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Gorilla Trek Costs Compare Uganda Rwanda tours, Trekking Prices, experience, hardness, Toughness

Comparing Gorilla Trekking Tours: Uganda Vs Rwanda – Compare prices, tracking experience, hardness. Compare Gorilla Trekking Uganda Rwanda.
In this article, is a detailed gorilla trek cost comparison of gorilla trekking Uganda Rwanda, prices for gorilla trekking in Rwanda and Uganda, Gorilla tour prices; Which is the best place to do a gorilla trek – Uganda or Rwanda? Are gorilla trek tours cheaper in Uganda or Rwanda and why?  Bwindi or Volcanoes National Park, which is more easy to access, Is tracking Rwanda better than Uganda?
If you looking for prices for Rwanda gorilla trekking tours, we have them listed at Gorilla Trekking Cost Rwanda.

Rwanda Vs Uganda: Compare Gorillas Trek Tours, Gorilla Trekking Cost, Experiences In comparing gorilla trekking Uganda Rwanda,  we have to first look at the costs involved.

Okay, aside from the price differences with the Rwanda gorilla trekking permit now at $1500 and Uganda gorilla going for $600 (USD700 after July 2020), could there be some real difference in the experience one finally gets?

As all the mountain gorillas in both countries are the same species only separated by national boundaries, the only difference that should mainly arise is in your experience in the tracking and the general gorilla tour arrangement.

Because Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park is only about 125kms from your arrival airport – Kigali, it makes much easier to access by road. For Uganda’s Bwindi/ Mgahinga, you would need 8 hours to drive from Entebbe Airport and another 8 hours back to the airport, although daily flights are available (taking about 50 minutes).

With this prevailing, you would need at least two days to complete your gorilla tour in Rwanda and 3 days for a Uganda gorilla tour.

So, even though the Uganda gorillas permit are cheaper, you would incur a transport cost of about $500-$600. Some visitors choose to arrive in Kigali and arrange to visit Bwindi from Kigali. You would still need 3 days for the entire tour.

rwanda mountain gorillas

All else being equal, Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park has a slight edge over the rest because its gorillas are the most wholly habituated, and they are often found in bamboo than the dense forest which makes photographing easier.

The major challenge with trekking gorillas in Rwanda is certainly the price of the gorilla permit at US$1500 compared to Uganda’s US$600 ($700 after July 01 2020) per permit. However, Rwanda’s pride is in the ability for one to do the gorilla trek even in one day and fly back home which is impossible for Uganda. Volcanoes National Park is located 116 km from Kigali and can be driven in just 2 hours. On the other hand, Bwindi is located 500 km from Kampala/ Entebbe Airport and a drive can take 8 hours plus. In that sense, you will spend at least 3 days for your gorilla trek tour – one travelling to Bwindi, another doing the gorilla trek, and the other driving back to Kampala/Entebbe. If a tour operator is making you a tour package, they shall definitely have to consider this cost and include it in your tour cost.
With the oncoming of daily scheduled flights to Bwindi, operators now can have 3 days flying packages to  Bwindi.
In real practice though, the one-day gorilla trek tour is not recommended because of the pressure it exerts on the trekker. For those limited on time, we would suggest the 2-days gorillas package.

However, the long drive to Bwindi is quite enchanting with great sceneries all through like the Equator, Lake Mburo National Park ( for some Queen Elizabeth National Park with abundant wildlife), terraced mountains with flowing rivers, and a lot of rural Africa. This is not so really the case for the drive from Kigali to Volcanoes National Park.
You will certainly need spend more on transport and time to track the mountain gorillas in Uganda than it’s for Rwanda although this cost is compensated for by a cheaper gorilla permit.
Besides, some sections of the roads to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park are not so comfortable to drive on yet in the case of Rwanda, you drive on smooth tarmac at least up to the Volcanoes National Park head office. Not to mention though, the roads leading from Volcanoes park office to the gorilla trek trail-heads can only be accessed with a raised 4×4 vehicle.

Comparison of The Gorilla Trekking Experience Between Uganda and Rwanda

In general, the experience can only be different due to the way a particular gorilla family behaves in front of the trackers, how long and tough one has to track before reaching the gorillas and the way the park staff conducts the exercise. Personally, I found the Rwanda gorilla tracking package more charming that the Ugandan one on the tracking day. Should we say that this’ because of the gorilla permit price difference? Anyways, on your gorilla tracking day in Rwanda, you will definitely get more than that. At about 7:00 AM, tea/ coffee dispensers with cups are laid for visitors going for the trek. You are free to take as much as you wish. As visitors are enjoying the tea/ coffee, they are entertained by the lively traditional dance troupe (SACOLA Traditional Dancers) who bring on a wholesome Rwanda traditional cultural experience all visitors enjoy.

