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Mountain Gorillas in Rwanda reside in the Volcanoes National Park (area of 125 km 2) in the North-Western of Rwanda, located in the Virunga mountains connected with Mgahinga National Park & Virunga National Park, encompasses 5 of the 8 volcanoes i.e. Karisimbi, Bisoke, Sibyanyo, Gahinga, Muhabura. There are many different Gorilla tours/safaris organized by Monumental Expeditions offering tour & Safari packages well organized to meet your maximum attention in order to interest every client (also involve safari packages ranging from Day tours to longer safaris) at affordable Rwanda prices
Most Prominent Gorilla trekking tours include: –
2 Days Gorilla Trekking in Volcanoes National Park-This works well with those having very little time in Rwanda and yet want to track the gentle giants on their trip.
3 Days Gorilla Trekking in PNV Rwanda
4 Days Gorilla Trekking (can be able to track Gorillas twice)
5 Days Gorillas & Chimps in Rwanda.
Cost of the Gorilla Permit in Rwanda
These tours enable you to go deep into these Rain forests (shady Bamboo) in search of these endangered gentle giants, offering you an attractive view this is done year in & year out, this is a lifetime Safari Experience and well enjoyed only with a Rwanda Gorilla Permit issued to you by the Rwanda Development Board(RDB). This is a key to successful gorilla trekking activity in Rwanda and it costs $1500 per person for 1 hr with the Gorillas and applies to all whether Foreign residents(FR)/Foreign Non-residents(FNR)/East African Citizens(EAC). There are strictly 8 permits allocated per group making availability of 80 permits per day. The Rwanda Development Board holds on to its opinion that they are on the right marketing track and that their upmarket Strategy will attract more travelers with deeper pockets and that there will be no reductions in their Gorilla Permit sales. Of course, this activity is always complemented by other activities like Game drives which enable you widely and clearly game view in the Savannah-covered parks, Volcano climbing, Golden Monkey trekking, Cultural encounters, and Forest nature walks among few and all these additional make your safari complete and you well satisfied.
What you must know when Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda (Gorilla Trekking Tips).
There is always a meeting of trekkers before commencing their actual hiking in which they are briefed, rules and regulations outlined for them as to be respected and followed in the Gorilla trekking activity as stated below:-
- A total number of 8 visitors or tourists is allowed to track /visit a particular mountain gorilla family or group in a day and before your trekking exercise -set off, ensure to have your hands washed thoroughly well so as to ensure the highest level of cleanliness.
- You are advised to keep your voice extremely low as you are heading to track the mountain Gorillas and requested to even be quieter when you finally meet them always follow your tour guide through the whole trekking process and make sure you stick with the group for both safety purposes and also be able to get thorough explanations of the attractions seen along the way to the mountain Gorillas
- Do not recklessly litter rubbish in any National park or protected area, requested to keep a distance of 7m (21 feet) from where the mountain Gorillas are, and do not look closely and straight /directly into the eyes of the Gorillas, sometimes these animals do charge and do not touch the Gorillas because they are wild animals and flashy photography is not allowed, so move slowly and carefully when going to do that.
- The time spent with the Gorillas is limited to one hour this is to minimize any behavioral disturbances, stress, and possible risk of infection, keep your voice very down after the visit until you are 200m away from these animals.
- All wastes must be buried, a 30m hole is dug, dispose of every waste there then fill up the hole when finished. This is done because these wastes(feces) can highly be infectious to the great apes and other animals.
- If you feel ill, or carrying a contagious disease, please don’t engage yourself in the activity. So another visit will be arranged for you or your money refunded back.
What must you wear & Pack for this Activity in Rwanda –Gorilla Trekking
- Wear a long-sleeved blouse(ladies), and long-sleeved shirts/Trousers (Men)- Now the longness of this blouse, shirt, and trousers protects you from being pricked by thorns, anything that can scratch you, nettles, or insect bites, the sun-burning, tree branches, itchy plants, etc. Wear Waterproof sturdy boots (These good hiking boots will give you good stability, balance, traction & support to your ankles).
