Home » Rwanda Gorilla Tours, Gorilla Trekking Safari In Rwanda Tours
Rwanda Gorilla Tours, Gorilla Trekking Safari In Rwanda Tours
Gorilla trekking in Rwanda safaris/Rwanda Gorilla tours are the most famous safari activities of the country that bring you close to a personal experience with the Mountain Gorillas in Rwanda. This adventure - Gorilla safaris in Rwanda/Rwanda Gorilla safari tours will also lead you into the Volcanoes National Park jungle where you will walk to search for these endangered gentle giants in their habitat.
Rwanda Gorilla Safaris will also guide you as you explore Rwanda, also known as the land of a thousand hills, and its other adventures in East Africa for more outstanding tours. These primate safaris are the highlight of your Africa safari in Rwanda because it is one of the only three countries where these gentle giants live, the other two being Uganda and Congo.
Rwanda protects the highest number of endangered Mountain Gorillas out of the estimated 604 found in the Virunga Mountains. Thus, this country in East Africa ranks among the top best destinations to experience your tours. On these tours, you will get to encounter the endangered Mountain Gorillas in the Virunga Region. These special primates also share a DNA similarity of about 98% with humans.
Upon coming close to these amazing giant apes in their natural habitat, you will enjoy a remarkable experience to be remembered for a lifetime. Mountain Gorilla tours in the beautiful land of a thousand hills is a one-on-one encounter with the gentle giants.
One of the most important rules upon meeting them is to keep a distance of 6 meters away from the primates. When you explore Rwanda, it is also possible to experience these primates in Virunga National Park in Congo.
Congo will allow you to enjoy additional primate safaris in Kahuzi Biega National Park, which is an ideal destination for viewing the Eastern Lowland Gorillas.
Watch these wonderful Lowland Gorillas, as you study parts of their body for example their brown eyes, fur, etc.
Trekking these primates is often combined with various other Rwanda safaris that will provide you with the best Africa safaris for example wildlife safaris in Akagera National Park or Kenya and Tanzania where you can also explore the coastal white sand beaches and hiking the Dian Fossey grave.
Where to See Gorillas in Rwanda during Rwanda Safaris
Unlike Uganda which has two destinations where you can see these primates, the Rwandan nation only has one spot which is Volcanoes National Park, a top spot for various primate safaris.
This national park is found in the far northwest of the country in the Virunga Mountains, spanning an area of about 37.4 km2 and adjacent to Virunga National Park in Congo. The park boasts a rich evergreen montane ecosystem comprised of open grassland, bamboo forest, heath, and swamp.
Many of these primate families live in the Virunga Mountain region but Volcanoes National Park protects the highest number of the habituated endangered Mountain Gorillas.
There are about 12 habituated Gorilla family groups for tracking while others are for scientific research. All families in Volcanoes National Park have one dominant Silverback on top of other silverbacks, Blackbacks, females, juveniles, and newborns.
The different Mountain Gorilla families in Volcanoes NP include Susa, Karisimbi (named after Mount Karisimbi), Igisha, Amahoro, Sabyinyo, Umubano, Agashya, Kwitonda, Bwenge, Muhoza, Ugyenda, and Hirwa groups. All these groups have a dominant silverback who is responsible for overseeing and leading the other members of the group.
Other than these gentle giants, you will also get to view other wildlife for example the Monkey species and various birds for a more memorable Rwanda safari.
Even though this land of a thousand hills cannot be compared in terms of wildlife with other wildlife-rich destinations with white sand beaches in East Africa for example Kenya and Tanzania, it is the ultimate destination for great primate safaris for example the Chimpanzees.
Therefore, travelers can explore Rwanda for a remarkable East Africa safari, but they can also visit the Eastern Lowland Gorillas in the Democratic Republic of Congo, or head for a wildlife safari in Kenya or Tanzania.
How Many Hours Can One Spend with Mountain Gorillas? | How long is a trek to see the Gorillas in Rwanda
Being among the best places for these trips, this dashing land of a thousand hills offers one hour to spend with the great apes. This is also the same time that travelers spend with other primates when they come to watch the Chimps or the Golden Monkeys in Nyungwe National Park, a similar destination to Kibale National Park in Uganda.
