The Virunga Gorilla Experience

Mountain Gorilla Silverback (Rwanda)

The entire world population of Mountain Gorillas is found in only 2 conservation area. The volcanic Virunga Mountains, which straddle the common borders of Congo, Rwanda and Uganda and in South Western Uganda's Impenetrable Forest. 

The habitat in Bwindi Impenetrable NP (Uganda) is a dense rainforest while in Rwanda (Volcanoes National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park (Uganda) the habitat of the gorillas is part of the Virunga, the famous chain of volcanoes located in Congo, Rwanda and also partially in Uganda. 

Bwindi Forest and the Virunga volcanoes have been separated by a broad strip of cultivation for several hundred years. The gorilla population in Bwindi and the Virunga have not been able to travel between the two areas. Some experts tend even to separate them in two subspecies of mountain gorillas.

Although their genetic material is identical (gorilla gorilla beringei), they differ when it comes to external characteristics and way of life. The gorillas in Rwanda and Mgahinga Gorilla NP (Uganda) live at a higher altitude and have longer fur. The shape of the nose and the facial folds are also different. When looking for food, Bwindi gorillas tend to travel longer distances.

Both conservation area give a different gorilla experience! Especially the environment determine your gorilla experience.

- For Rwanda, the assignement of Gorilla families is done by Park Authorities at time of trekking while for Mgahinga Gorilla NP (Uganda) it's done by the UWA headoffices in Kampala at the time of booking considering the availability of the Nyakagezi Gorilla family which is the only habituated family in Mgahinga Gorilla NP (Uganda).

- In Rwanda a typical gorilla trekking starts at the headquarters of the park with assigning the visitors to the respective habituated gorilla groups. Only the Park Authorities will assign you a gorilla group. Communicate your wishes to our driver-guide he will make some arrangements for you!

- After this formality the Rangers will give you a briefing of the way they will conduct this fantastic guided nature walk to the gorillas. They will give you extensive information on the environment, the gorilla family you will visit and the way you should behave with them. The so named “gorilla rules” will be clearly set out because it’s a corner stone in the conservation of the gorillas. There is not only a high risk of disease transmission to gorillas and vice versa, but the daily visits can cause behavioural disturbance and stress to gorillas. Please respect the rules!

- After the briefing we will drive you outside the park to nearest location of your assigned gorilla group. It's at this point that you will find some porters and from there your rangers will guide you to the gorillas. You will received a second briefing at boundary of the park.

- For more information about the Bwindi Gorilla Experience.

- View here the Magic Safaris Video 

- For Gorillas the min. age is 15 years.
- Flash photograpy is not permitted when tracking the gorillas.
-Tipping: $ 10 per participant per gorilla trek for the Ranger guides.
- Porters are available ($ 20) and assist participants during the hike, they are very useful for your comfort! At the same time you will support the local community!

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