Africa is a home to a diverse species of Gorilla that can be spotted in the five most famous regions. The mountain gorillas, grauer gorilla and Western lowland gorilla are the three species that found in the African wilderness. Africa tour packages are crafted with gorilla trekking where you can spot these incredible giants in their habitat playing and living in harmony with the nature.
Talking about the population, Gorillas are the endangered and rare wilds are hiding in the forest of Africa. The human conflict, deforestation and infectious diseases have lead to a severe decline in the population of Mountain Gorillas. The three African countries- Uganda, Rwanda and DRC houses a large population as compared to other region and it has been possible due to the conservation program to protect mountain Gorilla and their habitat.
The western Lowland Gorillas inhabit the rainforests of west and central Africa, with just a population of 100,000 individual. These individual can be tracked in their habitat with guided tours that are arranged as Gorilla trekking in Africa safari tour package. Here are the best five places where you can spot the subspecies of these Gorillas living in African wilderness.
Uganda, the most popular destination in Africa for Mountain Gorilla trekking, houses 1004 gorillas in the dense wild terrain. With the two famous national parks, Uganda is the best destination where you can enjoy the thrill of spotting these massive creatures closely.
There are 13 groups living in the Biwindi Impenetrable forest national park that can be spotted with guides or rangers. Mgahinga National Park of Uganda houses only one or two families making it a less popular destination for Gorilla trekking in Uganda safari tour.
Gorilla trekking in Uganda requires a permit of US$600 for a day and to keep the human inference in check, only a group of 8-10 individuals are allowed to there for an hour. Being one and only popular and a less expensive destination of Uganda, it is important to get your permit in advance, before 6 months especially when you are planning it during the peak season.
The month from June to September is considered to be the best for witnessing the family and habitat of Mountain Gorillas in Uganda. The Uganda Wildlife Authority is the most reliable firm to get your registration and an expert ranger for Gorilla safari for Uganda tour package.
While Uganda is a major destination for Gorilla safari, Rwanda remains the most visited country due to the famous Volcanoes National Park. The country offers an easy and tranquil tour around the wilderness where the land is not as demanding as the dramatic terrain of Uganda where you need a great physical strength. There is lush greenery and plains to encounter with these massive mountain gorillas of Africa.
Volcanoes National Park houses around 600 gorillas making it the best place in Rwanda where you can spot these subspecies. A permit of US$1500 is needed to enter these gorilla inhabited region that is expensive than a permit charge in Uganda.
There are rangers who lead the groups for gorilla Rwanda safari tours to explore the lower slopes and the high terrain of Mount Karisimbi. While Rwanda is nothing less than Uganda when it comes to the thrill of Safari, the well built infrastructure and luxury accommodation makes Rwanda a lesser explored African region or Gorilla trekking. The experience is great with lesser crowd, easy to explore paths and a great luxury but somewhere expense and daily budget can be a problem if you are looking for a budgeted experience.
Democratic Republic of Congo
DRC or Democratic Republic of Congo is a home to Mountain Gorillas and the western lowland gorillas. Well, tourism in DRC is not common making it a remote region for safari but tours like Gorilla safari are being organized. One must not expect a leisurely feel in DRC as the road connectivity, transportation and development still lacks here.
DRC tour is cheaper and affordable than Uganda and Rwanda vacation packages where the day permit costs just US$400.The Virunga Mountains is a home to around 5,000 grauer’s gorillas, the largest from rest of the lowland inhabited region. There are budgeted and luxury lodges near the Virunga National Park where you can stay under an estimated budget.
Even after being an inexpensive option, Democratic Republic of Congo remains an unexplored region as the country is volatile and a high security is needed for Gorilla safari. Incidences have been recorded in the past when few British tourists were kidnapped in the national parks. Other reports of killing of 150 rangers by the poachers or rebels have been submitted in the past year making it a somewhere unreliable in terms of security for your Africa safari tour.
Central African Republic
Dzangha-Sangha in Central African Republic is a home to lowland gorillas that has been registered under UNESCO world Heritage Site of Sangha Trinational Reserve. A large population of western lowland gorillas can be spotted in CAR Africa. Despite being a rich heritage for gorillas and rainforest ecosystem, CAR is not considered a safer county for safaris. Hardship can be faced in terms of the political issues, safety and effort trekking through the dark dense forests.
The tours are guided by two local groups of Bai Hokou and onkly two groups of three people are allowed to track the gorillas for two hours. When it comes to trekking difficulties, the terrain of CAR Dzangha-Sangha is easier than gorilla trekking in Rwanda and Uganda safari tours. Living in a small group, these gorillas can be seen as a family of three to four socializing in the wilderness.
The Central African Republic is protecting the highest population of Lowland western gorillas. It is majorly due to the vast untouched and protected rainforests providing a secure and natural habitat to these massive creatures. Well, before you plan, make sure you are prepared well as gorilla trekking in CAR is not for faint-hearted.
Congo Brazzaville, bordering DRC is considered to be safer and better place for gorilla safari to be added in Africa safari tour package. The Congo of Republic or Congo Brazzaville is remote place housing dense and quite rainforest that provide a natural habitat to the subspecies of gorillas living here. The western lowland gorillas can be seen here socializing as families in these tropical woodlands of Congo.
Gorillaa have lost a large population due to infection like Ebola and other factors as bushmeat demand, trading and more. Since then the conservation program has started and today Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park is housing 100 individuals. There are rehabilitative programs conducted in Léfini Reserve to treat the orphans and later they are sent back to their natural environment.
Talking about gorilla encounter, Odzala-Kokoua National Park offers tours to discover the inhabitant gorillas with a luxury lodging and unique experience. Safari here won’t be inexpensive as in DRC or CAR, but the dense wild forest and trekking trails have made it a better destination you can chose for gorilla safari in Africa holiday packages.