It’s time to live out your very own African wildlife documentary! If you think “wildlife documentary” the soothing voice of Sir David Attenborough is bound to come to mind. Ever since his debut series Zoo Quest hit the screen back in ‘54, this staunch conservationist has influenced a generation of documentary filmmakers and intrepid travellers.

Today Attenborough is hailed as the “father of the modern nature documentary”. His wildlife adventures have taken the world from the icy tips of the Arctic to Malaysia, Australia, and beyond. But there’s one place he holds dearest: AFRICA! His critically acclaimed series, Africa spent four years in the making and takes viewers on an awe-inspiring journey through the continent’s most diverse destinations & vast contrasting landscapes.

Now in his 90s, his love of the natural world shows no sign of abating. So, if in more than a half-century of broadcasting, he has inspired you to live out your own wildlife documentary then here are the top 5 destinations to go on safari in Africa to follow in his footsteps.

Are you thinking about going on your first safari in Africa? If so, we couldn’t be more excited for you! African safaris are high up on countless travellers’ bucket-lists. And why shouldn’t they be? From the untamed beauty of the African wilderness, magnificent wildlife sightings, diverse landscapes, and thrilling safari experiences – what’s not to love?

If you’ve never been to Africa before, you have so much to look forward to. Home to some of the most exclusive safari destinations and premier National Parks, game reserves, and conservation areas in the world, Africa truly offers wildlife and nature lovers a once-in-a-lifetime safari experience. With so much to offer, deciding where to go on your first safari in Africa can be an intimidating experience.

Depending on the type of safari you’re looking to experience, you need to choose the country and safari destination you would most like to visit very carefully. Here are some of the best countries in Africa to enjoy an unforgettable first-time safari experience.

Regarded as one of the top safari locations in the world, an African safari ticks all the right boxes if you’re looking to venture off the beaten track, explore the great outdoors, witness magnificent wildlife in their natural habitat and experience the many thrills that only safari life can deliver. With so much to offer, how do you plan your dream safari trip to Africa? Here are four great tips for planning your African safari that will help you optimize your travel experience for a bucket-list African safari holiday you won’t forget.

There are few things that can compare to embarking on a remarkable, riveting, and exhilarating Big 5 Safari adventure in the vast, wild, and untamed continent of Africa, so be sure to enjoy every single second of this unbelievable experience!

While Africa’s Big 5 is surely in need of no introduction, it makes sense for us to give credit where credit is due. As the most highly acclaimed, famous, and celebrated collection of animals on the African continent a Big 5 safari in Africa is an unbelievable experience that should be on everyone’s travel & safari bucket list! What could be better than seeing a leopard lazily lounging in a tree soaking up the African sun, the mighty rhino browsing through the grasslands, elephants trudging their way through the African bushveld with their young, buffalos grazing in the distance with their oxpecker companions, and lions, the all-mighty king of the bushveld, wondering the vast plains in search of their prey? There truly is nothing quite like it!
These remarkable wildlife species are not only the most recognised symbols of Africa, but its crowning glory too! Undoubtedly making a Big 5 safari one of the top and most popular requests from any and all travellers and wildlife enthusiasts visiting Africa.

Lucky for you, you can find these magnificent wildlife species in several countries across the African continent. To ensure you have the absolute best chance of spotting these African wildlife gems in their natural habitat, we’ve put together a list of the top 10 Big 5 safari destinations in Africa.

Are you practically jumping at the bid to plan your ultimate bucket-list worthy safari trip to Africa, but you have absolutely no idea when the best time is to go to? Don’t worry, we’ve got your back!

While everyone has their own memories of Africa they take away with them, the wildlife makes for some of the most magical to remember. Lucky for you, the vast continent of Africa boasts the widest diversity of wildlife in the world and is home to the most extraordinary wildlife sightings, spectacles, and gatherings than anywhere on the planet. As most people travel to Africa to witness its glorious diversity of wildlife up-close and first-hand, winter in Africa, between the months of June and October, is undoubtedly the best time to go on the ultimate wildlife safari in Africa and here are just some of the reasons why.

Are you looking to plan the ultimate safari trip to Africa, but you’re not sure when the best time is to go? When planning your trip, it is vital to do the necessary research on the best time to go to Africa for the experience you desire.

So, you’re thinking about climbing the iconic Mount Kilimanjaro? That means you’ve officially been ‘bitten’ by the ‘Kili bug’ – good on you! In turn it also means that you most probably (yes, we’re totally stereotyping here) spend every waking hour researching everything there is to know about Tanzania’s most glorious natural wonder, daydreaming about what it would feel and be like to climb the highest mountain peak in Africa and largest free-standing mountain rise in the world, and even dreaming about embarking on this once-in-a-lifetime adventure experience. It’s a yearning for the Roof of Africa. An unstoppable hunger for conquering Uhuru Peak (the highest point of Mount Kilimanjaro), and a craving for the raw, real, rugged, and bucket-list adventure that ONLY a Mount Kilimanjaro climb can provide.

