Places

The majority people who go to track gorillas mainly see them in Uganda or Rwanda. Besides Uganda and Rwanda for the great ape, there are other countries from where gorillas can be found in Africa and these include the following;

Rwanda

Rwanda is among the three mountain gorilla countries found in Africa. Rwanda also known as Country of a thousand hills has more than 10 habituated gorilla families located in Volcanoes National Park. Gorilla trekking in Rwanda is very popular given the fact that gorilla habituation and conservations efforts started in Rwanda. With this, Rwanda attracts many tourists for gorilla trekking than any other country in East Africa even when the price of gorilla permits is still high compared to Uganda and Rwanda. Having good main roads and a relatively well-developed infrastructure has boosted gorilla trekking in Rwanda. More so, the work of Dian Fossey cannot be left out as dramatized in the film ‘Gorillas in the Mist’ that really makes Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park many people’s first choice for a mountain gorilla safari. The relaxed gorillas and relatively open habitat Montane Vegetation often with stunning views greatly improve the chances of good gorilla watching in among African countries.

Uganda

One of the mountain gorilla countries is Uganda normally known as the Pearl of Africa. Uganda is home to over 400 mountain gorilla individuals. These mountain gorillas are in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park. Over 12 gorilla families have been habituated for gorilla trekking while others are still under habituation and can be visited by those interested in gorilla habituation experience. Uganda is more than gorillas when it comes to tourist attractions.

DR Congo

The least looked at mountain gorilla country is the Democratic Republic of Congo that has a fair share of mountain gorillas located in Virunga National Park. Mulled with wars and political instabilities, DRC is the least visited country compared to Uganda and Rwanda. Three of the four sub-species are found in Democratic Republic of Congo. Gorilla tourism with habituated groups began here in the mid-1970s, in Kahuzi-Biega National Park, a stronghold of eastern lowland gorillas (ELG), and this park still offers one of the best gorilla-viewing experiences.

Nigeria

Nigeria is one of the African countries where gorillas can be found and the type of gorillas found is the Cross River gorillas. This type is found only in Cross River State, where the government has invested heavily in tourism infrastructure (for example, the spectacular cable car up to the Obudu Cattle Ranch Hotel). However, the chances of seeing gorillas here are still slim. Their total population now consists of less than 200 individuals, spread across an area of 12,000 km² which includes Afi Mountain, Mbe Mountain, and the Okwangwo Division of the Cross River National park.

Cross River gorillas live in the English-speaking part of Cameroon that borders Nigeria in small areas of the forest that are the focus of a conservation project but as per now, there is no tourism component yet. The only captive Cross River Gorillas can be seen at the Limbe Wildlife Centre which also cares for about 15 Western Lowland Gorilla orphans with a long-term goal funding permitting of rehabilitation back into the wild.

Equatorial Guinea

In Equatorial Guinea, the Monte Alen National Park is a spectacular forested park and its rugged terrain served to protect it from commercial logging. As yet, there are no habituated Western Lowland Gorillas. The tourism infrastructure is in very early stages of development and trained locals have started to conduct guided day treks.

Gabon

Gabon made a bold bid to diversify its economy by creating 13 National parks in 2002, most of them containing gorilla habitat. The Western Lowland Gorilla habituation programme at the Mikongo Conservation Centre in Lopé National Park was terminated in 2010. But although visitors are no longer taken on specific gorilla-spotting treks, visitors can still see them while looking for other wildlife. Moukalaba-Doudou National Park has some of the highest densities of gorillas and an eco-tourism project has begun there with help from the Gorilla Organization.
Loango National Park offers the rare combination of rainforest and Atlantic beach, where hippos have been seen surfing, whales and dolphins surface offshore and the forests are home to gorillas, chimpanzees and forest elephants.

Western Lowland Gorillas are found only in the Cabinda enclave, the part of Angola north of the mouth of the River Congo. Since the loss of the habituated Lossi gorillas to Ebola in 2002, the nearby Odzala National Park now presents one of the best options for seeing Western Lowland Gorillas in Congo. It is currently home to two habituated family groups that can be seen by visitors. They can also be seen from hides as they visit bais that is; the open clearings in the forest. The most famous bai is mbeli Bai in Nouabale- Ndoki National park where about 100 gorillas have been monitored by the wildlife conservation society for a decade. Gorilla groups can be seen wading into the marsh to forage for water plants alongside forest elephants, buffalo and antelopes such as sitatunga. Rescued gorilla orphans are being rehabilitated back into the forest in the lefini reserve where visitors can view silverbacks on a forested island from a boat.

One of the best places to track Western Lowland Gorilla is Bai-Hokou in the Dzanga-Ndoki National Park in the Central African Republic.