This 1 hour that you spend with the primates is for studying them, asking the guides about some things that you would like to know, and generally enjoying the moment. The Gorillas’ peace and habitat are supposed to be kept great.
During this hour you will also watch the giant apes play, and take care of each other and you can take precious photos with your camera to remember every moment.
This time duration that you spend with the primates in the park is also the same time that you spend with the primates in other destinations for example in Virunga National Park or the Lowland Gorillas in Kahuzi Biega National Park in the Congo Democratic Republic
How Long is Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda? | How Long is a Trek to See the Gorillas in Rwanda?
Like most wild animals, these primates move from one place to another so you will have to spend time looking for them in the jungle. Normally, Rwanda Gorilla trekking safaris or primate safaris take between 2 to 5 hours, the same as in other destinations like Virunga National Park in Congo.
At 7 a.m., trekkers are to be at the Kinigi Park headquarters of Volcanoes National Park. You will do a short briefing of 30 minutes, then enjoy traditional dances from the Rwandese.
Afterward, your park ranger in Volcanoes National Park will lead you to search for the primates and your hikes will take about 30 minutes to 4 hours. Upon meeting the giant apes, you will spend 1 hour with them to enjoy the peculiar moment of studying them.
How Much are Gorilla Trekking Permits in Rwanda?
A tracking permit is a legal or official document given by the Rwanda Development Board to allow you to trek the giant primates.
For travelers to watch these primates in this country and this amazing land of a thousand hills, it is mandatory for them to have these Gorilla permits.
Below is the cost of the permits according to citizenship.
Non-residents $ 1500
Foreign residents $ 500
Residents/Citizens of East Africa $ 200
African citizen/Foreign resident in Africa $ 500
All these costs include the park entrance fees. Travelers by their Rwanda Gorilla trekking permits from the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) offices in Kigali or the park directly.
Cost of Permits in Other Trekking Destinations
On the other hand, the permits in Uganda cost $ 700 and $ 400 in Congo, making it the cheapest destination compared to the others in East Africa.
Travelers who want to explore Rwanda by also going to track the Chimpanzees can buy a permit that costs $ 90 and they can go to watch these Chimps at Nyungwe Forest National Park.
With the Rwandan nation having 12 habituated families and only 8 people visiting a community each day, it means that the country sells 96 permits each day.
Tourists who want a Gorilla trek in Rwanda safaris can also book Gorilla permits online for themselves. They can do this by directly contacting the Rwanda Development Board to book their Gorilla permit.
Buying permits directly from the Rwanda Development Board will be confirmed by sending them an email that proves your bank payment. Upon arriving in the country, you will then pick up your Gorilla permit from their offices.
In case you wish to use a safari company instead to buy your Rwanda Gorilla trekking permits, then it is important to confirm with a reputable, professional, and trustworthy company.
How Much Does it Cost to See Gorillas in Rwanda? | How Much Does it Cost to Trek Gorillas in Rwanda?
How Much Does it Cost to Visit the Gorillas in Rwanda? The cost of this safari in the country and other safaris in East Africa for example in Kenya, Tanzania, Congo, and Uganda are some of the important inquiries of a client.
Nonetheless, your safari price or the cost of other adventures like tracking Chimps in Nyungwe Forest National Park or finding the primates in Virunga National Park depends on many factors.
Below, we look at the important factors that determine your safari price in this country.
a)The cost of a Gorilla Permit: These tours will require you to have a permit and it is $1,500 for both no foreign residents and foreign residents while citizens of East Africa pay $ 200 for the activity.
b)Mode of transport: The mode of transport and the type of vehicle to be used whether it be public or private means determine the cost of your trip as some transport means are more expensive than others.
c)Accommodation costs: You have the choice to sleep in luxury, mid range, or budget accommodation. However, all have different costs.
d)Using porters: Once in a while, you will need a porter, especially if you have heavy equipment during your activities.
How Much is a 1 Day Gorilla Trek in Rwanda Safari?
