RWANDA GORILLA TREKKING SAFARIS
Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Safaris are one of the unique experiences offered to tourists visiting the country. Gorilla trekking safaris in Rwanda are only conducted in Volcanoes National Park. It is one of the three safe havens in the world for the endangered mountain gorillas. Other destinations with mountain gorillas include Bwindi Impenetrable national park and Mgahinga Gorilla national park in Uganda, and Virunga national park in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Rwanda gorilla trekking safaris in Volcanoes national park give visitors a chance to have face-to-face encounters with mountain gorillas. Visitors are given a whole hour to watch these majestic gorillas go about their daily lifestyles in the wild.
Rwanda gorilla trekking safaris in Volcanoes national park often start with a briefing after which visitors are grouped into 8 people to trek each habituated gorilla family. 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 safaris in volcanoes national park take about 2 to 8 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 single gorilla trekking permit in Rwanda costs $1500 for all nationalities. Rwanda is the only gorilla trekking destination in the world that charges a high gorilla trekking permit which makes it a luxury gorilla trekking destination.
On the other hand, gorilla trekking permits in Uganda are much more affordable with a gorilla trekking permit going for $700 for foreign non-residents, $600 for foreign residents and UGX 250,000 for East African citizens. In Congo, a gorilla trekking permit costs $400 and discounted permit during the low season at $200.
Best Time for gorilla trekking safaris in Rwanda.
Rwanda gorilla trekking safaris in Volcanoes national park can be done all year round; however the best time to visit is during the drier season in the months of June, July, August, September, December, January and February when there is less rainfalls in the forest, short grass which gives easy viewing of the gorillas, dry grounds among others. Gorillas can as well be visited during the wet season in the months of March to May and October to November though there is always heavy rainfall which makes trekking difficult due to the wet, muddy and slippery grounds.
How to book a gorilla trekking permit in Rwanda
A gorilla trekking permit in Rwanda can either be purchased 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 Explore Rwanda Tours. 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.
Where to stay on your Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Safari.
During your Rwanda gorilla trekking safari in Volcanoes national park, you can stay in any of the following 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 Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Safari.
Visitors going on a Rwanda gorilla trekking safari should endeavor to pack the following essential items; Insect repellent and sunscreen cream, long sleeved shirts and trousers, water bottle, snacks, camera, hiking boots, hat/cap, and a light raincoat/ jacket.
Age Limit for visitors on Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Safaris.
Visitors allegeable for Rwanda gorilla trekking safaris in Volcanoes national park must be age 16 years and above. Visitors below the age of 16 years are regarded as children and hence they are not allowed to track mountain gorillas in Rwanda.
Conclusion: Rwanda is one of the top ranking destinations for gorilla trekking safaris in Africa. It offers visitors fascinating and memorable experiences with the gorillas and can be best combined with other activities that are offered in Volcanoes national park such as Iby’ iwacu village tour, hike to Dian Fossey gravesite, explore Musanze caves, track golden monkeys and so many more.