Rwanda Safaris - Gorilla trekking and holiday tours in Rwanda
Rwanda safaris and Rwanda gorilla tours to the “Land of a thousand hills” and a million smiles! There is no better way to describe the abundant beauty of Rwanda than Church hill did. It is such a small country, relatively smaller than Scotland but beaming with all nature’s beauty, wonderful people, culture, and wildlife including the most endangered primate species; mountain gorillas that you will see during your Rwanda gorilla trekking experience. Rwanda gorillas in Volcanoes National Park are behind the hundreds of gorilla trekking tours the country receives each year. If you are planning for a gorilla trekking safari in Rwanda, Explore Rwanda Tours has helped thousands of tourists and organisations to organize and carry out successful private Rwanda tours, group safaris and gorilla tours in Rwanda. Our purpose today is to help you achieve the same by helping you plan your dream Rwanda gorilla trekking safari. Alternatively, you can visit Lake Kivu for a honeymoon, do the canopy walk and track Chimpanzees in Nyungwe Forest National Park or view the wildlife in Akagera. Our Rwanda safaris further stretch to Dian Fossey's grave at Karisoke Research Center and let you carry out more exciting tourism activities. Wait no more to travel! Browse through our well designed Uganda safaris and Rwanda travel packages and select a package that suits you well or rather email us for tailored Rwanda holiday packages.
Gorilla Habituation in Uganda
Gorilla Habituation is a process of training or an act to make animals get used to the sight of visitors or a certain situation. In lay mans language can be called adaptation so a situation. It is progressive and the period in which it will take is unpredictable. Researchers use habituation to understand the animals more. In Uganda, there is both Gorilla and Chimpanzee habituation.
Gorilla habituation is done in Bwindi Impenetrable national park by researchers/conservationists, rangers alongside the trekkers. This experience was initiated in 2014 by Uganda Wildlife Authority and a gorilla permit goes for 1500 USD for this memorable experience. There are only 8 permits available per day as each gorilla group can only accommodate 4 people. There are 11 habituated gorilla groups however only 2 have been put aside for habituation in Nkuringo and Rushaga which are both found in the southern part of the park. This habituation experience lets the trekkers spend longer than the usual one hour of the gorilla trek with the gentle giants, but 4 hours analyzing their behaviour though not all the gorillas are fully responsive to the program yet so some might hide or act unpredictable in the presence of the visitors as it is still an ongoing process. If you are interested on going on this safari, ensure to book your permit 6 months ahead so that your gorilla group is prepared for your visit. Please note again that Uganda is the only country in the world habituating mountain Gorillas so this experience can only be done here. Reach us the experts to book and plan your gorilla habituation safari.
In Uganda, you can also participate in Chimpanzee habituation in Kibale Forest National Park and Budongo forest. This is more like the gorilla habituation, but you have to be strong hearted as you get much closer to the Chimpanzees and spend almost half or even all day in the forest with the Chimps. This activity is done by one ranger and a maximum of 4 trekkers. The permit costs 200 USD for foreigners and 70 USD for East Africans. In Kibale, there is a new chimpanzee group called the Buraiga in its young stages of habituation that can be visited at 100 USD per trek. Visiting this group might be tough as these chimps are still abit wild.
It is best to come for habituation in less busy months where there is less tourist congestion that is in the months of March, April, May, October and November. So there you have it, would you love to spend more time in the company of these primates? Then habituation is the activity you should opt for. We handle both habituation and trekking permits purchase and can plan for you a suitable package once you reach out to us.
Recommended Rwanda Safari Packages 2018 / 2019
2 Days Gorilla Tours in Bwindi Forest from Kigali - Rwanda
Searching for a short affordable gorilla trekking experience? This 2 days Bwindi gorilla safari sees you arrive from Kigali in Rwanda, transfer to bwindi impenetrable national park in Uganda for a gorilla trekking experience and return back to Rwanda after your encounter with gorillas to catch up with your departure flight or rather get dropped at an accommodation facility of your choice. You will only spend 1 night in Bwindi hence, save on accommodation. Besides, bwindi gorilla trekking permits cost $600 each, $900 less that the $1500 Rwanda permits fee. Trekking gorillas in Bwindi will save you $900.View Package
3 Days Gorilla Safari in Bwindi National Park from Kigali
This gorilla tours package shortens your distance. You only spend 4 hours on road instead of the eight to nine hours from Entebbe or Kampala. This way, your gorilla trek in Bwindi becomes less tiresome because of the short journey. You will also have more time to relax at your lodge in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Gorilla permits in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park are $900 cheaper than Rwanda gorilla trekking permits hence, you will get to save a lot of money on your gorilla tours from Kigali.View Package
