Because Rwanda is regarded by some as the best spot in Africa to see gorillas, gorilla trekking there is very popular. The fascinating but threatened mountain gorillas are found in the park. Only 3 countries—Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo—are home to mountain gorillas. The northwestern region of Rwanda is home to the 16,000 hectare-large Volcanoes National Park. It has five volcanoes, huge marshes, bamboo forests, savanna grasslands, and afro-montane forests (Bisoke, Gahinga, Muhabura, Sabyinyo and Karisimbi). One of Africa’s four tallest mountains is Mount Karisimbi. Together with many other mammals, the Volcanoes national park is home to the spotted hyena, buffalo, elephants, bush bucks, duikers, and golden monkeys.
The Volcanoes National Park’s most popular tourist activity is gorilla trekking, and the likelihood of spotting mountain gorillas is very high. In order to find one of the Rwandan gorilla families, gorilla trekking in the Volcanoes National Park entails going through thick bamboo forests and up steep mountain slopes. One of the most thrilling and memorable gorilla encounters in Africa is the final contact with the primates. Visitors can also travel across the border to Uganda to see the gorillas in a practice known as “double gorilla trekking” to experience the best of both worlds. Some visitors even choose to do gorilla trekking, which includes a visit to the gorillas in the Congo’s Virunga National Park. Observing mountain gorillas and Eastern Lowland Gorillas in the Congo’s Kahuzi Biega National Park is an even more thrilling experience. Although tracking gorillas is difficult, seeing them in the wild is the ultimate wildlife experience.
Cost of gorilla trekking in the Volcanoes National Park
A Rwanda gorilla permit must be reserved in advance in order to guarantee a position for gorilla trekking on a specific date. In high demand times like June to September and December to March, obtaining gorilla permits can be exceedingly challenging. The cost of a gorilla permit in Rwanda presently stands at $1500, but this represents just a small portion of the overall cost of gorilla trekking. It is significant to remember that some of the funds obtained from gorilla permits are used to fund community initiatives and conservation activities. Permits can be purchased directly from the Rwanda Development Board or through your travel operator. The Rwanda Development Board must be provided with passport information in order to preserve the permission. There are 10 gorilla families available for trekking and only 8 people can visit a particular group in a day. This implies that there are only 80 gorilla permits available per day for the various habituated gorilla groups.
How is gorilla trekking in the Volcanoes National Park like?
A Rwanda gorilla permit must be reserved in advance in order to guarantee a position for gorilla trekking on a specific date. In high demand times like June to September and December to March, obtaining gorilla permits can be exceedingly challenging. The cost of a gorilla permit in Rwanda presently stands at $1500, but this represents just a small portion of the overall cost of gorilla trekking. It is significant to remember that some of the funds obtained from gorilla permits are used to fund community initiatives and conservation activities. Permits can be purchased directly from the Rwanda Development Board or through your travel operator. The Rwanda Development Board must be provided with passport information in order to preserve the permission. Depending on the gorilla group you are assigned and their exact location on the day of the walk, gorilla tracking in the Volcanoes National Park can take anywhere from one to six hours.
Note: If you have any heavy equipment or additional luggage, hire one or two porters. There are porters available at the starting location. Several of these porters were poachers in the past, but they now support gorilla conservation initiatives. The money they get from providing their services prevents them from returning to their previous vice. You might want to learn about gorilla tracking for elderly persons if you intend to travel with your parents. Porter’s services range in price from $10 to $15. A raincoat, proper hiking boots, and thick cotton gloves are required. A detailed packing list and gorilla trekking guidelines should be sent to you by your tour operator.
How to prepare for Gorilla Trekking in Volcanoes National Park
Take long walks in the local forests to mentally and physically prepare.
Choose the right shoes to help you navigate the occasionally difficult terrain.
Come prepared for possible heavy rain.
Bring adequate water and a little snack.
When you can, tip the park guides and rangers; they go above and beyond to make your gorilla tracking journey worthwhile. The suggested gratuity range is $10 to $15, or the corresponding amount in the local currency.
The Volcanoes National Park’s gorilla trekking has restrictions and regulations much like any other activity. To visit the primates, you must be at least 15 years old. Children are not permitted near gorillas because they frequently carry contagious illnesses like the flu and a cough that can spread to the primates. That is one of the reasons why travelers are asked for their passport information before making travel arrangements. Only 1,000 mountain gorillas live in the wild, making them an endangered species. Every precaution is made to keep them healthy. No one with a contagious illness is allowed to be close to the primates. Some of the illnesses we as humans carry can also afflict mountain gorillas.
