Gorilla Trekking Rwanda
Gorilla trekking Rwanda, is ultimate opportunity given to travelers to see unique mountain gorillas in their natural habitat which is life changing experience. More so, gorilla trekking is an experience taken to encounter with gorillas as they go about their daily lives, accompanied with expert trackers and guides who leads a small groups of visitors up bamboo-covered slopes to spend a gorgeous and worth inspiring hour just a few feet away from the gentle creatures.
Gorillas are the largest living primates on the earth and are spread across much of the equatorial African rainforest. Therefore, there species are split into lowland gorillas and mountain gorillas. In Africa the endangered mountain gorillas can be found in the Virunga range that spans Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Note, trekking gorillas in Rwanda is absolutely safe and relatively accessible.
Currently, the number of mountain gorillas estimates 1063 individuals still existing in the wild, with 604 in the Virunga Massif and the rest in montane rainforest. Unfortunately, the population is bit decreasing but thanks goes to great effort between our government, communities and NGOs.
Volcanoes National Park has more than twelve gorilla families which are habituated and a few others habituated are put side for scientific research. Each gorilla group consist of at least one silverback along with several females and youngsters.
The gorilla group or troop are somewhat fluid in composition but they do stick to a preferred area. They are being monitored and protected by park rangers with each group coming into contact with tourist travelers for a strict maximum of one hour per day.
There are six tracking permits available on the daily basis per visited troop or gorilla group, meaning the encounter is just worth it and intimate to track. With only 96 permits available daily or each day in Rwanda Volcanoes National Park, tourist planning to track mountain gorilla on African safari, you highly recommended to book in advance before your date of arrival to Rwanda. Rwanda gorilla tracking permits can either be booked online or via a reputable tour operator.
On visitor’s tracking day, they have to first gather at Volcanoes National park headquarter in Kiningi at 7am for briefing about the rules for gorilla trekking and exactly at 8am you’re allocated to a gorilla group that fits your body weakness. Gorilla trekking is unpredictable can take 7 to 8 hours trekking depending on gorilla movements in the forest. Once are allocated, you will be given one hour to spend with them enjoy their newly life style as well as capturing memorable photography.
Volcanoes national park –gorilla families are Susa, Igisha, Sabyinyo, Agashya, Kwitonda, Umubano, Hirwa, Karisimbi, Bwenge, Ugyenda and Muhoza.
Trekking gorillas is done hiking up to their various locations which can take anything from 30 to 6 hours or more hours, to reach an altitude of between 2,500meter and 4,000 meter. If you are not well fit in the body, porters are available to offer a helping hand along the route or carry backpacks and cameras at small note.
Rwanda gorilla trekking permit cost USD1,500 per person per trek but 10% is of the revenue from the permits, that contributes towards local communities, build schools and health centers as well as road infrastructure. There is also a compensation fund for local farmers should any gorillas damage their crops, to help ensure peaceful co-existence.
Gorilla trekking /tracking also offers employment for many locals, from rangers and tracker to porters, drivers and staff at safari lodges.
On your visit to Volcanoes national park, you can get interested in tracing the footsteps of Dian Fossey, her tomb is a 30-minute drive from the park headquarters, then two or three hours hike through the mountainous area of Volcanoes to above 3,000meter altitude.
Currently, there are several conservation organization working hand in hand to see how Rwanda Volcanoes National Park primates survive in order to impact on Rwanda’s government include; Diana Fossey Gorilla Fund International, The Gorilla Organization, Gorilla Doctors, International Gorilla Conservation and Wildlife Conservation Society.
In general ,Volcanoes national park is Rwanda’s top visited and one of the best attractive safari destination in East Africa ,lies in northwestern region of Rwanda bordered with Virunga National Park Congo and Mgahinga Gorilla National park in Uganda ,covers an area of 160 square kilometer of rainforest .It is a mountainous area comprising of five of the eight volcanoes in the Virunga Mountain namely Bisoke ,Karisimbi ,Muhabura ,Gahinga and Sabyinyo .Furthermore, home to the great mountain gorillas and the golden monkey ,bird species among others and also was the base for the primatologists Dian Fossey .Volcanoes national park is a UNESCO heritage site
Cost of Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Permits /Book Your permit
Rwanda gorilla trekking permit costs USD1,500 per person per day. The minimum age limit to trek gorillas is 15 years old. Special offers are currently done for Rwandan and East African Community residents. We recommend out clients to book in advance, which can be associated through the Irembo platform.
Tour operators; If you would like to book through a private company, it is advisable to use a licensed operator and tour guides.
What is the best time to go for Gorilla trekking –Rwanda
The best time to see gorillas /do gorilla trekking is during the months of June, July, August, September and December, because there are less rains and park trails can be drier, making it simple to hike in reward to see mountain gorillas.
Rules and Regulations –Gorilla trekking
Observe a distance of 7 to 8 meters away from the great apes.
Age limit is 15 years of age and above
Trackers are permitted only 1 hour to see the gorillas
Regularly wear your face mask –Covid 19 SOP
Avoid sneezing in front of the mountain gorillas
Do not smoke, eat and drink in the park
Do not over stay with gorillas
Regular hand sanitizes
Do not litter in the park
You should obey the tracking number ‘’6’’
What to pack –Gorilla Trekking Rwanda
You need to pack solid walking shoes with gaiters and sturdy clothing for your safety against stinging nettles are essential. Gardening gloves are also useful, endeavor to carry them as well as a lightweight waterproof jacket in case it rains, Carry enough mineral water bottles, snacks, packed lunch boxes.
Apart from Gorilla trekking experience in Volcanoes national park, there other responsible tourism activities to do during your visit here such as primate tracking or viewing –Golden monkeys, Bird watching, Hiking among others. You can also engage in great ceremonial events very interesting and quite unforgettable such as Rwanda’s music, dancing and through having discussion about Rwanda’s gorilla conservation, attend cultural evenings and some challenges that remains.