facts about Mountain gorillas

One of the first and foremost facts about Mountain gorillas is that they are believed to be on the rise, the mountain gorilla is a conservation success story. However, with the mountain gorilla population only around 1,000, their future is extremely fragile and the work being done through the International Gorilla Conservation Programme (IGCP) remains as critical as ever.Izere safaris brings y...

Looking for a simple but memorable volcano hiking experience?Then no worries, Mgahinga gorilla national park offers the simplest but wonderful hiking experiences. With 3 dormant volcanoes within its heart, Mgahinga gorilla national park is a center for short hiking adventures done in one day. Much as most people know the park for mountain gorillas, golden monkeys, and Batwa experience, a Ugand...
Top Things to Do in Akagera

Akagera National Park named after the river that runs through it is one of the largest national parks and Rwanda’s Natural Treasures that rewards with unforgettable Savannah experiences. This scenic site was gazetted as a national park in 1934 and named after the river that runs through it; River Kagera. The park is located northeast of Rwanda bordering Tanzania and surely is a reason as to why we...
Mountain Gorillas in Rwanda
Mountain Gorillas in Rwanda

Mountain Gorillas in Rwanda

Mountain Gorillas in Rwanda can only and only found in Volcanoes National Park. The park is located in the Virunga conservation area sharing borders with Mgahinga National Park in Uganda and the Virunga National Park of Congo. To see the mountain gorillas in Rwanda, it involves strenuous hikes through the hilly slopes of the park and navigating through the vegetation and Terrain until you finally arrive at them. Most travelers who have visited Rwanda before testify that any first-time travelers must not miss out on the golden opportunity of trekking the mountain gorillas in Rwanda, a magical and thrilling encounter that will leave you wanting for more. The time allowed to stay with the mountain gorillas in Rwanda is limited to only one full hour.

How to reach the Volcanoes National Park

Volcanoes National Park is nestled in the lushly forested slopes of the Virunga mountains which form an appropriately dramatic natural setting for the amazing gorilla trekking adventure. The exhilarating climb to the mountain gorillas habitat of the shady bamboo forest offers fantastic views in all directions before the trackers are immersed in the mysterious intimacy of the rainforest, alive with the calls of colorful birds and the chattering of rare golden monkey.

To access the Volcanoes National, you drive through Kigali northwards to the town of Musanze, situated at the base of the entrance of the park. Musanze is a 90-minute drive from Rwanda’s capital city, Kigali. One can get to Musanze from Kigali either by private vehicle or by public taxi minibus. If you intend to make a gorilla visit, you will need to organize your own transport from Musanze town to the park boundaries, where you will continue your trip on foot. Vehicles can be hired for this purpose in Musanze town. Musanze is also only a 45-minute drive away from Gisenyi and the stunning Lake Kivu. Musanze has long been the base point for gorilla visits and entertains a stunning backdrop of Karisimbi, Bisoke, Mikeno, Sabyinyo, Mgahinga and Muhabura volcanoes.

How Much Do I pay to track the mountain gorillas in Rwanda

As of May May 2017, To track the mountain gorillas in Rwanda, the permit for tracking the mountain gorillas in Rwanda costs only USD $1500 per person for one day of the tour. On the day of you are scheduled to trek, you must present yourself for briefing at the ORTPN offices situated at the prefecture offices in Musanze at 7:00 AM with your gorilla permit getting ready to interface these mountain giants in the jungle. ORTPN currently has a team of 80 trackers and anti-poachers, many of whom speak French or English. If you would like to know more about the guidelines of tracking the mountain gorillas in Rwanda, please read here

What to know before you go to track the mountain gorillas in Rwanda

  1. A maximum number of 8 visitors may visit a group of habituated mountain gorillas in a day. This minimizes behavioral disturbance to the gorillas and the risk of their exposure to human-borne diseases.
  2. Always wash your hands before you head out to the gorillas.

On your way to visit the gorillas in Rwanda:

  1. Please always keep your voices low. You will also be able to observe the great bird life and other wildlife in the forest.
  2. DO NOT leave rubbish in the park. Whatever you bring into the forest should be carried back out with you.
  3. You will be taken to where the guides observed the gorillas the day before. From there you will follow the gorilla’s trail to find them. Look out for the gorilla’s nesting sites along the way!
  4. When you approach the mountain gorillas, the guides will inform you to get ready.

