Epic Gorilla Trekking In Rwanda Vs Uganda [Which Is Better]

Which country is best for gorilla trekking? When comparing and contrasting gorilla trekking in Rwanda and Uganda, one thing needs to be made clear.  Mountain gorillas look exactly similar in the two countries and Congo. There exists nothing like cuter or bigger in one country over another. The gorilla national parks possess the same management systems in place and combine efforts to coordinate conservation-related projects. Mountain gorillas often move between the four parks found in the three countries. The major dissimilarity in our thinking is the exposure you gain while tracking in each of the countries. We will dig more into the topic in the following chapters below.

Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda Vs Uganda – Which country is better or best?

We highly recommend a wildlife safari in Rwanda for travelers who are visiting for a short time because of a chaotic schedule. Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda is much more unchallenging to access from the capital city and the transfer from Kigali to Volcanoes National Park takes approximately two hours and thirty minutes. Some people might claim that gorilla trekking in Rwanda is unchallenging and less time-consuming because the park is smaller. People who opt for gorilla trekking in Rwanda also claim that gorilla families are easier to find but it depends on which gorilla group has been allocated.

Some individuals might insist that the largely bamboo forests in Volcanoes National Park contribute to taking clear pictures, unlike the dense and impenetrable forests of Bwindi in Uganda. If you worry about the dense forests in Bwindi, you can choose to track the primates in Uganda’s Mgahinga National Park. Mgahinga has similar conditions to the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda with lots of bamboo.

Individuals who bear witness to Rwanda also like to mention that the services provided at Volcanoes National Park are conveyed more professionally. This is irrational and debatable. Ugandan nationals may think that their services are more authentic.

While contrasting and comparing safaris in the three countries, it is paramount to take into consideration that Rwanda devotes more funds to advertising and marketing her destinations. This is something Uganda and Congo should learn from taking into consideration that they have a lot to offer. Rwanda is endeavoring to position itself as a luxury gorilla trekking destination and has done everything in its power to achieve that.  She possesses the most lush and lavish hotels in the world.

Because there is a shorter driving distance from Kigali to her national park and other advantages, Rwanda made an increment in the price of a gorilla permit from $750 to $1500. This has made the country an unappealing gorilla trekking destination for travelers interested in budget gorilla trekking safaris.

Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda Vs Uganda  – Pros and Cons

Uganda’s major advantage is that it has several tourist destinations and has got many other things on offer. We highly recommend Uganda for travelers who have a lot of time to spare and wish to mingle a genuine general wildlife safari with gorilla trekking. Uganda accommodates more gorillas and habituated families than Rwanda and Congo. On top of that, Uganda is the only country with two gorilla trekking national parks. There individuals who perceive gorilla trekking in Uganda is to be more difficult because of the gigantic size of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. They also claim that the gorillas go deeper into the forest. The distance you are to trek before sighting the mountain gorillas depends on which gorilla family you are allocated. Uganda owns 19 habituated gorilla families in comparison to the 10 in Rwanda. This therefore means that tourists have a chance to choose a perfect group from the many. Some habituated gorilla families live just next to the park lodges or offices. A gorilla permit in Uganda costs $800 which we think is relatively more affordable.

Uganda’s main disadvantage as a gorilla trekking destination is mainly the long distance from Entebbe International Airport to its major tourist destinations. The transfer from Entebbe to Bwindi and Mgahinga takes approximately 11 hours of driving. This long distance has hindered having a glimpse of tourists the very interesting wildlife species and an opportunity to observe the African countryside.

There are two solutions to the problem of driving for long. One is to arrive from Kigali Rwanda instead of Entebbe in Uganda. The driving time and distance from Kigali to Bwindi impenetrable forest is shorter.

If you land at Entebbe International Airport, driving to either Mgahinga or Bwindi will take you approximately 10 hours driving non stop while if you land at Kigali International Airport, you will only need 4 hours to cross to either Mgahinga or Bwindi.

Another solution for the long driving distance is to reserve a local chattered flight from Entebbe International Airport or Kajjansi airstrip to Bwindi. Your local tour operator can then wait for you at the airstrip to take you to the park. The local flights are expensive but the reward I to reach the park in only one hour.

All in all, a Uganda choice is the best decision for those intending to stay longer and wishing to see more of the wildlife than just mountain gorillas. Uganda is an English-speaking country and the locals have good command of the language compared to Rwanda and Congo. Uganda also has more reasonably priced lodges built inside the parks, unlike Rwanda whose lodges are in nearby towns like Ruhengeri.