Experience Gorilla Trekking in Uganda, Rwanda & Congo

No other wildlife encounter in Africa matches the astounding experience of spending time face-to-face with wild gorillas. Trekking takes place in a handful of far-flung locations, adding a layer of exotic adventure to these safaris that is hard to match on any other itinerary. The fact that gorillas as a species are on the brink of extinction and treks are a highly restricted activity, encountering wild gorillas is considered a once-in-a-lifetime travel experience.

We’re proud to support trekking tourism that contributes directly to protecting rainforest habitats and conserving both mountain gorillas and western lowland gorillas. Thanks to income derived directly from tourism, the mountain gorilla population has stabilised, which gives us hope for the future of western lowland gorillas now that tourism has started in their Congo rainforest.

What to Expect on a Gorilla Trek

For a gorilla trek you need to be fairly fit, equipped for the humid, muddy conditions of a rainforest hike, and in good health – gorillas are susceptible to human illnesses but don’t have our immunities, which means a common cold can be deadly to a whole family of gorillas and you won’t be permitted to trek if you are unwell. Even in the dry season, the rainforest is a challenging environment: it’s humid, wet and muddy with some steep slopes, plenty of insects and thick vegetation. It is absolutely worth the effort to spend time with gorillas in the wild but be prepared to exert yourself on the trek.

Your professional guide and tracker lead you into the forest’s secret paths, looking for a habituated gorilla family. Once found, you’ll approach the gorillas quietly and settle down to observe them from between 7 and 10m (22 to 32 ft) away. You’ll spend between 40 minutes and an hour with the gorillas, watching the adults forage and groom each other while the babies tumble and play. You’ll be under the watchful gaze of the great silverback patriarch, whose soft brown eyes constantly sweep over his family protectively. Witnessing gorillas express typically human gestures and emotions is a truly profound experience and one of the reasons that gorilla trekking is such a life-changing encounter.

In the Congo, you’ll don a face mask to protect the gorillas from human germs and have an optional fly net to keep the harmless (and stingless) but determined sweat bees from disturbing you. In Uganda and Rwanda, you’ll leave any personal items or bottled water you’re carrying with your porters and approach the gorillas with only your camera. You are not allowed to use a flash and it’s best to use a camera that doesn’t make loud clicks, whirring or other mechanical noises.

About Chimpanzee Trekking

While you may see chimps and other primate species on your gorilla trek, there are several superb chimpanzee trekking destinations, including Tanzania’s Mahale Mountains and Gombe Stream and the forested corners of Uganda’s Queen Elizabeth and Murchison Falls national parks as well as Kibale Forest.

Chimpanzee trekking is quite different to gorilla trekking. Chimps are often found in easier trekking terrain than gorillas but they are wary of humans and harder to find. Only the habituated chimp families at Kibale Forest offer a similar encounter to gorilla trekking.

Quick links to gorilla trekking tips

Get in on the adventure! Read about all of our top African activities and experiences

Best Gorilla & Chimp Trekking Tours & Safaris

Secret Gorillas, Chimps, Serengeti & Crater

From $13,330 per person sharing
14 days
Heaven Boutique Hotel's tranquil setting in lush tropical gardens. Trek gorillas in Rwanda. Aerial landscape shot of Rubondo Island in Tanzania. Rubondo Island Camp in Tanzania. Dunia Camp Bush Breakfast. Wildebeest Migration. Private tent deck. Farm gardens for farm-to-fork dining at Gibb's Farm

Diverse wildlife experiences - amazing for keen photographers. Gorilla trekking in Rwanda's Volcanoes National Park .

Destinations visited
Entebbe Kigali Ngorongoro Crater Rwanda Serengeti
15 days
Black-and-white-colobus-monkey-Sanctuary-Gorilla-Forest-Camp Cultural-interaction-with-the-Batwa-tribe-Sanctuary-Gorilla-Forest-Camp The-firepit-at-Sanctuary-Gorilla-Forest-Camp Gorilla-trekking-in-Bwindi-Forest-Sanctuary-Gorilla-Forest-Camp Sanctuary-Gorilla-Forest-Camp-gorilla-sighting Hot-air-balloon-over-the-migration-with-Sanctuary-Olonana Predator-sighting-Sanctuary-Olonana Sanctuary-Ngorongoro-Crater-Camp-tent-exterior

See the extraordinary Wildebeest Migration in season. Seek out Big 5 game viewing.

