A guide to gorilla trekking in Rwanda; Gorilla trekking is the most famous activity that attracts big numbers of tourists to visit Rwanda. Gorilla trekking in Rwanda is done in Volcanoes national park and it involves moving on foot into the tropical rainforest in search of the endangered mountain gorillas and once found spend one hour with them in their natural habitat. Apart from Volcanoes national park, gorilla trekking is also done in Virunga national park in Democratic Republic of Congo, Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga gorilla national park in Uganda.
Gorilla trekking in Rwanda
Volcanoes national park is a home of more than 11 mountain gorilla families and gorilla trekking starts very early in the morning with a briefing about the rules and regulations to follow during trekking. After the briefing you will be allocated a habituated gorilla family to trek and an experienced park guide who is well conversant with gorilla trekking trails in the jungle. During gorilla trekking in Volcanoes national park which takes about 30 minutes to 6 hours, you will be able to view other primate species, different bird species, plant and tree species among others. Once the mountain gorillas are located, you will be allowed to spend one hour with the gorillas in their natural habitat which gives you an opportunity to learn more about their habits, behaviors, watch gorillas feed, play, breastfeed, groom young ones, take photos and record videos to show people back home, A guide to gorilla trekking in Rwanda.
Cost of a gorilla trekking permit in Rwanda
A gorilla trekking permit in a legal card or document that is issued by Rwanda Development Board(RDB) to any visitor above the age of 15 years allowing him or her to visit a habituated gorilla family in volcanoes national park. A gorilla trekking permit in Rwanda costs 1,500 USD per person for all nationalities.
How to book a gorilla trekking permit in Rwanda
A gorilla trekking permit in Volcanoes national park can either be booked directly through Rwanda Development Board (RDB) by contacting the offices via email or telephone call. A gorilla trekking permit in Volcanoes national park can also be booked through a trusted tour operator like Achieve Global Safaris whereby you will contact us with the date, month and year when you wish to visit the mountain gorillas. After contacting us we will check for permit availability and if there are permits available, you will be asked to make a deposit for the permit. Once we receive the money, we will purchase the permits on your behalf and send you a scanned copy of the receipt as confirmation.
Tour companies to use for your gorilla trekking safari
There are a number of trusted tour companies that can help you book a gorilla trekking safari in Volcanoes national park including Achieve Global safaris, Explore Rwanda tours, Focus East Africa tours among others. The above companies can help you book a gorilla trekking permit, accommodation where you will be staying during the safari, offer transportation and advise on other activities to combine with gorilla trekking.
What to carry for your gorilla trekking safari in Rwanda
- Garden gloves to protect your hands from stinging nettles and germs.
- Hiking boots to support your ankles and keep your feet dry during trekking in the wet season.
- Waterproof rain jacket/ poncho to protect you from rainfall as Volcanoes national park is a tropical rainforest which means that it can rain any time of the day regardless of the season.
- Long sleeved shirt and trouser to keep you warm and also protect you from biting insects during trekking.
- Energy snacks like packed lunch and drinking water to keep you hydrated during trekking
- Warm sweater to keep you warm during morning hours and at night while at the lodge
- Camera and extra batteries to take photos and record videos during the one hour in the presence of the mountain gorillas.
- A pair of binoculars which will help you to have clear views of the mountain gorillas at a distance and also view other wildlife species in the park such as birds, butterflies, mammals among others.
- Insect repellent to protect you from biting insects such as tsetse flies and mosquitos
- Waterproof backpack to carry all your gorilla trekking essentials such as camera, energy snacks, insect repellent, binoculars among others.
Best time to go for gorilla trekking in Rwanda
Gorilla trekking in Volcanoes national park can be done all year round though the best time is during the dry season also known as the peak season in the months of June, July, August, September, December, January and February. During the dry season there is less or little rainfall in the national park therefore gorilla trekking trails will be dry and passable compared to the wet/ rainy season when the trails are muddy and slippery which make trekking difficult, A guide to gorilla trekking in Rwanda.
Where to stay during your gorilla trekking safari in Rwanda
There are a number of accommodation facilities in Volcanoes national park where you can stay during your gorilla trekking safari. The accommodations range from budget, midrange and luxury including One and Only Gorilla Nest, Ruzizi Tented Lodge, Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge, Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel, Mountain Gorillas Nest Lodge, Best View Hotel, Garden Place Hotel, Da Vinci Gorilla Lodge, Gorilla Solution Lodge, Mountain Gorilla View Lodge, Hotel Muhabura, Gorillas Volcanoes Hotel, Virunga Lodge, Garr Hotel, Le Bamboo Gorilla Village, La Palme Hotel, Villa Gorilla, Kinigi Guesthouse, Karenge Bush Camp, Bisate Lodge among others.
How to get to Volcanoes national park
Volcanoes national park is located in north western part of Rwanda and can be accessed by road transport means whereby you will fly to Kigali international airport and then drive to the park headquarters which takes about 2 to 3 hours’ drive.
For more information about gorilla trekking in Rwanda, do not hesitate to contact us at Achieve Global Safaris or visit our website to book an affordable gorilla trekking safari.