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Rwanda Gorilla Trek Guide

Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Guide : Gorilla Safaris Volcanoes Rwanda

Welcome to Rwanda gorilla trek guide portal to help you in planning a luxury gorilla safari to volcanoes national park. we feature information like the cost of the gorilla permit, how to book gorilla permit, when to go gorilla trekking, reliable tour operators in Rwanda, where to stay and news about volcanoes national park Rwanda.

Rwanda Gorilla tours Rwanda is regarded as the land of thousand hills and known to be the home for the mountain gorillas in the virunga Mountain ranges that are shared between Rwanda, Uganda and Democratic republic of congo . Volcanoes national park is located in the northern province of Rwanda and known to the home for the world’s most endangered primates ( Mountain Gorillas)

Africa Highlights & Trekking Gorillas
Go gorilla trekking in Africa either in DR congo, Uganda or Rwanda.

Africa is home to the world’s largest primate, the gorilla. The Mountain Gorilla lives at higher altitude and has longer and more abundant fur than the lowland species.It is also the most critically endangered with approximately 720 individuals remaining within national parks in the Virunga Volcanoes and in Uganda’s Impenetrable Forest. These gentle giants live on a diet of leaves, stems, bark and fruit. A guided trek through the forest to see an habituated group is an unforgettable experience, and although encounters cannot be guaranteed, it is unusual not to see them. Finding the gorillas can mean trekking up steep, uneven paths or over tussocky grass so a reasonable level of fitness is required. Rwanda’s Parc National des Volcans is the best place to undertake gorilla treks. Limited permits are available and must be purchased well in advance

Gorilla Trekking in Africa is quite an amazing and unmissable adventure safari holiday that can be added on either a Rwanda Safari , Uganda Safari or DR congo Safari, which every tourists coming to Africa is seeking to do. Over 980 Mountain gorillas found in Central Africa, Bwindi impenetrable forest national park having half of the total mountain gorilla population, the other half is found with in the Virunga volcano mountain gorilla region including Volcanoes national Park of Rwanda, Virunga national park of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Mgahinga national park of Uganda.

In Volcanoes national Park mountain gorillas live in small groups that we call families comprising of 4 – 30 member with infants  and some can exceed the number , mother gorillas and each gorilla group is headed by a dominant male gorilla called silverback.

Gorilla Trekking travelers only visit a selected habituated gorilla groups that is used to human interaction as its well known that people and Gorillas can be stay together with in the same jungle forest of Volcanoes. Go gorilla trekking in volcanoes national park can be life time experience in Rwanda as its now regarded as luxury safari activity as the cost of the gorilla permit is USD 1500 per visit for one hours  and visitors that choose go gorilla trekking in Rwanda enjoy the same experience like gorilla trekking in Uganda as they are always followed by park rangers you don’t need to have a GPS since they are experienced about the forest.

How to Acquire / Book a Gorilla Permit on an African Safari Holiday.

Gorilla Trekking in any african country being Rwanda, Uganda or Democratic republic of congo will require you to secure gorilla trekking permit . Booking  your gorilla permit can be done through your local tour operator in with Rwanda, dr congo or Uganda. Usually a local tour company gives you a price quote for the entire gorilla tour, or you can choose to only book your permit directly if you find it worth the hassle with the reservation offices. Make sure that the safari company sends you a scan of your permit as evidence of the existence of your permit for the case of Rwanda and Uganda . One can book a Permit directly from Uganda Wildlife Authority in Uganda – Rwanda – Rwanda Development Board. The costs of the gorilla trekking permit in different nations of Rwanda, Uganda and Democratic republic of congo.

  1. 600 USD high season and 450 $$ low season –for gorilla trekking in  Bwindi & Mgahinga national park Uganda
  2. 1500 USD – Volcanoes National park Rwanda
  3. 400 USD – Congo Virunga National Park

Best time to go gorilla trekking in Rwanda

Volcanoes National ParkAmong the most confusing question to gorilla travelers that wish to visit the mountain gorillas in Volcanoes include when is the best time to go gorilla trekking, when to visit rwanda for gorilla trekking and the same question applies to even other two gorilla trekking destinations in Africa.  Gorilla trek in Africa can be done in any month of the year depending on travelers interest and when to travel, However, many tourist often prefer the months from June to September and then from December, January and February. You should know that African weather is subjected to change at any time, it can rain at any time in the areas inhabited by these rare mountain gorillas since they are found in the tropical rain forest of volcanoes national park.

The best months to go gorilla trekking are May and September. The temperature is good enough to hike with few layers of clothing and the rain is minimal, although you will always encounter a few showers.

