How to Plan a Gorilla Trek in Africa

Planning to go gorilla trekking in Africa can pay off, allowing you the opportunity to have a close encounter with mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. Trip planning can be a daunting task. Where do you begin? What’s step one? What’s step two? What’s step three? It’s easy to get overwhelmed, especially when you haven’t done something like this before and especially considering just how much information there is out there these days.

Which country to go?

Defining which country, you want to go sets a goal to work toward. In Africa, there are only three countries where to find mountain gorillas and that is Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.  A lot of people talk vaguely about a county. They never say where they are going, just that they are going. Picking a destination is immensely important, as it gives you a definite goal and easy accessibility to a certain destination and the price of the activity determines.

How long is the trip?

In order to figure out how much you need to save you will need to know how long your trip will be. Are you going away for a week? A month? A year? The length of your trip is a huge factor in determining how much money you need. The average duration of our safaris is somewhere between seven and ten nights. We may recommend at least one recovery night after your long international flight and before your safari, and many travelers will combine wildlife and non-wildlife highlights like Cape Town, Victoria Falls, Zanzibar, among others, to round out the two-week total trip duration.

Where to find mountain gorillas in Africa

Because mountain gorillas can only survive in the wild, the only chance you have to see them is by trekking them into their natural habitat. Fewer than 1000, mountain gorillas live only in the dense forests on and around the Virunga Mountains in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Virunga National Park. So, coming face to face with these gentle giants is an ultimate experience of a life time. So, deciding where to go can be daunting. The first step is to decide on which country to go gorilla tracking.

When to go gorilla trekking

A gorilla safari can be done throughout the year. Usually, the dry season is better for viewing mountain gorillas in the dense forests because tracking mountain gorillas during the wet season can be challenging as the steep slopes can be slippery but the advantage with it is that it is when there plenty of food for these creatures to depend on and they keep within the nearby area and this may shorten your distance while searching for them.

The best time to visit mountain gorilla in Uganda, Rwanda and DR Congo is during the country’s two dry seasons: December, January and February and from June to September.

Securing a Gorilla Permit

Securing permits for gorilla trekking over these popular periods can be difficult at short notice, so you should plan well ahead. A maximum of 80 gorilla tracking permits are available for each day and permits cost USD 700 per person per visit This money may seem to be too much worthy your trek but the money provides Uganda with a compelling economic reason to conserve the park and pays for a 24-hour guard for each gorilla group plus education of the local communities.

Plan your activities

Outline the major activities you want to enjoy during your trip and how much they cost. Make any last-minute adjustments to your savings so you can ensure you have enough money. This will also help you figure out if you need any reservations for your chosen tours or activities.

How much are hostels, hotels, restaurants, and attractions?

Knowing will allow you to estimate how much money you’ll need for your trip. Before you can start saving money, you need to know how much you have and how much you’re spending. Start to write down all your current expenses so you can determine where you are spending money and how you can cut back.

Book your accommodation

If you are traveling for under two weeks and have a set schedule, feel free to book accommodation for the duration of your trip if it will give you peace of mind. For trips longer than two weeks (or if you are going to be traveling long-term) just book your first few days. That will ensure you have a place to go on arrival. Once there, you can get insider advice from your hotel/hostel staff as well as other travellers.

Book your flight

For the best deals, book your flight about two-three months in advance. Here are two articles on how to score a cheap flight. Airline ticket prices vary greatly depending on the day of the week, time of year, and upcoming holidays, such as Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Thanksgiving, or the Fourth of July. August is a big month for traveling around Europe, and everyone wants to go somewhere warm in the winter or travel when the kids are out of school.

The solution is to fly off-season. Search alternative dates so that you can capitalize on the best day. The more rigid your plans, the less likely it will be that you find a deal.

Check your visa requirements

Depending on your passport, you may need to arrange a visa before you fly to your destination. Make sure to check all visa requirements, and verify that both your visa and passport are valid for your travel dates.

Read about your destination

When planning to visit a destination you don’t know about, prepare for it by buying a travel guide of the destination, ready travel blogs, ask friends or family for advice, ask other travellers, read some books about that very country.


It can be tempting to want to bring everything with you, but when it comes to travel, less is more. You don’t need 5 sweaters or 8 pairs of shoes. You can get by with less, I promise. it’s actually quite liberating once you get used to it. While what you pack will depend on where you are going, remember that you don’t need to pack everything you own. You can buy things you need on the road. You can do laundry overseas. At the end of the day, you have to carry everything you bring. So, bring less.

What do you think?

Written by Mike Bisho

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