How to Conduct yourself when with the mountain gorillas

  1. A 7 meter (21 feet) distance should tried to be observed at all times from the gorillas. The further back you are, the more relaxed the group will be.
  2. You must stay in tight group whey you are near the gorillas.
  3. Keep your voices down at all times. However, it is okay to ask the guide questions.
  4. Do not smoke, drink or eat when you are near the gorillas. Eating or drinking inevitably will increase the risk of food/drink morsels/droplets falling, which could increase the risk of transmission of diseases.
  5. Sometimes the gorillas charge. Follow the guides example (crouch down slowly, do not look the gorillas directly in the eyes and wait for the animals to pass). Do not attempt to run away because that will increase the risk.
  6. Flash photography is not permitted! When taking pictures move slowly and carefully.
  7. Do not touch the gorillas. They are wild animals.
  8. The maximum time you can spend with the gorillas is one hour. However, if the gorillas become agitated or nervous, the guide will finish the visit early.
  9. After the visit keep your voices down until you are 200 meters away from the gorillas.

Consider the following health rules of tracking the gorillas

  1. Respect the limits imposed on the number of visitors allowed with the gorillas each day. This minimizes the risk of disease transmission and stress to the group.
  2. If you are feeling ill, or you are carrying a contagious disease, volunteer to stay behind. An alternate visit will be arranged for you, or you will be refunded your money.
  3. If you feel the urge to cough or sneeze when you are near the gorillas, please turn your head away and cover your nose and mouth in order to minimize the spread of bacteria or viruses.
  4. Always stay 7 meters (21 feet) away from the gorillas. This is to protect them from catching human diseases.
  5. Do not leave any rubbish (eg. food wrappers) in the park; foreign items can harbor diseases or other contaminants.
  6. If you need to go to the toilet while in the forest, please ask the guide to dig you a hole with his panga. Make sure the hole is 30 cm deep and fill it in when you are finished.

What can you bring for a successful Gorilla Adventure Tour:

  1. Wear comfortable hiking shoes suitable for steep muddy slopes.
  2. Put on ear plugs for those who feel uncomfortable with the jungle sounds.
  3. Carry a packed lunch and enough drinking water.
  4. Carry rain gear, sunscreen lotion, a hat (as the weather is unpredictable) and insect repellent.
  5. Bring a photo of film camera. Using flashlight is not permitted so we recommend using films of 400-800 ASA.

You may please get in touch with our tour planners to schedule your next gorilla safari

2 Days Gorilla Trekking Safari Rwanda

Tour Highlights: Mountain Gorilla Trekking in Volcanoes National Park, Breathtaking Scenery Landscaping views, hiking

9 Days Rwanda Cultural Tour & Gorilla Trekking

Tour Highlights: Rwanda Culture Experience, Gorilla Trekking, Visit Twin Lakes, Butare Cultural Center, Kinigi Cultural

8 Days Rwanda Wildlife Safari

Tour Highlights: Game Drive Experience, Mountain Gorilla Trekking, Chimpanzee Trekking, Relaxation at Lake Kivu Shores

5 Days Rwanda Wildlife Safari & Gorilla Tour

Tour Highlights: Game Drive Experience in Akagera, Mountain Gorilla Trekking, Tracking the Golden Monkeys, and

8 Days Rwanda Primates Safari

Tour Highlights: Chimpanzee Trekking in Nyungwe Forest National Park, gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park

1 Day Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Safari

Tour Highlights: This 1 Day Rwanda Gorilla tour package is the most preferred gorilla trekking safari for budget

What to pack for Gorilla Trekking
What to pack for Gorilla Trekking

What to Pack for Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda

Now that you have paid for your gorilla permit and seemingly prepared for the journey to Rwanda. Pause a bit and read this! You may be wondering about; what equipment to bring for gorilla trekking in Rwanda, What clothes are the best to wear, and what items should I necessarily carry. All these questions are answered in one major questions that trekkers normally ask: What to Pack or Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda, Uganda or Africa?

Here’s is what we recommend to pack for gorilla trekking in Rwanda list for tracking the gorillas:

