Where to see gorillas in Africa – Which country is best for gorilla trekking in Africa?

If you are an adventure lover and always up for exciting experiences, Gorilla trekking should surely be on your bucket list. The African tropical rainforests inhabit one of the most endangered gorilla species, Mountain Gorillas, and tracking these massive giants in their natural habitat offers life long memories of Africa. Gorilla trekking is one of the best safaris activities to do while on an African safari. Imagine yourself deep in the forest, following a narrow hiking trail through the lush tropical rainforest. You wipe sweat from your eyes and feel grateful for your hiking gaiters. Without giving up, hiking through the rugged terrains as if it were what you were meant to do. As you advance in the forest, a tracker returns from scouting ahead and excitedly halts your group and you all wonder what next. Of course, it’s time to move forward slowly, with nothing but your camera and the thrill of anticipation. With a grin, your guide turns and whispers the words you’ve been longing to hear: “There they are.” This is a truly life-changing experience.

Tracking mountain gorillas is only possible in a few African countries and here is all you need to know about Where to see gorillas in Africa.

BEST GORILLA TOUR IN AFRICA- Choose the best gorilla trekking tour #Topbucketlist in Rwanda

If you are still wondering Where to see gorillas in Africa or/ which is the best place to visit for gorilla trekking? Mountain gorillas are only found in Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. There are four gorilla trekking National Park in these three countries, each with habituated gorilla groups that are ready for trekking. Uganda has two of the four National Parks (Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park). The other two gorilla trekking parks are found in Rwanda (Volcanoes National Park) and D. R Congo (Virunga National Park). Among all the gorilla Parks, Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park is the most popular for gorilla safaris and is also

considered the best destination for gorilla trekking safaris in Africa by most past travelers. The park is easily accessible, and the gorilla trekking experience is unique and thrilling.

Here is a complete guide to gorilla trekking Destinations in Africa – Where to see gorillas in Africa?

About Mountain Gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei)

The mountain gorillas, scientifically known as Gorilla beringei beringei, are a critically endangered subspecies of the eastern gorilla. They are found only in the dense forests of the Virunga Conservation Area, which run across the borders of Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo in Eastern Central Africa. These gentle giants are known for their distinctive fur, which is longer and thicker than that of other gorilla subspecies and helps them survive in the colder mountain climate. They are also known for their social behavior, as they live in groups led by a dominant silverback male, who protects and guides the group. Gorilla trekking is a top African safari experience (Activity). Here are the top places to see gorillas in Africa;


1. Volcanoes National Park – Rwanda

Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda is one of the most popular gorilla trekking destination in Africa. The park is home to 10 habituated gorilla families, which visitors can trek during their gorilla trekking tours. Rwanda gorilla trekking tours can be done throughout the year, making it possible for tourists to visit any time of the year for remarkable gorilla adventures. So, if

you’re wondering Where to see gorillas in Africa, the answer is Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park.

Volcanoes National Park is located in the northwestern part of Rwanda, near the border with Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is about a 2-hour drive from the capital city of Kigali. The park covers an area of about 160 square kilometers and is known for its stunning volcanic landscape, including a chain of six extinct and active volcanoes.

Gorilla families in Volcanoes National Park:

Susa Family: The Susa group is one of the largest gorilla families in Volcanoes National Park. This Family consists of about 28 members. The Susa family was made famous by the late Dian Fossey, a primatologist and conservationist, who studied them extensively.

2. Sabyinyo Family: The Sabyinyo group is named after Mount Sabyinyo, one of the volcanoes that towers over the park. This group is led by a dominant silverback named Guhonda.

3. Amahoro Family: The Amahoro family is known for its calm and peaceful behavior. This group has about 17 members, led by one dominant silverback.

4. Umubano Family: This gorilla group was originally part of the Amahoro family. It however split due to disputes over leadership. This gorilla group consists of 13 members and is characterized by its playful interactions.

5. Kwitonda Family: The Kwitonda gorilla group migrated from the Democratic Republic of Congo and is named after its dominant silverback, Kwitonda. This family roams near the Karisoke Research Center.

Gorilla trekking permits for Rwanda

The Rwanda gorilla permits are issued by the Rwanda Development Board, an Authority responsible for the conservation of gorillas and their Habitat. The Rwanda gorilla trekking permit costs about $ 1500 per person per trek. You can book your gorilla permit through us or directly from the Rwanda Development Board.

