Gorilla Trekking Experiences, Testimonies + Client Reviews
This page shows gorilla trekking experiences, testimonies + client reviews. Gorilla trekking experiences in Uganda & Rwanda from different clients tracking mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda. Bwindi Forest National Park & Mgahinga National Park, Uganda.
Gorilla Trekking Experiences, Testimonies + Client Reviews in Volcanoes National Park Rwanda
The gorilla trekking experiences, testimonies, and client reviews are for clients that trekked gorillas in Rwanda they are piece of information to learn from, and maybe move you, or even get you booking your next gorilla trekking experience to the Volcanoes National Park, Uganda.
GORILLA TREKKING Experience in Rwanda – Ultimate Bucket List (2023)
Client: AnitaM, From Amsterdam, The Netherlands
We were very impressed with the way Rwanda Tourism is handled during this “Covid season”. All hospitality staff (hotels, airport, guides ect ect) is vaccinated and tourist have mandatory PCR test before entering the country and the parks. Everything is very clean and very well organized.
In the morning (7am – 7:15am) the staff has a meeting about which tourist group will go with which guide and to which gorilla group. Whilst this is going on there is coffee and tea available for you with plenty of seating area’s.
At this moment a maximum of 6 tourist are allowed to see a group of gorillas, where as before 8 tourist. There are 12 groups of Gorilla’s which tourist are allowed to see. At this moment it is not totally fully booked as usual and therefore in my opinion I would go asap to Rwanda if this is on your bucket list.
The gorillas can move from early morning when they are spotted by the trackers and therefore it is a track as you need to find them. From the meeting place you drive to your park entrance which can take about 30-45 minutes orso. and from there on you hike up to your group.
We hiked for about a big hour before we found them. This was a super amazing experience, we saw the huge Silverback from close by and a 2 month old baby amongst a group of 20 Gorillas! You are allowed to stay for one hour.
We have also done the two hikes, mount Bisoke and we visited the Diane Fossey grave. The mountain hike is very challenging especially if you struggle with the altitude. I actually preferred the hike to the Diane Fossey grave more as the jungle scenery was quite amazing. The hike uphill is about 1/3 of mount Bisoke and from there on it is reasonably flat.
We visited the Golden monkeys which is an easy track and lovely to do if you have a morning to spare.
We were in Rwanda during the dry season and this can be muddy already. I slipped three times! I would certainly recommend gaiters, hike shoes, walking stick (although also provided), and yes do take gardening gloves as recommend in other reviews aswell. Very useful as you need to be able to make your way though the forest and there are plenty of nettles there. READ MORE
Client: Kim G, From Toronto, Canada
This is an incredible national park that offers so much.
Upon arrival, they check documentation for COVID testing carefully and registration of your details is required. You are separated into groups and you meet with your guide for a briefing.
You then drive to a different location for the start of your trek. We did a gorilla trek one day and a golden monkey trek the next. Both of our guides were knowledgeable and passionate about their work and the importance of the park.
The trackers were amazing – taking us through the brush and finding the animals for us. They take their time and use machetes to cut away a path. Mask wearing was strictly enforced for the safety of the animals.
In our opinion it is necessary to hire a porter for the day. These young folks are awesome and help by carrying your gear and helping you to navigate the sometimes non existent trail. For $10.00 USD it is the best money we spent there and you are supporting a person from the community.
Visiting gorillas is a once in a lifetime experience and was everything we thought it might be and better. Being so close to these incredible animals is like no other experience in the world. We were so happy we came to Rwanda to see them. READ MORE
Client: Leah G, From Jerusalem, Israel
I love this place! I spent one of the most beautiful mornings of my life with the golden monkeys-some of the most beautiful creatures imaginable.
My guide Ignatious was terrific and knowledgable and did everything he could to make my hike comfortable and memorable.
He even helped me find a mechanic when we discovered my rental car had sprung a leak-it was TOTALLY above and beyond anything I would have expected.
