Where can you see wild gorillas in Africa? Our expert lists 10 countries where different types of gorilla can be observed, including mountain gorillas and western lowland gorillas. Cross River gorillas are only found in the Cross River State, where the government has invested heavily in tourism infrastructure (for example, the spectacular cable car to the Obudu Cattle Ranch Hotel). However, chances of seeing gorillas here are still low. Their total population now consists of 200 to 300 individuals spread over an area of 3,000 square miles, including Afi Mountain, Mbe Mountain and the Okwangwo Division of Cross River National Park.
This is why scientists are careful when they get used to it. Cross River gorillas live in the English-speaking part of Cameroon on the border with Nigeria, in small forest areas that are the focus of a conservation project but have no tourist component yet. The Limbe Wildlife Centre takes care of about 15 western lowland gorilla orphans with the long-term goal – if funding allows – of rehabilitation back into the wild. Male Western Lowland Gorilla, Gabon (Shutterstock) Since the loss of familiar Lossi gorillas to Ebola in 2002, nearby Odzala National Park is now one of the best ways to spot western lowland gorillas.
It currently houses two familiar family groups that can be seen by visitors. They can also be seen from pelts when visiting Bais (open clearings in the forest). The most famous bay is Mbeli Bai in Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park, where around 100 gorillas have been monitored by the Wildlife Conservation Society for a decade. Gorilla groups wade into the swamp to search for aquatic plants alongside forest elephants, buffaloes and antelopes such as Sitatunga. The two gorilla parks in the southwest of the country are second most popular in Rwanda and offer different experiences.
Mgahinga National Park is part of the trinational Virunga Conservation Area, and its inhabited gorillas frequently cross over to the Democratic Republic of Congo. But climbing to the top of Mount Sabinio, where Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo meet, is an excellent way to see the entire mountain gorilla kingdom — a forest island surrounded by a sea of densely populated farmland.. Silverback Eastern Lowland Gorilla, Democratic Republic of Congo (Shutterstock) Three of the four subspecies are found in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Gorilla tourism with inhabited groups began here in the mid-1970s in Kahuzi-Biega National Park, a stronghold of eastern lowland gorillas, and this park still offers one of the best gorilla watching experiences.
Bukavu is the closest town (with some nice lakeside hotels), but check the security situation when entering the Democratic Republic of Congo from Rwanda. Some western lowland gorillas survive in the far west of the Democratic Republic of Congo in the beautiful Madiakoko Mountains, Bas-Congo, which cruise back and forth from Cabinda (Angola), but you would be a pioneer here. More than 100,000 western lowland gorillas live in the lush rainforests of West and Central Africa. Classified as critically endangered, fewer groups are accustomed to persecution due to their inaccessible homelands.
Choosing the best gorilla safari for you depends on your budget and sense of adventure.. Here are my suggestions for the best places to see gorillas in Africa. Not to be confused with its more volatile Democratic Republic of Congo neighbor, the quieter and more peaceful Republic of Congo (also called Congo Brazzaville) is one of the best places to see western lowland gorillas. The Odzala Kokoua National Park in northwest Congo has two inhabited groups in this wild, tropical rainforest.
It’s not a cheap destination due to its seclusion, but it does offer an exclusive experience, with groups of just four people and rustic luxury accommodation combined with somewhat difficult tracking. Neptune is a particularly charismatic silverback, and it’s particularly rewarding to watch his group.. Western lowland gorillas can also be seen in Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park around Mbeli Bai, in a camp often visited by a resident silverback. It’s best suited for intrepid travelers.
The raw and wild Central African Republic (CAR) is the only other country apart from Congo that has settled western lowland gorillas, but not for the faint of heart. CAR’s Dzanga Sangha Sangha Special Reserve is located in the Sangha Trinational Reserve UNESCO World Heritage Site and its tropical rainforest ecosystem also spans protected areas in Congo and Cameroon. It is home to the world’s highest concentration of western lowland gorillas and forest elephants. Dzanga Bai is the best area to see it and Sangha Lodge is the right place to stay.
If you cope with the difficulties of traveling in this country, you will be highly rewarded and help the local Ba’aka people who are supported by the lodge. Be aware that CAR is a troubled country — read the Lodge’s latest travel advice and advice before you travel here. Tim is a travel writer who has covered over 10 African countries for Lonely Planet’s travel guide to Africa, East Africa and West Africa. Philip is a celebrated travel author and author of many travel guides, including the Bradt Guides for Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya and South Africa.
What is the best location for gorilla trekking in Africa? Wild gorillas live in the forests of East and Central Africa — Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Nigeria, Rwanda and Uganda. Although most tourists head to Uganda and Rwanda to pursue gorillas, the countries in West Africa offer even more amazing adventures for primate lovers. If you tolerate the discomfort, unpredictability, and long journeys in some West African countries, you’ll be rewarded with amazing biodiversity. We will now discuss the different countries where gorillas can be found.
Mission Africa Safaris is a leading travel company in East Africa that helps arrange memorable tours in Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Rwanda is the most popular destination for gorilla trekking. This is the most accessible of all the destinations that host the mountain gorillas. The country jealously protects its mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park in northern Rwanda.
The primates are found in Monte Alen National Park, but gorilla tourism is not yet well developed and there is no inhabited gorilla group in a park with very dense forest.. Although the Democratic Republic of Congo and the other Central African destinations offer cheaper vacations, your best encounters with Africa’s wild gorillas will be in Uganda and Rwanda as the two countries have a robust gorilla tourism sector. The probability of seeing eastern lowland gorillas in Kahuzi Biega and mountain gorillas in Virunga is very high.. For serious adventurers, there is a unique gorilla experience called Gorilla Habituation for a more exclusive experience.
The Democratic Republic of Congo is one of the few destinations where you can see both the eastern lowland gorillas and the mountain gorillas. The country offers animal lovers who want to go on a Ugandan gorilla trekking expedition a wonderful opportunity to combine it with a safari in one of Africa’s up-and-coming safari destinations. The Democratic Republic of Congo is the only country in the world with western lowlands, eastern lowlands, mountain gorilla species and a sufficiently good gorilla tourism infrastructure. You can simply land in Kigali, be driven to your lodge, hike the next day and head off to the airport the next morning so you can complete your gorilla trekking trip in five days or less.
The gorilla families you will visit are also used to human presence as researchers take time to get these monkeys used. A process that helps gorillas understand that the visiting people are friends, not enemies. Although gorilla trekking in Rwanda is considered a year-round activity, the country’s dry seasons offer by far the easiest hiking conditions and the lowest risk of malaria. There is a wide range of safari holiday homes along the two hiking trails, but most importantly, tourists can spend more time with wild gorillas (around four (hours) to get used to a gorilla habituation experience. Trekking for gorillas in the emerald rainforests of Africa and observing the daily interactions of these endangered primates is arguably one of life’s greatest privileges..
Most people want to track mountain gorillas and there is a lot of discussion about which country offers the best mountain gorilla safari. This creates a high demand for gorilla permits and therefore it is important to book your safari well in advance so that you can avoid the confusion of checking for gorilla permits at the last minute..