Best time for gorilla trekking in Rwanda

Rwanda gorillas can be trekked all year round, however, the driest months from June to September and December to February offer the best gorilla trekking conditions.


Uganda is a well-known destination for gorilla trekking tours in Africa. Uganda has two gorilla trekking National Parks.

2. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park – Uganda

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is the main gorilla trekking destination in Uganda, although Mgahinga Gorilla National Park also offers remarkable gorilla adventures. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is located in the southwestern region of Uganda, stretching over a total land area of 321 square kilometers. Bwindi is a UNESCO World Heritage site, one of the most bio-diverse forests in Africa, and home to more than half of the remaining mountain gorillas. Sightings of these gentle gorillas during gorilla tours are guaranteed in Bwindi.

Bwindi is home to about 19 habituated gorilla families that travelers can trek in different sectors of the park. The park is divided into four sectors – Buhoma, Ruhija, Nkurungo, and Rushaga.

The gorilla families in Bwindi include the Mubare Group, Habinyanja Group, Rushegura Group, Nkuringo Group, Oruzogo Group, Bitukura Group, Kyaguliro Group, Bweza Group,

Busingye Group, Mukiza Group, Katwe Group, Kahungye Group, Christmas Group, Bikingi Group, Mishaya Group, Rwigi Group, Nyakagezi Group, and Bushaho Group.

3. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is located in the southwestern part of Uganda and is a part of the Virunga Conservation Area. This National Park was established in 1991 and covers an area of 33.7 square kilometers. Mgahinga is home to various wildlife species, such as endangered mountain gorillas, and golden monkeys, among others.

The park’s most popular attraction is gorilla trekking, which you can trek during your safaris here. You can go on guided hikes in the forest to witness the gorillas in their natural habitat. The park has only one habituated gorilla family, the Nyakagezi group, which consists of 20 members. Mgahinga is an excellent destination for gorilla trekking safaris in Uganda and provides one of the easiest trekking experiences.

Gorilla trekking Permits for Uganda.

To trek Gorillas in Uganda, you need to acquire a gorilla trekking permit. The gorilla trekking permits are issued by the Uganda Wildlife Authority, an Authority responsible for the conservation of mountain gorillas and their habitat. Gorilla permits in Uganda cost about $ 700 per person however effective June 2024, the gorilla permit will be sold at $ 800 per person per trek.

Best time for Gorilla trekking in Uganda

Uganda gorillas can be trekked all year round, but the driest from June to September and December to February offer the most ideal gorilla trekking conditions. During these periods, the trails are dry, the foliage is less and sightings are guaranteed.

D. R Congo

The Republic of the Congo is a separate country in Africa, not to be confused with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Although DRC is unpopular like other gorilla trekking countries, it offers a unique gorilla trekking experience. Unlike Rwanda and Uganda, where you need to take a road transfer into the national park and then hike for about two to five hours in DRC, you can walk straight into the forest from camp and start searching for gorillas in the wild with your guide in Congo. Sometimes, you can find them within an hour. The terrain in Congo is flatter and at a lower altitude, making it warmer than in Rwanda and Uganda. Moreover, you can go trekking for three consecutive days, as opposed to only one day in the other countries. This provides you with more time to observe and compare the fascinating differences in personalities and group dynamics of the various gorilla families. Gorilla trekking in Congo is done at Virunga National Park, which is part of the Virunga conservation Area that extends in three countries of Uganda, Rwanda and the D. C Congo.

Which Country is the best for gorilla trekking Safaris?

If you’re planning a gorilla trekking safari and wondering which country is the best destination in Africa, Rwanda is the place to go. The gorilla trekking tours are conducted at Volcanoes National Park. In Rwanda, Groups of eight members are accompanied to the jungle by two armed, trained, and experienced ranger guides to trek gorillas. The rangers ensure your safety during the trek and carry guns for added protection. However, the guns are not used to shoot the gorillas; they may only be shot in the sky to scare away any animals that pose a threat to tourists. Rest assured that your safety is guaranteed during your gorilla trekking safari in Rwanda. Book your tour today with confidence!