Note: Many tourists to Rwanda like combining gorilla trekking with two days spent searching for golden monkeys, cultural excursions, and hikes to one of the volcanoes located inside the Volcanoes National Park, particularly Mount Karisimbi and Bisoke. Hiking Mount Karisimbi and gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park will need a lot of commitment and physical preparation to complete. The months of June, July, and August are ideal for gorilla trekking in Rwanda.
Other activities apart from gorilla trekking
More activities besides gorilla trekking are available while visiting Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park and other regions of the nation. You will see that the country has a stunning landscape made up of hills and mountains as you drive. The following activities are compatible with gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park: –
Golden Monkey trekking:
The endangered Golden Monkey can be found at the Volcanoes National Park. These lovely primates share habitat with mountain gorillas. They eat insects, bamboo shoots, and occasionally they will raid farms for potatoes. The only real adversaries of golden monkeys, who are playful primates, are people and African eagles. Moreover, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo are home to golden monkeys. Mountain gorilla tracking begins at the same time as trekking for golden monkeys, and permits cost $100. Because the golden monkeys live on the lower slopes of the volcanoes, golden monkey tracking in Rwanda is not as taxing as going in search of gorillas.
Visiting the grave of Dian Fossey: The endangered Golden Monkey can be found at the Volcanoes National Park. These lovely primates share habitat with mountain gorillas. They eat insects, bamboo shoots, and occasionally they will raid farms for potatoes. The only real adversaries of golden monkeys, who are playful primates, are people and African eagles. Moreover, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo are home to golden monkeys. Mountain gorilla tracking begins at the same time as trekking for golden monkeys, and permits cost $100. Because the golden monkeys live on the lower slopes of the volcanoes, golden monkey tracking in Rwanda is not as taxing as going in search of gorillas.
Dian Fossey began focused on gorilla conservation in addition to research when baby gorilla trafficking became out of control. Her issues began here, and they ultimately led to her murder. One way to honor and educate yourself about the life and work of this outstanding primatologist is to hike to Dian Fossey’s grave. To conserve the critically endangered mountain gorillas, Dian Fossey spearheaded gorilla conservation efforts. Check out our 3 Days Gorilla Tour in Rwanda and Dian Fossey Hike package to discover more about how to visit the Dian Fossey grave.
Visit the Musanze Caves: The Musanze caves are one of the historical sites in Rwanda. The caves are found close to the park in the town of Musanze. The Musanze caves are believed to be over 65 million years old. There are 31 entrances to the caves with tunnels extending to over 20 kilometers. The caves are adjacent to Mount Sabyinyo and Bisoke. The caves are believed were formed when lava spewed out during the formation of the two volcanoes and later cooled. The Musanze caves were used by the local kings of Rwanda to hide and regroup during tribal wars with neighbors. You can hire an experienced Guide to take you to the caves and share with you, their history. The cost of exploring these caves is $50.
Hiking one of the Volcanoes: The Virunga Volcanoes should be your first choice if you are fit and up for a challenge. Bisoke and Karisimbi volcanoes are the most well-known. Two days are required for the Karisimbi Volcano Hike, which offers an excellent experience. A day’s worth of Mount Bisoke hiking will give you the opportunity to see the enormous crater lake at the summit. You can get stunning views of the Rwenzori Mountains, the Virunga Ranges, national parks, and the boundaries of three countries from either of these mountains. The briefing from the park administration precedes the hike up Mount Bisoke and Karisimbi at seven in the morning. The team is given a guide to lead them after the briefing.
Birding: With around 200 species of birds identified, the Volcanoes National Park is one of the most significant birding locations in Rwanda. 13 of these are unique to the region. The Rwenzori Turaco and the beautiful Francolin are the most sought-after birds. Some of the most exquisite birds you will ever see are among them. Additional species include the Rwenzori double collared sunbird, collared apalis, dusky crimson wing, red faced woodland warbler, Grauer’s rush warbler, and the weird weaver.
