Close up of baby gorilla in Uganda

Mountain Gorilla Trekking in Africa

Around only 600 mountain gorilla still exist today. Although our closest living relatives, ironically, it is man that poses the greatest threat to their survival. For years gorillas have been ruthlessly hunted for their hands and heads, which are sold on as macabre souvenir ashtrays and lamp shades. Additionally, large numbers have been killed whilst trying to stop poachers stealing babies which are illegally sold on to zoos, where their survival rate is low.

 

Gorilla trekking is a wonderful experience, allowing you the opportunity to have a close encounter with these gentle giants of the jungle in their natural habitat. The trekking will take place either in Uganda, Rwanda or Democratic Republic of Congo - depending on local conditions and the availability of the gorilla permits.You need not feel that you are exploiting these animals by paying good money to go trek to see them in their natural habitat. In fact the ever-growing number of tourists keen to see the gorilla proves to be an important factor in their survival. The gorilla permit fees help to set up and finance patrols that are instrumental in protecting the gorillas from poachers and their lethal snares.

  

 

 

 

Our trips to Africa that include Gorilla Trekking:

 

Gorilla Express

Head into the lush Rwandan jungle in of -...
4 days from USD $3,249

Gorillas in the Mist

Uganda uncovered - Take an incredible deep...
6 days from USD $890

Gorilla and Game Trek

Trek through lush jungle in search of the...
15 days from USD $1,390

Gorilla Trek and Tanzania

From the wilds of the Masai Mara, to in in...
25 days from USD $2,290

Big Five Explorer

Adventure overdrive. Trekking for gorilla,...
36 days from USD $2,890

The Big Overlander

Experience the contrasts and raw appeal of...
47 days from USD $3,590

Absolute Africa

From Johannesburg to Nairobi, travel nine...
50 days from USD $4,090

Great African Expedition

An epic expedition that heads south from...
57 days from USD $4,090

 

Cost of Permits

The cost and availability of gorilla permits varies by country and park and currently ranges from USD $675 - 875. You will also need to budget for visa fees (costs vary), transfer and a local service fee (approx US $60 - 75) and to renew your Ugandan or Kenyan visa upon re-entry should we have to go to Rwanda or DR Congo. The government often increases the permit and transfer costs without notice, so we ask that you budget for the highest amount, so that you don't suddenly have to find additional money to partake in this wonderful experience. We recommend you budget a total of $1000.


The reason that the permits are so costly is because each park only issues 10 permits per gorilla family per day, to ensure that the gorilla’s exposure to humans is limited. 100% of the gorilla permit cost is used by the government to continue in the excellent work they do in protecting and promoting these wonderful animals.


On The Go Tours are not in control of the price of gorilla permits and therefore cannot be held responsible for any increase in fees. If the political situation in this region should change, there is the chance that the itinerary would be amended and an alternative scenario advised prior to departure if possible

 

The start of a trek in Rwanda in search of the Mountain Gorillas on one of our Gorilla Safaris

Time Spent Trekking

The trek starts in the early morning and after border formalities you are transferred to a ranger’s station where the trek commences. Your rangers will lead you through the cultivated lands and then into the dense rain forest and as close as is allowed to a gorilla family. The rangers monitor the gorillas on a daily basis and have a fairly good idea of where they are. However, they are free roaming animals, and their sighting cannot be guaranteed. Trekking can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 8 hours and it can be quite strenuous, so a reasonable level of fitness is required.


To ensure the gorillas do not get too used to the presence of humans and because they share many of our genes (and are therefore able to catch our diseases), the maximum time permitted to spend with them is 1 hour. You will have plenty of time to watch their activity and to take photographs. The rangers will be able to provide you with a background to the family you are visiting. Once your hour is up, you trek back out of the rain forest to your meeting point. Clients considering joining this trip should realise the demands and unpredictability of the areas visited. These factors may contribute toward restricting or delaying our trip and viewing of the gorillas. Often, the trek through thick, dense jungle can be somewhat strenuous and due to the nature of the gorillas and their habits, viewing cannot be guaranteed.



IMPORTANT: Although the groups of gorilla that are sought out on our jungle trek have been habituated, they have not been tamed and their behaviour is not demonstrably different from that of non-habituated groups. Nobody forces them to stay with us for the allotted hour, and they can fade into the forest as you appear, if they wish to do so. Further, as gorillas are EXTREMELY sensitive to human disease, the park authorities will not allow anyone they consider to be in poor health to visit the gorilla groups. Additionally, no children under 16 years of age are permitted to visit.

 

Mountain gorilla

 

 

Tour Spotlight

Kenya to Cape

43 days from USD $2,790

Embark on an overland journey across almost half the African Continent. A heady mix of game, beaches, exotic Zanzibar,...

See full tour itinerary
The On The Go Theatre
Discover the Ngorongoro crater and more on an African Safari