Best Gorilla Trekking Destinations in Africa
Top Destinations in Africa Where to see gorillas
Where to see gorillas in Africa – Africa boasts for having varied landscapes in different regions that are habitats for numerous sub-species of gorillas. These are the endangered mountain gorillas, western lowland gorillas and the eastern lowland gorillas or Grauer’s gorillas. Among all these, most people prefer to trek for the endangered mountain gorillas which are found in only 3 countries; Rwanda, Uganda and DRCongo. There are over 100,000 western lowland gorillas in the rain forests of the western and central Africa. Best Gorilla watching in Africa.
The top nine best gorilla trekking destinations
Encountering gorillas is absolutely a great wildlife experience. Watching one of the closest relatives to human beings that live in forests, with behavior that is almost the same as humans is amazing and ought to be planned for as one of safari activities. Plan for your gorilla trekking tour in any of these destinations. Where to see gorillas in Africa;
Uganda – Gorilla Trekking in Uganda the Pearl of Africa
Uganda offers extraordinary gorilla trekking experience. It has more than a half of the entire endangered mountain gorillas in the whole world. They live in the rainforests in Bwindi Impenetrable national park and Mgahinga Gorilla national park in the far southwestern part. Because Mgahinga is situated on the border with Rwanda, the gorilla group there sometimes roams around to the border and the gorillas are still protected by the rangers of Volcanoes national park in Rwanda. There are 13 gorilla groups that have been habituated for trekking in Bwindi impenetrable forest. The big forest has been divided into 4 regions all with different groups of mountain gorillas and tourists select the group they wish to visit. Trekking in each of the different regions comes with a unique experience. A permit for gorilla trekking in Uganda costs US$ 700 for each individual.
Bwindi impenetrable national park also has gorillas which are used for research and study by researchers and scientists. These gorillas can be visited along with the researchers for the Gorilla Habituation Experience at a fee of US$1,500 per person.
Tourists that visit Uganda for gorilla trekking have a variety of other adventurous activities they can do; Chimp tracking, wildlife viewing, water rafting, canoeing and mountain climbing among others.
Rwanda – Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda, the land of a thousand hills
Rwanda is famously known for its luxury gorilla trekking experience that takes place in Volcanoes national park. The effort of Dian Fossey foundation in conservation of these primates has today largely contributed to making Rwanda the number one gorilla trekking destination in Africa. 10 gorilla families have been habituated in Volcanoes national park for trekking. The park is easy to access on good roads and there are cozy lodges around the park. The park organizes an annual activity known as “Kwita Izina” where various celebrities are invited as gorillas are given names. You can be part of this event. A gorilla trekking permit in Rwanda costs US$ 1,500 for each person.
A gorilla trekking safari to Rwanda can have other tourist activities added to it, for example, visiting Dian Fossey’s tomb, visiting the local communities, touring around other destinations like Akagera national park, Nyungwe forest national park and others.
Democratic Republic of Congo Gorilla tours
DRC is a popular destination because it has both mountain and eastern lowland gorillas. Mountain gorillas live in Virunga national park on the slopes of the Virunga volcanoes while the eastern lowland gorillas are in Kahuzi Biega National Park and more lowland gorillas in the far western part in the mountains of Madiakoko. There are 4 mountain gorilla groups that have been habituated for trekking in Virunga national park. Gorilla trekking in congo has not yet picked up as compared to that in Rwanda and Uganda. This is because the region suffered political unrest for a long time. However, today the destination has been declared safe for travel though it is recommended that tourists organize their safaris through tour operators. DRCongo still has the cheapest gorilla permit among the three mountain gorilla destinations, costing US$400. DRC has good lodges for tourists to stay on their gorilla trekking safaris. While at Virunga, you have a chance to visit the only gorilla orphanage centre in the world-Senkwekwe.
Congo Brazzaville Gorilla trekking
This country is one of the best destinations to visit for western lowland gorillas. It is also known as Republic of Congo and neighbors the DRC to the west. Gorillas live in Odzala-Kokoua national park in the northwestern side of the country. There are 2 habituated gorilla groups and a group of not more than 4 is allowed to visit each group. More gorillas can be watched in Nouabale-Ndoki national park at Mbeli Bai.
Nigeria- Cross River gorillas
The Crosss River gorillas are rare species of gorillas found around the border of Nigeria and Cameroon. They live in the forested mountains at the top of cross river. Their appearance is different in a way that they have shorter mouth, their heads are elongated yet with shorter skulls as compared to western lowland gorillas. There are 200-300 Cross river gorillas found in Afi Mountain, Mbe Mountain and the Okwangwo division. Chances of spotting these gorillas are low because they are few living in a large area of 3,000sq miles.
Central African Republic
CAR has the largest number of western lowland gorillas in the whole world. It has habituated gorillas available for trekking in the thick tropical rain forests. The primates can be perfectly watched from Dzanga Bai in Dzanga-Sangha Special reserve. You are advised to first find out about the situation in the country before travelling because it is a troubled destination.
Gorilla tours to Equatorial Guinea are conducted in Monte Alen National park located in the southern province of Mount Alen centre. The western lowland gorillas live in the rainforest on the slopes of the mountain. The park covers a total area of 1600sq km. Trails that lead to locations where gorillas may be spotted are quite long. Tourists will move long through a long trial and stay at Esamalan Camp. Gorillas in this park are not habituated. However much tourism in Equatorial Guinea is still in its early stages of development, there are some few local guides that conduct lead tourists through the forest for gorilla trekking.
Angola gorilla tours
Angola is another West African country that hosts the wondrous western lowland gorillas. They are only found in the Cabinda enclave in the northern side of the country. Gorilla trekking tours are not yet well develop and because of this, the chances of seeing these primates are low.
Gabon gorilla experience
With a variety of wildlife that has been protected for conservation, tourism in Gabon is still underdeveloped. There are 13 national parks and most of these are habitats for gorillas particularly the western lowland gorillas. Some of the national parks in Gabon that harbor gorillas are Moukalaba-Doudou national park, Lope national park, Laongo national park. Habituation was tried out in Mikono conservation centre of Lope national park but it was not successful. You therefore have chances of spotting these gorillas in Lope national when you are on a wildlife safari for other residents on the park other than the trekking activity. Besides the gorillas that are found in Laongo national park, there are much more attractions to enjoy here including chimps, forest elephants and the amzing marine life along the shores of Atlantic Ocean; whales, dolphins and hippos among others.
For the most interesting experiences of gorilla trekking, book for your safari in Uganda and Rwanda through Adventure in the wild safaris.
Africa has a number of countries that are great for safari even though they do not have gorillas. These include; Tanzania, Botswana, Kenya, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Swaziland among others. They offer magnificent wildlife tours, beach tours, hiking experiences, cultural experiences and more.
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