4 Affordable Alternatives to Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda

Kahuzi Gorillas

Gorilla trekking is one of the leading and most thought after experiences in the travel market. No wonder millions of travelers flock into Rwanda for this dramatic experience of a life time. Tracking mountain gorillas in the wild is the most exciting and inspiring experience in life especially exploring the daily behavior of these magnificent primates that share about 98% of their DNA with humans.

In the world, mountain gorillas are estimated to be less than 900 and very few destinations offer visitors a golden opportunity to sight at them in their natural habitat. Many tourists have been taking gorilla safaris in Rwanda’s Volcanoes national park, the favorite place for short gorilla tours. Historically, Rwanda has been and still one of the famous destinations for gorilla trekking. It is true that gorilla trekking is a life changing experience; but have you ever thought about other or alternative areas to visit to see mountain gorillas besides Rwanda?

In most cases, we run of options when it comes to gorilla experiences and what to add on our safaris some thing which leaves us stranded in life. Because our travel interests in most cases are affected by various factors like the cost of enjoying an attraction for instance gorilla trekking permits in Rwanda cost $1500, we then opt to avoid such areas or even get no option at all and yet there are also best alternatives that can make you achieve your dreams

Below is a list of alternatives for gorilla trekking in Rwanda; we hope this will be of a great help as you prepare to pay a visit to Africa.

Go Gorilla Trekking in Uganda:

Uganda is one of the few countries in the world that you must visit for gorilla trekking. It is the most famous and perfect alternative for gorilla trekkers. Uganda is proud to be a home to more than 480 mountain gorillas, out of 900 that are estimated to be still living in the world. Visiting Uganda for gorilla trekking is the most rewarding travel experience.

Visitors have higher chances to achieve their dreams given the fact that the country has a total of about 12 habituated gorilla groups that are ready for visitors to track mountain gorillas in the wild. Besides, visitors have two alternative choices to track mountain gorillas, if they fail to track in one at least they can visit the other and at the end of day they achieve their dreams.

Gorilla trekking in Uganda is specifically done in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. All these national parks are situated in South Western Uganda and they are a little bit close to each other. If you are not hurry and you wish to extend your stay, you can also take up mountain gorilla habituation experience.

The Gorilla habituation experience is only done in Uganda and no where else in the world but in the two habituated gorilla groups that are found within Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. The habituation experience is one way that visitors can enhance their travel experiences on mountain gorillas where they spend all the 4 hours with these giant apes in the wild unlike gorilla trekking where you can spend only one hour! This is fascinating! The experience is indeed unforgettable although it comes at a cost! Gorilla trekking permits in Uganda cost $700 per visitor.

Gorilla viewing in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC):

The Democratic Republic of Congo is a renowned war zone country and it is still recovering from the insecurity. For interested travelers, it is advisable that you first check the security alerts concerning DRC before you travel. However, visitors who get into this country will appreciate the astonishing hidden gem that for long has never been exploited by many travelers.

Visitors have higher chances to track mountain gorillas in the Virunga national park that boosts of over 200 mountain gorillas. Tracking mountain gorillas in the Virunga national park is possible in any of its eight habituated gorilla groups. Unlike other destinations, gorilla permits in DRC are relatively affordable and they cost $450 per visitor.

Alternatively, visitors can also visit Kahuzi Biega National Park where they can get opportunity to track the Eastern Lowland gorillas. The park is composed of four habituated gorilla groups but only two of them are utilized for gorilla trekking. The permits also cost $450 per visitor.

Meet Other Primates

You can also meet other primates in several locations which include the following

Monkey tracking at Nyungwe Forest Lodge:

The tropical rain forests of Nyungwe National Park is located in Rwanda and it is composed of various types of primates of which monkey trekking is one of the perfect tourist activity that is provided to visitors. Travelers have wide choice of trekking options right from chimpanzee tracking, grey cheeked mangabey, black and white colobus monkeys, blue monkeys and golden monkeys. Nyungwe forest is one of the largest tropical rain forests in Africa and it offers refuge to more than 13 various primate species.

Despite tracking monkeys in the Nyungwe forest, you can as well visit Kibale national park a renowned primate capital that also boosts of over 13 different primates, and most importantly there are over 1500 chimpanzees that live in the jungles of Kibale.

Chimpanzee trekking at Mahale:

Greystoke Mahale lies on Lake Tanganyika in Western Tanzania. It is a renowned area for up close encounter with chimpanzees. There are more than 1700 chimpanzees that are inhabited in the Mahale Mountains National Park and tourists have higher chances to sight at the 60 strong Mimikere group that are fully habituated for visitors to track.

In conclusion, there are many alternatives for gorilla trekking in Rwanda. Visitors can choose to track mountain gorillas not only in Rwanda but also across Uganda and DRC. Visitors are free to combine their gorilla safaris with numerous primate experiences in any destination. Don’t burry your dreams, come and explore the hidden treasures in East Africa!


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