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


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


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.

View Republic of Congo Holidays


Holiday Inspiration

Our experts have created and curated these tailor-made holiday ideas to get you started. Take the time to search through them and find something that is the spark for your unique gorilla trekking adventure.


Tell us what you love doing and we’ll curate a journey that’s perfect for you.

Bbay gorilla playing, Virunga National Park, Democratic Republic of Congo

Gorilla Sanctuary

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

Suggested Holiday Idea

Dominant male mountain gorilla in the grass, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda

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.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Gorilla Hand Close Up, Bwindi Forest, Uganda

Gorilla Trekking

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

Silverback gorillas, Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda

Track Mountain Gorillas

Set out on foot into the dense cloud forest of Volcanoes National Park and come face to face with mountain gorillas, spending a magical hour in their company.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Gorilla family in wild, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda

Gorilla Trekking

Trek in search of the mountain gorilla families of Bwindi.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Lowland Gorilla, Congo

Track Elephants and Gorillas

Experience thrilling encounters with lowland gorillas and forest elephants.

Lowland Gorilla in Tree, Republic of Congo

Track Gorillas and Elephants

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

Suggested Holiday Idea

Mountain gorilla, Virunga National Park, Democratic Republic of Congo

Track Mountain Gorillas

Go in search of mountain gorillas in the Virunga Mountains.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Silverback eastern lowland (Grauer's) gorilla, Democratic Republic of the Congo

Trek in Search of Grauer’s Gorillas

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

Suggested Holiday Idea

Western lowland gorilla in water, Gabon

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

Chris is the Conde Nast Traveller chosen Specialist for Africa.

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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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,…

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