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Gorilla trekking in Uganda vs Rwanda comparison

If you’re considering a gorilla trekking adventure in Africa, two of the most popular destinations are Uganda and Rwanda. Both countries offer an unforgettable experience, but there are some key differences between the two. In this post, we’ll compare gorilla trekking in Uganda vs Rwanda to help you decide which destination is right for you.

Accessibility and Location

One of the biggest differences between Uganda and Rwanda for gorilla trekking is accessibility. Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is located in the southwestern part of the country, while Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park is in the northwestern part of the country. This means that gorilla trekking in Rwanda is more accessible from the capital city of Kigali, which is just a two-hour drive away. On the other hand, getting to Bwindi can take up to 10 hours by car, but there are also flights available from Entebbe to the nearby town of Kisoro.

Gorilla Groups and Trekking Experience

Both Uganda and Rwanda have several habituated gorilla groups that are available for trekking. However, Rwanda has more habituated groups than Uganda, making it easier to secure a permit for a specific group. In Uganda, you may have to trek longer distances to find the gorilla group you’ve been assigned to.

The trekking experience itself is similar in both countries. You’ll hike through dense forests, up steep hills, and potentially encounter other wildlife along the way. Trekking can take anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours, depending on where the gorilla group is located. However, the altitude in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park is higher, which can make the trek more challenging.

Cost of Gorilla Trekking in Uganda vs Rwanda

The cost of gorilla trekking is another important factor to consider. Rwanda’s gorilla trekking permits are more expensive than Uganda’s, with Rwanda charging $1,500 per permit and Uganda charging $700. However, Uganda requires visitors to purchase a minimum of two permits, which brings the total cost to $1,400. In addition, getting to Bwindi can add to the overall cost of a Uganda gorilla trekking trip.

Accommodation and Other Activities

When it comes to accommodation, both Uganda and Rwanda have a variety of options available, ranging from budget to luxury. Rwanda has more high-end options available near Volcanoes National Park, while Uganda’s Bwindi area has a more diverse range of accommodation options.

Both countries offer other activities in addition to gorilla trekking. In Uganda, you can go on a wildlife safari in Queen Elizabeth National Park, visit the source of the Nile in Jinja, or trek chimpanzees in Kibale National Park. In Rwanda, you can visit the Kigali Genocide Memorial, go on a golden monkey trek, or hike to the top of a volcano.


In conclusion, both Uganda and Rwanda offer unforgettable gorilla trekking experiences, but there are some important differences to consider. If you’re looking for a more accessible location, with more habituated gorilla groups and higher-end accommodation options, Rwanda may be the better choice for you. If you’re willing to put in more effort to reach the destination, and want to combine gorilla trekking with other wildlife experiences, Uganda could be the ideal choice. Regardless of which country you choose, gorilla trekking is a life-changing experience that you’ll never forget.

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