Primate Safaris Rwanda is a reliable safari company that has been leading gorilla tours to Africa for over six years. We able understand and appreciate the differences in gorilla trekking destinations, such as Uganda, Rwanda and Congo.
In this blog we rank and compare gorilla trekking in the DRC and Rwanda.
Gorilla trekking in the Democratic Republic of Congo
The Democratic Republic of Congo, also known as DR Congo, is a country located in Central Africa. The DRC borders the Central African Republic, and South Sudan to the north; Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania to the east; Zambia and Angola to the south; the Republic of the Congo to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the south-west.
In the DRC it is possible to go gorilla trekking for a lesser cost than in Rwanda and Uganda. The great Virunga National Park is shared by Uganda, Rwanda and Congo, but the biggest part of the park is on the Congo side – meaning there is a greater chance of seeing mountain gorillas here than the other two destinations. Virunga National Park is among the best destinations for gorilla trekking and it’s cheaper due to the fact that the gorilla permits only cost US$400 per person.
A gorilla safari experience in the DRC is best combined with hiking the Nyiragongo mountain. Mount Nyiragongo can be visited on one day, while gorilla trekking can be enjoyed on the other, meaning you don’t have to book an extended trip to get the best of both worlds. We advise that you book your stay at Bukima Tented Camp, as you won’t need to travel long distances to visit the mountain gorillas or the mountain.
Apart from mountain gorilla trekking in Congo, you can also trek to see the eastern lowland gorillas in the famous Kahuzi Biega National Park in Bukavu. In Kahuzi Biega National Park there are over four gorilla families that can be visited daily by tourists.
To sum up: Here are 4 reasons why you should book your gorilla trekking experience in the DR Congo
1. Cheap gorilla trekking permit – costs just US$400 for both the mountain gorillas and eastern lowland gorillas.
2. Hike to Nyiragongo for just US$270.
3. Short walking distance for gorilla trekking and ease to watch both mountain and eastern lowland gorillas.
4. There is great security and the park rangers are very friendly.
All Congo gorilla trekking safaris start from Kigali, Rwanda and take a simple drive to Gisenyi, Rwanda passing through the thousand hills and down into the Rift Valley of East Africa.
Gorilla trekking in Rwanda
Rwanda is a landlocked East African country with a green, mountainous landscape. It’s renowned Volcanoes National Park is home to mountain gorillas and golden monkeys. The park encompasses the 4,507 metre-tall Mt. Karisimbi and four other forested volcanoes. In the south-west is Nyungwe National Park, with an ancient montane rainforest that’s a habitat for chimpanzees and other primates.
Visitors can do a one-day gorilla tour in Rwanda, but it’s a risky safari to be undertaken if you have a flight on the same day as you may miss the flight back home.
Rwanda is home to a diverse population of animals including mountain gorillas and the largest natural park for hippos. Although Rwanda is still a developing country, it has quite a few hotels and its new international interest in tourism is giving it a comeback.
The gorilla permits in Rwanda are the most expensive compared to all the gorilla trekking destinations in Africa. Here the permits cost US$750.