Gorilla trekking tours Rwanda
The Most Updated Guide on Rwanda Gorilla tours 2020
Rwanda gorilla tours or Gorilla trekking Rwanda is the most accessible and easiest mountain gorilla trekking in Africa and the major draw card of Rwanda safaris tours. Volcanoes National Park Rwanda is the closest gorilla safari park from its airport, Kigali International Airport.
Unlike in the other countries of Uganda and Congo, in Rwanda as soon as you arrive at Kigali International Airport you are just a few hours away from Volcanoes National Park the Gorilla safari Rwanda destination.
Mountain gorillas in Rwanda are all fully habituated and open for trekking within their natural habitat. Rwanda’s gorillas are the easiest to trek as they live in the bamboo covered slopes of the Virunga Volcanoes and live within an easy reachable range.
It was on these slopes that the popular primatologist did her conservation works and the place where the movie Gorillas in the Mist was shot making Rwanda Gorilla trekking popular world over.
Frequently Asked Questions about Rwanda Gorilla Trekking
Rwanda Gorilla tours are one of the major activities in Rwanda and there are several questions that are always asked about Gorilla trekking.
Here is the most detailed and relevant guide on all of the frequently asked questions about Gorilla safaris in Rwanda;
What is Gorilla trekking Rwanda?
Gorilla trekking Rwanda literally has no definition but can be described as an activity that gets an individual very close to the world’s endangered Gorilla population-mountain gorillas.
Gorilla trekking in Rwanda is a safari activity where 8 tourists are guided by park rangers to trek and hike through the bamboo rain-forest of Volcanoes National Park to meet a gorilla family and spend 1 hour in their presence.
Individuals have a briefing before they visit the bamboo forest where park rangers advise the trekkers on the dos and don’ts or rules and regulations of Rwanda Gorilla tours before, during and after the trek.
These guidelines should be followed to ensure you have an amazing trek.
How much does it cost to see the Gorillas in Rwanda?
A Gorilla permit in Rwanda costs US$ 1500 each and you are required to purchase a permit to see the gorillas in Rwanda. Each person buys a permit at 1500 USD to go gorilla trekking in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park spending a maximum of 60 minutes in the presence of the mountain gorillas.
The Rwanda gorilla permit at U.S dollars 1500 is the most expensive for mountain gorilla trek but though comes with amazing offers.
Tourists to Rwanda who are spending at least three days in the country for Gorilla tracking and a visit to other parks are offered a 30% discount on their permits.
15% discount is also offered to conference tourists to the country who are going to trek gorillas in Rwanda before or after their conference.
Is the Gorilla trekking permit cost worth it?
Gorilla trekking is the most expensive Rwanda safari activity and many people always wonder whether it is worth the cost.
The cost of a Gorilla Permit in Rwanda is worth it because the high price regulates the number of people who visit the Mountain Gorillas each day and therefore protecting the Gorillas from catching human diseases.Rwanda’s high Gorilla Permit cost strengthens conservation efforts and contributes to community development as well as improvement of livelihood in the local communities around the park.
The communal revenue sharing price is 10% of the permit cost which is good income for the communities around the park.
This has helped in contributing to community amenities like constructing schools, hospitals, clean water, and local business development.
Each day, ranger guides spend time in the forest to ensure Gorilla trekking is safely done. Before trekking, rangers go for tracking where they keep track of where the gorillas are spending their day and therefore tourists can be guided to see them.
The cost from the Gorilla permits is what helps the Rwanda Development Board facilitate the park rangers and ensure that Gorilla trekking tours are undertaken each day.
Your contribution on a Rwanda Gorilla permit is very useful for mountain gorilla conservation. Mountain Gorillas have for several decades been in the verge of extinction but due to great conservation efforts, by 2020 there are confirmed 1063 Mountain Gorilla individuals remaining.
This has been a result of conservation efforts and the funds from Gorilla permits play a very big role.
Your purchase of a Gorilla permit for trekking in Rwanda does not only facilitate your Gorilla trekking experience but also helps facilitated gorilla conservation activities and helps save these great apes from extinction.
What to wear for Gorilla trekking Rwanda
To have a Gorilla trekking safari in Rwanda, you will have to wear and pack right for the jungle. Here is all you need to know on what you will have to wear to keep you safe, warm and comfortable during trekking;
- Wear long waterproof trousers and long sleeved shirts for the trek for protection against bites directly to you skin and also to keep warm.
- Wear gardening gloves for hand protection especially from bristles in case you would hold onto any tree species during the trek.
- In the rainy season especially, wear a waterproof hat for protection on the head
- Carry a small waterproof zip lock bag to put in your camera and other gadgets.
- Wear comfortable hiking shoes. Always try on the shoes before the hike to make sure they do not cause any ache on the ankles or toes.
- Always remember to carry Insect repellent for protection from insect bites.
What is the best time of the year for Gorilla trekking Rwanda?
If you are wondering when to go gorilla trekking in Rwanda, the best time is still the best time to visit Rwanda. Though gorilla tours Rwanda are an all year round activity, the best time of the year to go gorilla trekking is during the long and short dry seasons.
The long dry season is during the months of June to September and the short dry season is during the months of mid-December to early February.
During these two dry seasons, the park receives less rains and therefore offering the easiest hiking conditions to the bamboo forest.
The other time of the year is the rainy season and therefore it is less recommendable to trek gorillas since trekking becomes difficult and slippery.
However, this is also a time when tourists are fewer in number and therefore you could enjoy an advantage of discounted accommodation in some hotels/lodges.
Rwanda Gorilla trekking rules and regulations
As means of regulating the number of tourists that visit mountain gorillas each day and to ensure they are safe, there are set rules and regulations that each tourist should adhere to in order to have a Gorilla safari Rwanda.
Here are the dos and don’ts of Gorilla trekking tours in Rwanda;
- Wash your hands before you head out to meet the gorillas.
- Always keep your voices low in the forest from the start of the trek to the end. However, you are allowed to ask your guide questions.
- Maintain a 7 meters (21 ft) distance from the gorillas. Remember they are still wild animals.
- Do not use flash photography while taking pictures.
- In case you must leave any human waste in the forest, it should be buried 30 cm (12”) deep.
- A maximum of 60 minutes are spent in the presence of the mountain gorillas.
- Persons with a cold or diseases that might be found infectious to gorillas may not be allowed to trek the gorillas. In case you are ill and please volunteer to stay behind for the safety of the gorillas.
- DO NOT leave any rubbish in the park.
- DO NOT eat, drink or smoke during the trek.
- If you must sneeze or cough cover your face and turn away from the gorillas, as they can catch coughs and colds from humans.
- Do not touch the gorillas.