Chimpanzee Tracking Land of thousand hills starts receiving rains from the month of late February, March, through April and May and during these months many gorilla trackers avoid visiting Rwanda fearing to get a lot of difficulties during tracking like it gets muddy during the rainy seasons making some paths difficult to pass through and at times it can rain on your during the process of searching for these giants making it rather harder to trek the steep terrains. However, you should know that during these months, because of the rains there’s plenty of gorilla food down slope and it’s much colder on the upper slopes. So they keep on coming to lower slopes where they could find it warmer and get food easily. So if you track in the rainy seasons chances of seeing mountain gorillas is high and you don’t need to move for long hours while searching them many trackers find the gorillas after 2 hours hike and by 2-3 pm they are back at the lodge and ready for another activities if they still have energy. Whatsoever the case and explanation may be, experience shows that mountain gorilla trekking can be done any time of the year and you will most likely get the same the same experience and its at this time that gorilla trekking in Rwanda can be combined with wildlife viewing, chimpanzee tracking in various destinations like kalinzu forest reserve and queen elizabeth national park all in Uganda.

Hire a porter during Gorilla Trekking in Volcanoes

Porter
luxury way of trekking the mountain gorillas in Africa : Elders gorilla tours to Uganda , Rwanda and DR congo

Mountain Gorilla Trekking to volcanoes national park or Bwindi Forest National park  is an incredible hiking experience. The stunning scenery,historical background of these endangered primates in Rwanda is among the most popular tourist destinations in the world.Because of its popularity, that’s why you need to secure the gorilla permit in advance to avoid being disappointed during the gorilla trekking adventure to Rwanda. The most notable of which is that only 80 trekkers are allowed visit the gorillas on any given day and that any trekker wishing to hike the volcanoes for gorilla trekking is recommended to hire porters to offer help in the hard time of the hiking.

Tipping  porters while on a Rwanda gorilla Safari

I can guarantee at some point during your gorilla trek you’ll be puffing and breathing hard. It’s normally at these points when you realise that your porter has gone on ahead of you carrying all your bags and cameras for the gorilla photography. They do this with no fuss and are often happy to give you a boost along if you need it.

Naturally, it’s important to thank these guys for their efforts as they make the whole trekking experience far more relaxed and easy as compared to those that decide not to have porters as  the case may not be for nyiragongo hiking adventure in Virunga National park. Along with your thanks, tipping porters on gorilla trekking is common practice and one that all tour operators encourage.

However, tipping porters in Volcanoes Rwanda is not as straight forward as one might think in Uganda and Democratic republic of congo. Unlike many other popular trekking destinations like Virunga National Park, Kahuzi Biega National Park , Mgahinga National park, there is no set (or standard) amount top tip your porters. So how much do you tip them?

The first thing to make clear is that if you are not happy with how the guides, chefs or porters have performed on your trek, you are not obliged to tip them. Porters soon realise their service is not up to scratch if they receive minimal tips. Tipping should be solely dependent upon how good you thought the quality of service was. If you think certain people performed their job well and others did not, you are advised to simply tip the people whom you thought deserved it.

Where to stay for gorilla trekking

Accommodation near Volcanoes National Park tends to be in simple but practical lodges and there are many accommodations , Safari lodges and hotels to book when visiting volcanoes national park Rwanda for a gorilla trekking experience but consider booking a lodge that is near the park entrance and head quarters .

The more luxurious accommodation options, such as Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge and Virunga Lodge, mountain gorilla view lodge  are further away: around an hour and a half from the park headquarters. Set higher up in the mountains, they have 360-degree views over the mountain range and forested valleys, as well as a more personalized service and higher quality furnishings.

What to wear for seeing Mountain gorillas

In terms of clothing, you need to be prepared for all weather. I’d recommend wearing light hiking boots, gaiters for extra protection against water, ants and other insects, waterproof trousers and jackets, and quick drying, lightweight clothes to overcome the hot and humid conditions.

When you get to the gorillas, you’ll be required to leave your bags behind with a porter so the gorillas can’t smell any food stored in them. It’s a good idea to bring a small secondary waterproof stuff sack for carrying extra camera equipment in when visiting the gorillas, with the visit normally lasting around an hour.

Practicalities for gorilla tracking in Volcanoes National Park

Because there are different hike options covering a range of abilities, people of most ages can take part in a gorilla track (a couple in their 70s were in my group). we suggest only selecting the harder treks if you’re up for a challenge and have a good level of fitness. The mountain gorillas are usually at elevations of between 1,800 and 3,300 metres, so the hikes get harder as the air gets thinner. we also recommend preparing your body for hiking before you go, especially if you’re not used to walking longer distances and the same case applies to Virunga National Park Congo & Bwindi Forest national park.

Travelers advise for gorilla trekking in Africa

My best advice for making the most of your gorilla trekking experience is to take photographs, but also to put your camera down – even for only a short while – and really just be in the moment.