7 Days Gorilla Trekking Rwanda, Chimps & Wildlife Safari
Looking for a memorable Rwanda gorilla safari experience? This 7 days Rwanda safari highlights an encounter with the Mountain Gorillas, Chimpanzees, Wildlife plus more exciting activities in Rwanda. Stay in comfortable Rwanda safari lodges while travelling in 4x4 safari vehicles. Meals are on Full Board Basis (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner). This tour package is perfect for clients who want to discover so much of Rwanda whilst on their trip. It takes you to all the three Rwanda National Parks.View Package
5 Days Rwanda Gorilla Trekking & Lake Kivu Safari
Spend 5 days in Rwanda exploring Mountain Gorillas in Volcanoes National Park and relax in Lake Kivu after for a short vacation. This 5 days Gorillas & Lake Kivu vacation safari highlights a Rwanda gorilla trekking encounter and Lake Kivu plus a short trip around Kigali. Stay in comfortable accommodation while travelling in comfortable Rwanda safari vehicles.View Package
Top Rwanda Tours
- 2 Days PNV Gorilla Tracking Tour
- 3 Days Rwanda Gorilla Safari
- 3 Days Nyungwe Chimps & Canopy
- 3 Days Akagera Wildlife Safari
- 3 Days Nyungwe Chimp Trekking
- 4 Days Gorillas & Golden Monkeys
- 4 Days Gorillas & Dian Fossey
- 4 Days 2 Gorilla Treks
- 5 Days Gorilla Trekking & Hiking
- 6 Days Gorilla Tour Holiday
- 6 Days Gorillas, Dian Fossey & Kivu
- 7 Days Gorillas & Chimps
- 8 Days Primates Adventure
- 10 Days Rwanda Adventure
- 12 Days Spice of Ruanda
- 12 Days Gorilla & Lake Kivu
- 14 Days Long Expedition
Popular Uganda Safaris
- 3 Days Bwindi Gorilla Trek
- 3 Days Murchison Falls
- 3 Days Uganda Chimpanzee
- 4 Days Queen Elizabeth Wildlife
- 5 Days Murchison & Kibale
- 7 Days Gorillas & Wildlife Safari
- 12 Days Primates & Lake Bunyonyi
Uganda Rwanda Safaris
- 7 Days Combined Gorilla Tour
- 9 Days Gorilla Adventure
- 10 Days Combined Adventure Safari
- 14 Days Chimps, Gorillas & Wildlife
- 18 Days Uganda & Rwanda Safari
Rwanda Holiday Types
- Group Safaris
- Mountain Climbing
- Student Trips
- Wildlife Safaris
- Budget Gorilla Tracking
- Luxury Gorilla Tracking
- Chimpanzee Trekking
- Family Safaris
Gorilla Tracking Information
- Rwanda gorilla permits
- Rwanda gorilla families
- Gorilla Trekking Rules
- Is Rwanda Safe
- Getting Rwanda Visas
- Minimum Age for Gorilla Trekking
- Cost of Gorilla Trekking
- When to Visit Rwanda
- Where to find Rwanda gorillas
- Why visit Rwanda
- Characteristics of gorillas
- Gorilla trekking tips
- Gorilla tracking rules
- Virunga Mountains
- Mountain gorilla facts
- Packing list
- Best time to see Rwanda gorillas
- How to save mountain gorillas
- Gorilla trekking for the disabled
Before you travel to Rwanda, we will take care of all your bookings from gorilla permits (required for Rwanda gorilla trekking safaris), book for you comfortable accommodation facilities in top notch Rwanda safari lodges and transport you in a comfortable 4x4 tour vehicle through out your trip so that you get nothing less than a memorable holiday. Request for a quotation and lay back knowing everything is in the safe hands of authentic Rwanda travel experts. If you intend to experience the best gorilla trekking adventure, we are one of the best Uganda Rwanda safari companies and we pride ourselves in organizing top notch expeditions for gorilla tours in Rwanda and Uganda along with other kinds of adventures. Regarding accommodation, we have partnered with some of the finest Rwanda safari lodges which has enabled us get their respective facilities and services at low discounted rates.
Above are some of the most requested and highly rated Rwanda tour packages highlighting exciting tour activities like gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park; Along the 8 great Virunga Mountains, wildlife viewing in Akagera National Park, chimpanzee tracking in Nyungwe Forest National Park, bird watching in various destinations, adventurous hikes, cultural trails and experiences, primate experiences, canopy walk plus the famous Dian Fossey grave visit. Choose a Rwanda safaris package of your choice and count on us to have the best of your vacation or holiday in the land of a thousand hills and a million smiles.
Don't wait to explore this insanely magical wilderness for a gorilla safari or wildlife tour. Rwanda might be a small country with very little to offer but the fe activities are definitely worth every second of your safari time. We have all the capability and capacity for organzing a stunning tour in Rwanda. Viewing this page has already gotted you a step closer to your dream holiday. Inquire from the best Rwanda safari experts and you wont have any regrets but rather memories to reminisce on, show and boast with.
Rwanda Gorilla Tours
Rwanda Gorilla tours are one of the exciting tours a tourist should embark on while in Rwanda. Rwanda is one of the most peaceful countries in Africa where tourism is on a high increase. Located in East Africa, Rwanda is bordered by Uganda in the north, Tanzania in the East, Congo in the West and Burundi in the South.
