The main problem with tracking gorillas in Rwanda is the price of the gorilla permit which is at US$1500 compared to that of Uganda’s which is at US$700 per permit. More so, Rwanda’s pride is in the high ability for a guest to trek the gorillas in one day and then fly back home which is hard for Uganda. This is possible since Volcanoes National park is located just 116km from Kigali city and it’s a 2 hour drive, on the other hand, Bwindi is located 500km away from Kampala/ Entebbe Airport and also a drive can take over 8 hours plus. So this means that you will need 3 days for your gorilla tour in Bwindi. And in case a tour operator is making you a tour package, they will all consider these costs and will be included in the final cost.
However, with the oncoming of the scheduled flights to Bwindi, the operators can have a 3 days flying package to Bwindi. More so, a one day gorilla trek is not usually recommended due to the pressure it puts on the trekker and for those limited with time, we also suggest a 2 day gorilla package.
Even though the drive to Bwindi is so long, it’s quite enchanting with good sceneries all through the equator, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Lake Mburo National Park , both these have got abundant wildlife species, there are also the terraced mountains with the flowing rivers as well as rural Africa.
This is usually not the case for those driving from Kigali to Volcanoes National park. You will need to spend more on transport and time to be able to track mountain gorillas in Uganda than in Rwanda although the cost is compensated for by a cheaper gorilla permit.
Some of the sections of the roads to Bwindi impenetrable National Park are in poor conditions and yet in cases for Rwanda, you can drive on a smooth tarmac up to Volcanoes National Park head offices. More so, the roads that lead to the gorilla trekking trails can only be accessed with a raised 4×4 vehicle.
About the comparison of gorilla trekking experience.It’s known that the experience can only be different due to the ways a gorilla family will behave in front of the trekkers, how long the tracker has to move in rough areas before reaching the gorillas and also the way the park staff conduct the real exercise of gorilla trekking. The trek in Rwanda is more charming than that in Uganda, since on the tracking day in Rwanda, you will get more since by 7:00am, tea or coffee dispensers with cups are given to visitors who are going for the trek. You are free to take as much as you want. Also as you are enjoying the tea/coffee, you can be entertained by the lively traditional dance troupe called the SACOLA Traditional cultural experience which all the visitors will enjoy.
You can also get this in Uganda in the evenings at a fee from many traditional cultural groups which are near the park. More so, the drive from Kampala to Bwindi is either, you can pass by Queen Elizabeth National Park for the tree climbing lions, Kibale National Park for chimpanzee trekking or Lake Mburo National Park and the equator. So before you arrive in Bwindi, you have tested a bit of the pearl of Africa.
Also driving along the paved eucalyptus trees to the gorillas is also not the best deal. Some of the visitors purchase packages that combine both Rwanda and Uganda, this means trekking gorillas in Rwanda and also crossing to Uganda to be able to visit Queen Elizabeth National Park to enjoy the big five and chimpanzee trekking as well.
In form of the cost; due to the long drive that is endured from Kampala to Bwindi, the cost of the package increases, even though you travel by public buses. This cost also has to increase more since to have to travel two times to and from Bwindi. The interesting fact is that this increased cost is countered by the low cost gorilla permit of $600 and the reduced permits of $450 in April and May as well as November. A budget gorilla safari package goes at $1250 including the permits, accommodation, and transport and it’s per person. And the 2 day Rwanda gorilla safari goes for #1220 per person including the permit, transport and accommodation while a 3 day Rwanda gorilla tour goes for $1280 per person including the permits, accommodation and transport.