Is gorilla trekking in Uganda worth it?
We believe gorilla trekking in Uganda is the most exciting wildlife experience on the planet.
At the time of writing, the rate for a gorilla trekking permit is $700. For this, you can spend one hour in the company of mountain gorillas in the wild, putting yourself amongst a very small group of people lucky enough to see these amazing animals in the wild.
You have to be prepared to work for it, as the treks can last up to 6 hours before contact is made, but the experience is truly worth it and unlike anything you would have experienced before.
5 Reasons Gorilla Trekking is Worth It
1. The experience is exhilarating
Most animals tend to fall into one of two categories: those that run away from humans, and those that will attack humans that are unfortunate enough to find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Gorillas, however, are fairly calm by nature and will only attack humans if they truly feel threatened. Provided you follow the body-language and distance guidelines explained to you by the park guides, then you will be able to enjoy the rare experience of watching a powerful, wild animal from a close distance in complete safety.
2. You are directly supporting conservation efforts
Habitat destruction is the biggest threat to the endangered mountain gorilla, as the densely-populated areas on the edges of the national parks have expanded and people have sought to make money from logging and agriculture.
However, the money generated from gorilla trekking is the primary source of funds for their continued conservation.
3. It's cheaper than Rwanda
There are a high number of regulations and restrictions in place in order to preserve the health and welfare of the gorillas; this is why the permits are so expensive, as visitor numbers are highly limited.
However, at $700, permits in Uganda are nonetheless much cheaper than those in Rwanda, where they are $1,500 year-round. There is little difference between the two: the terrain and the gorillas are ultimately the same. Therefore, we would highly recommend doing the trek in Uganda, given the multitude of other amazing things that there are to do in this country.
4. The scenery is spectacular
A day of gorilla trekking involves several hours of tough hiking through terrain that is mountainous with thin air and dense vegetation. However, provided you have a baseline of fitness, the challenges of hiking here are part of what makes it such a rewarding adventure.
What’s more, it is worth it not only for the experience of seeing the gorillas but also for the fabulous scenery. There are various viewpoints where you can take in fabulous vistas of the thickly-forested, rolling mountains, often shrouded in clouds that make them appear all the more beautiful and enigmatic.
5. Bwindi's flora and fauna
Mountain gorillas are not the only wildlife to be found in the mountains of south-western Uganda. There are also golden monkeys, which dangle high up on the trees of the bamboo forest areas, as well as grey-cheeked mangabeys, L’hoest monkeys (on the lower slopes), and blue monkeys.
There are bushbuck and several species of duikers, as well as a rich array of bird species, including Equatorial akalat and greenbulls. There are also some elephants, although these are rarely spotted.
Ready to meet the gorillas?
The tours below showcase just some of what is possible. Use these itineraries as starting points, or to draw inspiration. Then get in touch, and let our expert team help craft the perfect itinerary for you.
Combine chimp trekking in Kibale Forest with mountain gorilla treks in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. A well-paced highlights tour unlocking some of Uganda's most impressive experiences. Consider breaking up the journey from Kibale to Bwindi with a classic safari at…
- 7 Days
Combine gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park with beautiful lakeside retreats at Lake Mutanda. Tough treks and primate encounters paired with idyllic, calming lakes and oases make for an unforgettable experience in this remote pocket of Uganda.…
- 6 Days
Board a Cessna light aircraft and head into the southwestern pocket of Uganda. Trek through the forests of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in search of the mountain gorillas. Retreat to luxury lodges for sundowners and delicious food. Hard days, soft…
- 4 Days
Trek the Rwenzori Mountains where forests morph into ice-clad mountain peaks, cut through jungle thickets to hang out with mountain gorillas, and finish your trip relaxing lakeside amongst the staggering beauty of Lake Mutanda. This is Uganda.…
- 15 Days
Travel to the farthest corners of Uganda where towering volcanoes mark the border between the thick jungles of Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and the untamed vastness of central Africa. After trekking the gorillas in Mgahinga, head inland for a couple…
- 6 Days
Thinking about visiting Uganda?
We'll spend some time listening to your aspirations, then discuss the kind of experience that might suit you.
Next we'll discuss the options, shortlist the best trips for you and present you our impartial recommendations.
We'll place a 24 hour hold on your preferred option - without obligation - whilst we talk through the details.