Gorilla trekking Rwanda is one of the best African safaris, its regarded as lifetime experience. Spending great time with the rare mountain gorillas in Rwanda is a key tourist activity done in Volcanoes national park. Mountain Gorillas in Rwanda are found in Volcanoes national park known as Parc National Des Volcans in French. The locals also call the park as Pariki Y’Ibirunga. Volcanoes national park is located in the close border of Rwanda and Uganda along the extension of the volcanoes that stretches up to Virunga national park in Democratic republic of Congo. Volcanoes national park is found in the Northwestern part of the capital Kigali in Musanze Village.
Rwanda is nicknamed as the land of thousand hills due to its topography which is hilly and valley. It has the greatest record of the oldest national park in Africa that is Volcanoes national park. The memory of primates in Africa is attributed to the late Dina Fossey who worked tirelessly in the research of the primates in Africa. To date her grave act as great tourist attraction in Volcanoes where guests hike to see her tomb. Mountain Gorillas are found only in three countries across the world those are Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic republic of Congo.
Gorilla trekking Rwanda is done in 15 Gorilla families which are fully habituated. All the 15 gorilla families are found in Volcanoes national park. Rwanda is among the 3 countries in the world that homes the Mountain Gorillas with other two countries. Rwanda hosts half of the remaining mountain Gorillas in the world with the balance shared between Uganda and Congo. Due to the short distance from Kigali international airport to volcanoes national park which is about 3 hours drive make Rwanda one of the countries where gorilla trekking can be done in one day. Its this short drive distance that has attributed to high number of guests who come to Rwanda to do Gorilla trekking than her neighbors Uganda and Congo. However much the Gorilla permits are high in Rwanda. For one to do Gorilla trekking Rwanda one has to book the gorilla permit in advance through Rwanda Development Board or using and local tour operators. The gorilla permit of Rwanda costs 1500usd per permit which is usable for only one gorilla trek. Gorilla trekking Rwanda starts very early in the morning at around 7:30am with clearing from the park headquarters. The guests are expected to come with their original passports and visa to show their validity stay in the country. After the clearing is done, the guests proceed for the general briefing where they are introduced to the juggle. The highlights of the Gorilla trekking Rwanda activity is given with details of all the groups or gorilla families. The team will be subdivided in to groups of 8 members which will be led by the park ranger. Each group will be given 8 guests to track.
Gorilla trekking Rwanda takes a maximum of 8 hours depending on the movement of the gorillas. After meeting the mountain Gorillas guests are allowed to spend one hour with the gorillas but following the trekking regulations. You will take as many photos of videos as you can while the camera must not be flashing. You observe the social distance of 7 meters with the gorillas but when to young or any other gorilla approaches you are not supposed to move but advised to be calm. Gorilla trekking Rwanda needs some reasonable fitness level with hiking to the mountains of the volcanoes. The trekking is done in the remote hills of the volcanoes national park. The Gorilla trekking Rwanda starts with briefing of the guests very early in the morning at 7:00am. The guests briefing is done at the park headquarters in Kinigi by the park rangers. Like all other countries, the guests are divided in to groups with only 8 people per group. In Rwanda only Gorilla trekking is done they donot have gorilla habituation. Every group is given a park ranger as a group leader or guide who will brief you more on the details of the gorilla family your going to track. All the necessary information like name of the Gorilla family, number of the gorilla family members, meaning of the name of the gorilla family, number of the Silverbacks in the family and expectations are shared with the guests before entering to the forest. Unlike Bwindi impenetrable forest Volcanoes national park is dominated by the bamboo forest. Each group of 8 people are assigned one gorilla family. The Gorilla trekking Rwanda takes between 1 hour to 9 hours depending on the gorilla family allocated and the movement of the gorillas. When gorillas are met, guests are allowed to spend only one hour with the gorillas. Take a good number of pictures and videos as you can before returning back to the park headquarters.
The Rwandan Gorilla families include: Susa Gorilla family, Sabyinyo Gorilla Family, Igisha Family , Titus Gorilla family, Ugenda Gorilla family, Amahoro Gorilla family, Agasha Gorilla family, Hirwa Gorilla family, Muhoza Gorilla family, Karisimbi Gorilla family, Pablo Gorilla family, Bwengye Gorilla family, Isimbi Gorilla Family, Kwitonda Gorilla Family, Umubano Gorilla Family
In order to do Gorilla trekking Rwanda, a guest must have Rwanda Gorilla permit which is issued by the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) The Rwandan Gorilla permit can be got directly from RDB or through local Rwanda tour operator. The Rwandan Gorilla permits are the most expensive Gorilla permits in all the three countries with Mountain Gorillas. The Rwandan Gorilla permit costs 1500 USD per permit. The gorilla permit must be secured and booked in advance. During high season one has to book the gorilla permit 3 to4 months in advance and during low season one has to book the gorilla permit 1 to 2 months in advance.