Unlike Uganda, it is possible to have a 1 day Gorilla trek during your Rwanda safari. This 1 day Gorilla trek is very possible unlike in Uganda. The cost of 1 day Gorilla trek depends on many factors, but the most important factor to consider is the Gorilla permit which costs $1500.
However, the minimum cost for your 1 day Gorilla trek would begin from about $1700 per person. This is inclusive of a tracking permit, meals, private transport, a private guide, and meals.
When to Visit Rwanda Gorillas
Any time of the year is good for visiting the animals in the country, although the dry period of the year is considered the best season to visit these primates.
Additionally, the morning hours are the best for tracking these primates because this is when they are active for example looking for food, and playing with one another.
Best Time to Gorilla Trek in Rwanda | What is the Best Time of Year to See the Gorillas in Rwanda?
Visiting Mountain Gorillas is great all year, but the best time to visit Rwanda is in the dry season which is also the peak season in all national parks. These dry months run from June to August and December to February.
The dry months are considered the best time to go see these animals because of the dry trails that are easier to walk through thus leading you to the best Gorilla treks in Virunga National Park.
Likewise, wildlife safaris in Akagera National Park are successful in this season because you will have easier sightings of Africa’s big 5 because of the thin and short savannah grasslands. Alternatively, combining these tours with boat cruises on Lake Kivu, are also great during these dry months.
The wet is however not very bad for Gorilla treks because the season comes with an abundance of food on the trees. This, therefore, makes the treks very short during this period because the primates will not move very far into the jungle to look for food. Nonetheless, the trails may be very slippery.
The wet months run from March to May and September to November and it is also not the best time to go for wildlife safaris in Akagera National Park.
Gorilla Trek Guidelines in Rwanda | Rules and Regulations
For the need to conserve and protect the endangered Mountain Gorillas and also keep you safe, rules and regulations to follow during the activity in Volcanoes National Park are set.
There are similar guidelines for tracking Gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda and Virunga National Park in Congo.
As a tourist therefore, you ought to follow these rules both on the way and when you meet the primates, and below are some of them.
On the Way to See the Apes
These trips are only for individuals who are aged 15 years and above.
Only 8 people can go to find a Gorilla group (Gorilla family) each day to promote Gorilla conservation.
Before going for this activity, make sure that you wash your hands.
While you explore Rwanda Gorilla trekking safaris, make sure that you follow everything that your guide and park rangers will share with you, for example not touching anything in the park.
Tourists who wish to ease themselves should go off the trail and bury any human waste 30 cm deep including the toilet paper used.
Littering in the park is not allowed. Keep your rubbish in your bag and later throw it in the right place after the activity.
In the case where you have any ailments or sicknesses, especially airborne, do not go for the Gorilla trek because the primates can easily catch these diseases.
Make sure that you have moved with your permit because, without it, you will not be allowed to trek.
When You Are With the Apes
Maintain a safe distance of 7 meters upon meeting the primates.
Eating or drinking near the animals is not allowed and thus it should be done at least 200 meters away from them.
Smoking is also prohibited while with these primates because it may cause them sickness.
You can only spend 1 hour with these apes upon meeting them to prevent cases of disturbing the primates by humans.
If you feel like coughing or sneezing, cover your mouth and nose to prevent the primates from getting any airborne infections.
Tourists photographing the primates should avoid taking photos with flashes because it may stress them and cause danger.
What to Wear for Gorilla Trekking Safaris in Africa
Travelers who want to go on a Gorilla trek trip in Volcanoes National Park or wildlife safaris in Akagera National Park should dress appropriately for more comfortable journeys during these tours.
This also applies to other destinations for these experiences for example Virunga National Park and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park/ Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
Let us look at the things to wear as you go to explore Rwanda Gorilla trips:
Long-sleeved light trousers and shirts (neutral colors)
A cap or hat
Light hiking boots
A rain jacket or Poncho
What to Carry for Gorilla Trek in Africa?
A packing list includes the most important things to have during your Gorilla trek in Volcanoes National Park or during your wildlife safaris in different destinations. Likewise, this list applies to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda and Virunga National Park in Congo.