Destinations visited
Arusha Kenya Masai Mara Nairobi Ngorongoro Crater

Adventurer Congo's Gorillas & Forest Experience

From $14,535 per person sharing
8 days
Ngaga Camp - gorilla trekking Ngaga Camp Odzala Discovery Camps - gorilla Ngaga Camp Odzala Discovery Camps_forest Ngaga Camp Odzala Discovery Camps_gorilla sighting Lango Camp Odzala Discovery Camps - camp fire with a view Lango Camp Odzala Discovery Camps_wlaking safari lango_camp - room with a view Mboko Camp - boat ride

Unique forest wildlife & amazing bird watching. Two gorilla treks plus water-based activities & nature walks.

Destinations visited
Congo Odzala National Park

Adventurer Uganda's Fly-In Gorilla Trek

From $3,815 per person sharing
5 days
Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp_dsc2121_2 Sanctuary-Gorilla-Forest-Camp-Fire-pit Sanctuary-Gorilla-Forest-Camp-Gorilla-tracking Sanctuary-Gorilla-Forest-Camp-Gorilla Sanctuary-Gorilla-Forest-Camp-Lounge Sanctuary-Gorilla-Forest-Camp-Pano The-Boma-Hotel-entebbe The-Boma-Entebbe--cottage-interior

Accessible fly-in location. Accommodation in a private concession.

Destinations visited

Adventurer Rwanda's Gorilla Tracking

From $5,665 per person sharing
5 days
Virunga-Lodge---gorilla-tracking Virunga-Lodge---golden-monkey-tracking Breakfast-with-lake-and-mountain-views-at-Virunga-Lodge Climb-a-volcano View-from-Virunga-Lodge Virunga-Lodge---guest-banda Virunga-Lodge---one-sheep-per-family-project Virunga-Lodge---terrace-views

Track rare mountain gorillas. Spectacular lake & volcano views.

Destinations visited
Kigali Volcanoes National Park

East Africa's Gorillas, Safari & Beach

From $16,000 per person sharing
14 days
Soul-stirring-encounters-with-gorilla---Sabyinyo-Silverback-Lodge Breakfast-with-views-of-the-mist-flickering-from-your-private-veranda-at-Sabyinyo-Silverback-Lodge Luxury-forest-retreat---Great-photographic-opportunities-with-Sabyinyo-Silverback-Lodge Unique-wildlife-encounters-with-Sabyinyo-Silverback-Lodge Wilderness-Sabyinyo-See-the-golden-monkeys Wilderness-Sabyinyo-Volcanoes-National-Park--provides-a-dramatic-backdrop _Beyond-Serengeti-Under-Canvas_5 Namiri-Plains-Tent-exterior

Trek mountain gorillas and golden monkeys in Rwanda. Stay in an exclusive beach villa on Zanzibar.

Destinations visited
Kigali Rwanda Serengeti Tanzania Zanzibar

Serengeti, Crater & Gorillas

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9 days
Sanctuary-Gorilla-Forest-Camp-Fire-pit Sanctuary-Ngorongoro-Crater-Camp_Sundowner Sanctuary-Gorilla-Forest-Camp-Gorilla-tracking Sanctuary-Gorilla-Forest-Camp-Luxury-Tent Sanctuary-Gorilla-Forest-Camp-Pano Sanctuary-Kichakani-Serengeti-Camp-_Bedroom Sanctuary-Kichakani-Serengeti-Camp-_Boma Sanctuary-Kichakani-Serengeti-Camp-_Wildlife

Explore the Ngorongoro Crater. See big cats like lion, cheetah and leopard.

Destinations visited
Ngorongoro Crater Serengeti Tanzania Uganda