Mountain Gorillas in Uganda and Rwanda – Episode 80

categories: africa travel

The Amateur Traveler talks to Chris Willis about traveling to Uganda and Rwanda to see the very endangered mountain gorillas. Chris also talks about the countries, their people and an unforgettable stay in a chimpanzee sanctuary.

click here to download (mp3)
click here to download (iTunes enhanced)


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Show Notes

Chris’s photo gallery
Episode 38 – Swimming with Whales off Tonga
Chris’s Detailed Trip report
Volcanoes Safaris (tour operator)
African Horizons (African Travel Agent)
Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International
Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project
Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary
Rwandan government official tourism site
Ugandan Wildlife Authority
Africa news
Western Lowland Gorillas
Mountain Gorillas


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Chris Christensen

by Chris Christensen

Chris Christensen is the creator of the Amateur Traveler blog and podcast. He has been a travel creator since 2005 and has won awards including being named the "Best Independent Travel Journalist" by Travel+Leisure Magazine.

12 Responses to “Mountain Gorillas in Uganda and Rwanda – Episode 80”

Bruce & Jan Smith


Sounds like an amazing experience! Iโ€™m a fellow traveler and adventurer, though mine is pretty much confined to the Caribbean โ€“ to me, nothing beats the people, the clear blue water, the trade winds, the palm trees and the music. In fact, my wife and I are in the midst of sailing our hand-built 34-ft. boat, Woodwind, to the islands right now. We began our journey in Gig Harbor, Washington, and just ventured through the Panama Canal. The islands of the Eastern Caribbean have been our second home, off and on for 30 years. There is nothing quite like the West Indies! Weโ€™re keeping our friends and family updated on our voyage and adventures along the way on our Web site and blog. Check it out at

(Posted by Mike Bernstein of Bahama Breeze for Bruce and Jan Smith, who are currently at Latitude 9.35 north and Longitude 79.42 west.)

Jason Koch


You mentioned in this podcast against a particular international courier company.

Do you have any suggestions on how to find a legitimate international courier company?

ps. Big fan and love all your shows!



I have not found a courier company that I would recommend. I have tried a few. My understanding is that this industry is not the same since 9/11.

Jennifer Papadimitriou


Hello –

I am very interested in learning more about arranging a trip to visit the mountain gorillas. could you recommend some of the reputable tour operators in Uganda and Rwanda?

Thank you!



I am asking our guest from this show who he used.




Chris, our guest on tis podcast said: “I used Volcanoes Safaris for my trip there and they were excellent and have a very good reputation. There is also an operator called Wilderness Safaris that I have heard of, but did not use.”



I just got back from a trip to Uganda and wanted to second the recommendation of going to Ngamba Island. Because of this podcast we looked it up and went for a half day tour to watch the chimps get fed! It was an amazing experience, reasonably priced, and great short day trip! Thanks so much!



I found this while looking for info on gorilla trekking. We are going to Uganda in September 2011. I would like to see the links to the pictures from Chris’ trip if they are still available. The podcast was very informative and made me even more excited about the upcoming trip.

PS – I’d love to see the Ethiopia pics too!

Thank you!



Karen, the first link in the show notes is to Chris’s photo gallery –



Hi Chris. Thanks for the podacast and your tracking experience. while Game drives and normal safaris are great, the experience of tracking mountain gorillas is the ultimate wildlife experience.

Everything has changed now. The cost of gorilla permits are now 1500USD in Rwanda. Uganda seems to be the better option as it cost 600USD – But again Congo is 400USD.

You should also visit Congo’s Virunga National Park. Once you get used to the gun wielding wardens, there is breathtaking landscape/scenery to look forward to after the trekking – DR Congo has great tourism potential.



Your timing is interesting, we are doing an updated podcast on Rwanda this Saturday ๐Ÿ™‚



both uganda have unique expereinces of Mountain gorilla trekking, one of the most incredible activities on can ever carry out on an African safari.

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