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Discovering Mountain Gorilla Habitats – Prime Locations in Africa for Gorilla Trekking

Discovering mountain gorilla habitats means exploring the prime locations for African gorilla trekking encounters.

Mountain gorillas are a subspecies of eastern gorillas and are the largest primates in the world.

At one point, in the 19th century, mountain gorillas were on the brink of extinction.

However, thanks to the conservation efforts of primatologists like Dian Fossey, who dedicated her life to the study and protection of mountain gorillas, their population has significantly increased.

Today, the remaining population of mountain gorillas can be found in Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Rwanda, primarily in the tropical rain-forests of the eight Virunga volcanoes and Bwindi National Park in Uganda, which is home to half of the population.

African Countries with Mountain Gorillas

Below are the African countries with Mountain Gorillas that you should visit.

1. Uganda

Mountain Gorilla Location in Africa

In Uganda, mountain gorillas can be found in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in the southwest and Mgahinga National Park in the extreme south, bordering Rwanda and Congo.

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is home to 12 habituated gorilla families distributed within four sectors of the park.

When planning a gorilla trek in Uganda, tourists should book permits in advance and try to secure accommodation in the sector where the permits have been obtained.

Gorilla permits in Uganda cost $700 per person.

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is also the only place that offers gorilla habituation experiences.

This involves joining researchers in the process of habituating gorillas to human presence.

Gorilla habituation is limited to only four people compared to the eight allowed for regular trekking, and it offers the opportunity to spend four hours with mountain gorillas.

Mgahinga National Park is home to the Nyakagezi gorilla family, with only eight permits available per day.

The park also boasts three of the Virunga volcanoes that can be climbed, and visitors can add golden monkey trekking to complement their gorilla trek.

2. Rwanda

Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Tours

Mountain gorillas inhabit the mountain slopes of Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, located in the northwestern part of the country, just a 2-hour drive from Kigali.

The park is home to five of the Virunga volcanoes, including the Karisoke Research Institute, established by the renowned American primatologist Dian Fossey.

Her conservation efforts ultimately led to her tragic death in Rwanda in 1986.

Gorilla permits in Rwanda cost $1500 per person.

Tourists can also engage in volcano climbing and golden monkey trekking as part of their safari.

Volcanoes National Park is only a 3-hour drive from Kigali, the capital of Rwanda.

3. Democratic Republic of Congo

Democratic Republic of Congo

Virunga National Park, located in the Democratic Republic of Congo, is home to mountain gorillas.

This park is one of the most biologically diverse places on Earth and was the first park to be established in Africa in 1925.

It is bordered by Mount Rwenzori and features two of the world’s most active volcanoes, Mount Nyiragongo and Mount Nyamuragira.

Visitors can also explore the Senkwekwe Gorilla Orphanage within the park.

What to Carry for Gorilla Trekking

Backpacking Essentials for Gorilla Trekking | The Complete Guide

When preparing for a mountain gorilla trek, keep in mind that these animals live at higher elevations, which may require some hiking and can become quite cold.

You should bring good hiking boots, garden gloves, raincoats, warm clothing, drinking water, energy snacks, and insect repellents, among other essentials.

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