  1. Hiking boots or shoes. Because of the nature of the forest plus the altitude and terrain, you need lightweight hiking boots to give you support while on this activity. Please consider these as a must as you decide on what to pack for gorilla trekking in Rwanda, particularly the Volcanoes National Park.
  2. You will need to also pack breathable waterproof jacket and trousers. Even if it doesn’t rain, the ground and vegetation are generally wet. Wearing waterproof trousers means you can kneel to get gorilla photos or slide down slippery slopes.
  3. Long-sleeved shirt (to protect yourself from tree branches, the sun, and insects), be sure to also pack long socks that you  may tuck into the long trousers protect legs from scratches and keep insects out
  4. Sunglasses, sunscreen, and sunhat
  5. Gloves to grip the vegetation (dime store or ‘pound shop’ gardening gloves are perfect!). These gloves will, therefore, protect you from germs and other items that may scratch your hands. Consider including Garden Gloves in your gorilla trekking packing list.
  6. Camera equipment for taking pictures: Photography is an important component of your safari and thus make sure that you have your camera ready, charge your batteries very well and if necessary, carry extra batteries as you will need to take as many photographs in the one hour you will have with the gorillas.
  7. A walking pole. If you don’t have one, I highly recommend taking up the offer of a walking pole or stick. Sometimes the lodge provides them, other times, the guide may cut one for you from bamboo. Even one pole can be a big help for climbing up and easing yourself back down steep or muddy hills
  8. Include plenty of water. Hydration is very important. Your lodge should provide you with a packed lunch and drinking water. (Don’t be afraid to ask for more than one bottle!)
  9. Tips (these are optional) for your rangers and porter.
  10. Porters to help you carry your items. This is an extra optional item and we advise all our clients to take a porter when going for gorilla trekking. As earlier noted, gorilla trekking can be strenuous and thus you will need someone to give you a push or a pull on the way to the gorillas. By paying some money to have a porter with you, you will have contributed to community development indirectly.
  11. Lastly and most important about what to pack for gorilla trekking: Please don’t forget to pack your gorilla trekking permit and passport (or the identification you used when reserving your permit). You will need to show your ID at the pre-tracking briefing. Make sure you pack all of this in a small backpack

Mornings in the mountains and volcanoes can be cool and nights can be cold. You will probably experience mist and quite possibly rain while you are checking the gorillas. It can also get quite hot, from the sun and/ or the hiking uphill. Layered clothing is recommended, ideally the ‘wick-away’ moisture type.

1 Day Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Safari

Tour Highlights: This 1 Day Rwanda Gorilla tour package is the most preferred gorilla trekking safari for budget

3 Days Rwanda Special Gorilla Safari

Tour Highlights: Gorilla Homes in Volcanoes, Gorilla Trekking Adventure, Kigali City Tour

5 Days Rwanda Wildlife Safari & Gorilla Tour

Tour Highlights: Game Drive Experience in Akagera, Mountain Gorilla Trekking, Tracking the Golden Monkeys, and

9 Days Rwanda Birding & Gorilla Safari

Tour Highlights:Bird watching in Kigali, Nyungwe, Akagera National Park, Chimpanzee and Gorilla Trekking Adventures

Gorilla Trekking Rules and Regulations
Gorilla Trekking Rules and Regulations

Gorilla Trekking Rules and Regulations

If you are on the verge of visiting Rwanda for gorilla trekking, it is very essential that you acquaint yourself with  Gorilla Trekking Rules and Regulations put in place to maintain and conserve the mountain gorilla population. There rules and regulations are crafted and implemented by the RDB. Let’s take a look at them here below!

Before Departing to go for gorilla trekking

  1. A maximum number of 8 visitors may visit a group of habituated mountain gorillas in a day. This minimizes behavioral disturbance to the gorillas and the risk of their exposure to human-borne diseases.
  2. Always wash your hands before you head out to the gorillas.

On the way to see the gorillas:

  1. Please always keep your voices low. You will also be able to observe the great bird life and other wildlife in the forest.
  2. DO NOT leave rubbish in the park. Whatever you bring into the forest should be carried back out with you.
  3. You will be taken to where the guides observed the gorillas the day before. From there you will follow the gorilla’s trail to find them. Look out for the gorilla’s nesting sites along the way!
  4. When you approach the mountain gorillas, the guides will inform you to get ready.

When you are with the gorillas:

  1. A 7 meter (21 feet) distance should be tried to be observed at all times from the gorillas. The further back you are, the more relaxed the group will be.
  2. You must stay in a tight group whey you are near the gorillas.
  3. Keep your voices down at all times. However, it is okay to ask the guide questions.
  4. Do not smoke, drink or eat when you are near the gorillas. Eating or drinking inevitably will increase the risk of food/drink morsels/droplets falling, which could increase the risk of transmission of diseases.
  5. Sometimes the gorillas charge. Follow the guides example (crouch down slowly, do not look the gorillas directly in the eyes and wait for the animals to pass). Do not attempt to run away because that will increase the risk.
  6. Flash photography is not permitted! When taking pictures move slowly and carefully.
  7. Do not touch the gorillas. They are wild animals.
  8. The maximum time you can spend with the gorillas is one hour. However, if the gorillas become agitated or nervous, the guide will finish the visit early.
  9. After the visit keep your voices down until you are 200 meters away from the gorillas.