- A Rain Jacket Tourists are advised to carry windproof and waterproof rain jackets with hoods. This is so because Gorillas are trekked in rain forests, usually in the morning hours, it might rain anytime it doesn’t matter whether dry season or not therefore rain jackets should come in handy.
- Sturdy Gardening Gloves -these will protect you from the harm of germs and other items which could scratch you and a Hat and Sun Glasses all you need is a wide-brimmed hat which will protect your head and neck from rain or the sun
- Pack a Pair of Binoculars (enable you to view a lot of other various plants and simple animal species in the National Park), Cameras, Extra Batteries, a Flashlight, Trekking Pole to enable you to balance when moving on the steep grounds within the forest, and Energy giving Snacks- Trekking seems to take long hours and you might get hungry and thirsty, so these light snacks can help out – etc.
Gorilla Families in Rwanda
Rwanda turns out to be the home of 1/3 of the Worldwide population of mountain Gorillas, it has 10 Habituated Gorilla Families (for tourism purposes), available for Trekkers to visit and mainly done in one place called Volcanoes National Park in Musanze town (former Ruhengeri) while 2 are still for research purposes. Each and every family has something unique to offer maybe in terms of Dominance, Size, Character, and more. Some groups are led by very peaceful silverbacks Diana Fossey is said to have spent many years studying the behaviors of these endangered great Apes and mountain Gorillas, and this has made Rwanda Popular for Gorilla trekking and Conservation thanks to her research. These include: –
Susa Gorilla Family-Biggest mountain gorilla family in the PNV and consists of 33 members & 2 silverbacks, Sabyinyo Gorilla family is derived from mountain Sabyinyo is shared by Uganda and Rwanda, and has the biggest silverback(Guhonda). Amahoro Gorilla Family being the most peaceful family among all, it’s hard to track since it resides on the slopes of mountain Visoke whose terrain is strenuous, Umubano, Agashya, Hirwa, Kwitonda, Bwengye, Ugenda & Karisimbi.
Travel option for seeing mountain Gorillas in Volcanoes National Park (Rwanda)
A short road drive is one of the alternatives to be considered. The Road drive to Ruhengeri (Virunga) Volcanoes National Park, where Rwanda’s Mountain gorillas reside is 2 hrs from Kigali (Rwanda’s capital) on roads in good shape/ condition(109 km). OR one can fly via Kigali International Airport about 10 km from the Capital. Volcanoes National Park is located in the North of Rwanda therefore it’s about 130 km from Kigali,70 km from Gisenyi, and 12 km from Musanze here all trackers must report to the park headquarters in Kinigi and get briefed by 7:00 am.
Gorilla Trekking Lodges in Rwanda.
In Rwanda, there are plenty of options ranging from Budget(B), Mid-range(MR), and then Luxury(L). Your choice of accommodation will contribute highly to the nature of your Gorilla Tour/Safari. Most companies will quote all the 3 options. Among the most famous safari lodges include Sabinyo Silver Back Lodge, Virunga Lodge, Mountain Gorilla Lodge, etc.
What Else to Do After Rwanda Gorilla Tours/Safaris
There are many Rwanda safari destinations like Nyungwe Forest National Park, Lake Kivu, and Akagera National Park you can visit.
Nyungwe Forest National Park: the oldest forest in Africa, consists of 12 primate species, 300 bird species and about 7 mammal species and chimpanzee tracking is the major activity here.Bird watching, canopy walkway, and hiking trails.
Akagera National Park: This park offers you a true wildlife experience, view the Elephants, lions, Buffalo, Zebra, Antelope, monkeys, Bushback, Impalas, etc, and with over 500 bird species here.
Lake Kivu: This is one of Africa‘s remarkable and stunning fresh Rift Valley lakes in Rwanda, still Rwanda’s largest lake as well, chill out around the lake, because it offers various water sports and has many beaches on it & around it, enjoy the glowing view of Magma at Mount Nyiragongo