Gorilla tracking is being promoted among all these three countries where gorillas are tracked year in year out. Gorilla trekking become popular in Congo by the late 1960s and by 1978 gorilla tourism was also being promoted in Rwanda with wonderful results on the local economy and by 1980s gorilla tourism become an important source of revenue for Rwanda and gorilla become a symbol of national pride. In 1990s Uganda became the leading popular country for encountering gorillas due to political instabilities countered the neighboring countries that are Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Gorilla tourism today stands at a turning point especially in Uganda and Rwanda.
All the three countries where the remaining gorillas live have a history of instability that makes it herd for international conservation organizations to operate with any certainty. However the international gorilla conservation programme (IGCP) and the Dian Fossy Gorilla foundation (DFGF) have tried to promote sustainable agricultural and tourism practices and encourage the active participation of local communities in conservation and this has played a large part in ensuring the gorilla survival during unstable times.
Uganda and Rwanda are ensured safe countries for gorilla tracking, stability is now paramount and gorillas can be tracked at any time depending on the traveler’s interest and time of traveling. Gorilla permits are at a very high demand in both countries and they are issued on first come first served basis so it’s advised to book your permit in advance at least 2-4 month prior to your safari. Gorilla permits in Uganda are issued at a price of US$600 per person per tracking in both Bwindi impenetrable forest and Mgahinga gorilla national park and in Rwanda, gorilla permits are issued at a price of US$ 750 per person per tracking.. The rates are for foreign non residents. There is a discount for East African Residents and foreigners leaving in East Africa with work permits.
Tracking begins early in the morning after reporting at the park headquarters for a short briefing about gorilla tracking and also assigned to the ranger guide to lead you to the jungle. Gorilla tracking in both countries is strictly one hour and you are not allowed to use a flash camera in taking photos as this may scare away these giants and they can also charge on you. Gorilla visit is now considered the major highlight of many travelers who make it to these countries and it is considered a breathtaking memorable activity that can’t be missed, In order to let the local communities save these creatures a fee is left to the local communities around the different National Parks where gorilla tourism takes place. In Uganda, mountain gorilla tracking takes place in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National park. Rwanda gorilla tours on the other hand are conducted in the magnificent Volcanoes national park, that a French man calls “Parc National des Volcans”. However, gorilla tourism in Virunga National Park in DR Congo is currently hindered by political instabilities and the destination is considered NOT safe to travelers.