General health rules:

Remember that mountain gorillas are very susceptible to human diseases. The following rules are ways to minimize the risk your visit might pose to them:

  1. Respect the limits imposed on the number of visitors allowed with the gorillas each day. This minimizes the risk of disease transmission and stress to the group.
  2. If you are feeling ill, or you are carrying a contagious disease, volunteer to stay behind. An alternative visit will be arranged for you, or you will be refunded your money.
  3. If you feel the urge to cough or sneeze when you are near the gorillas, please turn your head away and cover your nose and mouth in order to minimize the spread of bacteria or viruses.
  4. Always stay 7 meters (21 feet) away from the gorillas. This is to protect them from catching human diseases.
  5. Do not leave any rubbish (eg. food wrappers) in the park; foreign items can harbor diseases or other contaminants.
  6. If you need to go to the toilet while in the forest, please ask the guide to dig you a hole with his panga. Make sure the hole is 30 cm deep and fill it in when you are finished.

What to bring on for Gorilla Trekking Safaris

  1. Wear comfortable hiking shoes suitable for steep muddy slopes.
  2. Put on earplugs for those who feel uncomfortable with the jungle sounds.
  3. Carry a packed lunch and enough drinking water.
  4. Carry rain gear, sunscreen lotion, a hat (as the weather is unpredictable) and insect repellent.
  5. Bring a photo of a film camera. Using flashlight is not permitted so we recommend using films of 400-800 ASA.

For more information about Gorilla Trekking Rules and Regulations, kindly contact our office via email or phone call.

2 Days Gorilla Trekking Safari Rwanda

Tour Highlights: Mountain Gorilla Trekking in Volcanoes National Park, Breathtaking Scenery Landscaping views, hiking

9 Days Rwanda Cultural Tour & Gorilla Trekking

Tour Highlights: Rwanda Culture Experience, Gorilla Trekking, Visit Twin Lakes, Butare Cultural Center, Kinigi Cultural

8 Days Rwanda Wildlife Safari

Tour Highlights: Game Drive Experience, Mountain Gorilla Trekking, Chimpanzee Trekking, Relaxation at Lake Kivu Shores

5 Days Rwanda Wildlife Safari & Gorilla Tour

Tour Highlights: Game Drive Experience in Akagera, Mountain Gorilla Trekking, Tracking the Golden Monkeys, and

8 Days Rwanda Primates Safari

Tour Highlights: Chimpanzee Trekking in Nyungwe Forest National Park, gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park

Rwanda Gorilla Permits
Rwanda Gorilla Permits

Rwanda Gorilla Permits Guide, Cost, How to Book For Them

A gorilla permit is a ticket/license issued to travellers to allow them to spend time with the gorillas on a gorilla trekking adventure in Rwanda. Rwanda gorilla permits allows to visit one habituated gorilla family and spend close to 1 hour in the presence of these wonderful giants of the wild. Gorilla trekking can only be done in only three countries in the world – Uganda, Rwanda and DR Congo in the Bwindi & Mgahinga, Volcanoes and Virunga National Parks respectively.

Rwanda Gorilla permits are issued by Rwanda Development Board (RDB) with over 80 gorilla permits available for issuance on a daily basis. For one to have a hassle-free experience of gorilla trekking, it is advisable that you book your gorilla permit in advance (about 3-6 months( since the demand is actually high and choosing to obtain the permit on arrival may turn out to be cumbersome. That’s why we recommend that you get in touch with us to simplify the process of obtaining gorilla permits for you yet with no added and hidden costs.

How much is the cost of Rwanda gorilla permits

Gorilla permits in Rwanda cost USD $1500 and will guarantee you a full day of gorilla trekking the Volcanoes National Park. The cost previously before May 2017 was USD $750 but the Wildlife conservation body (RDB) decided to double the price in order to protect and conserve the highly endangered mountain gorillas. The Volcanoes national park is situated just two hours from the Kigali international airport and Kigali city is home to Rwanda’s mountain gorillas and part of the Virunga conservation region.

Are There Restrictions on Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda?

A maximum of 8 people are allowed to trek each gorilla group per day. That restriction makes it competitive to book gorilla permits, especially during peak seasons. It is therefore necessary to book permits as early as possible. We strongly advise you book at least 3 months in advance to ensure that you can track on the requested date, especially if you plan to trek during the peak season (school holidays) or if you are in a large group.

How Can One Book for gorilla permits?

If you intend to trek the gorillas in Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, you will require a valid gorilla permit to grant you permission to see the gorillas. As mentioned earlier, Rwanda Gorilla permits can be obtained from RDB offices at the park headquarters in Kinigi. The permit will cost you only USD$1500 for every person and the offices are always from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm in the evening. You can make use of our expert tour planners to obtain the gorilla permit on your behalf. Contact us today and get your permit ready before your travel date at no extra cost. Our customer support team will do whatever it takes to check for the availability of the gorilla permits in relation to your hiking abilities and interest. Payments for the gorilla permits booking can be done through our Paypal Account or any other worldwide money transfer service. We expect you to send us your details in terms of names, passport number, and nationality since they are recorded by the RDB officials before issuing out any gorilla permit.