Of course, you can get this in Uganda in evenings (at a fee) from the various traditional cultural groups that are near the park. However, the drive from Kampala to Bwindi is a very fabulous one traversing at least another national park (either Kibale or Queen Elizabeth National Park famous for tree-climbing lions and many other big mammals, or Lake Mburo National Park) and not to miss- the Equator. In a way, even before you arrive Bwindi you have had a bit of the ‘Pearl of Africa’ as is fondly known. To many, driving along paved eucalyptus avenues to the gorillas in not the best deal. Indeed many to purchase tour packages combining both Rwanda and Uganda, first doing Gorillas in Rwanda and then crossing to Uganda to visit Queen Elizabeth National Park for the BIG 5 safaris and chimpanzee tracking among other tours.

Let’s compare Uganda Rwanda gorilla trek tour costs in general.

Because of the long drive one endures from Kampala to Bwindi, the general cost is increased (even when you travel by public buses). It even increases more because you have to travel 2 days (to and from Bwindi). However, the increased cost is countered by the low cost gorilla permit of US$600.  If you are 2 persons,  the cost of a Uganda gorilla trek tour is $1067 per person in lower budget accommodation and if you are solo the gorilla tour price is USD1619 for the  3 days gorilla trek tour in Uganda including the gorilla permit, accommodation, and transport) for one person on tour. The two days Rwanda gorilla trek costs about $1950 ( with gorilla permit, accommodation, and transport) and a three days Rwanda gorilla tracking tour costs is about $2030 (with gorilla permit, accommodation, and transport) .

Comparing Gorilla Trekking Uganda Rwanda: Contrasting other things in addition to the actual gorilla tracking

Lastly, if you are not traveling just to see the mountain gorilla, and you want to include other activities in your visit, Rwanda may not be the best choice. Many tourists have continually had to cross to Uganda after their Rwanda gorilla trek to tour other reserves like Queen Elizabeth National Parks so endowed with abundant wildlife one cannot see in Rwanda. This is why probably folks continue enduring the long drives to Bwindi yet there is an easy way out.

At the end of the day – the ultimate jury are those who are looking as to which country to visit in order to track Gorillas – it is not Rwanda, not Uganda, not the Democratic Republic of Congo but where their pockets and hearts choose. If you precisely want the mountain gorillas and nothing else, go for a one-day gorilla trek but if you are a one who wants it and all of it, go for the long drive – you won’t regret…

Have you been on a gorilla trek in Rwanda or Uganda? What was your experience? What have you had about tracking gorillas in Rwanda Vs Uganda? Let me hear your views on comparing gorilla trekking Uganda Rwanda as well.

How much is the Rwanda Gorilla Tour Trekking Volcanoes National Park (including gorilla permit, accommodation, and transportation)?

For the best Rwanda Gorilla trekking tour experience, we suggest the 3 days Rwanda gorilla tour. The lowest cost for this gorilla trekking tour is USD1850 per person if you are 4 person sharing rooms,  USD1960 per person if you are 3 person sharing rooms,  USD2100 per person if you are 2 person sharing rooms,   or USD2500  if you are 1 person going on the gorilla trek alone.  If you are staying at midrange lodges like Le Bambou Gorilla Lodge, Da Vinci Gorilla Lodge, the cost of your gorilla trekking tour is USD2000 per person  if you are 4 person sharing rooms,  USD2070 per person  if you are 3 person sharing rooms,  USD2237 per person  if you are 2 person sharing rooms,   or USD2700  if you are 1 person going on the gorilla trek alone. Please contact us for more updated offers here>>>

Cost of Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Tour in Mid-luxury lodges:

And if you are staying in mid-luxury lodges like Five Volcanoes Lodge, Mountain Gorilla View Lodge the cost of your gorilla tour is USD2107 per person  if you are 4 person sharing two rooms,  USD2150 per person  if you are 3 people sharing a triple rooms,  USD2290 per person  if you are 2 persons sharing a double/twin room,   or USD2820  if you are 1 person going on the gorilla trek alone. Please contact us for more updated offers here>>>

Cost of Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Tour in Luxury lodges:

Luxury lodges for Rwanda Gorilla Trekking include Virunga Lodge, Silvrback Savibyo Gorilla Lodge among others.   If you will be staying at these luxury lodges, the cost of your gorilla trekking tour is USD3370 per person if you are 4 person sharing rooms,  USD3400 per person if you are 3 person sharing triple rooms,  USD3580 per person  if you are 2 person sharing rooms. Please contact us for more updated offers here>>>

