Mountain Gorilla – Uganda or Rwanda

Hi all,

We like photography and filming very much. Any idea where it is nicest to see the gorillas? We were advised to go to Rwanda as the sourrounding where you see them is nicer, in the forest instead of banana plantation and that the vegetation is thicker in Uganda which is bad for the light? 

Any advise/information would be very much appreciated.


Kind regards

Carmen and Tobi


  • vladimir dinets

    As far as I know, Uganda gorillas move out of the country once in a while, so it’s less reliable. The cheapest option is Congo-Zaire, but I don’t know if they currently operate gorilla tours.

  • tomeslice

    I was under the impression that if you go to Bwindi National Park you don’t see them in the banana plantation, but rather in the forest.

    Based on the pictures from Des Volcans national park in Rwanda and Bwindi Impenetrable forest in Uganda, I’d say Uganda is the place to go… In my personal opinion the thick rain forest makes the pictures look more “natural” because that’s where you’d expect to see gorillas, other than a zoo. Plus Bwindi is almost 3 times larger and is home to many more species that you can encounter and photograph. That’s what I’d go with personally – Uganda is considered to be the “pearl of Africa” and it’s supposed to be an amazing place. I definitely need to go there some time over the next few years.

    That’s my 2 cents anyway.

  • Jon Hall

    Hi, I have seen them in Rwanda and they are in a natural setting there – or at least the group I saw were. You have the option to select different groups and I chose to trek to the group furthest away. Photos on my site


  • Jon Hall

    And this is from Bog Berghaier

    Good Morning Jon,

    I wanted to reply to Carmen & Tobi was not able to do so in your comments section.

    I have been to Uganda, the Congo and Rwanda and have seen gorillas in the later two. From what I experienced and gorilla pictures I have seen, in theory Rwanda would provide the best photo opportunities. Carmen & Tobi should plan on at least two treks each to different gorilla groups. If they can afford a 3rd trek (permits are $500.00 USD each) it would be money well spent.

    Bob Berghaier

  • Jerzy


    I was on a trip when we saw Mountain Gorillas in Rwanda, and then the part of our group went again to see them in Bwindi in Uganda.

    Rwanda was splendid. People in Bwindi said that views were much worse, because they trekked in very hot bush, not forest, and gorillas were invisible in thick growth for the first part of the visit.

    In general, in both places there are different gorilla groups, and you may get to visit a large group and close by, or a group requiring much trekking and smaller. Apparently officials assign groups to tours every morning, depending from people’s walking ability etc.

    But you get good experience in either park – no wonder as you pay USD500 per tour (which I found quite outrageous, given normal pay in these countries and that national parks in USA and Europe are free to near free).

    We didn’t see any other animals during either gorilla trek, but going by road through Bwindi we saw some nice squirrels during stop. In Uganda part of Virungas I made a nice trek for habituated Golden Guenons, and later saw a single Golden Guenon during bird tour there. Other parks in Uganda are great for mammals.


  • Jerzy

    PS. Rwanda was old-growth forest with clearings, good light.

  • Jon Hall

    And another comment from Bob B

    While I agree that $500 USD is a large sum much of this money is used to fund the National Parks and Reserves systems of Rwanda & Uganda. The fact is that the populations of Mtn gorillas in both countries have increased while over a million human beings have died in tribal conflicts. In my opinion the only reason they have survived is because they are a valuable economic resource.

    Bob Berghaier

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