The mountain gorilla is one of the rarest animals in the world with a little less than 800 individuals remaining. The safari industry in both Rwanda and Uganda are largely built around this species. There are a limited number of habituated groups, and then a limited number of trekking permits for each group on a daily basis ensuring that this remains one of the least frequently seen species in Africa. The good news is holders of permits are almost assured sightings with virtually 100% success rates for treks. Once found tourists have a one hour viewing experience with the group. Lowland gorillas are more numerous but yet only two groups in all Africa are habituated and they are far off the beaten path of most safari travelers.
The trekking permits are expensive. Currently in Rwanda it is $750 per person per trek while in Uganda it is $600 per person per trek. Gorilla trekking is considered by many to be the most intimate and amazing wildlife experience on the planet so if any safari activity could be considered priceless this is it.
Parc National des Volcans in Rwanda and the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park in Uganda offer daily treks to habituated groups of mountain gorillas. The logistics in Rwanda are easier which offsets the higher permit costs compared to Uganda. Typically trekking is a bit less strenuous in Rwanda, but both countries offer fantastic viewing experiences.
Other Areas of Note
Western lowland gorillas can be viewed in Dzanga-Ndoki National Park within the Central African Republic and at Odzala National Park in Republic of Congo. The approximate success rate is 75% for each daily trek but as these gorillas range further than mountain gorillas it can be more physically demanding as well.
Note: It is possible to do treks for mountain gorillas and eastern lowland gorillas in the Democratic Republic of Congo but due to unstable conditions we do not arrange trips to these locations.