June 20

Rwanda vs Congo: Which One is Best for Gorilla Trekking?


June 20, 2023

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the ultimate primordial showdown in the dense jungle arena of East Africa! Get ready to witness an epic battle of brawn, agility, and primal instincts as Rwanda vs Congo step into the ring for the most thrilling gorilla trekking fight of the century!

Silverback mountain Gorilla

The majestic silverback mountain gorilla

Rwanda vs Congo, Round 1 – Gorilla Species 

In the red corner, representing Rwanda, we have the largest population of mountain gorillas, known for their finesse and captivating charm. These agile champions have conquered the misty mountains, executing flawless gorilla techniques that leave spectators in awe. They've got the moves and the wow-factor to win the audience's hearts.

Mountain Gorilla in Rwanda on gorilla trekking expedition

Hike through a tropical rainforest searching for majestic mountain gorillas

But wait, in the blue corner, the Republic of Congo retaliates with the western lowland gorillas, the heavyweight bruisers of the gorilla kingdom. These powerhouses are the smallest subspecies of the gorilla but still have exceptional strength, and an impressive presence, setting the stage for an intense showdown.

The Congo is home to the mighty western lowland gorilla

The Congo is home to the mighty western lowland gorilla

Rwanda vs Congo, Round 2 – Location & Landscape

Rwanda enters the cage with its Volcanoes National Park and Nyungwe Forest National Park, where fighters navigate through thick bamboo forests, dodge rolling hills, and dance with the mist. It's a whimsical battleground which tests their agility and adaptability. The mystical ambience adds an element of intrigue, leaving the crowd spellbound.

Trekking through the dense jungle of Volcanoes National Park

Volcanoes National Park is celebrated as the setting for the book and film "Gorillas in the Mist", Image Credit: Wilderness Bisate

Meanwhile, Congo retaliates with its untamed Odzala-Kokoua National Park, transforming the cage into a rainforest and river labyrinth. Dense foliage forms an impenetrable canopy, casting an eerie shadow over the fierce combatants. Here, the fighters will face uncharted wilderness, with every step unveiling a hidden gem of nature's fury.

River and forest landscape of Odzala Kokoua National Park

Habitats of Odzala comprise dense forest, wide open savannahs, winding rivers and forest baïs, Image Credit: Mboko Camp

Rwanda vs Congo, Round 3  – Other Wildlife

In this round, the fighters reveal their wildlife allies to join the battle. Rwanda showcases the dynamic duo of golden monkeys and chimpanzees, their acrobatic prowess rivalling that of world-class gymnasts. With lightning-fast flips and jumps, they add a touch of entertainment to the primal showdown, leaving spectators in awe.

Golden monkey close-up

Rwanda is also home to the rare golden monkey, Image Credit: Singita Kwitonda Lodge

But Congo counters with a full-blown menagerie of forest elephants, chimpanzees, mangabeys, and an array of colourful birdlife. It's a chaotic symphony of nature, unleashing a frenzy of captivating sights and sounds. As such, the diversity of Congo's wildlife adds an unpredictable element, keeping everyone on the edge of their seats.

Forest elephant at Mboko Camp

Apart from its gorillas, the Congo is home to Central Africa’s largest elephant population, Image Credit: Mboko Camp

Rwanda vs Congo, Round 4 – Accommodation

Rwanda steps into the ring with its luxurious lodges nestled amidst the alluring landscapes of Volcanoes National Park. These havens of comfort provide a perfect blend of sophistication and relaxation, allowing you to unwind in style after an exhilarating day of gorilla trekking.

With a range of options available, you'll find yourself pampered with top-notch amenities and unparalleled service, ensuring a truly indulgent experience.

Domed-shaped, almost nest-like forest villas

Forest villas enjoy striking views of three ancient volcanoes, Image Credit: Bisate Lodge

But Congo, being the wilder and more remote contender, takes a different approach. Accommodation options in Congo may be fewer, but that's part of its charm! The limited number of lodges and camps scattered across the vast wilderness ensures an exclusive and intimate experience.

You'll find yourself embraced by the untamed beauty of the rainforest, far away from the hustle and bustle of civilisation. It's an opportunity to truly disconnect and immerse yourself in the raw essence of nature.

Some of Our Favourite Lodges in the Congo:

Viewing deck of Mboko Camp nestled in the forest

Lodges in the Congo offer true immersion into Africa’s most wild landscapes, Image Credit: Mboko Camp

Rwanda vs Congo, Final Round!

As the bell rings for the final round, Rwanda and Congo have proven themselves worthy contenders in this battle of the ultimate gorilla trekking destination. The crowd erupts with excitement, but, in the end, there can only be one winner...

Whether you choose to cheer for Rwanda's attractive agility or Congo's raw ability, rest assured that your adventurous journey to either destination will be a knockout experience. So, what are you waiting for?

Start planning your gorilla trekking experience today!

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Congo, East Africa, Gorilla Trekking

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About the author 

Michelle Welvering

Growing up, Michelle always wanted to become a world-renowned artist, a kickboxing-champion and an eccentric explorer – aka a Kickboxing Exploring Artist! After pursuing an education in Fine Arts and opening her own Kickboxing gym in Pretoria, an unexpected twist led her to a six-year stint as a travel consultant in South African tourism. She believes that all things happen for a reason and, driven by adventure, she was eager to find a more “wild” and cultural space to call home. This led her to wander the Western Cape coastline, fall in love with the city of Cape Town and, of course, her workplace, Rhino Africa.

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