Plan a Gorilla Trekking Safari in Rwanda
You can see the Mountain gorillas in only Africa. Scientifically known as Gorilla Berengei Berengei, these great apes live in three countries in the world; Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Among these destinations, Rwanda is the country that attracts most travelers interested in mountain gorilla trekking. The mountain gorillas are protected in the Volcanoes national park within northern Rwanda, a park that the late Dian Fossey called home for almost 3 decades. Since the inception of gorilla tourism, there has been a growing number of tourists visiting Rwanda to meet the mountain gorillas in their natural habitat.
Gorilla tourism was developed along the guidelines of ecotourism. There is a carrying capacity and the activity is highly regulated so that these great apes can be protected and preserved for the future generations.
Gorilla trekking is done daily in the Volcanoes National Park. Everyday, tourists converge at the park headquarters and are guided into the bamboo forest in search of the mountain gorillas. Tourists are grouped into small groups of eight (8) people who are guided to a habituated gorilla family within the park. Please note that it is only 8 tourists who are allowed to view these gorillas every day and this is the carrying capacity of the national parks where gorilla tracking is conducted.
Within the park, there are 12 habituated gorilla groups which are readily available for viewing once you have purchase a gorilla permit. A gorilla permit costs U$1500 whenever you go for tracking. Since there are as few as 96 gorilla permits available per day, it is advisable to book your gorilla permit well in advance most especially if you are to track the gorillas during the peak months.
Planning Your Gorilla Trek
For you to best enjoy this activity, you should book a fully inclusive gorilla safari with a credible tour company which can plan your trip and put together all the elements well in advance.
For one to track the mountain gorillas, a reasonable degree of fitness is needed. Please be prepared for hikes within the montane national park in order to meet the mountain gorillas. Like their names suggests, mountain gorillas tend to live on high slopes and therefore the experience doesn’t come that easily.
You will be required to wake up every early in the morning to go to the park headquarters for briefing.
In this regard therefore to avoid a lot of hustle, you are recommended to stay close at a safari lodge that is close to the park. This will save you from inconveniences which may have been caused when you have your accommodation away from the park.
Also remember for you to participate in the activity, you must be at the park headquarter by 7 AM.
Always listen to the briefing given by the park rangers. This briefing is useful on your side because, it will guide the safety precautions as well as how you are supposed to behave during the times with the gentle giants.
Why go gorilla trekking in Rwanda
Rwanda is considered the best country for gorilla trekking because it provides you with more than eight (80) gorilla trekking guides. These are readily provided by the Rwanda development Board. They are much trained and they do speak in very good French and English language.
Essentials for a Successful Gorilla Trek in Rwanda
- Get well prepared for the gorilla trek. The hike demands a considerate level of physical strength. Keep in memory and mind that since there is an element of mountain which means something high, you must then expect to hike up-slopes and down-slopes.
- Also note that the gorilla trek is dependent on the movement of the gorillas. A trek can be from as few as 3 hours to a full day. You can spend the whole day trekking the gorillas, since the mountain gorillas are not stationed in one place.
Gorilla permits do not come cheaply. Since May 2017, the Rwanda gorilla Permits cost US$1500 per person. There are many tour operators offering gorilla trekking tours in Rwanda but the price of a fully inclusive tour differs from one company to company. These prices differ according to the costs of transportation and the accommodation fitted into your safari package. For your information, local companies definitely charge lower than the international agencies. Therefore, you can save more if you book with a local tour operator in comparison with the international companies.