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Gorilla Trekking Safaris in Rwanda

Gorilla trekking safaris in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park are peerless wildlife experiences and one of Africa’s indisputable adventure highlights.

Daily Gorilla Trekking excursions in Volcanoes National Park-Rwanda begin at 08:00 am, irrespective of the date or weather and taking part in these gorilla trekking excursions in Volcanoes National Park is the only way to see mountain gorillas in Rwanda.

When is the Best Time to Go for a Gorilla Trekking Safari in Rwanda?

The best time to go for a gorilla trekking Safari in Rwanda is during the two dry seasons of December to early February and June to September. The drier Months provide a more pleasant (and less muddy) hike. Note that during these Months, the gorilla permits are scarce and accommodation is expensive the reason we recommend that you secure your gorilla permit and where to stay well in advance (A year in advance) to avoid being inconvenienced.

Travelers should however note that Gorilla Trekking in can be done all year around including the rainy seasons as long as you are healthy and fit.

Popular Gorilla Trekking Safaris in Rwanda

Where can I Go for a Gorilla Trekking Safari in Rwanda?

Volcanoes National Park-Rwanda is the only place you can go for a gorilla trekking Safari in Rwanda. Volcanoes National Park-Rwanda is home to the endangered mountain gorillas and golden monkeys. The park is also inhabited by a number of other animals and plant species and was the base for the celebrated primatologist Dian Fossey who set the stage for gorilla conservation.

How Do I get to and Around Volcanoes National Park-Rwanda?

To get to Volcanoes National Park-Rwanda, you will arrive via Kigali International Airport from where you will embark on a 3 Hours road drive to Musanze town and then to the park. You can travel using a booked car through a local tour operator or by a public bus from Kigali’s Nyabugogo bus station. You can also access Volcanoes National Park through Kisoro town in Uganda which is around 21Kms to Musanze Town.

Where can I stay in Volcanoes National Park-Rwanda?

Forest hotels in Rwanda are located in pristine areas often with dramatic views of jungle canopies and rugged landscapes transporting guests to idyllic enchantments. A selection of lodges that can host you for the primate trekking experience included some of the world’s top luxury brands like One&Only’s Gorilla’s Nest and budget but comfortable hotels like Davinci Gorilla Lodge.

What is Included in the Cost of a Gorilla Trekking Safari in Rwanda?

The cost of a gorilla trekking Safari in Rwanda includes the Gorilla permit, transfers, accommodation and meals. A Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Permit Costs $1500 per person and it includes the trekking guide, one hour with gorillas and park entrance fees.

Transportation Costs range from $240 – $350 per day per inclusive of Car, Driver and fuel while accommodation costs range from $200 – $4000 per night full board

Frequently Asked Questions

When Is the Best Time to Go Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda?

The best time best time to see gorillas in Rwanda is December to February and June to September during the dry season when the trekking trails are dry. But most importantly, when you can get a gorilla trekking permit. Permits are like gold dust, often selling out over a year in advance in peak months. That is when you need our specialist to swoop the magical availability wand. It rains heavily between October and November or March and May. Tourists tend to stay away during those times, but the gorillas are always there, although trekking in rain can be a very tusking.

How Do I Get a Rwanda Gorilla Permit?

You can buy the gorilla permit online via the Rwanda Development Board’s website or through a local tour operator. The Rwanda permit costs $1,500 per person and includes park entrance fees. Please note that the permit is strictly for individuals aged 15 and above. While it is possible to purchase permits last minute, availability during peak seasonal months from June to September may be limited. It is therefore recommended to secure your ticket ahead of time (at least three months) to avoid disappointment.

Why Is Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda Expensive?

The high cost of Rwanda gorilla trekking is primarily due to the extensive conservation efforts required to protect these magnificent creatures. Those involved in providing security, healthcare, and trekking services work in extremely challenging conditions, often spending hours, days, and even weeks away from their families to ensure the survival of the gorillas. Additionally, Rwanda has positioned itself as a destination for high-end tourism, with luxurious hotels and safari lodges catering to discerning travellers. As a result, gorilla treks in Rwanda are an expensive expedition typically reserved for those seeking a high-end, indulgent travel experience.

Am I Guaranteed to See Gorillas in Rwanda?

It is true that joining guided gorilla excursions in Rwanda offers a high chance of seeing the mountain gorillas. The rangers and trackers work together to locate the gorillas and ensure the safety of the visitors during the trek. The gorillas are habituated to human presence, so they are used to seeing people and do not feel threatened by their presence. However, it is important to note that gorilla sightings are not guaranteed, as the gorillas are wild animals and can move around freely in their habitat. The 97% success rate refers to the success rate of seeing the gorillas on a guided trek, but there is still a small chance that the gorillas may not be located during the trek.

Is Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda Safe?

It is generally considered safe to have close contact with habituated mountain gorillas during a gorilla trekking experience as long as certain rules and guidelines are followed. These rules are in place to protect both humans and gorillas, as well as other animals in the protected reserve. One of the most important rules is to maintain a distance of at least 10 meters (32 ft) from the gorillas at all times and to follow the guidelines set by the ranger during the trek. Other rules include wearing face masks and gloves when near the gorillas, avoiding the tour when showing signs of infectious illness, avoiding direct eye contact with the gorillas, staying still or moving and whispering when a gorilla comes close, and refraining from eating, drinking, or excreting near the gorillas. Following these guidelines, visitors can safely enjoy a close encounter with these magnificent creatures while ensuring their well-being and habitat conservation.

What to Pack for A Rwanda Gorilla Tour

  • Lightweight waterproof jacket or poncho
  • Hiking trousers and a long-sleeved shirt
  • Yellow fever vaccination card
  • Tourist visa ($50 per person, East African Visa for Kenya, Uganda, & Rwanda is $100)
  • Lightweight, waterproof hiking or walking shoes
  • Hiking gloves, sunhat or cape
  • A fleece or light-wool sweater for cold mornings
  • Waterproof backpack to carry drinking water, packed lunch and your gadgets
  • Sunglasses and sunscreen
  • Camera and binoculars
  • Walking poles or staff; UWA provides a walking stick at the trailhead.
  • At least one litre of drinking water and packed lunch (upmarket lodges provide packed lunch)
  • A pair of disposable facemasks
  • A basic first aid kit may come in handy: antiseptic wipes, antihistamine cream, insect repellent, plasters, painkillers, antimalarials and rehydration sachets.
  • Find the the complete packing-list here.

Should I Visit Uganda Or Rwanda For A Gorilla Tour?

In summary, choosing between gorilla trekking in Uganda vs. Rwanda comes down to personal preferences and priorities. Uganda offers more options for wildlife attractions and activities with more gorilla populations and tracking points. On the other hand, Rwanda provides easier access from the airport and luxurious accommodation options. Additionally, the pricing of gorilla permits in Uganda is lower than in Rwanda. Both countries offer an equally amazing gorilla trekking experience and visitors can choose based on their budget, physical fitness and safari itinerary preferences.

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