Price of 2 Days Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Tour

If you are planing only two days gorilla trekking tour, the prices for your gorilla trekking is as follows:

The cheapest Rwanda gorilla trek tour when you stay at Kinigi Guesthouse is USD2100 if you are 1 person on tour. USD1850 per person if you are 2 persons sharing  room, USD1775 if you are 3 people sharing a room and if you will be 4 persons sharing  2 rooms – USD1736 per person

If you are staying at Le Bambou Gorilla Lodge: 1 person on tour – USD2300; 2 persons sharing room – USD1940 per person, 3 persons sharing room – USD1840 per person, 4 persons sharing  2 rooms – USD1790 per person.

If you are staying at Mountain Gorilla View Lodge or Five Volcanoes Lodge: 1 person on tour – USD2380; 2 persons sharing room – USD1950 per person, 3 persons sharing room – USD1920 per person, 4 persons sharing  2 rooms – USD1860 per person.

Related articles on Comparing Gorilla Trekking Uganda Rwanda:

My mountain gorilla tracking experience in Bwindi’s Oruzogo gorilla family
How To Book Gorilla tracking & Trek Permits in Uganda and Rwanda

Mountain Gorillas Aside, Why Does Earth need Bwindi so badly?

Comparing Gorilla Trekking Uganda Rwanda: Mountain Gorilla Trekking Tour Packages in Rwanda and Uganda

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On our website, you will find more tours to get an experiential comparison of gorilla trekking Uganda Rwanda.

  1. P Frieda on 7th November 2012 at 1:14 pm

    I have to say that Rwandan Gorillas are generally the easier to get to. That is rule of thumb and some families, Susa etc., are quite some distance away but others are not. Of course they move around so nothing is certain. that is how it should be.

    Ugandan trekks are generally tougher but again part of Buhoma village normal footpaths are regularly closed off as the Gorillas are sitting there actually in the Village or even in one of the Lodges. So it hard to be certain one way or the other. The guides will normally try to allocate people according to their abilities.

    Some years back I took Mrs M to see the Gorillas and due to her 'status' we opted for the 'easier' Rwandan trek for her while I did both. In Uganda I was out and back in time for lunch and guess what the Rwandan Amahoro Group were way up the Mountain.

  2. gloria E. on 7th November 2012 at 1:14 pm

    The difference between the two is how they are organised – in Uganda you are allocated a group with your permit and this may be difficult to change. Our guide sorted out a change for us (to get us onto a group that didn't involve a drive to the start point) but this was only possible because of the off-peak season. So allocation of group has nothing to do with fitness. In Rwanda groups are allocated on arrival – your guide will enter into a bit of negotiation and get you on the group to suit you depending of course on everyone elses requirements. Saying that though it does depend on the gorillas – in rwanda we went for a group that was a bit further away usually as we fancied a bit of a walk but in the course of the morning the gorillas had made their way from the top of the mountain to the bottom – so much for stretching the legs!

  3. Bob Sterwart on 7th November 2012 at 1:20 pm

    Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda is easier than the trek in Bwindi however, the time taken to trek depends on the movement of gorillas . Our trek in Uganda was shorter than the trek we did in Rwanda – Gorillas treks are unpredictable so it is better you choose at random where to do the gorilla trekking because the chances of seeing gorillas in both national parks are 85% . I leave the 15% to the weather conditions and uncertainties that may arise but it is on rare occasions that people have not seen gorillas on their treks.

  4. Ivan Wassaaka on 4th November 2013 at 6:32 pm

    I guess it also often depends on the gorilla family you choose or are allocated to track. And we have to agree too that the gorillas are in their own home range and one day can be nearer that the other day. Although some groups are sure to be located far like the Susa Group in Rwanda, Oruzogo Group in Bwindi's Ruhija Sector.

  5. Ivan Wassaaka on 4th November 2013 at 6:37 pm

    Things have changes in Uganda since October. You only get to choose the group you track on the tracking day. Although you can determine which sector of the park you will visit, the gorilla families are now allocated on the tracking day when you present your permit and passport to the office. You will be free to choose your preferred gorilla family at that moment.
    But over time I am coming to agree that apart from some groups in Uganda like Bitukura, Oruzogo, Mubare, the tracking in Rwanda is smoother for more groups than in Uganda.