When to obtain the gorilla permit?

There is no defined time of obtaining the gorilla permit but to avoid last minute hassles, it is advisable that you contact us in advance of your travel date so that we arrange and obtain the permit on your behalf. Rwanda is characterised with two seasons of gorilla safaris; the peak (high) and the low seasons. Make sure that you confirm and obtain your gorilla permit at least 5 months during the peak seasons while in low seasons, you can even obtain the permit on the same day of arrival at the park headquarters.

Alternatively, Travelers can book directly with the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) – tourism body of the Rwandan government. You can visit their website at http://www.rwandatourism.com/ and can contact them at Email: reservation@rwandatourism.com

Can I make Long Term Advance Booking?

Rwanda Development Board allows advanced booking of up to two years as long as a deposit of 30% is made and the balance shall be paid 91 days to the tracking date. Late top up of 70% is not permitted but may be considered 7 days, and will attract a Surcharge of 20% beyond which deposit is forfeited without refund.

Short time booking

Individual trackers can buy from Rwanda Development Board not more than 2 permits for the month. There is no guarantee, which dates or how many per day will be available. Booking can be done on the day the booking opens, which is the first working day of the month,Please do contact us for last minute gorilla permit booking and we will secure it for you at no extra cost once you book a gorilla tour with us, (info@izeresesafaris.com)

Payment Terms of the Rwanda gorilla permits:

The acceptable payment methods are:
Cash (Rwanda Francs, US dollars, GB Pounds, Euros),

Rwanda Gorilla Trekking rules & Regulations

  1. The park has clear rules and regulations that must protect visitors and gorillas at large;
  2. Infectious diseases such as diarrhea and flue are a problem to gorillas therefore a visitor with such diseases will not be permitted in the park.
  3. It’s always better to view the gorillas at distant and in groups rather than surrounding them.
  4. Its important to leave a distance of about 5m, this is just to leave some space between you and the gorillas. In case they are moving towards you, tend to move backwards.
  5. Digital camera is most suitable and a flash is not allowed.
  6. Take this very important, avoid eating or smoking around the gorillas, its better to leave a distance of about 200m.
  7. In case you want to cough or sneeze, cover your month and move away from the gorillas.
  8. When you get close with the gorillas, get rid of making fun noises or sounds. more still sudden movements are not allowed.
  9. Do not little or spit on the green vegetation or soil once you are in the park.
  10. Be time conscious because visiting the gorillas is strictly one hour
  11. Age is very important; therefore people below the age of 15 are not permitted to track gorillas.

2 Days Gorilla Trekking Safari Rwanda

Tour Highlights: Mountain Gorilla Trekking in Volcanoes National Park, Breathtaking Scenery Landscaping views, hiking

9 Days Rwanda Cultural Tour & Gorilla Trekking

Tour Highlights: Rwanda Culture Experience, Gorilla Trekking, Visit Twin Lakes, Butare Cultural Center, Kinigi Cultural

8 Days Rwanda Wildlife Safari

Tour Highlights: Game Drive Experience, Mountain Gorilla Trekking, Chimpanzee Trekking, Relaxation at Lake Kivu Shores

5 Days Rwanda Wildlife Safari & Gorilla Tour

Tour Highlights: Game Drive Experience in Akagera, Mountain Gorilla Trekking, Tracking the Golden Monkeys, and

8 Days Rwanda Primates Safari

Tour Highlights: Chimpanzee Trekking in Nyungwe Forest National Park, gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park

1 Day Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Safari

Tour Highlights: This 1 Day Rwanda Gorilla tour package is the most preferred gorilla trekking safari for budget

Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda
Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda

Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda, Complete Guide to Rwanda Gorilla Safaris

Gorilla trekking in Rwanda is a breath-taking adventure that is commonly referred to as the best safari holiday experience in Rwanda and almost the whole world. The adventure of gorilla trekking in Rwanda attracts the highest number of tourists from every corner of the world visiting the land of “a Thousand Hills” daily all year round.

Find the complete guide to gorilla trekking in Rwanda in this prepackaged blog and we can assure you by the end of this post, you will have made up your mind to start planning your next gorilla trekking safari to Rwanda. Izere safaris prides itself to offer the most affordable gorilla tours in Rwanda that are characterized by magical moments and thrilling adventures in the jungles. Expect to laugh, cry and perhaps fall in love with these wonderful giants of the mountains. The gorilla trekking adventure sadly is restricted to only one hour when with the gorilla. However, the whole activity often takes almost the whole day in the search for the gorillas.

