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Mountain Gorilla
Asset 24

Mountain Gorilla

Mountain Gorillas in Africa

The mountain gorilla is arguably the world’s most impressive primate. This endangered giant inhabits a handful of locations in Africa’s equatorial cloud forests, where guided treks offers a uniquely intense wildlife experience.

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Quick facts about Mountain Gorilla

Scientific name: Gorilla beringei beringei Habitat: Montane cloud forest
IUCN status: Endangered Adult weight: 100–190kg

Gorillas are the world’s largest primates. The mountain gorilla is a thick-furred, high-altitude subspecies of the eastern gorilla, one of Africa’s two species. Males are larger than females, with a larger, more domed head (the sagittal crest) and, in mature individuals, a saddle of silver-grey fur across the back.

A dominant male, or silverback, presides over a troop of 5–30 females and young, defending them from threats and rivals, and directing their daily movements around the densely forested mountainsides.

Much more terrestrial than chimpanzees, gorillas are also more strictly herbivorous, using powerful jaws to munch through a diet of wild celery and other plants. Infants are not fully weaned until the age of six.


Record arm-span of male


Total wild population (2018)


Altitudinal range


Recognised vocalisations

Africa's top camps for seeing mountain gorillas

Based on 45 reports by our travellers since Jun 2018, the camps below have the best chances of sighting mountain gorillas. Simply follow the key below.

Best chances to see

Good chances to see

Some sightings

No sightings yet

Top 10 camps for mountain gorilla

% of travellers who saw mountain gorilla

Top 10 camps for mountain gorilla

% of travellers who saw mountain gorilla

Where to see mountain gorillas in Africa

To see a family of mountain gorillas, you need to visit a habituated troop on a guided trek. Strict protocols ensure that you optimise your viewing with minimal impact on these highly endangered animals.

Top tips for viewing mountain gorillas

Mountain gorillas occur in two separate, genetically distinct, populations: one in the Virunga mountains, straddling Rwanda, DRC and southwest Uganda; the other, in Uganda’s Bwindi’s Impenetrable Forest. Gorilla trekking is easiest and most secure in the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, where the visitor experience is well developed.

The movements of the various troops are monitored continuously by park rangers, and finding them can involve either a relatively short walk or a long, steep, scramble along muddy trails, depending upon the apes’ location. Once you find your gorillas, your guide will direct you just to sit quietly and observe. Often little happens, but the experience will undoubtedly be one of the most memorable of your life.


Holiday ideas to see mountain gorillas

Based on our travellers experiences, these are the holidays which will give you the best chances of good mountain gorilla sightings

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The Highlights of Africa

17 days • 7 locations

An epic adventure taking in some of Africa’s most incredible sights and wildlife experiences, from Cape Town to the Okavango Delta, Victoria Falls, the Maasai Mara and an encounter with mountain gorillas.

US$14,400 - US$18,280 per person

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Golden Monkey Safari

12 days • 5 locations

Combine four key areas of Rwanda on this excellent-value trip, for a true wildlife and cultural experience. The perfect itinerary for those who want to see all the highlights of Rwanda.

US$9,710 - US$11,270 per person

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Gorillas and Serengeti Safari

11 days • 4 locations

Combine three iconic experiences – mountain gorillas in Rwanda, and the Serengeti plains and awe-inspiring Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania.

US$12,620 - US$14,390 per person

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Mona Monkey Safari

9 days • 3 locations

This example of a luxury holiday explores the wildlife of Nyungwe Forest, the scenic shores of Lake Kivu and the mountain gorillas of Volcanoes National Park, all accompanied by a private guide and vehicle.

US$12,160 - US$17,600 per person

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Gorillas and Maasai Mara Safari

9 days • 3 locations

This trip combines two of Africa's most unforgettable wildlife experiences – Rwanda's mountain gorillas and Kenya's Maasai Mara.

US$10,600 - US$13,500 per person

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Gorillas and Migration Safari

9 days • 3 locations

This luxury safari combines two iconic wildlife experiences: trekking to see the mountain gorillas in Rwanda, then flying to the northern Serengeti in search of the wildebeest migration and spectacular river crossings.

US$17,070 - US$23,410 per person

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L'Hoest's Monkey Safari

7 days • 3 locations

Meet three iconic primates – gorillas, chimps and golden monkeys – and explore Rwanda's fascinating culture on this excellent value privately guided adventure.

US$5,570 - US$6,320 per person

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Mountain Gorilla Safari

5 days • 2 locations

Staying in great-value lodges, with a private driver-guide and 4WD, this adventure includes two treks to get up close with groups of mountain gorillas.

US$5,830 - US$6,120 per person

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Silverback Gorilla Safari

4 days • 1 locations

Fly into Rwanda and you can be trekking to meet a family of mountain gorillas the next morning. An itinerary like this could easily be combined with a safari in Kenya or Tanzania.

US$10,170 - US$13,040 per person

View all holidays to Africa

Our top destinations for mountain gorillas

Click below for detailed information about mountain gorillas in these countries, including our latest sightings data from the camps and lodges there.

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