  6. Ivan Wassaaka on 4th November 2013 at 6:41 pm

    I largely can't stop agreeing with you. But I also agree that there may not be clear-cut standards? Some tourists look for a tougher hike in Bwindi and end up not getting it. Others look for a gentle hike in Rwanda and end up hiking for 3 hours +

  7. Anonymous on 14th January 2014 at 7:12 am

    Hi Ivan,
    Thank you for your review on Gorilla trekking I found it most helpful and interesting.
    I was wondering, I am chasing an honest oppinion on the safety of gorilla trekking in Rwanda. I am scheduled to visit for 3 days in September. With all the current media reports back home I am a little unerved about my visit. I am staying one night in Kigali and 3 nights in Ruhengeri. No one I know is able to give me a definitive answer and it would be great to get your opinion on safety for foreign visitors if you dont mind.I am quite worried.

  8. Ivan Wassaaka on 14th January 2014 at 3:11 pm

    Hi, yes there's fighting in the neighboring Congo but there's not any effect of this in Rwanda. In fact when there you won't realise there's fighting in Congo unless somebody tells you so. The locals are not even bothered at all and everyone is going on with their business. Please go ahead with your tour without any worries.

  9. Ivan Wassaaka on 14th January 2014 at 3:12 pm

    Hi, yes there's fighting in the neighboring Congo but there's not any effect of this in Rwanda. In fact when there you won't realise there's fighting in Congo unless somebody tells you so. The locals are not even bothered at all and everyone is going on with their business. Please go ahead with your tour without any worries.

  10. Johanna Koolemans-Beynen on 4th February 2014 at 11:19 am

    We just came back, we visited the Mgahinga National Park, just over the border from Ruanda, and flew in and out via Kigali. We noticed no problems at all with respect to the fighting in the Congo, although crossing the border between Ruanda and Uganda was a royal pain!!! Three hours each time! Hopefully that was just because we crossed just a few days after they changed the process…

  11. Ross on 19th February 2014 at 1:14 pm

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  12. Ivan Wassaaka on 19th February 2014 at 1:14 pm

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  13. Martin Dupond on 12th May 2014 at 8:51 am

    This is really an interesting blog as it focuses on the very important topic. i came to know about so many things or tips.

  14. Safari Tanzania on 1st August 2014 at 8:34 am

    From this blog we can know the competition in Uganda and Rwanda for Gorilla Trekking.

  15. Herry Mark on 14th December 2014 at 2:54 pm

    Hello Dear, Your blog is so sufficient for the information which is basically I need. I want to Trekking Holidays at some places where I could enjoy with extra fun. I want to trekking all over the world by starting with unique places, and your blog is full fill my needs thanks for this. I will always use such types of websites/blogs.

  16. Rekha Chauhan on 19th February 2015 at 5:44 pm

    This blog is very well written and I appreciate your efforts.. Keep up the good work w it is rally great fun and entertainment.:)

  17. Anonymous on 19th February 2015 at 5:44 pm

    how about using GPRS to track the Gorillas? can this help to reduce on the uncertainity of not seing them?

  18. Ivan Wassaaka on 19th February 2015 at 5:46 pm

    Thanks Rekha.

  19. Ivan Wassaaka on 19th February 2015 at 5:52 pm

    The first group of trackers (the advance team) normally have GPRS equipment. This team will go very early in the morning before the usual tracking guests and will let the other team know when/where they find the gorillas. Using GPRS with the gorillas themselves may however face a lot of resistance from conservation guys here. And also, how would the gorillas react to human visitors when they realize the humans have employed this new thing on their bodies? Obviously they become more vigilant, certainly more aggressive behaviour is going to be displayed when humans show up next. And then there would be no more gorilla tracking in Bwindi, or it would at least become very risky to track the gorillas in Bwindi.

  20. UGANDA-RWANDA TOURS on 29th May 2015 at 6:28 pm

    Great information and very useful.https://www.gorillasandwildlifesafaris.com/news/

  21. Shawn Deny on 21st October 2015 at 3:41 pm

    Not to mention though, the roads leading from Volcanoes park office to the gorilla trek trail-heads can only be accessed with a raised 4×4 vehicle.

  22. Niels Arends on 5th January 2016 at 8:38 am

    Thanks

  23. Unknown on 5th January 2016 at 8:38 am

    Thanks!

  24. Unknown on 7th April 2016 at 5:54 pm

    There are actually 14 gorilla families in Uganda. There are families in Buhoma, Rushaga, Ruhija and Nkuringo, so the visitors are taken nearer to the gorillas all the time. There is also more interaction with the local population that will have tracking sticks, gorilla carvings etc that you may want to buy as souvenirs. For a once a lifetime experience Uganda offers a more wholesome product with the ability to visit neighbouring national parks that have plenty of wildlife

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