There has been a common report from all travelers who have trekked the gorillas, describing the experience as the best in all wildlife encounters. You will feel inspired, emotional and satisfied after looking into those liquid brown eyes of these human-related apes. There is still much to see in Rwanda away from mountain gorilla watching, visit the mountain-ringed Lake Kivu in the West of the country and feel an inland sea atmosphere. Or you can head South to Nyungwe Forest National Park and see her rich varies of chimps, monkeys and amazing birds that include Rift Valley Endemics. All the meals, entry fees, accommodation, cruises are included in the total price as per the itinerary. Our gorilla trekking safaris range from 1 to 14 days and give you the option to arrange a relaxing break, so it’s easy to see everything a country has to offer. Checkout on our 1 Day Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda 3 Days Rwanda Special Gorilla Safari3 Days Golden Monkeys & Gorillas Safari, among other packages we have to offer on a gorilla trekking adventure in Rwanda

Gorilla Tracking Adventure in Rwanda: What to Expect on the day

gorilla trekking in Rwanda

On your gorilla trekking day in Rwanda, you will wake up early morning (therefore you must find accommodation closer to the park entrance) to arrive at the park headquarters ready to attend to a briefing from the park ranger guides about the basics to consider while trekking the gorillas. During the briefing, you will be allocated a gorilla trekking guide who will be your lead guide throughut the day. In Rwanda, there are 10 habituated gorilla groups and you will be allocated a specif group to trek depending on your physical fitness and perhaps interest. A group of 8 persons can visit each gorilla family and the trek usually lasts anywhere between 1-6 hours. This largely depends on the movement and current location of the gorilla family you are assigned. Remember these are mountain gorillas, therefore prepare yourself to hike as a must until you find them. The English-speaking forest guides are amazingly good, and will lead you to the specific ‘habituated’ mountain gorilla group, which certainly will be acquitted to human presence.

What is the cost of a Gorilla Permits in Rwanda?

Gorilla trekking in Rwanda is managed by the Rwanda Development Board the national wildlife conservation body in charge of issuing gorilla permit to visitors who choose to go for gorilla trekking. The Cost of Gorilla Permits is divided into categories as seen below

  • An Ordinary Gorilla Permit in Rwanda costs USD $1500 per person, per day.
  • A Special Exclusive Gorilla safari experience costs US$ 15,000
  • The behind the scenes gorilla trip for 3 days costs US$ 30,000 for 3 persons.
  • For professional photography as well as filming the mountain gorillas, you part with US$ 5000 for 3 days consecutively. If you are a large crew of 8 people, you willpay US $ 12,000

Is Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda Safe?

1 Day Rwanda Gorilla TrekkingOh Yes! gorilla trekking in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo is safe and done all year round. Respective governments and wildlife conservation authroties have deployed tourism police in all gorilla parks to ensure safety of endangered mountain gorillas and travelers in Bwindi, Mgahinga, Volcanoes and Virunga national parks. Also, mountain gorillas have been habituated hence pose no harm to travelers. Besides, during your trek for the gorillas, you will be led by armed ranger guides who are trained to protect you from any sort of harm whether from the wildlife attacks, or from poachers. Be rest assured that you will be very safe while trekking the gorillas

How Does a Mountain Gorilla Look like?

As you meet up with the gorillas, you will be amazed to see and be told that a mature silverback male gorilla may weigh as much as 200kg, or even 3 times the overall weight of an average man, however the anxiety normally disappears once you set eyes on the group. Normally the gorilla group will be scattered over a small area of thick vegetation. They will carry on with their interactions and even feed without any concern of their human visitors although they will be observing you with interest. Rarely one, normally a playful youngster, will boldly approach you with inquisitiveness, at times coming really close that you will need to move away. (You are not allowed to move less than 7 meters close to them; this is to safe guard the gorillas from contagious human diseases.)  The climate in Musanze ( 1,700m above sea level) is mostly cold. Please carry along warm clothing.

Where To See Mountain Gorillas in Rwanda

For one to have the best of gorilla trekking in Rwanda, you will have to visit the Volcanoes National Park (Parc National des Volcans), a section of the bigger Virunga mountains. Approximately 480 mountain gorillas live in the Virunga complex and reside on the altitude range of 2,300 to 4,500 meters in the southern area of Virunga National Park (in the DRC), as well as the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, and some in Uganda’s Mgahinga National Park. Mountain gorillas are only found in the Volcanoes National Park. Besides that, you will have to visit Uganda in Bwindi and Mgahinga or DR Congo where you can find the mountain gorillas in Virunga National Park. There are 10 gorilla groups in Rwanda and lets find more about them below;

Gorilla Trekking Groups in Rwanda

Rwanda gorillas are divided into 2 groups; there are special gorilla groups set aside for only study or research purposes and there are the habituated gorups that are open for public tourism. The private research gorilla groups include the Beetsme and Pablo’s Shida’s and these have the highest number of gorillas.

