Easy answers on how to see mountain gorillas
Quite simply you’re only going to see mountain gorillas in the wild. With less than 900 left in four isolated refuges your safest bet is one of two places. Permits are required in all cases.
Virunga volcanic mountains of north-west Rwanda
Reasonably accessible and arguably the easier trekking option. Especially good if you’re short on time or keen to combine with the East African wildebeest migration in Kenya or Tanzania. (See a typical 4 day Rwanda gorilla trek or a full 8 day safari in Rwanda)
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda
The better option if you have a bit more time - the Uganda safaris offer far more variety with diverse habitats, excellent chimp trekking, outstanding birding and big game opportunities within Uganda itself. (See a typical 8 day safari into Uganda with full itinerary)
Get your timing right
“High season” runs from May to September with June to August usually the drier months. Book in advance for varied accommodation options and to secure permits which are in short supply.
Reduced “Low season” rates are generally available from October into April. Permits are easier to obtain in the wet months of March/April and October/November.
More information on Mountain Gorillas
- Tips on how to plan a gorilla safari
- Facts on the mountain gorillas of Uganda and Rwanda
- Uganda - more than just gorillas
- Photo-account of gorillas in Rwanda by Shaadi Faris
- Sue Watt’s report on five ways to get up close (including lowland gorillas in the Congo)
- Video encounter in Bwindi by Zegrahm field director Jonathan Rossouw (6 minutes)