What to expect during Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda? The Virunga Mountains in central Africa, a series of volcanoes that stretches 50 miles along the borders of Rwanda, Uganda, and the Republic of the Congo, are home to little over half of the world’s 1,000 remaining mountain gorillas. The greatest spot to observe these unusual animals is Volcanoes National Park in northwest Rwanda.

There are now 12 habituated mountain gorilla families in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park. Trekking groups are assigned a single gorilla family to monitor, and the number of individuals in each group is tightly limited to eight, therefore only 96 permits are allowed every day.

The most convenient method to enter Rwanda is to fly into the capital city of Kigali. Upon arriving at Kigali International Airport, you will be issued a 30-day single-entry tourist visa.

Travel experts usually advise spending a few days in Kigali at the beginning or end of your vacation, or you may travel directly to Volcanoes National Park. The park is around 105 kilometers from Kigali and a three-hour trip from the airport.

What to expect during Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda?

Your gorilla trekking experience begins early: you’ll need to arrive at the park headquarters in Kinigi in Volcanoes National Park at 7:00 a.m. for a briefing from a park ranger.
You’ll start your hunt for a gorilla family about 8:30 a.m. and must return to the campground by 7:00 p.m.; but your walk may take less time.

Among one the most important factors in deciding which gorilla family to see is the length and difficulty of the walk. Your journey might last anywhere from two to nine hours, depending on the precise location of the gorilla family you’re monitoring. You don’t need to be super-fit, but having a fair degree of fitness can help you appreciate the experience more.

Your experienced guide and tracker will take you through the woodland trails in search of your gorilla family. Even in the dry season, the forest conditions can be slippery and muddy, and it can be quite humid beneath the forest canopy.

The walk is fairly difficult, and you may struggle as you travel through the deep vegetation. The walk might be hard due to the high altitude and steep, slippery slopes, but spending time with mountain gorillas in their natural habitat is well worth it.

When you eventually discover these gentle giants, you’ll have up to an hour to spend with them before returning to your lodge to reflect on your emotional and enchanting experience with Rwanda’s wild mountain gorillas.

What to do when amidst gorillas in Volcanoes National Park?

When you are in the midst of the gorillas in Volcanoes national park, you will have the opportunity to spend 40 minutes to an hour simply studying them in their natural setting.
The gorillas will most likely be only a few yards away from you, going about their everyday lives – eating and associating with one another – under the silverback’s watchful eyes. We assure you will never forget this!

What to expect during Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda?
Gorilla Trekking in Volcanoes

While you’re among the gorillas, keep your voice quiet and avoid making loud noises or quick movements. Of course, you will feel excited, but try to express it softly.
You must maintain a five-metres distance from the gorillas and avoid touching them at all costs.

Even though the mountain gorillas in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park are accustomed to seeing people on a regular basis, they remain wild creatures and may react unexpectedly. It is critical that you follow the advice of your guides and trackers at all times.

You’ll get up to one beautiful hour with the gorillas, but it never feels long enough, so we recommend completing two excursions. Every gorilla encounter is unique, and a second trip allows you to track a new family in a different section of the park. On a second excursion, you’re more likely to put down your camera, relax, and enjoy the experience.

How much is a gorilla permit in Rwanda?

A gorilla permit in Rwanda costs $1500 per person and can be booked directly from the Rwanda Development Board site on Irembo; or you can purchase your gorilla permit from a trusted tour operation like Explore Rwanda Tours who will help you organize your entire Rwanda safari.

The fee covers park admission, skilled guides and trackers, security from a tourism police team in the parks, and one precious hour with the gorillas. Tipping your guides and trackers on your gorilla walk is optional, but not required, and totally up to the visitor.

Seeing mountain gorillas in Rwanda is highly regulated to safeguard these critically endangered creatures in their native environment and boost their chances of survival.
Trekking with gorillas in Volcanoes National Park requires a permit.

There are only 12 habituated gorilla families to observe, and only 8 persons can visit each gorilla family each day, therefore gorilla licenses are severely limited to 96 every day. Rwanda gorilla permits sell out months in advance, so get yours early to ensure your favorite dates, especially during the busiest months.

Though the wet seasons of April to May and October to November are less competitive, the dry seasons of December to March and June to September are particularly popular, with permits selling rapidly.
On the day of the trip, you will be assigned a gorilla family to monitor depending on your age, fitness ability, and number of previously booked treks. Some gorilla families are difficult to follow and demand a high degree of athleticism, whilst others necessitate shorter trekking times.

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