Gorilla

Gorillas are the next closest relative to humans after chimpanzees and bonobos, sharing between 95-98% of our DNA. Gorillas’ natural habitats cover tropical or subtropical forest in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Mountain Gorillas which you can see on our tailor made Uganda wildlife holidays, inhabit the Albertine Rift montane cloud forests of the Virunga Volcanoes, ranging in altitude from 2,200 to 4,300 metres and covers three countries, Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Most scientists agree on the number of 6 subspecies, which are the Western, Western Lowland, Cross River, Eastern, Eastern Lowland and Mountain Gorillas.

Gorillas are herbivores spending a huge amount of time picking up their favourite shoots, stems and leaves and occasionally fruit to sustain their large bodies. They will then sleep, often in family groups before being led by the Silverback to fresh feeding grounds. When they move, they walk on their knuckles and only stand upright occasionally when carrying food, or in a defensive position.

Gorillas live in groups called troops. Troops tend to be made of one adult male or silverback, multiple adult females and their offspring. However, multiple-male troops also exist and we have actually witnessed this in the wild in Rwanda, when we visited the huge Sabinyo group of 34, which had 4 silverbacks within the group. A silverback is typically around 12 years of age and is named for the distinctive patch of silver hair on his back, which comes when he reaches full maturity.

The bond that a silverback has with his females forms the core of gorilla social life. Bonds between them are maintained by grooming and staying close together. Females form strong relationships with males to gain mating opportunities and also protection from predators and infanticidal outside males. A new Silverback taking over a group will therefore cause a huge amount of disruption to the females and some may leave with the defeated male.

Females take a long time to reach sexual maturity, normally at around 10-12 years old. The gestation period is very similar to humans and they tend to have around a 4 year cycle between births. Gorillas mate all year round and the female often initiates mating my approaching the silverback face to face with pursed lips. If he does not pick up on this approach, we will sometimes slap the ground in front of him.

Gorillas are now known to use tools in the wild. A female gorilla in the Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park in the Republic of Congo was recorded using a stick to check the depth of water whilst crossing a swamp. Another female was seen using a tree stump as a bridge and also as a support whilst fishing in the swamp. This means all of the great apes are now known to use tools.

Ultimate Uganda Safari with Chimp & Gorilla Treks

It is true to say that if you include a visit to Murchison national park in Uganda, you need to add a lot more time to your Uganda gorilla trekking holiday – but what’s the rush? If you avoid the holiday weekends you will see few other visitors here and the wildlife encounters, including huge Wild Elephants, Hippos, Lion, Leopard and the iconic Shoebill, can often be amazing. From here, it’s a long but scenic drive up the escarpment and down the other side to Kibale, where you will have two amazing chimp trekking opportunities in the stunning forest. You then have time for more savannah wildlife viewing at Queen Elizabeth national park, before then heading to two seperate and stunning gorilla trekking locations in Bwindi and then Nkuringo. We then include some well deserved chill out time at the surreal Lake Bunyonyi, before heading back to Entebbe to connect with your onward flight.

Style - Bespoke Wildlife
Duration (Excl. Flights) - 16
Activity Level
When to Go
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Price (Excl. flights)
£6000
Shoebills, Tree Climbing Lions & Gorillas

This very special Ugandan gorilla holiday gives you the opportunity to see 3 of Uganda’s most iconic animal species. We start off with a short drive to the Mabamba wetlands on the outskirts of Kampala, where we enjoy a gentle private dugout boat safari looking for the beautifully bizarre Shoebill Stork. From here you wil drive to Queen Elizabeth national park and enjoy both private game drives and boat safaris on the scenic Kazinga channel. We may be lucky to catch a glimpse of a leopard or lion, before driving south to the Ishasha sector; home to the famous tree climbing lions. We then enjoy a long but spectacular journey to the remote community of Nkuringo on the Nteko ridge and if the weather is clear, we will have stunning views of up to 8 Volcanoes, which ‘straddle’ the Uganda, Rwanda and DRC borders. It’s time for you to experience that life changing 1 hour with a Gorilla family before driving to Lake Mburo national park and staying at the stunning Mihingo Lodge. Lake Mburo now enjoys regular leopard sightings during their unique night time drives and is home to many different antelope species within the park. You will enjoy a final breakfast overlooking the park before driving back to Entebbe.

Style - Bespoke Wildlife
Duration (Excl. Flights) - 10
Activity Level
When to Go
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Price (Excl. flights)
£3500
Gorilla Trek and Volcano Climb for Adventure Seekers

For our return to Uganda and Rwanda to celebrate my 40th birthday I was keen to bring an adventerous element to the trip and as well as camping in many of the beautiful national parks, we also included a few more strenous activities on top of the Gorilla Trekking we did in Nkuringo. These included paddling across Lake Mutanda, walking with the Batwa tribals at Magahinga and the absolute highlight of a full day trek up the beautiful Mount Sabinyo, which stands at an impressive 3600M. Not only did this provide us with the elation of achieving our goals, but it also took us away from some of the more mainstream locations on the Uganda wildlife circuit and provided more village life and colour into our Uganda wildlife holiday.

Style - Wildlife Adventurer
Duration (Excl. Flights) - 11
Activity Level
When to Go
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Price (Excl. flights)
£3850
Bespoke Gorilla & Chimp Trek in Uganda

Wildlife Trails have pioneered a certain bespoke design of gorilla and chimp safari, that brings together the best mid-range wildlife lodges – all of which we have personally visited – with our hand picked dirver/naturalists and their photographer friendly landcruisers with roof openings. Our tailored gorilla trekking holidays allow you to get under the skin of this wildlife rich and vibrant country, as your driver will not only be your expert naturalist; but also your friend and guide to all things Ugandan. This 10 day Gorilla and Chimp safari takes you from the shores of Lake Victoria in Entebbe to Kibale, Queen Elizabeth, Bwindi and Lake Mburo (see detailed map info); as you enjoy both chimp and gorilla treks in this primate focused Uganda wildlife holiday.

Style - Bespoke Wildlife
Duration (Excl. Flights) - 10
Activity Level
When to Go
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Price (Excl. flights)
£3500