A Complete Guide to Gorilla Trekking In Uganda Hiking Trips

  • Gazelle Safari Africa

  • Uganda
  • Dec 20, 2022

Gorilla trekking in the lush woods of Uganda and Rwanda is an experience that is on the bucket list of every East African safari traveler. After acquiring a gorilla permit in Uganda, travelers can engage in the outdoor activity of gorilla trekking and spend an hour with mountain gorillas.

A gorilla trekking experience is proof that Uganda is a tiny nation, yet it has a lot to offer.

Where to Track Gorillas in Uganda

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park are Uganda’s places where one can do gorilla trekking.

Due to its larger gorilla population, superior location for fly-in safaris, and a wider selection of lodging alternatives, Bwindi is by far the more popular option.

The park you choose to visit will depend on your overall trip itinerary and the amount of time you have. The two parks’ permit costs and sighting probabilities are almost the same.

Both Bwindi and Mgahinga are located in deep southwest Uganda, close to the borders with Rwanda to the south and the DRC to the west.

The southwest of Uganda is home to many Uganda Hiking Trips. This makes it simple to combine a gorilla hiking trip with a savannah safari to create a single itinerary packed with unforgettable encounters.

The Gorilla Trekking Activity

Gorilla Trekking In Uganda

Two daily tours leave from the base camp and can only accommodate groups of eight.

The maximum group size is set to protect gorillas from airborne infections and to maximize the likelihood of sightings because these (surprisingly) timid animals are frequently scared away by bigger groups.

The towering southwest inclined slopes and terraced volcanoes immediately present an intimidating opponent. It takes trudging through the dense, triffid-like flora, and muddy hills, and down into rocky valleys to reach this gorilla region.

The difficult terrain and high altitude make the journey exhausting, but the rewards are even more magical.

There are four trailheads where habituated families can be reached: Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga, and Nkuringo. There are distinct qualities, families, and levels of difficulty at each trailhead.

Treks to 11 completely habituated (and three semi-habituated) gorilla family groups can be started from the trailheads. The typical walks start early in the morning and last up to an hour, during which time you can observe gorillas from a distance of roughly seven meters.

Although most sightings happen within 2-3 hours, the treks can be rather difficult, and you should be prepared to trek for up to 6 hours.

Gorilla Trekking Permits

The cost of a gorilla permit is set at USD 700 per person per trek.

Although the permits are no longer cheaper during the wetter months, they are still simpler to obtain at a short notice (subject to availability) if you travel to Uganda during either the short or long wet season.

Permits can sell out up to a year in advance during the busiest travel seasons (January through February and June through August). The number of permits is strictly limited, thus we strongly advise making early plans.

One benefit of seeing gorillas in Uganda is the relatively low cost of permits compared to Rwanda.

The Best time to go Gorilla trekking

Any time of the year is a good time to visit the gorillas on a Uganda Safari.

The tropical environment of Uganda ensures that temperatures are fairly stable throughout the year. The only factor separating the seasons is rainfall. The long rainy season lasts from March to May, and the short rainy season lasts from October to November.

In the past, the cost of gorilla permits varied according to the season. The choice of when to come should be made based on your availability, the availability of permits, and your vacation plans outside of gorilla trekking since permit rates are set year-round.

What to wear

For the 2 to 6 hours of trekking, you’ll need to stay warm, so you’ll need clothing that protects you from the weather while yet being lightweight and comfortable.

To safeguard yourself against forest animals (especially fire ants) and spiky plant life, it’s important to keep your skin covered. You’ll want to stay comfy and warm as well as staying dry.

The necessary attire:

  • Waterproof trekking pants
  • Good hiking boots
  • Long socks that you can pull up over your pants or other clothing
  • Raincoat or waterproof jacket
  • Long-sleeved T-shirt


The increase in gorilla populations in Uganda ensures that an encounter with gorillas on your hiking trip can always happen. Visit Gazelle Safaris now to learn more about Uganda Hiking Trips. We can assist you in creating a custom itinerary for Uganda using our travel guide.


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