The chances of seeing gorillas in Rwanda are high at more than 99%, are you planning to visit Rwanda and you want to first confirm whether you will be able to see the mountain gorillas during your trek in Volcanoes National Park. In this article, we explain how gorilla trekking is and the chances you have to see the mountain gorillas in their natural habitat in Rwanda
When it comes to gorilla trekking, this is one of the most organized tourist activities in Rwanda and on no occasion, for the last 2 decades, trekkers have reported not getting the chance to see the mountain gorillas. Gorilla trekking in Rwanda Volcanoes National Park starts very early in the morning where advance trackers go into the forest to locate where the gorillas last nested and spent the last night, they then start following them as they feed, interact and relax in the forest. These advanced trackers communicate with the guides with tourists during their trekking to find the gorillas, you will follow routes guided by the advanced trackers in the forest this saves time and the hustle to look for the gorillas hence giving you great chances of seeing gorillas in Rwanda. Gorilla trekking to find the gorillas in their natural habitat in Rwanda takes about from 30 minutes to 5 hours to walk to find them and once you find them you will spend one hour with them encounter, take photographs and learn more about them.
Where is Gorilla Trekking done in Rwanda?
Gorilla trekking in Rwanda is only done in one national park that is Volcanoes National Park, the park is also known as Parc Des Vulcan’s in French and Pariki Yigihugu yibirungu in Kinyarwanda (Local language) which is found in North-Eastern in a small town called Musanze, Rwanda in East Africa. Volcanoes National park is one of the major national parks in Rwanda and East Africa and one of the oldest parks in Africa, it is a home to the endangered apes and primates that include the Mountain Gorillas and golden Monkeys, there also many species of birds, Monkeys, trees, forest hogs, bushbucks among others in the forest as well as the unique culture.
chances of seeing gorillas in Rwanda. The best time to trek Rwanda mountain gorillas is during the months of mid-December to early February and June to September during this time it is a dry season in Rwanda with mild rainfall making it easy for the treks in the Forest, as well during this time the vegetation is not fully grown and it is easy for viewing the Rwanda mountain gorillas offering great sights for photographs. During the other months of April, May and November which is normally a wet season this makes the vegetations grow high making the sightings unclear however during this time the treks tend to be shorter given the fact gorillas don’t move further distances looking for food, food is readily available in the forest compared to the dry seasons. Seeing Rwanda mountain gorillas is possible throughout the year given the fact it is a very well-organized activity and you have 99% chance of seeing them in their natural habitat Volcanoes National Park.
What to pack during Trekking Rwanda mountain gorillas?
When is the best time to trek Rwanda gorillas? During trekking Rwanda mountain gorillas, you will need a comfortable, hard-wearing, pair of walking shoes or boots. Conditions are generally very muddy in the forest when it is raining. There are uphill sections that may be quite steep and strenuous. It is also advisable to wear a long sleeve cotton shirt and lightweight long trousers to protect yourself from the undergrowth, stinging nettles and biting ants. Suggested Items to pack for trekking Rwanda mountain gorillas include;
• Insect Repellent
• Torch/Flashlight – and Spare Batteries
• Wet Wipes
• Water Bottle
• Camera, lenses etc
• Comfortable walking/hiking boots & socks
• Gardening gloves for gorilla tracking
• Sandals/strops/walking shoes
• Hat and Sunscreen
• Rain Jacket
• Binoculars (game/bird watching)
Cost and Getting Gorilla Permits to trek Rwanda mountain gorillas
The Gorilla permit in Rwanda costs $1500 Per person per trek for Foreign nonresidents, $500 Per person for foreign residents and $200 for East African Citizens (Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya, Burundi and South Sudan), this gives you an opportunity to spend one hour encounter with the mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park. Rwanda has 12 Gorilla families hence 96 Gorilla permits are available each day for gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park. Getting gorilla permits in Rwanda can be done directly by booking them through Rwanda Development Board or through a trusted tour operator in Rwanda like Eco Adventure Safaris
How to book gorilla permits in Rwanda?
When you contact us at Eco Adventure Safaris about your planned trek and desired dates (birthday date), we shall check the availability of permits an online system of the Rwanda development board and if permits are available, we shall send you an invoice to make payment for the permits as they are top priority and if they are not available, you will choose other dates that have availability of permits (We advise you book months in advance to get you exact date). Once we receive payment, we shall book and secure your permits and send you copy of the receipt with booking ID to confirm your trek. The process of acquiring the gorilla permits is easy and transparent; you will surely give you a lifetime experience with the gorillas.
The gorilla trekking permits normally sell out so very quickly during the high season (January, February, July, August, September, and December every year. Booking the permits in advance is ideal for your gorilla trek.
We as well organize last minute booking of Volcanoes Mountain gorilla permits in Rwanda for travelers, you may visit Rwanda for a conference, Seminar or you many have change of program while in Rwanda/East African countries/ Africa and you instead opt to do a gorilla trek on a weekend or any day you are free, once you contact, we shall try our best to get you a gorilla permit from either Rwanda development board or from those reselling the gorilla permits for you not to miss out. Booking the gorilla permits will require you to make payment for the permit to secure a spot for trekking. Once you contact us, we shall send you a quote for the number of days as you require, and then you fix dates which we shall consider when booking you’re your permits and accommodation as they are key priorities. Once you make Payment, we shall pay off all your services as per the travel plan and ensure all is in order for your gorilla safari.
Where to stay in Volcanoes national Park
While on you visit to volcanoes national park to trek Rwanda mountain gorillas, staying in a good, clean, comfortable and beautiful lodge/camp is ideal for an incredible safari. There are many lodges and hotels in volcanoes national park ranging from budget to luxury, namely; Bisate lodge, Gorilla Nest and Virunga lodge are luxury options, Sabinyo silverback lodge, five volcanoes lodge, Le bamboo Mountain gorilla lodge are Midrange options to consider, Kinigi guesthouse, Hotel Muhavura and gorilla volcanoes lodge are some of the budget hotels. The hotel rooms can sell out quickly especially during the high season, your accommodation choice needs to booked in advance for your visit to volcanoes national park. You will also be able to get a discount on accommodation when you stay more nights.
How to get to Volcanoes National Park to trek Rwanda mountain gorillas
The park is located in a small village called Musanze also known as Ruhengeri and can be accessed either by public transport from Kigali (Airport) or Gisenyi. The drive from Kigali is a 2 hours’ drive and this makes it very possible for one to drive directly from Kigali and track Gorillas and then return and take their flight out provided they make it to the park before 7:00am Rwanda time and book flights out that depart at least later after 6:00pm.
Why book your trek of the Rwanda mountain gorillas with Eco Adventure Safaris?
Eco Adventure Safaris offers amazing experiences to volcanoes national Park and Rwanda as a destination for the past years. Contact us here for our discounted packages and also tailor-made gorilla trips, birding, cultural experiences and golden monkey tracking to the volcanoes national park to trek Rwanda mountain gorillas. Our magic in organizing authentic experience stems from the fact that we have overtime assembled a team mixed with young and energetic staff guided by a well-experienced Team and passionate about what they do. Eco Adventure Safaris is highly rated and reviewed on trip Advisor and safari bookings to help you learn on the experiences of the other travelers who have traveled with us to volcanoes national park Rwanda. Contact us here about what are chances of seeing gorillas in Rwanda