Everyone wonders why Rwanda is called the land of a thousands of hills is Rwanda! Many have under taken Africa safaris just to explore this country on their tour Rwanda. The country is popular for being one of those that offer Africa’s star safari activity; Rwanda gorilla trekking safaris or gorilla trekking safari in Rwanda which only takes place in Volcanoes National Park. More interesting Africa tour activities include chimpanzee trekking safaris Rwanda & canopy walk in Nyungwe National Park, Kigali city tours, Rwanda wildlife safaris in Akagera National Park.
Wondering how to and when to plan for your Rwanda gorilla trekking safari? Don’t get on the move before you read this.
Mountain Gorillas are known to be only in three African countries of which are Uganda, Rwanda and Congo with a total number of up to 1,004 gorillas. Mountain gorillas live in high steep mountain tropical forests of up to 4,500m above sea level. With this altitude, if you are planning to go for a gorilla trekking tour in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park then there’s need to be physically fit and be ready for the cool environment.
To have a gorilla trekking experience, you need a Rwanda gorilla trekking permit that costs USD 1500. It’s advisable to book your permit at least 6 months before the actual Rwanda gorilla safari. Booking for a gorilla trekking safari is best done by a local Rwanda tour company.
The activity starts at 8:00am local time with a 30 minutes briefing from the park rangers who tell you of the gorilla trekking do’s and don’ts. After then you head into the jungle along with an armed park ranger and other trekkers. The trekking time is unpredictable and can last about 2-6 hours. A single hour is counted as soon as you get close to the gorillas. Remember to use your Rwanda gorilla trekking safari hour properly by using your camera right and observing the amazing gorilla interaction. After having a glimpse at the gorillas at play and chunk food, you then return to the gorilla trek start point where you receive a gorilla trekking certificate then be transferred to your next destination by your Rwanda safari guide.
What is the best time to go for a Rwanda gorilla trekking safari
Many tourists always wonder when the best time for a gorilla safari Rwanda is and the answer is the dry season. These are the months of June – September and December to February. However, tourists may wonder why not go for gorilla trekking in the rainy / wet season and here is a guide on what it means to go gorilla trekking in the rainy / wet season.
When is the Rainy / Wet Season in Rwanda?
Just like the dry seasons, there are also two wet seasons in Rwanda and they are explained as follows;
April – May
April – May is the longest rain season in Rwanda. During these months, there are very high chances of rain falling during a gorilla tour Rwanda which may spoil your entire experience.
October – November
October – November is when the short rains occur in Rwanda. This period offers great photography opportunities and also turns out to be the best time for birding as plants are flowering. The wild is simply magical though when rain falls, they often fall at night and the skies are clear by morning.
Advantages of Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Safaris in the Rainy / Wet Season
The rainy season is always chilly and many people just want to stay in door but then Rwanda does not experience extreme weather conditions like winter and therefore the weather can still be mild and Rwanda safaris or Rwanda tours are possible. If you are wondering what good is there in opting to go for a Rwanda gorilla safari tour in the rainy season, here is to why;
The rainy or wet season is known as the low season. This is because there fewer travelers to the country than during the dry season. This could be more of an advantage since the few tourists in the country have the parks to themselves and can explore the park thoroughly with the great interactions with their guides and park rangers.
During the rainy / wet season, the gorillas can easily be found in the lower slopes. Volcanoes National Park sits on an altitude of 3711 m above sea level and this poses a great challenge to tourists who are not good at hiking or to those with joint problems. The rain makes them come to the lower slopes and therefore you are able to see the gorillas very fast and end your gorilla safari Rwanda early and less exhausted.
In the rainy season still, accommodation in Volcanoes National Park can easily be booked with less congestion in the hotels and lodges. During this season, hotels have low occupancy and hence give travelers discounted food and sleeping services which is an added advantage. This is a perfect time to have quality services for the budget traveler.
To go gorilla trekking you need a gorilla tour Rwanda permit. There is low demand for gorilla permits in the rainy season which guarantee visitors a chance to get a permit and go trekking even within a short time of booking like a month or even weeks.
What to pack for Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Safaris in the Rainy / Wet Season
Tourists trekking mountain gorillas during the rainy season should come along with cotton clothing, water proof hiking boots, garden gloves, and insect repellents. Cotton clothes should be carried to keep the traveler warm and also carry along long sleeve clothes both shirts and trousers.
However, even being a dry or wet season, it can easily shine or rain on your gorilla trekking safari Rwanda day. The rainy season is the same for all of the safari in Rwanda activities. For the advantages of Rwanda gorilla trekking safaris in the rainy / wet season, these are applicable to Uganda gorilla safaris, gorilla trekking safaris in Uganda or even on Congo gorilla trekking safari tours.
Every time can be the best time but then there is always a best time for Rwanda gorilla trekking safaris, but then how do you know. Right here is the response to that. Volcanoes National Park; Rwanda gorilla safaris destination is open all year round for tourists who come in for quality gorilla trekking safaris.
Although Rwanda gorilla trekking safaris are regarded as a year-round activity, the best time to visit Rwanda for a Rwanda gorilla tour is during the short dry season in Rwanda. However, take note that the gorillas are present all year round, with a great record of sightings that give you chance to interact with these gorillas for a maximum of an hour.
Best Time for Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Safaris
The dry season is the bet tome for Rwanda gorilla trekking safaris and the country has two seasons.
June to September
This is the peak season and the longest dry season in Rwanda. It is apparently one of the best times for Rwanda gorilla trekking safaris. Getting to the park is easy because the roads are often dry and the hiking trails are not muddy and slippery as it is in the wet season.
Tourists interested in gorilla trekking in Rwanda during this time must book their gorilla permits in advance as there is very high demand for permits, so if you book late, you may miss out. This can be done through your Rwanda Gorilla trekking tour operator.
December to February
This is the short dry season in Rwanda and also one of the best times to trek the endangered mountain gorillas in Rwanda. Gorilla trekking trails are also easy to access in this period and birding safaris in Rwanda are perfect because migratory birds are present.
Since it’s a dry season remember to carry along sun glasses, a hat and sun screens alongside all of the other necessary safari equipment.
Why it’s good to go for a Rwanda gorilla trekking safari in the dry season
What differentiates the best time from the other seasons is that the dry season makes it easier to trek to through the tropical jungle, photography is clearer and the activity becomes lively because the gorillas are active and not trying to warm up in a single position
However, we still suggest your waterproof clothing even during these drier months, as this Equatorial climate is very unpredictable and showers can happen any time.