Gorillas are known to be one of the elusive species of the wild and atop reason travelers undertake Africa safaris to Rwanda for Rwanda safaris. With their character, physique and uniqueness, seeing a gorilla closely is one of the top bucket list safari activities because of the experience. Gorilla trekking Rwanda or Gorilla tracking Rwanda, no matter which one you are familiar with, Rwanda is one of the blessed nations to offer the activity to the world. If you are wondering what it’s all about here is an explanation on the real Rwanda Gorilla trekking tour experience;
One may ask be wondering what gorilla trekking is! Gorilla trekking has no specific definition; however, it is one of the Africa safari activities and it involves hiking/climbing through a tropical forest to spend a single hour with mountain gorillas. Hiking or climbing known as so because Volcanoes National Park, a habitat where they stay, raises to an altitude ranging from 2,500m to 4,500m above sea level. Gorilla trekking is done every single day as a total of 8 tourists visit a single gorilla family of the 10 gorilla families in the park totaling to to 80 tourists a day.
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. There’s nothing like the same gorilla trekking experience, every day can be a different story to different tourists. The same playful and amazing tourists today can be the moody one’s the next day, just go trekking expecting anything.
One would wonder whether its only a single hour for Rwanda with any other option, the answer is yes! Unfortunately, unlike the chance gotten by Uganda gorilla safari tourists who can opt to go for a 4 hours gorilla habituation experience, all of Rwanda’s gorillas have been habituated and therefore you can only go for trekking/tracking.
Surviving in their natural habitat, the surest and only way of seeing the Mountain Gorilla (the gorilla specie in Rwanda) in Rwanda is by undertaking a Gorilla trekking safari. In the country, Mountain Gorillas can only be found in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park in the north western parts of the country. Other mountain gorillas can be trekked in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. In Congo, mountain gorillas are found in Virunga National Park.
Gorilla trekking safaris in Rwanda are definitely the top safari activity in the country and topping high-end tourists within the region. Rwanda is home to the elusive mountain gorillas found in the country’s Volcanoes National Park where tourists go for trekking. To go gorilla trekking, you need a Rwanda gorilla trekking permit.
What is a Rwanda gorilla trekking permit?
A Rwanda gorilla trekking permit is a document or card issued by the Rwanda Development Board that allows any traveler above 15 years of age to trek mountain gorillas. A Rwanda gorilla trekking permit costs USD 1500 a cost higher than any other destination. This increment came as support to Rwanda’s high-end tourism strategy which aims at strengthening conservation efforts and contribute to community development and improvement of livelihoods of locals living around the park.
Rwanda Gorilla trekking Permit Price allocation
The known cost of a Rwanda gorilla trekking tour permit is 1500 USD but then allocation is done according to different reasons and you could actually trek a gorilla at a lower cost. USD 1500 are applicable for Non-Residents, East African Residents, East African Citizens, Rwandan Residents and Rwandan Citizens. A traveler gets a 30% Discount (USD 1,050) on a gorilla permit if visiting other Rwanda national parks of Akagera National Park and Nyungwe National Park making it a total of three national parks in the country for 3 days and more during the low season of November – May A 15% discount (USD 1,275) is given to conference guests who stay pre and post meetings, Incentives, conferencing and exhibitions (MICE) events who decide to go gorilla trekking. USD 15,000 can be paid for a Private gorilla trekking safari in Rwanda of an entire group with an exclusive personalized tour guide service USD 30,000 can be paid for a minimum of 3 visitors for 3 consecutive days.
How to acquire a Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Permit
Gorilla trekking permits are available for booking before the safari and can be fully booked on some days therefore one needs to book prior. Booking is best done through a Rwanda gorilla trekking tour operator for all prior bookings. A tour operator can also tailor the whole safari in Rwanda and do all necessary bookings.
Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Permit Cancellation Guidelines
The Rwanda Development Board (RDB) shall refund 50% of the gorilla trekking fee for any visitor showing signs of illness. Any sick visitor shall not be allowed to track the gorillas if declared unfit by the Warden in Charge. NOTE: This only applies to visitors who have traveled all the way to the park. Volcanoes National Park is an amazing park to visit. Adjacent to the park is Mgahinga Gorilla National Park Uganda and Virunga National Park all within the Virunga massif in Uganda and Congo respectively. Planning a Uganda gorilla trekking safari or Congo gorilla trekking safari however require knowledge about the gorilla permit information of the countries.
Rwanda gorilla trekking safari packages