Gorilla Trekking in Uganda from Kigali
Gorilla Trekking in Uganda from Kigali is one of the most requested gorilla safaris requested in Uganda as travelers love to travel shorter distances as explained. Gorilla trekking is an activity that travelers to Africa would like to take part in for its wonderful experience. It is however only possible in the three countries of Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the only inhabitants of the endangered mountain gorillas. Gorilla trekking gives travelers an opportunity to encounter these near humans that we share with about 98% DNA in their natural habitat.
Much as so many tourists would like to visit these creatures, many of them have found it quite expensive in terms of time-in Uganda and funding as well in Rwanda particularly. It is for this reason that tour operators thought it best to combine visiting these countries for a memorable gorilla trekking experience to not only save time and funds but because Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has more gorilla families available to tourists for tracking in the world as compared to its counterpart Rwanda. Bwindi alone has over half of the total population of mountain gorillas in the world. The rest are distributed in the Virunga ranges that have Virunga National Park in the Congo, Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and again Uganda’s Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. This makes Uganda the perfect destination for trekking these mountain gorillas.
Gorilla trekking in Uganda requires a lot of driving time from Kampala/Entebbe which usually takes more than 8 hours to either Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. In recent pasts, this gave Rwanda an advantage over Uganda as travelers found it faster and cheaper to trek from Rwanda instead. Rwanda’s increment of the gorilla trekking permits back in 2017 to $1,500 from $750 saw travelers seeking to find alternatives.
Gorilla trekking in Uganda from Kigali is possible and it is a growing trend among very many travelers. Travelers fly directly into Kigali International Airport of Rwanda and get transported to either Bwindi or Mgahinga Gorilla National Parks of Uganda on drives that do not take more than 4 hours. Travelers can choose to have multiple day trips that start and end from Kigali, that is the fly into Kigali and get transported to Uganda directly or the next day depending on schedule, and then do safaris in Uganda and get transported back to Kigali at the end of the safaris in Uganda.
Travelers can also have one-day gorilla trips in Uganda from Kigali. This necessitates them to wake up very early in the morning at around 4:00 am and set off for the 4 hours’ drive to Uganda through the Cyanika border or the Katuna border, depending on the sector of Bwindi that you are to trek gorillas from. Rushaga and Nkuringo sectors, located in the southern part of Bwindi can best and easily be accessed through the Cyanika border post, whereas Buhoma and Ruhija sectors in the north can best be accessed through the Katuna border post. The four-hour drive is enough to get the traveler to the park headquarters for a briefing with his fellow trackers and then embark on the gorilla trekking experience that will forever live with him. At the end of the trek, travelers get to drive back to Kigali for either an outbound flight or continue with their programs in Rwanda.
Travelers doing gorilla trekking in Uganda from Kigali are required to have Visas to allow them to entrance into the two countries. You can choose to have two separate visas for the two countries but an East African Visa of $100 that allows you to enter any of the East African countries for up to 90 days is more practical. Single entry visas to Rwanda are at $30 valid for 30 days and single-entry visas to Uganda are at $50.
Wondering why you should opt for gorilla trekking in Uganda from Kigali, here’s why;
Save money: Gorilla trekking in Rwanda requires one to have a gorilla trekking permit which costs a whopping $1,500 minus transportation and accommodation plus meals. Uganda gorilla trekking permit is at $700 only, making it very affordable to tourists. A budget gorilla trekking safari in Uganda can cost $1,500, the price for a single gorilla trekking permit in Rwanda!
Shorter road drive: Driving from Kampala or Entebbe to either Bwindi or Mgahinga Gorilla National Parks takes almost a whole day much as it is scenic and fun. This is a constraint on travelers that have a shorter time to spare. Gorilla trekking in Uganda from Kigali gives travelers the best alternative as only 4 hours of driving to the park headquarters where they are to do the gorilla trekking experience from is required: in fact, travelers can do an affordable gorilla trekking experience in just one day! Be sure to book for a gorilla permit way in advance though, you just may not be able to get one on short notice. It is also important to note that the border posts do not close at all, they are always open 24/7.
Gorilla trekking in Uganda from Kigali is on the rise and travelers can choose to have their tours with Rwanda as a base. There are more activities that travel can choose from during their stay in Kigali. From game drives, nature walks, canopy walks in the country’s national parks of Nyungwe, Akagera National Park and many more to Kigali city tours that will see you visiting the Kigali Genocide Memorial and a number of many other worth-to-note features and sites and a lot more, travelers will not be bored at all.
Uganda too has other activities that travelers can add to their gorilla trekking safari, say a half day gorilla habituation experience that travelers can spend up to 4 full hours with the mountain gorillas at a cost of only $1,500. Game drives in Uganda’s famous Queen Elizabeth National Park which is about only 4 hours’ drive from Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is worth a try: the launch cruise on the Kazinga Channel, cultural encounters and tree climbing lions of Ishasha are a great blend to a gorilla trekking safari in Uganda from Kigali. Take time to reach out to a trusted tour operator to help you put it together and you will have a great and very memorable time.