If anyone ever tells you, "a safari is a safari is a safari," you should immediately shake them violently and wash their mouth out with soap. Not literally. Just in your mind, I guess. But we've recently heard from our preferred travel provider for safaris, African Travel, about their mountain gorilla itineraries. And, really, these trips are above and beyond. Since mountain gorillas have turned a corner, in terms of conservation, this might be the best time to plan a socially and ecologically responsible trip to see them.
Census results just released last month revealed that the population of critically endangered mountain gorillas living in East Africa’s mountains has grown to over 1,000. That's a huge success story, considering that many other African species are experiencing a reduction in numbers due to poaching and habitat destruction.
The census was led by the governments of Rwanda, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo as well as a number of conservation groups. It showed 604 individual gorillas living in Rwanda’s Virunga Mountains as of June 2016. Combined with an earlier study that shows approximately 400 gorillas in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, the combined total comes to over 1,000.
Gorilla populations in East Africa have been steadily increasing since 1981, when their numbers dipped as low as 242 individual animals. The growth over the last three decades is largely the result of work done by governments, local communities, and non-profit conservation groups.
Conserving gorillas is a crucial mission. These gentle creatures are stunning to behold in their natural habitat. If you are considering visiting Rwanda or Uganda to see the mountain gorillas, we absolutely recommend it. Just check out these two itineraries!
Rwanda in the Mist
5 Days · Kigali | Park National des Volcans
Explore the rich green rainforests, alive with colorful birds, chattering golden monkeys and its most important residents, the endangered mountain gorilla.
- Discover the ‘Land of a Thousand Hills’ and be enchanted by the welcoming Rwandan people and their gracious hospitality.
- Experience that magical hour when you observe the magnificent mountain gorillas as they interact and forage in the forest.
- Enjoy the spectacular views of the brooding Bisoke and Karisimbi Volcanoes from your luxury forest villa.
Pearl of Africa
8 Days · Kibale Forest | Queen Elizabeth National Park | Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
- Explore the Kazinga Channel aboard a small boat in search of pink-backed pelicans, saddle-billed storks, buffalo, and hippo.
- Discover the coveted hour with Uganda’s rare and endangered mountain gorillas. Watch the family — its dominant male silverback leader and protector, their attentive mothers and playful juveniles — move through their forest home.
- Experience the magical setting of your stunning eco-lodge, overlooking the primeval Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
- Enjoy observing the animated chimpanzees as they traverse the tree canopy and forage on the forest floor.
If you want to meet these incredible animals, we're more than happy to make that happen for you. Just let us know!