Our People
  • Amy snow biking Our Team

    Steppes Travel is made by the people who work here. Incredible holidays are made possible because of their vast travel experience and the great enthusiasm they bring to their work.

  • Chris Packham Our Tour Experts

    We carefully select our experts based on their knowledge, companionship and influence, ensuring that you can travel with the most knowledgeable leaders in the field.

Family of mountain gorillas with a baby gorilla and a silverback, Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda

Gorilla Trekking

Considered by Sir David Attenborough to be the most poignant wildlife encounter of his career, an hour spent with mountain gorillas is a profound and humbling experience.

We organise gorilla trekking in Uganda, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo and Republic of Congo. Our experts can explain the pros and cons of each destination having visited all on several occasions.

While we have organised gorilla trekking holidays for thousands of our clients, we never get complacent about just how special an encounter with mountain gorillas can be. Such is our reputation, that over the years we have been asked to arrange trips for everyone from the BBC Natural History Unit to Turner Broadcasting and CNN. Steppes was even approached by the Ugandan Wildlife Authority when they were looking to open up a new gorilla group to tourism in 2004 (The Nkuringo Group) – they wanted us to provide the tourists. In short, no-one knows gorilla trekking better than Steppes.

Talk to our gorilla trekking experts about where, when and how to see mountain gorillas in the wild.

Young mountain gorilla eating, Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda
Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda

Rwanda

In 2018, Rwanda took the bold decision to double the cost of its gorilla trekking permits from $750 to $1,500. At the same time, the country’s tourism industry received huge investment, with new lodges opening in Nyungwe, Akagera and Volcanoes National Park. As a result, Rwanda has gained a reputation for offering an exclusive gorilla trekking experience, staying at some of Africa’s finest lodges with impeccable sustainable travel credentials.

If you want more than just a gorilla experience, then Akagera National Park, bordering Tanzania in the east, offers a big game viewing experience without the distraction of hundreds of other tourists. You can also head south to look for elusive chimps (as well as Rwanda’s best birding and chameleons) in Nyungwe Forest.

View Rwanda Holidays

Sunrise, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Uganda
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Uganda

Uganda

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is home to Uganda’s mountain gorillas. The trekking in Bwindi can be a little tougher than in Rwanda as the vegetation is thicker and more established. However, the diversity of wildlife and the forest itself is more dramatic given that it is much older. Uganda has the added benefit of cheaper gorilla permits, with prices at $700 per permit per person.

In addition to seeing gorillas in Uganda, there are also opportunities for chimpanzee trekking, exceptional game viewing in parks like Queen Elizabeth, boat safaris in Murchison Falls and some of Africa’s best birding.

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Lowlad Gorillas in Tree2, Republic of Congo
Republic of Congo

Republic of Congo and DRC

Unlike Uganda or Rwanda, gorillas in Republic of Congo are found in lowland tropical forest, in Odzala National Park. Therefore, whilst it is flat, it is very humid with difficult paths and long treks. However, in contrast to this, access to Odzala is by charter flight and the camps are exceptionally comfortable.

In DRC, there are two options for seeing gorillas. Head to Africa’s oldest national park, Virunga and visit one of four habituated mountain gorilla groups on the heavily forested slopes of the extinct Mikeno Volcano. Alternatively, visit Kahuzi-Biega where the lush rolling hills and thick jungle are the last remaining habitat for Grauer’s gorillas.

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Experiences

Gorilla Sanctuary

Visit Senkwekwe – the only orphan mountain gorilla sanctuary in the world.

Gorilla Habituation

Help habituate a family of mountain gorillas. Spend up to four hours with them, helping them become used to the presence of humans.

Gorilla Trekking

The very first time I saw a gorilla and realised they are the only animal that really stare at you.

Track Mountain Gorillas

Set out on foot into the park’s dense cloud forest. Come face to face with mountain gorillas and spend an hour in their company.

Gorilla Trekking

Trek in search of the mountain gorilla families of Bwindi.

Track Elephants and Gorillas

Experience thrilling encounters with lowland gorillas and forest elephants.

Track Gorillas and Elephants

Trek in search of western lowland gorillas, spending an hour with a habituated family.

Track Mountain Gorillas

Go in search of mountain gorillas in the Virunga Mountains.

Trek in Search of Grauer’s Gorillas

Go gorilla trekking in Kahuzi Biega National Park, home to habituated Grauer’s gorillas.

Trek for Lowland Gorillas

Join researchers and trek into Loango’s forest, in search of a family of habituated western lowland gorillas.

Meet our experts

A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.

Chris Johnston

25 years ago, my first trip to Africa took on a life of its own. I planned for three months, I stayed for two years. Whilst there, I was mistaken for a priest, attacked by sharks and arrested. Yet the countless, clattering journeys opened my eyes to the beauty of the landscapes and the grace of the people. My recent trips are undoubtedly more comfortable, but the welcome is as warm as ever and the best experiences are still those I never see coming.
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Bridget Cohen

Aged five and with my Curious George toy safely tucked under my arm, I set off with my family to travel around Europe in an orange VW minibus. Looking back on the adventures we had along the way, I now know that this was where my love for travel and exploring began.
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Right from the first contact, it was clear Chris understood the kind of trip we wanted and his expert advice ensured we were able to plan and experience the perfect trip. We wouldn't hesitate to recommend Chris and the rest of the Steppes team.

Uganda

Thoughts. Opinions. Experiences

Mountain Gorilla, Volcano National Park, Rwanda
Gorilla Trekking – The Facts
Chris Johnston
The reason for this blog is to try and help you decide which kind of gorilla trekking is best for you,…

Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge and expertise sets us apart. So too our curiosity. A curiosity of the world and of you, and your passions. It is this that drives us to create a journey that is really bespoke to you.

Are you ready to discover extraordinary?


Why Steppes