It is estimated that there are just over 1,000 mountain gorillas left in the wild: the species is critically endangered. They live in the Virunga Mountains of central Africa, straddling the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda
, and Uganda
The high cost and limited numbers of gorilla tracking permits are controversial, but we believe the governments of Rwanda and Uganda are doing the right thing. The income permits generate pays for conservation efforts, not only for the gorilla but also for other threatened species which share the same habitats. And as very few permits are issued, there’s no risk of overtourism: guests have an intimate encounter, and the gorilla themselves are unflustered by the presence of people.
Typically Africa Exclusive’s guests choose to join a small group — a maximum of eight people — and trek through the forests to find groups of semi-habituated gorilla. You can spend an hour with a family group, watching them eating, communing, and playing. Private trekking permits are now issued, too, and in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
you also have the incredible opportunity to participate in an emotional habituation experience with conservationists. This is the ultimate in wild mountain gorilla encounters, and something we wholeheartedly recommend you try.