Mountain gorillas are present in both Rwanda and Uganda. Very few tourists choose to see the mountain gorillas in the Democratic Republic of the Congo these days due to security concerns and services in that region are not up to scratch. The mountain gorillas of all three countries inhabit similar rugged habitats. Individual mountain gorilla groups vary in their accessibility, making some group easier to track than others.
The regulations and quality of local guides and trackers is similar in both Rwanda and Uganda, however trekking in Rwanda is generally easier. Trekking in Uganda, is a much more rugged experinece with the vegetation being a lot thicker than in Rwanda. Albatros Travel will be able to guide you to the country they feel would suit you best.
Mountain gorilla tracking in both Rwanda and Uganda is done every day of the year and the precious gorilla permits are sold out months in advance. The number of available habituated mountain gorilla groups for tourist tracking safaris varies through the year depending on the location of the family groups. Gorilla groups often travel into the Congo or beyond the range of a day trek to visit them. Sometimes family groups travel rapidly, break up and reform, or show behaviours that make them less attractive to visit. Other habituated gorilla groups are being studied by researchers and are off-limits to tourism. Therefore, as only a limited number of groups are open to visitors, and it is advisable to book you gorilla trekking holiday as far in advance of your intended date of travel as possible.
To track these amazing creatures you must be able to hike through rough terrain and in any weather. Porters can be hired to carry your daypack and assist you in difficult areas and the local guides will work to make it as easy as possible for you to track and photograph the gorillas. We have had many clients in their later years easily reaching the mountain gorilla groups, so age is not a limiting factor on our treks, but many people return very exhausted, muddy and sore if they are not used to vigorous hiking.
Altitude sickness is not usually a problem, nor are insects. You will want a pair of gloves and clothing that protects your arms and legs from thorns and nettles. Good balance is helpful in gorilla trekking as trails may be slippery. Please see our Trekking Info section for more information.
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