Visit the Iby’iwacu Cultural Village: The Iby’iwacu Cultural Village is Rwanda’s biggest and busiest cultural hub. The national park of the Volcanoes is nearby. The Center was established to promote Rwanda’s rich cultural diversity and provide tourism-related benefits to the neighborhood near the park. The center is also known as the Gorilla Guardians Village because a large portion of the performers were poachers. Visitors can participate in cultural acts like storytelling, dance, and theater at the Iby’iwacu Culture Center. You will gain knowledge of the structure of a typical Rwandan home and have the opportunity to sample some of the local cuisine and alcoholic beverages. Even some of the ancient medicines used to treat common human maladies have local practitioners who are willing to share their knowledge.
Visiting the Genocide Memorial center in Rwanda: Many genocides memorial sites can be found around Rwanda, but the Kigali site receives the most visitors. The Museum will let you fully comprehend what transpired in Rwanda prior to and soon following the genocide of 1994, which resulted in the deaths of roughly one million people. If this exhibit isn’t enough to satisfy you, you can get additional details about the tragic incident by going to Butale’s National Museum and the former Kings Palace.
Track Chimpanzees in Nyungwe Forest: One of Rwanda’s top tourist destinations is Nyungwe National Park. The world’s oldest and largest afro-montane forest is found in this park. One may see several primates, including chimpanzees, at the park. If you want the whole experience while on a primate safari, you shouldn’t miss this location. In addition to chimpanzees, other primates include golden monkeys, baboons, vervet monkeys, and colobus monkeys. In Rwanda, Nyungwe Forest is the greatest location for chimpanzee tracking. Also, the park administration arranges birding excursions, nature hikes, and canopy walks.
Visit Lake Kivu: You want to unwind and enjoy the gorgeous African sun in a fantastic setting in between your Rwanda safari. The solution is Lake Kivu. It is one of Africa’s major lakes and is shared by the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda. Swimming, island hopping, and fishing are all great activities on Lake Kivu. There are rumors of methane gas under the water that could burst, but you shouldn’t be concerned given how lovely the lake is.
Game drives at Akagera National Park: Visiting Akagera National Park in Rwanda is a great choice if you want to have a full experience with the wildlife. The only safari park in Rwanda is about three hours’ drive from Kigali. Although it may not be as huge as the national parks in Kenya or Tanzania, you will still see all five of Africa’s largest mammals when you leave.
Other activities: Along with the previously mentioned main activities, there are additional lesser-known ones, such as shopping for local Rwandan fabric in Ruhengeri’s main market, visiting nearby community projects, and stopping by locals’ homes to sample their cuisine or drink their beer. Visit the twin lakes Burera and Ruhondo if you’re looking for a peaceful location with breathtaking landscape. The Congo Nile Trail should not be overlooked. Even a safari in Kenya’s Maasai Mara can be combined with gorilla trekking in Rwanda.
Accommodation facilities during gorilla trekking at the Volcanoes National Park.Tourists can stay at one of the top-notch lodges near to the Volcanoes National Park when visiting the area. The lodges provide ultra-luxury, luxurious, mid-range, and inexpensive amenities. The final choice is largely based on one’s budget. The most well-known luxury hotels include Bisate Lodge, Virunga Volcanoes Lodge, One and Only Gorilla Nest Lodge, Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel, and Sabinyo Silverback Resort. The Volcanoes National Park’s luxury hotels range in price, but Five Volcanoes Lodge is undoubtedly the most affordable. They have a VIP room that they occasionally surprise-offer to visitors during specific months of the year. The Virunga Volcanoes can be seen beautifully from Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge. If you’re looking for the ultimate luxury lodge or.
Da Vinci Gorilla Lodge, Mountain Gorilla View Lodge, and Lebambou Gorilla Lodge are the top Mid-range lodges. Davinci Lodge is distinguished by its five roomy cottages and delectable foreign cuisine. You might want to think about Mountain Gorilla View Lodge if you want to get the best views of the Virunga Volcanoes and the park. The Virunga Hotel, Gorilla Solution Lodge, Villa Gorilla, Hotel Muhabura, La Palme Hotel, or Gorillas Volcanoes Hotel would be ideal if you are on a tight budget. Given that it has 31 cozy rooms, the Gorillas Volcanoes Hotel can accommodate large parties. If you want to stay near to the park offices, Villa Gorilla Lodge is a great option. On the other side, the La Palme Hotel is renowned for its top-notch dining establishment and authentic Rwandan cuisine. At the busiest times of the year, you should check with Kinigi Guesthouse if the majority of the top-notch cheap hotels are full. They have many of high-quality, independently accessible accommodations.