Rwanda Gorilla Trekking

Gorilla Trekking Rwanda Overview

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Gorilla trekking Rwanda is an adventurous activity every optimistic traveler would want to go for. Rwanda also offers magnificent hiking and trekking through dense rain forests to the summits of volcanic peaks, and even high above the tree canopy on the day of the gorilla tour. This is the main reason why Rwanda visited and considered to be the land of a thousand hills because of its gorillas and steep hills.

Rwanda Gorilla trekking tours is an all year round activity which lets travelers visit and trek the habituated gorilla groups of Rwanda with expert services of trained guides from the Rwanda Development Board, the authorities managing the park. During the gorilla trekking tour you will meet up with the gorillas and you are permitted to stay with the gorillas for a 1 hour giving you the ample time to see them play, cuddle and protect each other, and watch them as they go about their daily lives.

You are allowed to com with a camera but with flashlight for it disrupts the gorillas. You need to be well dressed for the activity with strong shoes, long sleeved shirt and raincoat for protection encase of rain. Contact us today and travel to Rwanda.

Gorilla Trekking Rwanda
Rwanda gorilla Trekking

What to expect on the day of Gorilla tour in Rwanda

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On the day of gorilla trekking in Rwanda starts as early as 6:00 am and drive to the park headquarters for a briefing about the basic guidelines to follow as you trek the gorillas by experienced guides and the gorilla groups are assigned the trekkers meaning that the weak, elderly and less fit are given to trek near gorillas which takes a short time. If your trekking takes a short time, you experience entertainment in form of cultural dances and interacting with local community around the parks. “You must have a valid gorilla permit”

As soon as the tour begins, you will hike in the mountainous ranges of Virunga volcanoes to search and find the gorillas. This can take about 45 minutes to 5 hours and so depending on the location of the gorilla family allocated and sometimes it goes up to high altitude (gorillas live within an altitude of 2500 and 4000m in the forest ranges). During hiking you  encounter other animals such as monkeys, baboons and many bird species, which together make the experience memorable. Porters ( hired from the park head quarters at a fair cost) and hiking sticks (not a must) are always available to help you have a successful tour. After the trek, you will have most interesting hike getting you back as your euphoria for the mesmerizing gorilla trekking adventure will be satisfied.

Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Permits

Typically, a gorilla permit in Rwanda costs a standard fee of USD1500. However, the RDB has several packages of the gorilla trekking permits as seen here below, all inclusive of the park entrance charges.

SPECIAL GORILLA SAFARI PACKAGES

  • US$ 15,000 for an exclusive visit to a specific mountain gorilla family
  • US$ 30,000 for a minimum of 3 visitors for 3 consecutive days (Behind the scenes).

DISCOUNTED GORILLA PERMITS

  • 30% discount (US$ 1,050) for combined tours visiting at least 3 National Parks in Rwanda (Gorilla TrekkingAkagera and/or Nyungwe National Park) for at least 3 days during the months of November-May,
  • 15% discount (US$ 1,275) on conference delegates who stay pre & post MICE events to see gorillas.

GORILLA FILMING AND PHOTOGRAPHY

  • US$ 5,000 for 3 consecutive days for Mountain Gorilla filming and professional photography,
  • US$ 12,000 for Mountain Gorilla filming and photography per crew per day (maximum 8 people).

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Gorilla Trekking Guidelines

  • All visitors are asked to stay 7 meters away from the gorillas in order to minimize the possible transmission of human diseases. This is why if you are sick with any contagious disease or illness, you are not advised to go for the trekking.
  • Maximum viewing time with the gorillas is strictly 1 hour.
  • Only a maximum of 8 visitors is allowed to visit a particular group.
  • You are not allowed to spit in and around the park.
  • When you are with the gorillas, please keep your voice tones so low.
  • Try not to make rapid movements that may frighten the gorillas and cause them to charge.
  • Should a gorilla charge or vocalize at you, stay calm and still, look away or down from the gorilla and follow the advice of the guides.
  • Do not litter rubbish in the park, this why you need to carry a backpack
  • Gorilla trekking is limited to persons aged 15 years of age and above, regardless of your physical size and appearance.

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Gorilla Families in Rwanda

Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park has 10 habituated gorilla families available for trekking by the public with other specific habituated reserved for research purposes only. Each and every group has something unique to offer which may be in terms of character, size, dominance. In each gorilla family, you will be able to see at least one Silverback though sometimes more than one, along with with several females and a group of youngsters. The summary list of Rwanda gorilla families is given below;

  • Susa:- This is the largest gorilla family with 36 members. They are hardest to trek as they tend to range high into the mountains though blessed with 5-year-old twins named Byishimo and Impano.
  • Agashya:- (also known as Group 13 because of its first number of members). But now has 20 members
  • Sabinyo:- Consists of 17 members, the easiest group to trek. The giant and powerful Silverback Guhonda is the leader.
  • Amahoro:- 19 members, led by the calm and easy going Ubumwe.
  • Kwitonda:- 23 members led by Akarevuro, originally habituated in DRC so they tend to range quite far making it a moderately difficult trek.
  • Umubano:- A family of 13, who broke off from Amahoro with the leader, Charles,
  • Hirwa: This group has 18 members and only fairly recently formed from former Group 13 and Sabyinyo family members. They are led by Silverback Munyinya.

Read More about Gorilla families in Rwanda…

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1 Day Rwanda Gorilla trekking Safari

Our of 1 day Rwanda Gorilla Trekking safari starts in Kigali, “the Capital City of Rwanda”. Early in the morning, we shall head to the Volcanoes National Park located north-west of the country. This is a package I would call perfect given you …

4 Days Rwanda Uganda Gorillas and Primates Tour

On this short 4 Days Rwanda Uganda Gorillas and Primates Tour, you not only get to trek with the Gorillas but also the rare Golden
Monkeys of Rwanda and get to experience the incredible culture of Rwanda. Explore more details of this tour here… …

Facts about Gorilla tours Rwanda

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Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Climate 

The climate in Musanze is changeable and you can generally expect both sun and rainfall during the day. At 1,700m above sea level, the city is generally quite cold, particularly in the evening, so warm clothing is advised.

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What to Wear For Gorilla Trekking?

We highly recommend you to wear long trousers and shirts when in the forest to avoid nettle stings. Steady walking shoes or hiking boots are essential. Raingear/raincoat is very essential tools useful.

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Getting there

Muzanze is a 90-minute drive from Rwanda’s capital city, Kigali. You can either hire a private car or take a public taxi minibus. From there, you need to get to Kinigi, where the trip begins. Vehicles can be hired for this purpose in Musanze town. On the day of trekking the gorillas, you must be at the RDB Offices in Kinigi at 7:00 AM for briefing before the trek begins.

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Which Language to Use?

RDB Tourism & Conservation currently has English and French-speaking expert friendly guides as well as a team of 80 trained gorilla trackers many of whom speak French or English.

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Other Helpful Trekking Tips

  • What can I bring: Bring a water bottle and a small snack although eating, drinking, and smoking near the gorillas is forbidden. Don’t forget your camera!
  • Photography tips: Photographs are permitted, although you may not use flash.
  • Do I need Porters: Porters are available to help you carry your daypack for a small charge.
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Physical Fitness Required

Mountain gorillas live at high altitude and this may cause difficulties for some visitors. You should walk slowly and drink plenty of water. No one should feel deterred from making this trip.