I very much look forward to going back on my next trip and hope one day to be able to afford the mountain gorillas trek (currently $1500 per person.) READ MORE
Gorilla Trekking Experiences Packages
Our tailor-made gorilla trekking experience packages – keep in mind these are just samples that can be tailored to suit your needs and budget.
Gorilla Trekking Experiences, Testimonies + Client Reviews in Bwindi Forest National Park Rwanda
The gorilla trekking experiences, testimonies, and client reviews are for clients that trekked gorillas in Uganda they are a piece of information to learn from, and maybe move you, or even get you booking your next gorilla trekking experience to the Bwindi Forest National Park, Uganda.
Client: NMdsb From – Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, NM
This is a brief review of my experience doing both the habituation walk and the “normal trek” in Dec 2022. I was with my son, who is in his mid-20s. Bear in mind that this is simply a slice in time, and experiences with weather and other group members, as well as the route taken, can vary tremendously. A word about me – I am 64 and walk in mountainous terrain quite regularly.
Habituation walk: We were the only two on the habituation walk. We left early, at 5:30am, and we moved relatively quickly through a fairly remote part of the park, meeting up with the trackers after about 2 – 3 hours of fairly vigorous walking. We both wore hiking shoes (“low tops”) and used gators. We were provided with sturdy walking sticks and I brought lightweight gloves along, which I highly recommend, as you don’t want to grab a bunch of nettles when you slip. Our gloves had a lightweight rubberized palmar surface with a breathable back, and they were perfect.
We had four hours with the gorillas. We were mock charged several times and we found the whole experience to be quite wonderful. The walk out was fairly tough, and unfortunately my son developed a blister in a bad place (bottom of his foot), so he was hobbling toward the end. We ended up popping the blister with a monstrous looking thorn that one of the trackers found, so that was an added “bonus” for our trip. In retrospect, I think my son’s shoes were not quite broken in as fully as they ought to have been, but otherwise our “low tops” served us just fine.
Normal Gorilla Trek: The next day I did the “normal” trek. My son was unable to come on account of his blister. There were five in our group. One gentleman, in his 50s, had to stop every 100 feet or so whenever we went uphill, and he consistently said that he was not going to make it. He told me that he had done two other gorilla treks that week, with no issues. “This is much harder,” he said. I ended up giving him most of my water, as he did not bring enough for himself.
Be aware that these hikes seem to vary considerably. In fact, when I first showed up for the “normal” trek there were about 20 people there, and some people had on tennis shoes, and were dressed as though they were going for a stroll around the reservoir in Central Park. They were evidently sent out to find a family that was quite near, on an easy footpath with no scrambling involved. I was told that they were back within two hours, and that included the one hour spent with the gorillas.
Our gorillas were much further away, and we found them after a very long walk, up and down slippery terrain. We were with them for an hour, during which time the guide and the trackers talked and joked amongst themselves incessantly. It was in no way a “private and quiet” moment with the gorillas, as the habituation experience had been. The walk out was excruciating, as we had to stop every 100 feet or so on account of the one gentleman, and there was discussion about calling in some porters to carry him out (they call that a “Uganda helicopter”). It really didn’t seem like he would make it, but with repeated and frequent stops, and traveling at a laboriously slow pace, we were able to do it. Total distance covered, per my iPhone: 7.2 miles. Terrain was admittedly rough at times, but this was slow slow slow walking. We were gone for about 8 hours.
Some thoughts: For us, the habituation walk was truly terrific, the regular trek was far less so. For the habituation walk we just drove to a trailhead at 5:30am and started walking. For the regular trek I showed up at 7:30, but didn’t leave till close to 9:00. There was an orientation talk and then dancing and singing performances beforehand, which I was not expecting.
