Generally from the past two decades, Uganda gorilla safaris and gorilla tours in Rwanda have been leading among Africa gorilla safari undertakers compared to Congo which for decades has been nursing wounds of civil conflicts especially in Virunga sector, the home of Mountain Gorillas. But following the wind of stability in this part of Congo, the gorilla safaris in Congo are steadily gaining attention world over.
The travel distance and time taken to access gorilla trekking parks in respective countries greatly varies, with Rwanda presenting higher chances of proximity and better accessibility to the trekking destinations, enabling even 1 day Rwanda gorilla trek in Volcanoes National Park. Volcanoes National Park is notably the nearest park to Kigali, located only 116kms from the Kigali.
On the other hand, Uganda gorilla trekking safari destinations involve long driving distances from Kampala to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, covering a distance of up to 500 kms to reach the park. A minimum of 3 days is thus required if one is undertaking a gorilla safari in Uganda starting and ending from Kampala/Entebbe. However, 2 days are also possible if the safari is ending in Kigali Rwanda.
Gorilla tracking in Congo on the contrary require visitors to cross to Goma via Gisenyi Rwanda then to Virunga National Park, a home to the endangered Mountain Gorillas or via Ruzizi 1 to Kahuzi Biega National Park for Lowland Gorilla tours. The popular route for Congo gorilla safaris is flying in and out of Kigali International Airport Rwanda.
Visitors who are price sensitive would take on gorilla tours in Uganda and Congo as compared to Rwanda. Uganda still takes the advantage of relatively affordable gorilla permits at only US $600 per person than Rwanda at 1,500$ per person. This November 2017, Uganda will be offering her last promotional gorilla permits at $450 per person. In destination Congo, the gorilla permit is sold at $400 per person.
Regarding the trekking experience, all the three destinations of Uganda Rwanda Congo now offer guaranteed sightings of Mountain Gorillas and the duration of the trek is still estimated at 2 – 8 hours depending on the gorilla movements. The travelers have chance of getting easy to trek gorilla groups upon special request from the park warden though most times, Rwanda has had many gorilla groups close to the starting point than any of these destinations making her gorilla trek a bit shorter. But for adventure enthusiasts, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park with its rugged densely forested landscapes remains the top pick while planning gorilla trekking safari in Uganda Rwanda Congo.
For Mountain Gorilla photography, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda and Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda have relatively short vegetation which makes these darling species more exposed and thus suitable for photo-shoots.