Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda
Are you planning or interested in booking Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda, this guide to Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda well researched and put up by Eco Adventure Safaris is one of the best guides that will help you plan and book your gorilla trek successfully, we are glad to guide and advise you on planning your safari to Africa? Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda is one of the once-in-a-lifetime experiences that attracts many travelers to do during their visit to Africa.
Despite the high costs, time, and discomfort from booking to doing the hike through the forest to search for these endangered apes watching gorillas in their natural habitat in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo is one of the best wildlife experiences every traveler would do on his/her safari. Gorilla Trekking involves hiking/walking through the forest and at some point difficult terrain, thick vegetation, crossing rivers and swamps in search for gorillas, this activity is challenging and it requires one to be fit at the time of the trek.
Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda gives you an opportunity to encounter and watch the gorillas in their natural habitat for one hour in Volcanoes National Park. For travelers who would like to spend more time with the gorillas in their natural habitat can opt to visit Bwindi Forest in Uganda for the Gorilla Habituation experience which gives you 4 hours of encounters with the gorillas.
Where is Gorilla Trekking Done in Africa?
Gorilla Trekking is done in Uganda, Rwanda and DR Congo which host the four national parks that are home the only remaining mountain gorillas. These include Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National in Uganda, Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and Virunga National Park in Congo. In Congo you as well have an opportunity to see the Lowland gorillas which are found in Kahuzi Beiga National Park. In order to trek at any of the mentioned national park a gorilla permit is required for you to be allowed to go for gorilla trekking. With this once you have you planned dates of gorilla trekking we recommend you start booking your gorilla trip immediately given the fact services and permits sell out very quickly especially if you plan to do the trek in the peak season of June to September, it is always better to book atleast 5 months in advance prior traveling. Gorilla Trekking at the mentioned parks can be booked directly or through a trusted Tour Operator.
Where is Gorilla Trekking Done in Rwanda?
Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda is done only in Volcanoes National Park. 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. Volcanoes national park is part of the Virunga Conservation Area including five extinct volcanoes namely; Mountain Muhabura, Mountain Sabyinyo, Mountain Gahinga, Mountain Karisimbi and Mountain Bisoke. The park was gazetted by the government of Rwanda to protect the Mountain gorillas which were facing the threat of extinction as a result of poaching, primates and other wildlife that inhabit in the forest. The tropical forest borders Uganda’s Mgahinga national park and DR Congo’s Virunga National park and these primates have always crossed either side, this has enhanced conservation efforts from these three countries to protect the endangered Mountain gorillas and golden monkeys.
Top things to do in Volcanoes National Park
Gorilla tracking in Volcanoes National Park
Do you dream of seeing the Mountain gorillas in the Wild up close, the mountain gorillas are the famous attraction in volcanoes national park with gorilla trekking happening every day throughout the year and this is a must do? Gorilla trekking is an activity that involves visiting the habituated endangered mountain gorillas in their natural environment, as you view the way they feed, move, rest and live in harmony.
Volcanoes National Park has more than 10 habituated gorilla families for trekking every day, only 8 visitors per gorilla family are allowed to trek every day. The chances of seeing the mountain gorillas are 99% as you are guided by trackers, guides, and park rangers. Gorilla trekking starts every day in Kinigi at 7:00 am with a briefing on guidelines to follow while on the trek, even though the gorillas have 99% DNA as humans, they still remain wild and you are advised to follow the dos and don’ts from the guides. The gorilla trek can take 30 minutes to more hours depending on the movement and location of the gorillas in the forest.
For one to be allowed to do gorilla trekking in Volcanoes national park in Rwanda, you must have a Rwanda gorilla permit for a particular date secured from Rwanda development board. The gorilla permit costs USD1500 for all nationals and you are allowed one hour of viewing the gorillas and taking photography. Booking a gorilla trek to volcanoes National Park is a life time experience to complete your bucket list, Eco Adventure Safaris will help you book and tailor Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda tour that is affordable and memorable for your holiday.
Golden Monkey tracking
Golden monkey tracking is one of experiences to do in Volcanoes National Park. Golden Monkey tracking refers to visiting the rare and very beautiful golden monkeys in their natural environment. Volcanoes national park has two habituated golden monkey communities for trekking every day, these communities have about 80 members each and the number of visitors is not limited. The golden monkey trekking permit costs USD100 for all nationals and can be obtained from Rwanda development board to allow you visit the endangered golden monkeys. The activity starts at the park headquarters at 7:00am with briefing on dos and don’ts by the park wardens and later the park guides and rangers lead you to the forest to find them, you can walk for 30minutes to hours depending on the location and movement of the golden monkeys, once you find them you are allowed to view and stay with them for only one hour and after you return
Visit and Hike to Dian Fossey Tomb
Dain Fossey tomb tour is one the most famous activities done in volcanoes national park by visitors. It is one-hour hike to the tomb from Karisoke research camp. The Dian Fossey Memorial hike which is derived from the famous primatologist and Zoologist Dian Fossey from America who spent all her life in the volcanoes protecting the endangered gorillas from extinction and created awareness. She was killed by the alleged poachers and was buried in the park and a memorial was built. She is also famous for participating in the film “gorillas in the mist”. The hike is about 2,500m to 3,000m, this trail leads to the tomb of the late Dian who fought and rescued the endangered mountain gorillas and sensitization on conservation promoted gorilla tourism. Celebrating her charisma, love for the Mountain gorillas, her research and history makes this experience incredible.
Cost and Getting Gorilla Permits in Rwanda
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.
What is the age limit for Trekking Gorillas in Rwanda?
The minimum age limit for Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda is 15 years and the maximum age depends on fitness levels. Gorilla trekking for elders is now made possible especially in the Bwindi forest in Uganda through the provision of sedan chair carriers, these chairs are used to carry those who feel unfit and are unable to walk into the forest at the time of their trek, you will be carried by potters to and from the forest during your trek, hiring the sedan chair can be done in advance or at the day of the trek and price ranges from 400-500 dollars.
What is the best time for Trekking Gorillas in Rwanda?
Gorilla trekking in Rwanda Volcanoes National Park is done throughout the year and the best time to do gorilla trekking in Africa is during the drier months of January, February, June to early September, this makes it easier to travel to the park and gives a clear view of gorillas given the vegetation cover is not too much high grown.
What to pack for Trekking Gorillas in Rwanda?
During gorilla tracking in Rwanda, 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 which 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 Gorilla trekking;
- 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)
Why book with Eco Adventure Safaris your Gorilla Trek in Rwanda
Eco Adventure Safaris will help you book your gorilla trekking in Rwanda contact us and we advise you on the booking process. We as well have different gorilla trekking safari packages ranging from budget, mid-range to luxury options that we can book for you including the gorilla permits. Feel free to check out our trip advisor reviews and read from a community of happy satisfied clients. With us, you can rest assured of a memorable Rwanda safari holiday. We are devoted to providing excellent service and customer satisfaction. Our team of excellent tour consultants is always willing to help answer all your safari questions. We guarantee you a great gorilla tour in Rwanda with us.