Gorilla trekking guide in Rwanda
Gorilla trekking is a fascinating activity in Rwanda where visitors move into the dense tropical rain forests in search of the mountain gorillas and once found spend one hour with them in their natural habitat. Gorilla trekking in Rwanda in carried out in Volcanoes national park which is located in northwestern part of Rwanda in Musanze village. Gorilla trekking guide in Rwanda provides information or facts about the mountain gorillas and gorilla trekking which helps you to plan for a gorilla trekking safari in Volcanoes national park.
Apart from volcanoes national park there are other gorilla destinations in African which include Bwindi impenetrable national park, Mgahinga gorilla national park in Uganda, Virunga national park and Kahuzi Biega national park in Democratic Republic of Congo. Volcanoes national park is a home of over 18 habituated gorilla families which makes it one of the best gorilla trekking destinations in Africa. Gorilla trekking in the park starts early with a about the rules, regulations and expectations to follow during trekking briefing at Kinigi park headquarters.
After the briefing you will be grouped into 8 people to trek each habituated gorilla family and grouping is done depending on your physical fitness and age where by visitors that are not physically fit will be allocated the nearby gorilla families. you will later start trekking like at around 8:00am with a park guide who will be sharing information about the gorillas and also showing you the trails to use for gorilla trekking. Gorilla trekking in volcanoes national park takes about 2 to 6 hours depending on the location of the mountain gorillas and once found you will spend one hour in the presence of the gorilla learning about their habits, lifestyle, behaviors, taking photos and recording the moments.
Cost of a gorilla trekking permit in Rwanda
A gorilla trekking permit is a legal document or card that is issued to a visitor by Rwanda Development Board allowing him or her to participate in gorilla trekking in Volcanoes national park. a single gorilla trekking permit in Volcanoes national park costs $1500 for all nationalities, Rwanda is the only destination in Africa that charges a high gorilla trekking permit for luxury clients because in Uganda a gorilla trekking permit is affordable and costs $600 for foreign non-residents, $500 for foreign residents and UGX for East African citizens, a gorilla trekking permit in Uganda was however increased by $100 for foreign non-residents and foreign residents effective 1st July 2020. In Democratic Republic of Congo a gorilla trekking permit costs $400 and discounted permit during the low season at $200. Congo is the only destination with the cheap and discounted gorilla trekking permit due to insecurity in the country.
How to book a gorilla trekking permit in Rwanda
A gorilla trekking permit in Rwanda can either be booked directly through Rwanda development board by contacting the office by email or telephone calls or you can book through a trusted tour operator and in this case I recommend Achieve Global Safaris. booking through a tour operator is the best option in that we will not only acquire a gorilla trekking permit for you but also plan for your entire safari which involves transportation, accommodation, meals and other activities that you want to engage in apart from gorilla trekking.
Visitors are however advised to book a gorilla trekking permit in Volcanoes national park 3 to 6 months advance before the trekking date because the permits are competitive and usually get sold out especially during the peak season in the months of June, July, august, September, December, January and February.
Best time to go for gorilla trekking in Rwanda
Volcanoes national park Rwanda can be visited all year round though the best period is during the dry season in the months of June to September and December to February. During the dry season access roads to the park will be passable, there will be short shrubs in the jungle for easy viewing and the gorilla trekking trails will be passable compared to the wet season when the park receives heavy rainfall which makes gorilla trekking trails wet, muddy and slippery.
Though there is heavy rainfall in volcanoes national park during the low season visitors who visit in the low season have an advantage of less crowds in the park during trekking, less competition of the gorilla trekking permits which favors visitors who want to book at the last minute and discounted prices for the lodges in the park.
Where to stay on your gorilla trekking safari in Rwanda
Volcanoes national park has a wide range of luxury, midrange and budget accommodation facilities such as Bisate Lodge, Mountain Gorilla View Lodge, Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge, Virunga Lodge, Five Volcanoes boutique hotel, Kinigi Guest House, Hotel Muhabura, Villa Gorilla, La Palme Hotel, Le Bamboo Gorilla Lodge, Garr Hotel, Da Vinci Gorilla Lodge, Gorillas Volcanoes Hotel, Mountain Gorillas Nest Lodge among others. The lodges provide quality amenities and facilities like comfortable beds, en-suite bathrooms, swimming pool, fire place, bar, sauna, restaurant which serves both local and international meals, gardens for relaxation among others.
What to pack on your gorilla trekking safari in Rwanda
Visitor on a gorilla trekking safari are advised to pack essential items such as hiking shoes, garden gloves, long sleeved shirt and trouser, long stockings, energy snacks, gorilla trekking permit, rain jacket/poncho, insect repellent, warm sweater, camera and extra batteries, backpack, walking stick among others
Gorilla trekking rules and regulations
- Visitors should spend one hour in the presence of the mountain gorillas
- Visitors should be above the age of 15 years to participate in gorilla trekking
- You should keep 7meter distance from the gorillas because they can easily be infected by human diseases.
- Do not smoke or eat while in the presence of the gorillas
- You should stay in your group so as not to get lost while in the forest
- Gorilla trekking allows only 8 people to visit each habituated gorilla family
- Use a flash less camera when taking photos
- Keep your voices low while in the presence of the gorillas until you are about 200 meters away from the gorillas
- Do not touch the mountain gorillas because they are wild animals
- Do not leave rubbish while in the forest
- In case a gorilla charges crunch down slowly, do not look directly into its eyes, do not run because that will increase the risk of a gorilla attacking you.
- Visitors who are not feeling well with illnesses like cough, flue are advised not to engage in gorilla trekking because gorillas are vulnerable and can easily be infected by human diseases.
Visitors on a gorilla trekking safari in Volcanoes national park can also engage in other activities such as golden monkey trekking, Dian Fossey tomb hike, climbing mountains such as Misoke, Karisimbi and Sabyinyo, Musanze cave exploration, nature walk, twin lakes hike which are lake Burera and Ruhondo, cultural encounter where you will visit Iby’iwacu cultural village, birding where you will view bird species like Gauers rush warbler, handsome francolin, Rwenzori turaco, dusky crimson wing, red faced woodland warbler, Rwenzori batis, strange weaver, collared apalis, archers ground robin chat , baglafecht weaver, blue spotted wood dove, red backed shrike, Ruwenzori nightjar among others.
Visitors interested in exciting and unforgettable experiences on their gorilla trekking safari in Volcanoes national park can book 2 days Rwanda gorilla trekking safari, 3 days Rwanda gorilla trekking tour, 5 days Rwanda gorillas and golden monkeys trekking, 7 days Rwanda primates safari with Achieve Global Safaris or you can visit our website for more gorilla trekking packages in Rwanda.