A trip to explore the wilds of Africa will not be complete without embarking on a gorilla safari. The top two destinations on the continent to observe these great apes are undoubtedly the neighbouring countries of Rwanda and Uganda.
All Africa’s gorillas are classed as “Critically Endangered”. The most critical is the situation of the mountain gorilla, of which there are fewer than 900 individuals left in the wild. The western lowland gorilla has fortunately recovered to number more than 100,000.
Gorilla troops consist of imposing silverbacks as adult males are known, juvenile males called blackbacks, as well as adult females and youngsters. When observing these great apes, it is like looking in an emotional mirror as they regularly display utterances that can be taken for laughter and grief. The question of course is—which is better for gorilla safaris, Rwanda or Uganda?
Wild Safari Guide has made it a little easier for prospective travellers by highlighting the best of each destination.
Gorilla Safaris to Rwanda
Image by KiltedArab
- Known as the “Land of a Thousand Hills” this landlocked country has spectacular scenery with the northwest covered in forests.
- Volcanoes National Park is an ultimate destination for gorilla safaris.
- The park is a prime habitat for its most famous inhabitants, the mountain gorillas.
- It is home to more habituated groups of these great apes than any other destination of its kind.
- These enigmatic creatures occupy the higher elevations on the mountain slopes with their thick fur adding warmth in the colder conditions.
- The park’s famed mountain gorillas were immortalised by the ground-breaking work of naturalist Dian Fossey who established the Karisoke Research Centre to study these great apes.
Gorilla Safaris to Uganda
Image by Goddard Photography
- It is no wonder that Uganda is sometimes referred to as the “Pearl of Africa” as this East African wildlife wonderland is a treasure to behold for those looking for memorable gorilla safaris.
- The montane and lowland forests of the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park straddle the border of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Virunga National Park.
- The star attraction of the park is undoubtedly its population of around 600 mountain gorillas.
- Fourteen habituated groups provide an excellent opportunity for a memorable experience.
It is advised to budget well in advance if gorilla safaris in either Rwanda or Uganda are on the bucket-list as it comes with a hefty price tag. This includes travelling to the preferred destination, accommodation, permits that are mandatory for all treks, payment to porters and guides.