Below are some of these important items;
A good camera with extra batteries and memory cards
How Hard is Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda | How Difficult is Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda?
A Gorilla trek is not completely strenuous although it will involve hiking and walking through thick terrains, vegetation, steep slopes, and different hills since Volcanoes National Park is a mountainous area.
Hiking these steep slopes and thick vegetation within the forest terrains can be challenging, therefore, prepare for a less challenging trek by doing exercises.
Alternatively, you can hire porters to help you with carrying the heavy luggage or carry you on the sedan chair to go find these giant apes.
This experience is almost similar to that in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda or Virunga National Park in Congo.
Is Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda Worth it?
Yes, a Gorilla trek is 100% worth the money. This is because it is one of the most authentic experiences that will make you meet the large primates in their natural habitat for a beautiful lifetime experience.
To trek the primates will provide a more beautiful experience as you are swayed in the beautiful moment of watching the gentle giants feeding, young ones jumping from one tree to another, members of a group care for each other and so much more.
The amazing size of the Silverback will leave you awe-struck and all these authentic experiences show that your Gorilla trek is truly worth the experience.
Also, this adventure includes visiting other national parks for other wildlife experiences especially if you choose a visit Rwanda Uganda package.
Is Uganda or Rwanda Better to See Gorillas? | Is Rwanda or Uganda Better for Gorilla Trekking?
A Gorilla trek on your Africa safari in both countries is great as both destinations rank as the top two for the activity.
A Rwanda Gorilla trek is mainly for high-end and luxury travelers because the permit costs $1500 while Uganda sells them at $700.
In Rwanda, you can trek these animals in a shorter time of about 2 days because of the short distance between the Volcanoes and Kigali International Airport and also the better road conditions. It will take about 3 to 4 hours to arrive at the trek point.
The minimum number of days for this activity in Uganda is 3 days because the drive distance from Entebbe International Airport to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest Park is about 11 hours and yet tracking begins very early in the morning.
Uganda provides more budget accommodation facilities than Rwanda although both destinations have outstanding luxury lodges.
There are more Gorilla families in Uganda i.e. (20) thus about 160 Gorilla permits are sold each day. On the other hand, Rwanda only has 12 Gorilla family groups which mean that 96 permits are sold per day.
Therefore, depending on your budget and schedule, you can choose the best place to explore Rwanda Uganda trips.
Why go for Gorilla Trek in Rwanda?
Below, we look at the different factors that you should consider to track these primates and why you should choose this nation in Africa.
Rwanda is home to the highest number of Mountain Gorillas in the Virunga Mountains
This country in East Africa is among the only three countries in the world that protect these animals. However, the country protects the highest number of these primates in the Virunga region thus giving you a better chance of seeing them. The other countries protecting them include Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Rwanda is a Safe Country for all Tourists
This is the safest country for traveling to Africa and it welcomes all tourists worldwide. Additionally, park rangers usually protect these habitats for the safety of both the primates and the visitors.
You can contribute to primate conservation and support communities
These critically endangered primates and Gorilla trekking safaris help in the contribution of Gorilla conservation and supporting different projects.
10% of the money collected from these treks through purchasing permits is used to support local communities and cultural experiences.
These tours can be combined with other holidays
Rwanda will give you alternative activities in the different national parks to add to your other safari activities for better African experiences.
Some of these safari activities embrace wildlife safaris in Akagera NP where you can experience game drives, birding safaris, cultural experiences, etc.
Alternatively, meet the Chimpanzees in Nyungwe Forest National Park which has very similar encounters with those in Kibale National Park in Uganda, track Golden Monkeys, and the Dian Fossey grave in Volcanoes NP.
Boat cruises on Lake Ihema and Lake Kivu or hiking the 5 volcanoes more so Mount Kirisimbi will give you beautiful views. Alternatively, other travelers may want to visit you can visit Virunga National Park in Congo.
Does Rwanda Have Gorillas?
Yes, the country has these primates protected in Volcanoes Safari Park as you explore Rwanda. Visitors in the country can go to visit these primates in this park for their amazing primate adventure.
Is Rwanda Known for Gorillas?