The African continent is renowned for its once-in-a-lifetime wildlife sightings and encounters. However, few are as highly sought-after as Rwanda where avid wildlife enthusiasts from across the world have the opportunity of witnessing Mountain Gorillas in their natural habitat. In fact, Rwanda is deemed the best place in Africa to engage in what is arguably the world’s single most powerful wildlife experience and thrilling wildlife encounter – tracking mountain gorillas through the steep bamboo and forest-swathed slopes of the Virunga Mountains.

This Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Guide Includes:

  • What is Gorilla Trekking?
  • Best Time of the Year for Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda
  • What Is The Trek Like In Rwanda?
  • How Difficult is Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda?
  • How to Book Gorilla Trekking Permits in Rwanda
  • Rwanda is Best for Traveler Types Who…
  • Best Places To See Gorillas In The Wild

How To Go Gorilla Trekking In Rwanda

The African continent is renowned for its once-in-a-lifetime wildlife sightings and encounters. However, few are as highly sought-after (or as frequently featured on traveler bucket lists) as coming face-to-face with Mountain Gorillas in their natural habitat.

Listed as one of Africa’s critically endangered species, there are approximately 1000 mountain gorillas left in the wild. These mountain gorillas can be found in the area known as the Virunga Mountains, and live in:

  • Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda.
  • Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda.
  • Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is home to nearly half the planet’s remaining mountain gorillas. Carefully protected in the Impenetrable Forest of Bwindi, this esteemed national park is one of only three places in the world where travelers can see these remarkable and rare critically endangered mountain gorillas in the wild.


How To Go Gorilla Trekking In Rwanda

Imagine this: You follow a narrow hiking trail through the lushness of a tropical rainforest, wiping sweat from your eyes and feeling grateful for your hiking gaiters. Suddenly, a tracker returns from scouting ahead and excitedly halts your group – it’s time to move forward, slowly, with nothing but your camera and the thrill of anticipation. Grinning, your guide turns and whispers the words you’ve been longing to hear: ‘There they are’.

How To Go Gorilla Trekking In Rwanda

Gorilla Trekking is an extraordinary bucket-list worthy adventure where you hike, bushwhack, and trek deep into Africa’s Virunga conservation region and Bwindi impenetrable forest in search of rare mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. Trekking into their native forests is the only way to see these critically endangered gorillas, as they cannot survive in captivity. Trekking for gorillas in Africa’s emerald rainforests and observing the everyday interactions of these vulnerable primates is arguably one of life’s greatest privileges and most powerful wildlife experiences.

Follow gorilla families as they go about their daily lives. Observe how a mother tenderly feeds her young while being cognisant of the cautious stare from a 200kg (440lbs) silverback as he keeps a protective eye over his troop. Locking eyes with a distant relative is a profound experience that makes spending time with gorillas in Africa an unsurpassable wildlife encounter.

Gorilla trekking is best early in the morning. Typically trackers who know the gorillas well will head off into the jungle at first light to look for their gorilla family. Once they find them, they will radio through to the rangers, who will be waiting for you at the start point – This is when the gorilla trekking adventure begins!

There are a number of different gorilla families you can visit, living in various areas around the Virunga Mountains. In Uganda there are 19 habituated (meaning they are used to humans) gorilla families in Bwindi and 1 in Mgahinga. In Rwanda there are approximately 10 habituated gorilla families.

**Important Note: In order for you to go gorilla trekking in Uganda and/or Rwanda you need to apply for a gorilla trekking permit. These permits can be rather costly. The cost of a gorilla trekking permit various from one country to the next.


  • Best time: Rwanda’s Dry Months | June – September | December – February

How To Go Gorilla Trekking In Rwanda

Gorilla trekking in Rwanda is deemed one of the top year-round wildlife experiences in Africa. Despite it being an incredible experience year-round, Rwanda’s dry seasons are without a doubt the best time to go gorilla trekking.

Rwanda’s long rainy season lasts from about March to May. The long dry season then kicks off in June and lasts until about mid-September – this is generally the preferred time to go gorilla trekking in Rwanda. October to November sees a shorter rainy season, which is followed by a brief dry season from December to February. This is also a good time to see gorillas in Rwanda.

Rwanda’s dry seasons also offer travelers much easier hiking conditions as well as the lowest risk of malaria.


How To Go Gorilla Trekking In Rwanda

As Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda is substantially smaller than Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, the mountain gorilla trekking experience in Rwanda is generally shorter and less difficult; however, Volcanoes National Park is at a higher elevation.

