Mountain Gorillas are found on the slopes of the Virunga Mountains in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and Rwanda. In Uganda, Mountain Gorillas can be tracked at the Mhaginga National Park and at the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Mgahinga is home sometimes to one group of habituated gorillas, however they seem to spend most of their time across the border in Rwanda, and we would not recommend Mgahinga for gorilla tracking for this reason. The group may be seen at a specific location in the Ugandan side one day, and cross over to the next country before you get there the following morning! While the Bwindi gorillas freely range widely across the area of the vast forest, the opportunities to see them are almost guaranteed. Our gorilla tracking safaris in Uganda are done at the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. In Rwanda, gorilla tracking is done at the Volcanoes National Park.
The montane forests of the Bwindi and the Volcanoes National Parks are high altitude locations, at an average of over 3000m above sea level. The air is thinner at higher altitudes, and you will need to be in good shape to tackle the treks. Tracking the gorillas takes 3 to 6-8hrs in total, depending on the location of the family, condition of the trails, and the weather. The slopes of the mountain are always moist, and as it rains very often, even in the dry season, they can be slippery. Depending on the region, the slopes can be gentle, or steeper than a flight of stairs, covered in dense vegetation and nettles. However, there have been incidences of the tracking taking less than 30min, and the gorillas sometimes venture close to the park boundaries or even into the grounds of the lodges and camps in the area!