Trekking to see gorillas

The majestic mountain gorilla

Getting close to these beautiful mammals is possibly the ultimate wildlife encounter. There's no wonder it features on many a person's bucket list.

Trekking to see gorillas

© Tsvetkova,Shutterstock

Close encounters with gorillas

A gorilla encounter features high up on many wildlife lovers' bucket list. Their similarities with us only add to the fascination. Sitting a few feet from a mountain gorilla is an experience few could not find utterly exhilarating.

We can arrange for you to see mountain gorillas in Rwanda or Uganda. The experience doesn't really differ from country to country, however it's quicker to get to the Rwanda gorillas from the main city of Kigali so if you're short of time, that could be a consideration. Bear in mind that trekking permits are much more expensive in Rwanda than Uganda.

  • The most magical hour you will ever spend
  • See gorillas in their natural habitat
  • Enjoy the journey as you hike to meet them
  • Take photos, but don't forget to sit and just enjoy
  • Meeting mountain gorillas is a true privilege
Paul-May-2019
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Is it worth the trek to see the gorillas?

The simple answer is yes!

A gorilla trek is not an easy thing to do on the whole. You're trekking through dense rain forest, usually muddy and slippery, often very hilly and steep. Depending on the gorilla group, you might trek for one hour, but it could equally be three hours before you find them, but it is oh, so worth it.

Gorilla family, Uganda © AGMarks

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 reach you gorilla family you're allowed one magical hour with them. 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 a 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.

Speak to us, we've done it

Guy, Amanda, Chris and Ali have all had the privilege of trekking for gorillas in a variety of places between them so we can give you first-hand advice about what to expect and how to plan such a trip.

Top Tips

If you’ve room in your luggage then a pair of gaiters will be great for keeping the mud off your trousers. You may come across large patches of nettles too and a pair of cheap gardening gloves will come in handy if you need to grab hold of anything to keep your balance.

Where & when to go

Head for Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda or Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda.  You can do this at any time of the year but travellers often avoid the rainiest months as it makes trekking more difficult. April May and November are usually the rainiest times.

How to do it

In Rwanda we can tailor make 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.