Gorilla trekking in Rwanda is one of the ultimate wildlife experience in the land of thousand hills. Truly game drive sin Akagera is worth but that alone without tracking Gorillas count your trip incomplete in Rwanda. The gentle giants can only be seen in the three countries of Uganda, Congo, and Rwanda. From the great scenic views of the green rolling hills of Rwanda where the country got its nick name “the land of thousand hills”. The country is one of the best gorilla tour destinations in Africa.
Gorilla trekking in Rwanda is done only in the Volcanoes National Park famous by French name Parc national Des Volcanos and Pariki Y’Ibirunga by locals. The park is located in the Northwestern part of the capital Kigali in the village of Musanze. Volcanoes national park borders Virunga national park of Congo and Mgahinga national park of Uganda. The park is one of the oldest national park in Africa home of mountain Gorillas.
Volcanoes national park has 15 Gorilla families which are fully habituated and can be tracked by tourists. The main Gorilla families in Volcanoes national park are Sabyinyo family, Agashya family, Karisimbi Family, Ugenda family, Titus Family, Pablo Family, Muhonza family, Hirwa family, Kwitonda family, the famous Amahoro family, Susa family, Igisha, Umubano family and others. Volcanoes national park is also famous as a home of the gorilla conservationist called Dian Fossey who died in December 26th, 1985. To date the American primatologist is remembered for the best work she did in the conservation of Gorillas in Volcanoes national park. Encountering face to face with these giant apes is a unique experience of the wilderness that is a lifetime. The family is headed by the fully grown-up male Gorilla which has white linen on the back. The male Gorilla is called the Silverback, one gorilla family can have more than one silverback with several female gorillas but protocols are observed even if they are many in the group.
Gorilla trekking in Rwanda is an exceptional activity that takes you to the hilly remote parts of Rwanda. The Gorilla trekking begins with briefing from the park rangers at the park headquarters in kinigi who will divide tourists in to groups of 8 toursits. Every group is assigned to one gorilla family where the ranger assigned to the group gives more details on the gorilla family-like size of the Gorilla family, location, name of the silverback.
For every guest to track Gorillas one must have got the Rwanda Gorilla Permit which is booked in advance through Rwanda Development board (RDB) or from reputable tour operators. The Rwandan Gorilla permit costs 1500usd per permit and one has to get it in advance. Gorilla trekking in Rwanda takes several hours especially if the group is trekking gorilla family which stays high at the mountains of Volcanoes. After reaching where the gorillas one is only allowed to spend a maximum of one hour with the gorillas before you return back to the park headquarters.
What to bring for your Gorilla trekking in Uganda safari
Like any of the three gorilla trekking countries, one has to be prepared for this life time experience through having well organized parking list. The most recommended parking list include the following
Rainy jackets: The rain is unpredictable in the mountains of volcanoes. One should bring large and big enough rainy jackets which have the hats incase of any rain during trekking
Hat and glasses: When the trek goes for long hours the African sun may be too harsh and unbearable and this requires for a hat and sunglasses.
Garden gloves: This will protect your hands from the insects and other plant species which can itch you if touched. This helps for trekking and getting support from the trees when moving.
Good Camera: One needs a clear camera that can produce a good picture without the flashing light. You also need zoom lenses incase the gorillas hike high to the top of the trees
Hiking boots: This is more paramount for the success of your gorilla trekking in Rwanda. The activity takes you high at great altitude which is slippery hence needs good hiking boots which can help you succeed.
When to go for Gorilla trekking in Rwanda
Gorilla trekking in Rwanda is done throughout the year though most recommended time is during the dry time of the year.
The great good news is that Gorilla trekking point of Rwanda is just 2 hours drive from the capital Kigali making is very convenient for guest who may not have more time for safaris but can afford one day. Volcanoes national park is one of the best national parks not only in Rwanda but entire Africa. The park has more to offer to the guests besides Gorilla trekking activity. Other activities at the park are: Golden monkey trekking, Dian Fossey grave site visit, Karisimbi and Bisoke Hike to see the Gorilla in the mist and many more.
Book your rwanda gorilla permit from a trusted tour operator and you will be able to enjoy the amazing species of Gorillas.