Rumor has it there’s nothing on earth more thrilling than that moment when, after trekking all morning beneath a dense forest canopy of emerald green, you finally spy a family of mountain gorillas, or Gorilla gorilla beringei. While Uganda has been a hot spot for those wishing to experience such a rush as this, Rwanda offers just as exhilarating an adventure, with enough nuances to make it a destination that, once you learn more, you will not want to miss. Is your interest piqued? Well, here are some details comparing mountain gorilla treks through both Uganda and Rwanda.
In Uganda, those seeking the mountain gorilla trek through the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, a World Heritage Site located in southwestern Uganda, just along the edge of the Rift Valley. This rainforest is over 25,000 years old and is home to approximately 400 mountain gorillas, which is about half of the world’s population (based on research numbers gathered in 2012).
While searching for the mountain gorilla in Rwanda, however, you’d find yourself passing through just about 62 square miles of the misty mountains and lush green forests of Volcanoes National Park in northern Rwanda. This park is the oldest national park in Africa, and features eight ancient volcanoes.
Other than the mountain gorilla, while trekking beneath the forest’s verdant canopy in Uganda, you might also spy the eastern chimpanzee, the blue monkey, the red-tailed monkey, bush pigs, elephants, yellow-backed duiker (a type of antelope), the clawless otter, and the side-striped jackal. The Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is also home to numerous amphibians, butterflies, and at least 348 species of birds. Of the 348, it should be noted that eight are found nowhere else in East Africa, so this is the place to be if you desire to see birds such as Fraser’s eagle owl, dwarf honeyguides, or African green broadbills.
While making your way through Volcanoes National Park, you will not only gaze upon the magnificent mountain gorilla, but you will also discover golden monkeys, spotted hyena, elephants, buffalo, black-fronted duiker, and bushbuck. As you lift your eyes toward the forest’s emerald ceiling, you are likely to see gorgeous specimens of the 178 species of bird, including Lagden’s bush-shrike, African green broadbills, and the Kivu ground thrush.
Lucky for you, no matter which destination you choose—Uganda or Rwanda—we have created the perfect expedition to make your gorilla tracking dreams come true. On our 14-day Uganda: A Primate Paradise expedition, two days are devoted to search for the mountain gorilla in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. On our 16-day Gorillas and the Great Migration: Rwanda & Tanzania expedition, two full days are also set aside to track this incredible creature. Either way, you are sure to experience the trek of a lifetime.