Mountain Gorilla Trekking Rwanda
2 Days – Start/End: Kigali
The 2 Day Mountain Gorilla Trekking Rwanda safari adventure will start from Kigali in Rwanda and will lead you to Volcanoes National Park the home of The Endangered Mountain Gorillas. The following day you embark on gorilla trek and be transferred back to Kigali as you end your exiting Rwanda safari holiday.
Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda is the the most most sought after safari trip to tourists visiting the small East African country which has done a tremendous job at making sure you have the most amazing Africa Safari experience by constructing good roads and great safari lodges for when you visit. The mountain gorilla home, Volcanoes National Park is only a two hours’ drive on tarmac road from Kigali city and the international airport.
There are currently seven main habituated Rwanda gorilla trekking groups; the Susa, Sabinyo, Amahoro, Umubano, Hirwa, Kwitonda and Group Thirteen, thanks to Dian Fossey that begun this activity years ago.
The gorilla groups vary in number from around 9 to 39 individuals and all currently have at least one silverback male. Of the seven groups, there are a couple that tend to be found on the saddle between Mount Sabyinyo and Mount Gahinga which is around a two hour walk from the park entrance.
Whilst planning for the gorilla trekking Rwanda safari it is not possible to book a permit for a specific group, your chances of having a shorter walk are higher than going for gorilla trek in Uganda. Nothing is guaranteed though and you may find yourself tracking a group such as the Susa, first studied by Diane Fossey and often found on the slopes of Mount Visoke, a five hour hike away.
This 2 day mountain gorilla trekking Rwanda trip is an easy to plan trip perfect for you. Contact ourteam of gorilla safari experts help you get started.
DAY 1: Transfer to Volcanoes National Park. [Approx. 3 hours’ drive]
Our tour guide will pick you up from your hotel for a Kigali City Tour. After lunch, embark on a drive to Volcanoes National Park in the Northern Part of Rwanda. Have Dinner and overnight stay at the Lodge.
DAY 2: Gorilla Trekking Adventure and transfer back to Kigali
After breakfast our guide will drive you the park headquarters to embark on the most anticipated safari experience of the 2 Day Gorilla Trekking Rwanda trip itinerary. After a short briefing from the gorilla trekking guides, enter the sanctuary and search for the mountain gorillas. Upon meeting the mountain gorillas, you have up to one hour to watch and photograph the mountain gorillas. Return to the park headquarters. Have lunch and embark on a return trip to Kigali.
Mountain Gorilla Mother putting her baby to sleep
Gorilla Safari Lodge Options
Mountain Gorilla View Lodge Rwanda
Labamboo Gorilla Lodge
Included on above are:-
- Airport transfer
- Kigali city tour
- Gorilla trekking Ruanda permit
- Transport cost in a 4wd vehicle
- Full time English speaking and knowledgeable Driver/guide
- Accommodation and meals
- Drinking water during the tour
- Government local tax on Accommodation
However the tour excludes:-
- Optional activity
- Tips and personal expenses such as laundry ,beverages of personal nature and communication
- Note: Accommodation above are subject to availability.
What to Expect the day you trek gorillas in Rwanda
Carry your gorilla permit (USD $1500) with you as you leave your hotel that morning gorilla trekking Rwanda and make sure you have packed all the necessary gears like gloves, trekking boots, long sleeved wear, rain jackets, snacks and packed lunch, walking stick (very necessary), among others, this is what you should expect the day of your gorilla trekking excursion in the Rwanda.
Carry your passport with you as you head to the park headquarters for an early morning pre-tracking briefing by park officials. Your gorilla permits will be crosschecked with your passports to verify that you are the right owner of the permit. At this moment, you are expected to be ready with your packed lunch since no one is certain about the time you will take to see these gorillas.
A cup of tea/ coffee is served as you are being entertained by the local traditional Kinyarwanda dancers to give you a good start of a strenuous yet exciting day, before the ranger guide gives you tips on how to conduct yourself on this trek. After a quick briefing on safety measures and what to expect during the day, you will be grouped in groups of 8 people maximum and each group is assigned one gorilla family to trek.
Rwanda has 10 gorilla families, hence 10 groups of 8 people each are the ones allowed to track on a particular day.trekking through the forest Assigning the groups highly depends on the fitness and age of the guests. For example, those above 45 years and the ones with less fitness are assigned the ‘easy to find’ gorilla families which do not wander far away from the trail heads.
However, even those with special interests about specific groups may inform their guides to help them negotiate with rangers before assigning the groups such that they may be assigned those specific groups too. Being wild animals in their natural habitat, what may be regarded as easy to find may not necessarily be, as the animals may wander far as they search for food and therefore, it is not a guarantee that they must be near or easy to find. Even those which are allocated to the physically fit and energetic tourists, that are always regarded as strenuous to track, may be easily tracked on a particular day which makes the total experience interesting and un predictable.
Each gorilla tracking group consists of a main guide and two scouts who carry AK-47 guns, one walking in front and another behind the group. The reason for armed scouts is for protection in the forest against wild elephants or angry, wild gorillas. The scouts are trained to fire shots into the air first in order to scare away the animals but this is only done on rarest occasions when all other options like hiding away from such dangerous animals have been done. mountain gorillas in Rwanda’ PNVWe’ve never heard of any case where such animals attacked the tourists and the scouts had to fire bullets though on many occasions, they advise to hide or remain still until the animals go away.
However the policy of the National Park is to be safe rather than sorry. Your group will also have a pair of trackers who will have been sent out in the early morning (prior to your arrival in the park) to find the location of your specific gorilla family and to assess where they may be headed. Trackers communicate the gorilla’s movements to the guide so that he can decide on the best approach to meet the gorilla family.
If you do not trust your fitness, please endeavor to let your guide know such that he may help you to hire a porter at the park gate.
A porter is hired between $15 to $20 depending on what he is going to carry.