Gorilla Trekking in Volcanoes National Park
Gorilla trekking in Volcanoes national park: Volcanoes national park is located in the northwestern part of Rwanda in Musanze village along the Virunga conservation area bordering with Virunga national park in Democratic republic of Congo and Mgahinga gorilla national park in Uganda. The national park covers a total area of 160 square kilometers which is characterized by bamboo forest, thickets, swamps, alpine forests, grasslands, five of the eight Virunga volcanic mountains which are Mount Karisimbi, Mount Muhabura, Mount Bisoke, Mount Gahinga and Mount Sabinyo. Volcanoes national park is also a home of various wildlife species including the endangered mountain gorillas, golden monkeys, mammals like forest elephants, buffaloes, giant forest hogs, bush pigs, bird species like Bateleur, handsome francolin, Ruwenzori double collared sunbird, blue spotted wood dove among others.
Gorilla trekking experience in Volcanoes national park
Volcanoes national park is a home of more than 10 habituated gorilla families which are available for trekking on a daily basis. Gorilla trekking is the most interesting and adventurous activity that involves moving deep into the forest in search of the habituated gorilla families and once found spend one hour with them in their environment. Trekking of the mountain gorillas in Volcanoes national park starts with a briefing about the rules and regulations at the park headquarters where after visitors will be divided into groups of 8 people and allocated gorilla families to trek. Allocation of gorilla families is usually done depending on various factors like age, physical fitness and personal preferences. After the briefing you will start trekking in the jungle with a park guide which takes about 30 minutes to 7 hours depending on where the gorillas slept the previous night. During trekking you will be able to view other primate species, birds, mammals, butterflies, tree species among others and once the mountain gorillas are found you will be allowed to spend one hour with the gorillas in their natural habitat which gives you an opportunity to observe their habits, behaviors, watch them carry out their daily activities like feeding, grooming young ones, breastfeeding, playing, take photos and record the incredible moments with a flashless camera.
Cost of a gorilla trekking permit in Volcanoes national park
A gorilla trekking permit is a legal document that is issued to any visitor above the age of 15 years allowing him or her to visit a habituated gorilla family. Gorilla trekking permits in Volcanoes national park are issued by the Rwanda Development Board and they cost USD 1500 per person for all nationalities. The fees include one hour with the endangered mountain gorillas, services of a park guide, certificate after trekking and park entry fees.
How to book a gorilla trekking permit in Volcanoes national park
A gorilla trekking permit in Volcanoes national park can either be booked directly through Rwanda Development Board (RDB) by contacting the offices through email or telephone calls. A gorilla trekking permit can also be booked through a trusted tour operator like Achieve global safaris. When booking through a tour operator you will contact us with your name, date, month and year when you wish to trek the mountain gorillas. We will later check for permit availability and if the permits are available you will be asked to make a deposit for the permit. Once we receive the payments we will purchase the permit on your behalf. Gorilla trekking permits in Volcanoes national park should however be booked 3 to 6 months in advance before the trekking date because permits are competitive and get sold out quickly especially during the peak season in the months of June to September and December to February therefore in order to avoid disappointments visitors are advised to book in advance.
Best time to go for gorilla trekking safari in Volcanoes national park
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 rainfall in the park therefore gorilla trekking trails in the jungle will be passable compared to the wet season when the trails are muddy and slippery hence making trekking difficult.
How to get to Volcanoes national park
Volcanoes national park is located in the northwestern park of Rwanda and can be accessed by road transport means whereby visitors will fly to Kigali international airport and then connect to the park by a 4WD safari vehicle which takes about 2 to 3 hours drive.
Volcanoes national park can also be accessed from Bwindi impenetrable national park and MGhinga gorilla national park in Uganda by crossing Cyanika border or Katuna border which takes about 3 to 4 hours drive.