Where to go for Gorilla Trekking (Uganda versus Rwanda)
Gorilla trekking in Uganda are majorly done at two national parks located in western Uganda that is Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is a home to the highest concentration of primates on earth. Around 10 habituated gorilla families can be found in Bwindi National Park, with each group limited to a maximum of 8 visitors per day.
The gorillas are constantly on the move, so it is hard to narrow down just one area in which to track them. As a result, the total time you spend gorilla trekking can be anything from half an hour to nine hours. Mgahinga National Park is another option for gorilla trekking in Uganda, although the park’s small size means the gorilla family residing here is slightly more elusive. Mgahinga spreads across three inactive volcanoes – Sabyinyo, Gahinga and Muhabura – making its 34 square kilometer landscape incredibly dramatic. Because it can be slightly more difficult to find the gorilla family at Mgahinga, it’s great to spend your time here doing a few other things as well, such as hiking one of the three volcanoes or connecting with the indigenous Batwa tribe.
In Rwanda Gorilla trekking is carried mainly in volcanoes national park whose gorillas are the mostly wholly habituated and often found in bamboo than the dense forest which makes photographing easier. Volcanoes National Park is Rwanda’s preferred destination for gorilla sightings, with the region’s gentle slopes and open bush catering to all types of travelers.
Volcanoes National Park was given its name by virtue of the fact that it’s the home to five of the eight volcanoes in the Virunga Mountains Combined with blanketed rain forest, open grassland and small lakes, the landscapes across Volcanoes National Park are worth visiting.
Ease of Securing Gorilla Permits
The Uganda Gorilla trekking Permit costs $700 Us Dollars while the Rwanda Gorilla trekking permits cost $1500 Us Dollars. Therefore while planning your gorilla trek, you should choose the destination whose gorilla trekking permit fits in your travel budget.
However, in Uganda you need 8 hours to drive from Entebbe Airport and another 8 hours back to the airport. This would mean at least two days to complete your gorilla tour, even though the Uganda gorillas permits are cheaper, you would incur a transport cost of about $500-$600. In Rwanda it’s a 2 hours drive from Kigali Airport to volcanoes national park making short and cheap in transport wise.
Accessibility to Gorilla Parks
Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda is considerably more accessible than Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda. The drive from Rwanda’s capital city, Kigali, to Volcanoes National Park takes up to 3 hours on a good road. The drive from Entebbe, Uganda’s gateway for most visitors, to Bwindi Impenetrable forest takes between 8 and 10 hours.
While there is only one starting point for gorilla treks in Rwanda, there are four different trail heads in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, the long drive to Bwindi impenetrable national park is endowed with great sceneries all through like the Equator, lake Mburo national park, abundant wildlife, terraced mountains with flowing rivers things which do not exist on the Kigali drive to the volcanoes National Park.
self-drive safari with gorilla trekking you need on a car
In Uganda the people are friendly – and welcoming others is an important part of Ugandan culture. Uganda has beautiful scenery and interesting terrain with parks like the Kidepo Valley that are home to the striped aardwolf, caracal, cheetah and kudu in the grasslands of the savannah; and of course, the gorillas of the misty Bwindi plains. There are also many vibrant markets like the Nakasero and Owino markets in Kampala offering fresh produce and clothing.
Rwanda is such a clean country – there simply is no litter anywhere. Both the cities and the rural areas are spotless. By law, everybody goes into their community once a month to pick up any litter. Plastic bags have been banned, and there are many reforestation programs in the country.
The Rwandan people are friendly, welcoming and warm. They’re still mourning the horrific genocide in 1994. A visit to the Genocide Museum in Kigali is extremely emotional but, in my opinion, extremely important to understand the country. This is a proud nation – and so they should be.
Uganda has more habituated mountain gorillas and so admits more trekkers per day. About 80 people a day are allowed to visit Uganda’s gorillas. In Rwanda, the number of daily visitors is about 56.The trekking itself is generally more challenging in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest (Uganda) given that the gorillas are more tucked away and after viewing the gorillas you often have to ascend steep slopes out of the forests.
In Rwanda some of the gorilla groups are often found closer to the park entrance, requiring a shorter hike. In Uganda the gorillas tend to be found deeper in the forest in groups of between 10 and 20, with at least one silverback. In Rwanda groups range between 9 and 39 gorillas including at least one silverback
Safety and Security
The Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda can be visited safely, is well managed and has a permit system that is functioning efficiently. Uganda has also been very safe since their political war that ended in 1986.Bwindi forest is very safe and they also have an efficiently functioning permit system.
Check Fluids (oil, hydraulic, brake fluid, and coolant) and drive belts
An under-the-bonnet is checked first, as it is one of the main concerns motorists need to be aware of and don’t check often enough. If your coolant and oil levels are low, you might have a little leak somewhere. Make sure to also check the brake fluid, if this level is too low, your car is not safe to drive.
While checking underneath your vehicle, examine the drive belt for any cracks. If your drive belt is damaged or worn out, you may have a total engine shutdown. This is very important – if anything happens to this belt, you will be stuck within a few kilometers.”
Wheels and tires
Tyres are perhaps the most important part of your vehicle. Check the surface of the tyres for any notable damage, inflections, and look for bubbles, it is also important for drivers to check their tyre pressure regularly, even if they are not on a road trip. If a tyre is over inflated, it will wear in the middle of the tyre, and if it is underinflated, it will wear on the sides and edges
The test is simple – are the wipers clearing the water from the windscreen, or are they leaving lines of water that impair your vision? Before setting out on your road trip, use the windscreen washers to spray your windscreen and then check if the wipers are doing their job.
The brake pads are made up of a metal outer part and composite inner part. The composite inner part needs to be above 5mm thick. Once the pad wears down below this, it is advisable to change the break ads recommended by car experts. Make sure your handbrake is working correctly; your handbrake should not click more than four times before it holds the car in place, anything more than four clicks would not pass a roadworthy test.
Brakes and clutch
While the brake pads are checked when the car is stationary, it is important to evaluate how the vehicle reacts to braking when driving – whether it pulls to either side under braking. It is unsafe to drive a vehicle that cannot be controlled under braking.
Things such as engine sounds, vibrations, and suspension and so on. So for the steering check, you may have mechanic take it for spin and see whether the steering pulls in a certain direction – if the vehicle veers to the left or the right. This could indicate a wheel alignment problem that may need to fixed