Uganda and Congo are one of the cheapest gorilla trekking tours as the gorilla permit prices are relatively lower than their counter part Rwanda. In Uganda and Congo a gorilla permit at high/low season goes from USD 600/USD 450 and USD 400/USD200 respectively which means every kind of traveler be it budget or high end can enjoy the amazing experience of gorilla trekking.
Many people would think why do they have to do a gorilla trekking safari in Uganda and Congo? First of all mountain gorillas are endangered species implying that in the forthcoming generation, they will be no more for humans to enjoy them. Mountain gorillas are one of the most sought after tourist attractions in the world due to a lifetime experience a tourist cultivates after interacting with them. These amazing animals have special and intelligent character they display while in the jungle which makes a visitor thinks that they are a certain race of human beings. Words can never explain the unique character of these animals but all one has to do is to come to Uganda and Congo to experience the gorilla rhythm.
Mountain gorillas in Uganda and Congo are located within the same vicinity so doing a double gorilla trekking is not that a challenge. These mountain gorillas are located in the Virunga region straddled by Uganda, Congo and Rwanda and also in Bwindi forest s which is a few kilometers away from the Virunga ranges. Perhaps it is a three hour drive from Virunga region to Bwindi or the other way round. Due to the good location of these two gorilla habitats a traveler has an opportunity to do a double gorilla trekking at a budget bill in Uganda and Congo. There are three national parks in these two countries where one can do gorilla trekking that is Virunga national park in Congo and Bwindi impenetrable and Mgahinga gorilla national parks in Uganda.
But one to enjoy a double gorilla trekking, we mainly focus on Virunga national park in Congo and Bwindi impenetrable national park as these are two different natural atmospheres with the same tourist attractions. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park has gorilla trekking trail heads, also 14 groups of mountain gorilla families have been habituated where only 8 permits are booked in a group per day making it a total of 80 permits given out in a day.
While Virunga National Park has eight Habituated gorilla groups opened for tourism which includes: Kabirizi, Humba, Rugendo, Mapuwa, Lulengo, Munyaga, Nyakamwe, and Bageni. Each group has got a unique story to tell. The groups dynamic and composition of number of individuals in the group, group leadership/dominant Silverback. With an early start you can visit the gorillas as a day trip from Goma, where there is a good range of decent hotels. Otherwise you can stay at the excellent Mikeno Lodge, situated close to the gorillas’ habitat in lush tropical woodland with stunning views over Virunga’s lowlands.
The double gorilla trekking in Uganda and Congo is a great day experience which will mark your re-union with your long lost cousins the mountain gorillas. You gather at the respective park headquarters for briefing in the morning at 8am where you are also be allocated the respective gorilla families to track. From there you head to the forest in the company of armed ranger guides who lead you up to the gorillas. The walk is beyond the ordinary as it involves traversing the dense jungle, hiking the challenging landscapes some of which are steep and slippery at times under the canopy of the forests which forms darkness even during day time.
This encounter tends to take 2 to 8 hours depending on the gorilla movements and the one hour is allowed to you to have a direct touch of them. Mountain gorillas are welcoming with silver back beating a little of his chest to demonstrate his might and also welcoming you the group. The young gorillas are playful and at times they are not aware of the 7m rule thus can try to draw closer to even touching on your body. The experience goes along with taking photos and videos as long as you have the opportunity to do so. After the one hour allowed staying with the gorillas, return to starting point and connect to the lodge for relaxation.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Parks has got a wide range of accommodation facilities which include the Gorilla Forest Camp, Mahogany springs, Silver back lodge, Buhoma Home stead, Lake Kitandara Tented Camp, Ruhija Lodge, Engagi lodge, Buhoma Rest Camp, Buhoma Haven Lodge, Nkuringo Gorilla camp, Rushaga Gorilla Camp, Gorilla mist camp, Mutanda lake resort, Chameleon Hill lodge, Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge among others.
Virunga National Park has got range of accommodation facilities including Mikeno Lodge and Bukima Tented Camp where you can spend a night after the gorilla trekking experience.