Rwanda Gorilla Safaris

Rwanda Gorilla Safaris

Rwanda, often referred to as the “Land of a Thousand Hills”, is renowned for its breathtaking landscapes, rich culture, and most notably, its mountain gorillas. Rwanda gorilla safaris offer a unique and life-changing experience for wildlife lovers, nature lovers, and adventure seekers alike. These safaris take place primarily in the Volcanoes national park, located in the northwest of the country. You can book your gorilla permit through Amakula African Safaris Ltd. Here is some information on what you can expect from a gorilla safari in Rwanda, including logistics, experience, conservation efforts, and more.

Rwanda Gorilla Safaris

The Experience of a Lifetime

The main highlight of a Rwanda gorilla safari is the opportunity to observe mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. These critically endangered animals are found in the Virunga Mountains, which span three countries: Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Rwanda’s Volcanoes national park is home to about a third of the world’s remaining mountain gorillas, making it a prime destination for gorilla trekking.

Gorilla trekking in Rwanda involves hiking through dense forests, steep slopes, and sometimes muddy terrain to locate a gorilla family. The Trek can last anywhere from one to several hours, depending on the location of the gorillas, which changes daily as they move in search of food. Once the gorillas are found, visitors are allowed to spend one hour observing them from a close but safe distance. This hour provides an unparalleled opportunity to watch gorillas interact, play, groom, and feed, all while being mindful of their space and natural behavior.

Permits and Regulations

To participate in a gorilla safari in Rwanda, you must obtain a permit, which is regulated by the Rwanda Development Board (RDB). As of 2024, the cost of a gorilla trekking permit in Rwanda is $1,500 per person. The high cost of a permit is intended to support conservation efforts and local community projects, ensuring sustainable and beneficial for the region.

Only a limited number of permits are issued each day to minimize the impact on the gorillas and their habitat. This means it is crucial to book your permit well in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons, which are typically from June to September and December to February.

Conservation Efforts

Rwanda has made significant strides in gorilla conservation over the past few years. The government, along with various non-profit organizations, has implemented robust conservation strategies that have led to a steady increase in the mountain gorilla population. Key initiatives include anti-poaching patrols, community-based conservation programs, habitat restoration, and health monitoring for the gorillas.

A portion of the revenue from gorilla permits is reinvested into these conservation efforts. Additionally, about 10% of the revenue is shared with local communities to fund schools, healthcare facilities, and infrastructure projects. This community revenue-sharing model helps ensure that locals see tangible benefits from tourism, thereby fostering a positive attitude towards conservation.

Practical Tips for a Successful Safari

1. Fitness Level: Gorilla trekking can be physically demanding, so it is important to be in good physical condition. Regular exercise and some hiking practice can help prepare you for the trek.

2. What to Wear: Dressing appropriately is crucial. Long-sleeved shirts, long pants, waterproof hiking boots, and gloves are recommended to protect against stinging nettles and insect bites. A waterproof jacket and a hat are also advisable, as the weather in the mountains can be unpredictable.

3. What to Bring: Essentials include a good quality camera with a telephoto lens for capturing detailed shots of the gorillas, insect repellent, sunscreen, snacks, and plenty of water. A walking stick can also be very helpful for navigating the rugged terrain.

4. Respect and Rules: Guides will brief you on the dos and don’ts before the trek. It is vital to maintain a distance of at least 7 meters from the gorillas to prevent the transmission of diseases. Speaking softly and moving slowly are also important to avoid disturbing the animals.

Additional Activities

While the primary draw is gorilla trekking, Rwanda offers a wealth of other activities that can complement your safari. Volcanoes national park is also home to golden monkeys, another endangered species that can be tracked. The park offers stunning views and is ideal for hiking, with trails leading to the summit of Mount Karisimbi and the scenic twin lakes of Burera and Ruhondo.

For a deeper understanding of Rwanda’s history and culture, consider visiting the Kigali Genocide Memorial in the capital city of Kigali. The memorial provides a sobering but essential insight into the country’s past and its remarkable journey towards reconciliation and recovery.

Sustainable Tourism

Rwanda’s approach to tourism is deeply rooted in sustainability. By limiting the number of visitors and imposing strict regulations, the country ensures that its natural resources are preserved for future generations. This sustainable model has not only helped in the conservation of the gorillas but has also turned Rwanda into a leading example of responsible tourism in Africa.


  1. A Rwanda gorilla safari is more than just a wildlife adventure; it is an immersion into the heart of Africa’s natural beauty and a testament to successful conservation efforts. The experience of standing face-to-face with a mountain gorilla in the misty forests of Volcanoes national park is unforgettable and profoundly moving. You can book your gorilla permit through Amakula African Safaris Ltd. Through responsible tourism and continued conservation efforts, Rwanda offers travelers the chance to witness these magnificent creatures while contributing to their preservation and the well-being of local communities.


Leave a Reply