Yes, this country in Africa has these animals as its primary tourist attraction in Volcanoes NP.
Dian Fossey, a primatologist and conservationist made the primates famous to the world by researching about them in the tropical rainforests in Volcanoes National Park and Virunga National Park in Congo.
Travelers can visit Rwanda Uganda and the Congo Democratic Republic to trek the primates and also contribute to their conservation.
Apart from these primates made famous by Dian Fossey, this country is also famously known for Chimps in Nyungwe Forest National Park.
Can you Visit the Gorillas in Rwanda?
Yes, you can visit these primates in the country all year round by purchasing a permit which costs about $1,500 per individual per day.
Likewise, only those who are 15 years old and above can see these primates. Visitors from Rwandan national and East Africa are allowed to get special discounts.
Travelers can also have wildlife safaris in Akagera National Park or experience other national parks like the Chimps in Nyungwe Forest National Park, an amazing destination with similar experiences to Kibale National Park in Uganda. Also, travelers can explore the apes in Virunga National Park in Congo.
Hotels in Volcanoes National Park Rwanda, Africa
Accommodation in the park is categorized into luxury, midrange, or budget safari lodges, and below are some of them.
Top Best Luxury Accommodation in Volcanoes National Park
Below are the high-end hotels/luxury lodges in Volcanoes National Park;
Amakoro Songa Lodge
Karenga Bush Camp
Ruzizi Tented Camp
Midrange Accommodation in Volcanoes National Park
Below, we list the mid range lodges in Volcanoes National Park;
Fravan Eco Resort
My Hill Eco Lodge
Eagle View Lodge
La Palme Hotel
Urugano Virunga Palace
Budget Accommodation in Volcanoes National Park
Budget lodges also called basic safari lodges are the best options for budget travelers. However, they are fewer than the luxury and midrange lodges in the country.
These budget lodges include;
List of the Best Tour Companies in Rwanda | List of Rwanda Tour Operators for Rwanda Gorilla Tours
Travelers planning to explore Rwanda Uganda Gorilla safari are advised to look for a trustworthy tour operator to help with preparation. Your tour operator will ensure an amazing adventure with the help of your assigned private guide.
Your tour operator organize for you the trip of a lifetime as you explore the Rwanda safari tour with your private guide.
They can also help to combine primate safaris with beautiful wildlife safaris in Kenya, and Tanzania, to experience the white sand beaches and Congo in the different national parks that offer the best safari experiences.
Below, we look at the best tour operators to use as you explore Rwanda Gorilla tours in Africa:
Prime Safaris & Tours Ltd
Wild Gorilla Safaris
Gorilla Safari Rwanda
Gorilla Tracking Rwanda
Rwanda Gorilla Tracking Safaris
Africa Safaris Tours
Best Gorilla Safari Rwanda Packages | Popular Gorilla Tours Rwanda Itineraries
As a tour operator company, we look at the best packages to provide to the various travelers depending on the experiences that they would like to have.
There are numerous packages in Rwanda Uganda in Africa and below are some of the best:
a) 4 days safari – Primates, Golden Monkeys, Musanze, Lake Kivu, and Kigali City.
b) 5 days safari – Primate expedition, wildlife viewing & Kigali city tour.
c) 8 days Rwanda Uganda safari – Primates, wildlife safaris, Hiking, Cultural experiences.
d) 10 days Rwanda Uganda safari vacation trip – Primates, Chimpanzees, Wildlife, Local Communities.
e) 14 days Rwanda Uganda tour – Primates, Chimps, Mount Karisimbi, Wildlife, Cultural experiences.
In conclusion, Gorilla trekking safaris in Rwanda, Africa lead you to Volcanoes National Park to watch Mountain Gorillas. This remarkable adventure will give you lifetime experiences.
Rwanda Gorilla safari tours can also be combined with other tours for example birding, primate safaris, Chimpanzee tracking, wildlife safaris in Akagera National Park, and visits to other national parks in Kenya and Tanzania where you can have an amazing experience on the white sand beaches for remarkable African safari memories.
Inquire today for your incredible primate tours in Africa.