The 10 habituated gorilla families include the Ugenda, Umubano, Susa group, Karinsimbi, Sabinyo, Hirwa, Amahoro, Bwengye, Group 13 (the Agasha group) and the Kwitonda. We can find out more about them in the next section of this blog.

1. The Susa A Gorilla Group

As the name suggests, this group was discovered by the late Dian Fossey along River Susa which flows. The family is the most challenging to trek since it normally stays up in the higher ranges of the mountains however the RDB’s Tourism and Conservation trackers will know in advance how the group is located the day before in advance for the next trackers. Sometimes tourists have been barred from tracking the group because of its distant location. This group is very impressive with a family size of 28 gorilla individuals with three Silverbacks. This was the biggest gorilla group prior to separating into two.

2. Karisimbi Gorilla Family (Alias: Susa-B)

This gorilla family separated from the Susa-A family and today it is referred to as Susa-B or the Karisimbi Group. It has 15 individuals and normally found on the slopes of Mt Karisimbi Volcano (4507Meters) the highest peak of Rwanda. Karisimbi Group is better appropriate for serious hikers. It seems that they have formed their home in the higher mountain slopes of Karisimbi caldera. So visiting this group may take a full day hike. The group at times moves to higher altitude making the tracking pretty challenging. But, RDB tourism plus conservation guides will be a aware of the location of the gorilla group the previous day. Tracking the gorilla family at times can be stopped due to its faraway location.

3. Amahoro Gorilla Group

The Amahoro group derives its name from the word Amahoro which means “peaceful group. This is the most calm gorilla groups. this group has seventeen individuals: a Silverback; two Black-backs; five Adult females; 2 Sub-adult males; 2 Juveniles as well as 5 Babies. Nonetheless, the peace comes at a good price. Ubumwe, the silverback of this group is peaceful, really easy going as well as serene, he has sadly lost some group members to the Umubano group led by Charles.
To see the Amahoro you should maneuver over the somewhat steep climb but the climb is worth it when you finally find this amazing group.

4. Sabyinyo Gorilla Group

This group derived its named from Sabyinyo volcano and it actually means an “old man’s teeth”. Sabyinyo can easily be reached and it is led by a strong silverback Guhonda. This is the biggest silverback of all the gorilla groups, since it is very massive in physical appearance. In comparison to other gorilla families, Sabyinyo has fewer members although it is similarly impressive. The Sabyinyo is among the groups found nearest to the border of the park with 8 individuals that include one Silverback (which is the biggest in the entire park); three Adult females; a youthful female; two Juveniles as well as a Baby gorilla.

5. The Agasha Gorilla Group

At the time of its habituation, the Agasha gorilla family had only 13 members (this is why it also called the Group 13). But as of today, the group has nearly 25 members: a Silverback; twelve Adult females; two Sub adult female; three Juvenile as well as seven Babies. This group was first led by Nyakairima but Asgash overpowered him and shifted up the volcano to safe guard his group and ensure that Nyakarima didn’t find them, hence the group name Agasha. Since then, the group has increased the number of members in his group by snatching some from other groups and incorporating other solitary gorillas, speedily the group expanded from 12 up to 25 individuals.

6. The Hirwa “Lucky One” Group

This group became renowned on 17th June 2006 after trackers witnessed its creation when some members from 2 separate families the Group 13 and the Sabyinyo group joined to form a smaller group at the time. Fortunately some other gorillas also joined this group and today the Hirwa group has nine individuals: one Silverback; three Adult females; two Sub adult females as well as 3 Babies. Although it is the newest gorilla group, Hirwa shows strength and well safeguards its members

7. Bwengye Gorilla Family

This family has 11 member with a Silverback. It is majorly seen in the Slopes of Karisoke Volcano. Bwenge is the silverback that leads the group which was established in 2007 after he left his birth group and was joined by other females coming from other gorilla groups. The group has faced some challenging times; which included the death of six infants. Today this group is becoming strong with two successful births in the past couple years as well as a strong silverback leader. This trek to visit the group is challenging and includes an ascent of nearly 3 hours. The trails at times are muddy and pretty steep. It seems this is the group which featured in the legendary movie ‘Gorillas in the Mist’.