**Extra Tip: Rwanda is a little more open and therefore it is easier to get a good view.


How To Go Gorilla Trekking In Rwanda

While extremely exhilarating, gorilla trekking in both Uganda and Rwanda can be pretty tough. The trekking journey can become incredibly challenging, especially if the gorillas are constantly on the move. Mountain gorillas are remarkably fast and move through the jungle with great ease and speed, so trying to keep up with them takes quite some effort. For this reason, a moderate to high level of fitness is typically required to take on this once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

If you’re not exactly in tip-top gorilla trekking shape and your fitness level isn’t quite where it needs to be, you can request at the gate to be put in a group that will be trekking one of the nearer gorilla families. While it’s not always possible, it is certainly worth asking.

Regardless of your fitness level, it is important to keep in mind that you are literally trekking ‘through’ the jungle (which in itself is beyond impressive and an INCREDIBLE feat), with the rangers sometimes having to navigate and cut their way through in order to create a path. You need to remember that these are called ‘mountain’ gorillas for a reason and the terrain is pretty steep and can be slippery, especially in the rainy season. Good hiking shoes/boots are essential.

If you need help or require some assistance, you can hire porters to help you either by carrying your bag / bags, providing you with support, or assist you in navigating the hard and challenging sections of the trek.

If you have limited mobility, you can also hire a ‘gorilla chair’ and the porters can carry you through the jungle on your gorilla trekking journey – There is absolutely no reason why anyone, irrespective of their abilities, should miss out on this truly extraordinary experience.


How to Go Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda

Both Uganda and Rwanda are renowned for their bucket-list worthy gorilla trekking experiences, offering visitors spectacular sightings of these remarkable and critically endangered mountain gorillas in the wild.

However, in the great Uganda vs. Rwanda Mountain Gorilla battle, Rwanda claims the title of being Africa’s most accessible gorilla trekking destination. Not only is Rwanda smaller than Uganda (which means there is less square footage for the mountain gorillas to roam), the mountain gorillas in Rwanda are deemed easier to trek, spot, and get to than the Ugandan mountain gorillas. Rwanda also has more than twice the number of habituated mountain gorilla groups than Uganda and so permits are generally more easily available.

**Important Note: In order for you to go gorilla trekking in Uganda and/or Rwanda you need to apply for a gorilla trekking permit. These permits can be rather costly. The cost of a gorilla trekking permit various from one country to the next.


How To Go Gorilla Trekking In Rwanda


In order to apply for and book your gorilla trekking permits independently, you can do so through the following channels.

You can arrange, purchase, and secure your Rwanda Mountain Gorilla Permit independently via the IREMBO website. Alternatively, you can email the Rwandan Development Board on [email protected].

Similar to Uganda, if you are booking your Mountain Gorilla Trekking Permit via a company or on a tour, your chosen tour operator will navigate the entire process for you.


How to Go Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda

If you have limited time to travel, then Rwanda is exactly where you need to go to see gorillas in Africa. You can simply land in Kigali, be driven to your lodge, go mountain gorilla trekking the next day and leave for the airport the following morning. This way it’s possible for you to wrap up your gorilla trekking trip in five days or less.

Best Places To See Gorillas In The Wild

How To Go Gorilla Trekking In Rwanda

Here is a guide outlining where the best places in Africa are to see gorillas in the wild:




Gorilla Species Mountain gorillas Mountain gorillas Western lowland gorillas
Best gorilla trekking destination Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park Volcanoes National Park Odzala-Kokoua National Park
Best time to go All year round, but driest from June to September and December to February All year round, but driest from June to September and December to February All year round, but driest from June to September and December to February
Trekking time Up to 5 hours, depending on weather, fitness levels of guests, and proximity of gorilla families Up to 5 hours, depending on weather, fitness levels of guests, and proximity of gorilla families Up to 5 hours, depending on weather, fitness levels of guests, and proximity of gorilla families
Trekking terrain Hiking at altitude through thick forested slopes Hiking at altitude through thick forested slopes Hiking on ground level through thick rainforest
Time allowed with gorillas (excluding trekking time) 1 Hour 1 Hour 1 Hour

Home to one of the world’s greatest concentrations of wildlife, the Serengeti National Park is Tanzania’s flagship conservation area and a must-do for first-time and returning safari goers alike. Meaning “endless plains” in the Maasai language, the Serengeti National Park is arguably one of the finest national parks in Africa as well as one of the most celebrated wilderness areas in the world. While the Serengeti is renowned for its diverse and abundant wildlife, it is best known as the site of the annual Great Migration, when an estimated three million antelope – mostly wildebeest — migrate to Kenya’s Masai Mara Game Reserve.