Sitting a few feet from a mountain gorilla is an experience any wildlife lover could not fail to find utterly thrilling and exhilarating.
We can arrange for you to see mountain gorillas in Rwanda or Uganda. The experience itself doesn't really differ from country to country, however it's quicker to get to the Rwanda gorillas from the main city so if you're short of time, that could be a consideration.
A gorilla trek is not an easy thing to do on the whole. You're trekking through dense rainforest, usually muddy and slippery, often very hilly and steep. Depending on the gorilla group, you might trek for 1 hour, but it could equally be 3 hours before you find them.The local wildlife authority decides on the day which group you will be allocated to, and they tend to give older and more infirm people the chance to see the family which is closest. We have no say over this, though we will always request places on the easier group for our less able clients.
Once you get there, you are allowed 1 magical hour with the group. You get surprisingly close, will get some wonderful photo opportunities, and they will mainly ignore your presence and simply allow you to watch them! You might find them in lazy mood lounging around on the forest floor, they could be feeding in the trees, they might be having a family argument ... you take them as you find them, but the experience is never less than wonderful.
Both Tribes directors, Amanda & Guy Marks, have trekked for gorillas in various places, and can therefore give you first-hand advice about what to expect and how to plan such a trip.
You can do this at any time of the year but often travellers avoid the rainiest months as it makes trekking more difficult. April, May and November are usually the rainiest times.When to visit Rwanda
In Rwanda we can tailor made a trip exactly as you like. The Gorilla Safari (below) gives you a good idea of the shortest time it would take to do this.
In Uganda, we can either tailor make a trip for you, or you could join a group departure.
From Murchison Falls, to wildlife in Queen Elizabeth NP, chimps in Kibale and gorillas in Bwindi.
Spend a magical hour with the gorillas in Bwindi, go for nature and bird watching walks in the forest and stay at a small, homely lodge, all in just 4 days.
A gorilla express safari! With one gorilla trek and one golden monkey trek.
A group lodge-based trip with gorilla trekking at Bwindi, a chimp sanctuary, & game at Lake Mburo.
Excellent Rwanda tour with gorillas & other primates, Lake Kivu, and local culture.
Gorillas, chimps and game on a group lodge-based safari in Uganda.
Highlights of Ugandan wildlife including gorilla and chimp trekking.
Words cannot describe the unique experience. Worth all the money spent despite the hard walk. Having an opportunity to watch the Gorilla's in their natural environment was truly wonderful.
We honestly can't put into words what a profound and moving experience it was to spend time with these superb creatures. It was a life changing experience that we will never forget. We were also overwhelmed with the beauty of Rwanda and the friendliness and hospitality of its people.
Setting off on our gorilla trek prepared for a long walk and also prepared for the possibility that we may not even see them only to see them 15 minutes in! A wonderful and memorable hour which we will never forget.
Completely exceeded our expectations, amazing!
Nothing more to say, main reason for going to Rwanda, got a lot closer that I ever dreamed possible. Experience of a lifetime.
Absolutely amazing. Would recommend paying attention to list of clothes and ALWAYS take gloves (some of the group didn't which meant the stinging nettles were more difficult to navigate for them). Would also say don't put too much reliance on whether you want short, medium or long walk as I wanted a long one and got 20 minutes!! Would also recommend paying $10 for a porter even if you don't have a big bag as puts more money into local community and there are more people to help push / pull the group up the steep bits!
Rwanda is a very interesting country. We started off with a tour of the city of Kigali including a visit to the genocide memorial. Prepare to be saddened and disturbed - this is not just taking in the sights. It was heartbreaking, especially the childrens' stories.
The trip up to Volcanoes N.P. was very scenic and the gorilla trek was a magical time - that hour flew by and you don't want to leave them. One word of advice- don't underestimate your fitness level when choosing your group. Even the moderate hike demands a certain amount of stamina when you start heading up the mountain. Having said that, once you are in their presence, you will forget about everything but how magnificent they are. Take photos but don't forget to just soak it all in