I know this will not be the last word on footwear, but my thoughts on footwear are: it depends. At Rushaga, it seems you can get away with flat-soled tennis shoes if there is a group nearby and you only want to walk a short distance over easy terrain. Flat-soled tennis shoes would not have worked on the route we took – you needed good footwear with good tread. Ankle support is up to you – I was totally fine without. Gators were a real plus in my mind. Gloves a must.
I have seen stuff about porters, and I simply cannot imagine it. It’s a day pack with some water, some food, some rain gear. Having someone carry the slow guy’s day pack would not have made a difference for him – he was just too deconditioned to do the walk and a porter would not have changed that.
If you are coming from sea level and are unaccustomed to walking on unsteady terrain, you could have a problem with this. But do be aware that these hikes vary considerably and take any advice (including mine!) with a big chunk of salt. Hope this helps someone! READ MORE
Client: good_ants – From Doha, Qatar
To hike in this forest alone is a splendid day, but with the end goal being spotting – and then hanging out with – gorillas, and you have a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.
Don’t let high park fees (which is lower here than in Rwanda!) or the possibility of not spotting them stop you. GO! READ MORE
Client: Totosfamily – From Dunedin, New Zealand
Gorilla Trekking Experience of a Lifetime
Oct 2022 • Couples
Seeing the gorillas in the wild is a bucket list item, and worth the trek around the world from New Zealand. We doubled down – 2 days, just to make sure (they are wild animals after all so unpredictable as to how good a viewing may be). We needn’t have worried as we had two unbelievable days. You know what – wouldn’t trade down to one in hindsight. They were such different experiences. Our guides over the two days (Wilbur and James) were great and informative, the porters much more helpful than just carrying bags (one of our party had a dodgy leg), and the trackers were clearly effective. Our hikes in were 1 & 1/2 hours and 1 hour, respectively, then an hour with the gorillas before the hike out. Reasonable fitness is a must in my view.
We were lucky in that the Gorillas played ball but in different “jungle” conditions so the experiences were different. On day 2 we had to wait for them to finish sunbathing at the top of the tree before they graced us with their presence.
Highly recommended. We our review of Buhoma Lodge also.
Two tips – don’t be tight, pay the USD$20 for a porter – it’s their only employment for the month. And take your face mask as they are compulsory. READ MORE
Client: Colin Clark – From Jersey, UK
This was truly amazing experience to get so close to these gentle giants in their natural habitat and spend some time with them, a memory that will last forever!
Couple of things I’d like to mention before you do this activity.
Please get a porter even if you don’t think you need one. It’s 20USD for the day and this is their wage, they walk long distances to get to the meeting point in the hope get work that day. There are around 200
of them that take turns and once they have had a turn they go to the back of queue, so depending on who wants porters they may only be able to work one day a month. They will carry your bag, show you where to step and help you as much as you need to get you up the mountain. Well worth it and it gives back to the community.
Its a bit of a lottery of what group you go in and what trail you will be on, but I think they put you in age groups so the idea is if you’re older you will go to the gorillas on the easier trails and the families closer down the mountain. We are in our mid 30’s and so were the rest of our group. Our fitness isn’t great and we are a little over weight however with our porters the trek was fine. It was a total of 4 hours and 45 minutes and we were told that was a medium hike but our trail was one of the steeper ones. We were worried after reading reviews that we wouldn’t be fit enough and with it being at altitude it would be too hard however with the porters and a average fitness level you should be fine.
One last thing, gloves are not essential but handy, long sleeve tops are advised to protect your arms. Tuck your socks in to your trousers to stop red ants getting anywhere they shouldn’t be. Some people where wearing gaters, take a poncho the rain is unpredictable. Walking stick is provided on arrival which came in very handy. Don’t forget your face mask (needed when you view the gorillas but not for the trekking).
Overall the trek was amazing and we really enjoyed the whole experience of the hike and meeting the gorillas and I’m sure you will too!
I’m sure this will be the highlight of your trip to Uganda as it was for us! READ MORE