As only one or two days of your gorilla tracking holiday will be taken up with gorilla watching, we have included other highlights on our map of WHERE TO SEE GORILLAS and Chimpanzees. Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda are the prime gorilla tracking locations, but there are so many other national parks that give a monkey. And indeed a lot of other wildlife to boot. After all, gorillas don’t exist in an exclusive club out there in the wilds. Such as chimpanzees in Nyungwe National Park, tree-climbing lions in Queen Elizabeth National Park, red-tailed monkeys in Kibale Forest National Park, and endless hiking to be had in all the locations we have highlighted. WHERE TO SEE GORILLAS and Chimpanzees

1. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Bwindi is Uganda’s most famous gorilla trekking location, and home to around half of all remaining mountain gorillas. These Ugandan Highlands are more tropical than Rwanda and, consequently, the gorillas are considered by some experts to be like an intermediary between the eastern lowland populations from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the mountain gorillas of the Virungas. There are over a dozen habituated families to track here.

2. Dzanga-Sangha Reserve

This is CAR’s wildlife highlight: over 1,000 sq km of forest including swamp forest areas and mineral-rich clearings which attract wildlife – particularly elephants – in huge numbers. This is one of only two places in the world where you can trek to see habituated lowland gorillas with an expert Ba’aka tracker, and it’s an Important Bird Area, too. CAR holidays tend to base themselves entirely within this reserve.

3. Jane Goodall Institute

A great stop on arrival in Entebbe airport, Uganda. Primatologist Dame Jane Goodall is the world authority on chimpanzees and the founder of this Institute. Although most of her work is based in Tanzania, JGI Uganda is one of the Institute’s many centres and home to the Chimpanzees Sanctuary and Wildlife Conservation Trust, co-founded in 1997 with the Born Free Foundation and other international conservation organisations. WHERE TO SEE GORILLAS and Chimpanzees

4. Kahuzi-Biega National Park

Named after two dormant volcanoes that slumber within its 6,000 km of forest, this national park protects mountains, rainforest, bamboo forest, marshland and rivers, providing a rich habitat for a huge variety of wildlife. Eastern lowland gorillas are its most famous inhabitants and the largest gorilla species; you can track them in the rainforest. Chimps live here too, along with bush elephants, buffalo, hippos and bush babies.

5. Kibale Forest National Park

Another panoply of primates, don’t miss this Ugandan addition to your holiday. There are no gorillas in Kibale, but the chimpanzee colonies here have been habituated over two years, so they are used to humans passing through. Guided tours will allow you to see L’ Hoest’s, red colobus, red-tailed monkeys, brown monkeys and grey-cheeked mangabey. Some tours also offer the chance to take part in a habituation experience.

6. Lobéké National Park

In Cameroon, the park is one part of the Congo Basin Sangha River Tri-national Protected Area (STN), the two others being Dzanga Sangha Special Reserve in the Central African Republic and Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park in the Republic of Congo. Combine a trip to Lobéké with Nouabalé-Ndoki, both home to western lowland gorillas and chimpanzees. Gorilla trekking here is very remote but with fewer ‘habituated’ gorillas and also very few tourists.

7. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Along with Bwindi, this is Uganda’s other mountain gorilla trekking spot, although a little less reliable for sightings, as its resident Nyakagezi gorilla family sometimes wanders into Rwanda. However, there are populations of golden monkeys and other primates here. This park also endeavours to support its indigenous and displaced Batwa people who lead hikes through the forest and run a guest lodge.

8. Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park

In the Republic of Congo, the Mbeli Bai area is home to western lowland gorillas. The park is one part of the Congo Basin Sangha River Tri-national Protected Area (STN), the two others being Dzanga Sangha Special Reserve in the Central African Republic and Lobéké National Park in Cameroon. Gorilla trekking here is extremely remote, and poaching is still prolific, so it is important to support their preservation through tourism.

9. Nyungwe National Park

At over 1,000km², Rwanda’s Nyungwe is Africa’s largest protected mountain rainforest and a must on any primate itinerary. Although you won’t find gorillas here, Nyungwe is also home to a colossal collection of chimpanzees, as well as Ruwenzori colobus and L’Hoest’s monkeys. This is most definitely the land of monkeys in the mist. As with the gorillas, when you find a family of chimps, you will get to spend an hour with them. WHERE TO SEE GORILLAS and Chimpanzees

10. Queen Elizabeth National Park

Although there are no gorillas here, Kyambura Gorge in Uganda’s Queen Elizabeth National Park is known as the Valley of the Apes and is perfect for chimpanzee tracking. A 1km-wide tropical rain forest-filled gorge, this is in great contrast to other savannah regions of the park, where you can take on a more traditional safari seeing elephants, hippos, crocodiles and lions.

11. Rwenzori Mountains National Park

To combine gorilla trekking with serious mountain hiking in Uganda, the Kilembe Trail, cuts through the national park, linking the Rwenzori Mountain peaks. This range is one of Africa’s lesser-known hiking experiences, upstaged by the likes of Kilimanjaro and Mt Kenya. But you won’t meet any charity climbers in this rainforest. Just a plethora of primates and a bevvy of birdlife.

12. Virunga National Park

Some 1,000 mountain gorillas roam the forests of the Virunga Mountains along the borders of DRC, Uganda and Rwanda. Expert trackers will take you into the forest here to spend an hour in the company of a habituated group – a truly magical encounter. You can visit a nearby gorilla rehabilitation project, too. This forest also shelters habituated chimps, so you can track two great apes in one park.

13. Volcanoes National Park

Situated in NW Rwanda, this is a landscape of six active and three extinct volcanoes, but thankfully home to the far-from extinct mountain gorilla. They thrive in the cool temperate bamboo and evergreen, elevated forests. The national park is the Rwandan section of the Virunga Mountains that straddle the borders of Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, a massif that minds around 400 mountain gorillas. WHERE TO SEE GORILLAS and Chimpanzees

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