Tanzania Safari And Gorilla Trekking In Uganda And Rwanda : Top 10 Quick Tips : Top 10 Quick Tips for Planning a Combined Tanzania Safari and Gorilla Trekking Trip in Uganda and Rwanda: Mountain gorilla encounters are an unforgettable experience because these endearing primates live in the mountainous regions of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda and Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda. An action-packed safari through some of Tanzania’s renowned big game reserves and a trek to see the mountain gorillas are the perfect ways to combine two incredible African wildlife experiences into one trip to Tanzania. Here are 10 quick tips for organizing your Tanzania safari and gorilla trekking trip, covering everything from choosing your destinations to obtaining permits and the experience itself.

Unforgettable Morning Safari In The Serengeti National Park
  1. Select your Tanzania safari destination(s).

Choose the Tanzanian safari location or locations you want to visit first. Perhaps you want to visit the famous national parks and wilderness areas of the Northern Safari Circuit, including Tarangire National Park, Lake Manyara National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, and Serengeti National Park. If you’re returning to Tanzania for a safari, you might want to venture off the beaten path along the Southern Safari Circuit, which passes through the vast Selous Game Reserve, Ruaha National Park, and Udzungwa Mountains National Park.

Consider the wildlife experiences you’re craving before deciding where you want to go on safari. Do you prefer to spot some of the less well-known species away from the crowds, or would you like to witness the Great Wildebeest Migration in action? Both Kilimanjaro International Airport, which serves as the starting point for the Northern Safari Circuit, and Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salaam, which serves as the starting point for the Southern Safari Circuit, offer flights to Rwanda and Uganda.

  1. Decide on your preferred gorilla trekking destination.

It’s time to consider your options for your Tanzania safari destinations and where you want to go for your gorilla trekking Safari experience. The two national parks in Rwanda are both easily accessible, but Volcanoes National Park in the country’s capital, Kigali, is the closest and easiest to get to. Although it is possible to book a domestic flight to a city close to Bwindi, such as Kihihi or Kisoro, and then continue by road from there, Entebbe International Airport, which serves as Uganda’s main entry point, is located 10 hours away from Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

Because the vegetation is less dense and sightings are easier to come by, Volcanoes National Park is generally thought of as being a little easier when it comes to the trekking experience. However, there is a cost associated with it; at the time of writing, gorilla permits in Rwanda cost USD 1,500 compared to USD 700 in Uganda.

  1. Determine your budget and accommodation options.

There are several lodges close to both parks, so lodging options are plentiful. With a few high-end establishments recently opening close to Volcanoes National Park, including Singita Kwitonda, Rwanda has the advantage when it comes to luxurious lodges. In contrast, Uganda offers a few mid-range accommodations in addition to luxury lodges, so it can accommodate a wider range of spending levels. Be realistic when setting your vacation budget because trekking to see mountain gorillas in Rwanda and Uganda is not a cheap experience.

  1. Secure a Gorilla Trekking permit.

It’s critical to obtain your gorilla trekking permit as soon as you’ve made your travel plans. If you make your reservations through a travel agency like Focus East Africa Tours, they’ll do the legwork and assist you in securing your permit for the dates you’ve chosen to travel. If you want to trek from June to October, when demand for permits is at its highest, it’s especially crucial that you finalize your travel arrangements early. Rwanda significantly reduces the cost of its permits if you’re willing to trek through the challenging terrain from November to May, when rainfall is at its lowest.

  1. Fly or drive Safari?

Consider scheduling an internal flight if you’re traveling to Uganda and don’t want to deal with the tiresome drive from Entebbe International Airport to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. For trekking to see mountain gorillas in Bwindi, there are four trailheads: Buhoma and Ruhija in the north; Rushaga and Nkuringo in the south. The Buhoma and Ruhija trailheads are closest to Kihihi Airport, while the Rushaga and Nkuringo trailheads are closest to Kisoro Airport.

  1. Combine your gorilla trekking with other in-country activities.

Explore some of Uganda’s or Rwanda’s other attractions to make the most of your time there. As previously mentioned, you can combine a trip to Akagera or Nyungwe National Parks with your trek to see the mountain gorillas of Rwanda. Likewise, Uganda has world-class wildlife reserves, such as Queen Elizabeth National Park and Murchison Falls national park, which can be reached in as little as two hours from Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Additionally, it’s a very well-liked spot for whitewater rafting, with exhilarating excursions starting in Jinja along the Blue Nile’s waters.

  1. Get in good trekking fitness.

You might only need to trek for an hour to see mountain gorillas in Uganda and Rwanda because they are wild animals and are free to move wherever they please. Or you might spend four or five hours hiking. Trackers leave early every morning to check on the gorillas’ location and radio it to the guides. They will then give you a briefing on the conditions, which will include hiking at altitude, as well as how long you can anticipate hiking for. You must be in good health and prepared to handle the demands that will be placed on your body because of this. Therefore, instead of thinking of it as a walk in the park, get in shape for your trip to East Africa by going on regular treks.

Tanzania Safari And Gorilla Trekking In Uganda And Rwanda
Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi
  1. Carry plenty of water and snacks.

You must also make sure you have enough water and snacks with you to fuel your journey and keep you hydrated. Carry enough supplies for a full day’s hike even if the gorillas are nearby, just in case. Take the advice of your guides and pay attention to your body. You are the only one who truly understands how much water you need to consume and how much energy you need.

  1. Respect the mountain gorillas’ space.

Once you get close to the gorillas, you have an hour to spend with them, but you have to keep a five-meter distance from them at all times. This prevents injuries from occurring even though silverbacks are accustomed to humans and aren’t aggressive. Your guides will give you a briefing on the regulations and any etiquette that should be followed. They may also show you how to make a low grunting noise that will reassure the gorillas. The gorillas may occasionally come close to you (they don’t always abide by the five-meter rule!), but you should just follow the advice of your trained guides, who will know how to handle the situation.

  1. Document your experience.

It’s an unforgettable experience to be in the presence of wild mountain gorillas, and you’ll want to capture it on camera. To avoid disturbing the gorillas, it’s crucial that you avoid using flash and, if at all possible, make use of your camera’s “silent” mode. Regardless of how badly you want to get “that shot,” you should always keep a safe distance from the gorillas and be considerate of the fact that other trekkers may also be trying to capture the moment. Don’t forget to put your camera away for a little while and just enjoy the experience through your own eyes since you only have an hour to spend with these amazing creatures.


To get assistance planning your adventure, get in touch with one of our safari experts right away. Our safari and gorilla trekking itineraries in Tanzania include lodging in opulent lodges and camps, meals, ground transportation, and help obtaining all required permits.

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