watching is a thrilling experience, which has impressed some people to do it over and over again despite the high cost, energy and time required to meet these gentle giants.
Trekking mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park Rwanda calls for $1500 to buy a gorilla permit. Rwanda gorilla permits were hiked in May 2017, when the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) doubled permit costs from $750 to $1500 paid by all travelers. The major reason for the hiked gorilla permits in Uganda is to improve gorilla conservation and the livelihoods of local people living adjacent to the park. In other words, money earned from the sale of gorilla permits is used to support gorilla conservation while 20% is given to local people to improve their standards of living.
Gorilla permits Uganda
Unlike Rwanda, Uganda gorilla permit cost is quite cheaper and affordable. A single gorilla permit in Uganda costs $600 for foreign non-residents, $500 for foreign residents and 250,000USH for East African residents. Therefore one permit of Rwanda equals 2 permits in Uganda. This makes Uganda an affordable gorilla tour destination especially for those traveling on a budget.
Gorilla permits Congo
The Democratic Republic of Congo offers the cheapest gorilla permits at only $450. The reason for low-cost gorilla permits in Congo is civil conflicts and political fights which have made Congo one of the insecure travel destinations. Also, the rampant kidnap and killing of park rangers in Virunga national park, home to the endangered mountain gorillas is a threat to gorilla tourism in the park hence fewer visits. In all gorilla destinations, gorilla-tracking costs outweigh other wildlife experiences.
Is gorilla trekking worth the effort and discomfort?
Yes, all the discomfort and fatigue disappear the moment you set your eyes on the silverback gorilla. You will surely like it. Gorilla trekking is a strenuous adventure, which entails hiking through the thick jungle forests with muddy and slippery grounds. The hiking time can vary from 30 minutes to full day depending on the location of the gentle giants. Expect wet, gloomy, muddy and slippery grounds, thorny bushes and ground insects during your search for the gorillas. If you are trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable forest, expect hiking to high altitudinal areas, which is surely tiresome. However, upon reaching the gorillas, you will not regret the efforts and believe that this once in a lifetime magical experience is worth the discomfit and energy.
Time to spend with gorillas
Travelers spend an hour in the company of a mountain gorilla family. This hour is counted from the time travelers reach gorillas. Travelers are reminded to fully utilize this hour, observe carefully the social characters of gorillas, spend photos, capture videos and enjoy the company of these gentle giants in their native habitats. REMINDER: The time to spend in the jungle before reaching gorillas can be as short as 30 minutes to several hours depending on the location of gorillas and their speed of movements.
If you want to spend more time with gorillas, book a gorilla habituation experience, which allows you to spend four hours with mountain gorillas. This experience is only done in the Rushaga sector south of Bwindi Impenetrable forest national park. a single gorilla habituation permit costs $1500 but the experience is worth the price.
How many people allowed
8 people every day visit a gorilla family for an hour. Gorilla family allocation depends on physical fitness, age and hiking abilities of a traveler. You are therefore reminded to disclose your hiking abilities to your guide so as to get a gorilla family for you.
In general, gorilla trekking is worth the costs, energy and time. The increased number of visits to see gorillas in Uganda and Rwanda each day is evidence that gorilla trekking is never disappointing. Book a gorilla trekking tour to Uganda, Rwanda or Congo today, meet face to face with the gentle giants and enjoy this lifetime experience.
To book a wildlife safari in Uganda and Rwanda,