8. Umubano Gorilla Group

The name of group means “neighborliness”, the Umubano family comprises of eleven individuals: a Silverback; a Sub-adult male; three Adult females as well as six Babies. Umubano were initially members of Amahoro group however separated following Ubumwe the then dominant silverback being overpowered by Charles who is the current leader of Umubano.

9. Kwitonda Family

This group has 18 members and it is led by Kwitonda the silverback whose name means the “humble one” it also has 2 silverbacks plus a blackback. It moved from the DRC, and normally stays far away which makes it challenging to trek. This along with the Susa B are some of the most challenging groups to find.

10. Ugenda Gorilla Group

This Group lives in rwanda’s Karisimbi area. it comprises of 11 gorillas including 2 silverbacks. Its acquired this mane which means “being on the move” since the family was constantly moving from one place to another. Because it is constant moving, tracking it is normally challenging and involves prolonged movement to find them.

What else to do in Rwanda after from gorilla trekking?

Rwanda is a hub of many other safari destinations that include Nyungwe Forest National Park, Lake Kivu and Akagera National Park.
Nyungwe Forest National Park: considered to be among the oldest forest in Africa, with 12 primate species, 300 bird species and about 7 mammal species. The major activity here is the chimpanzee tracking plus birding , canopy walkway and hiking trails.
Akagera National Park:  will offer you a true wildlife experience, see the elephants, lion, buffalo, topi, zebra, antelope, monkeys, bushback, impala and so much more. Over 500 bird species here.
Gishwati Mukura National Park is one of the recent parks in Rwanda. It becomes the 3rd park,famous for primates and birdwatching in Rwanda.

2 Days Gorilla Trekking Safari Rwanda

Tour Highlights: Mountain Gorilla Trekking in Volcanoes National Park, Breathtaking Scenery Landscaping views, hiking

3 Days Wildlife Safari to Akagera National Park

Tour Highlights: Full Day Game Drive Experience, Boat Ride on Lake Ihema, Morning Game Drive Experience & City Tour

1 Day Akagera National Park Tour

Tour Highlights: Full Day Akagera Game Drive Experience, Beautiful Scenic Drive through the green tea plantations in

9 Days Rwanda Cultural Tour & Gorilla Trekking

Tour Highlights: Rwanda Culture Experience, Gorilla Trekking, Visit Twin Lakes, Butare Cultural Center, Kinigi Cultural

8 Days Rwanda Culture & Primates Safari

Tour Highlights: Game Drive Experience, Rwanda Culture Experience, Mountain Gorilla Trekking & Lake Kivu Tour

8 Days Rwanda Wildlife Safari

Tour Highlights: Game Drive Experience, Mountain Gorilla Trekking, Chimpanzee Trekking, Relaxation at Lake Kivu Shores

5 Days Rwanda Wildlife Safari & Gorilla Tour

Tour Highlights: Game Drive Experience in Akagera, Mountain Gorilla Trekking, Tracking the Golden Monkeys, and

4 Days Akagera National Park Wildlife Safari

Tour Highlights: Wildlife Game Drive in Akagera, an evening Boat ride on Lake Ihema and Kigali Genocide Memorial Tour

8 Days Rwanda Primates Safari

Tour Highlights: Chimpanzee Trekking in Nyungwe Forest National Park, gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park

6 Days Rwanda Wildlife Safari Experience

Tour Highlights: Wildlife Game Drive in Akagera, Primates Walk Safari in Nyungwe & Gorilla Trekking in Volcanoes Park

3 Days Akagera National Park Wildlife Tour

Tour Highlights: Day & Night Game Drives, Afternoon Boat Ride on Lake Ihema, Early Morning Game Viewing, Kigali…

2 Days Akagera Wildlife Safari in Rwanda

Tour Highlights: Afternoon Game Drive and Boat Ride along Lake Ihema, Morning Game Drive Experience & City Tour

1 Day Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Safari

Tour Highlights: This 1 Day Rwanda Gorilla tour package is the most preferred gorilla trekking safari for budget

The Return of Black Rhinos to Akagera National Park

It is now over three weeks since the return of Black rhinos to Akagera national park in Rwanda. The return of black rhinos to Akagera officially makes Rwanda a big 5 African safari destination adding to the recently reintroduced Lions, the elephants, Buffaloes, and the Leopards among other wildlife species resident in the park. The 5 highly endangered black rhinos from eastern Europe were on Monda...
Self Drive in Rwanda

When choosing to visit for a safari or business holiday, you are most likely to opt for a self drive trip while getting around the beautiful land of Thousand Hills. However, it requires keen attention and observation of the traffic road signs. Most of these road signs are placed in a visible environment where you are able to boldly see them standing by the roadside throughout the routes you encoun...