The country is a home to a number of tourist attractions like national parks for example Akagera National Park, Volcanoes National Park and Nyungwe National Park where different wildlife species like the primates for example Baboons, monkeys like the golden monkey black and white colobus monkey, red tailed monkeys and many more can be seen for example herbivores like the zebras, wildebeest, duikers, warthogs, elephants, spotted hyena, African buffalos, lions, rhinos buffalos, and many other animals can be seen when one embarks on Rwanda Gorilla Tours.
The mountain gorillas have attracted hundreds of thousands of tourists into the country to engage in the amazing Rwanda Gorilla Tours. The primates are among the top income-generating attractions in the country because they are some of the endangered species in their natural habitats that can only be found in Rwanda in Volcanoes national park, Uganda's in Bwindi Impenetrable National park and in Congo they can be found in Virunga National Park and Kahuzi Beiga National Park where lowland Gorillas can be found.
Where to Mountain Gorillas in Rwanda? (Volcanoes National Park)
Rwanda gorillas can be found in Volcanoes National Park located in the northwest of Rwanda in the village of Musanze which is 104km and approximately two hours from Kigali city the capital of the country. Tourists on the Rwanda gorilla tours won’t miss out on visiting the park since the gorillas are only found in Volcanoes National Park.
How to access Volcanoes National Park!
Volcanoes National Park is found in the northwestern part of Rwanda in the districts of Burera, Musanze, and Nyabihu. From Kigali City, the park is 113km and takes about 2 hours for the tourists to reach the park. From Gisenyi, the park is 76km and takes about one hour and 30 minutes to reach the park.
Once the tourists reach the park, they have to go through Kinigi the park headquarters where they will have to pay fees in order to carry out their Rwanda Gorilla Tour in the park.
Volcanoes National park
The park is home to distinctive landscapes characterised by the mountains, vegetation cover, plant species, different birds and animal species. Volcanoes National Park is home to a number of wild animals, for instance, the African buffalos, spotted hyenas, bush pigs, cape bushbuck, duikers, baboons, red tailed monkeys black and white colobus monkeys can also be seen and so on. Bird species like the handsome Francolin, Dusky turtle love, Ruwenzori turaco, Ruwenzori nightjar, the dusky crimson wing and many more.
Volcanoes National Park is also home to a number of geographical features including five of the Virunga Mountains namely Mount karisimbi, Mount Muhabura, Mount Bisoke, Mount Sabyinyo and Mount Gahinga where Mountain Gorillas can be found on the slopes.
Virunga Mountains of Rwanda
Tourists on a Rwanda gorilla tour will have a chance to see the mountain gorillas which are found along the slopes of the Virunga Mountains in Rwanda and part of their gorilla trekking experience on a Rwanda tour. The tourists will have a chance to look see the different mountains where they will even hike some of them depending on which gorilla family the tourists are going to trek as explained below.
Mountain karisimbi: The mountain is the highest of the eight Virunga mountains with an elevation of 4507metres above sea level making it the 5th highest mountain in Africa and the highest in Rwanda. Aside from being a home to the Karisimbi gorilla family and Susa gorilla family groups. The mountain has got a number of other tourist attractions like bird species for example like Archer's ground robin, red-faced woodland warbler, Ruwenzori double collared sunbird, Collared Apalis, Ruwenzori turaco, and many others. Other primate species like the black and white colobus monkeys, the red tailed monkeys and many more. It is also characterised by exotic plants and green vegetation cover along its slopes. Tourists on a Rwanda gorilla tour will also have a chance to hike to the summit where they can see the white-capped peak in form of a shell which means ’’amasimbi’’ in Kinyarwanda where the name for the mountain is derived. Another important attraction one can see while on the hike to Mountain karisimbi in order to see the Karisimbi Gorilla Group, a tourist can see the Karisoke research centre which was established by Dr. Dian Fossey who was a primatologist to protect and study the gorillas.
For a tourist on a Rwanda gorilla tour to see the Amahoro gorilla family group, he will have to hike Mountain Muhabura because the group resides along the Mountain. Mountain Muhabura is the third highest mountain among in the Virunga Mountains with an elevation of 4127 metres above sea level. Hiking through the mountain will give a chance to tourists on a Rwanda tour to have a chance to look at the different exciting attractions along the slopes for instance the bamboo trees, thickets are shrubs with distinct animal life, plant, butterfly species like the cabbage white, monarch butterfly, old world swallowtail, mourning cloak, peacock butterfly and so on and bird species include the blue turaco, Ross’s turaco, coqui Francolin, long tailed cisticola, bubbling cisticola, Miombo wren warbler, and Chubb’s cisticola.
While hiking on Mountain Muhabura in order for tourists on a Rwanda Gorilla Tour, they can come across animals like the buffalos, elephants which are on rare occasions though the tourists will have nothing to fear because with the help of a ranger which escorts the group will have a gun that will scare away the animals in case of anything.
While on the hike the tourists will also have a chance to see spectacular views, for example, River Karabiranyuma that is found between mountain Muhabura and Gahinga also to note is the fact that tourist can also have a chance to see the twin lakes of Ruhondo and Burera making the hike memorable. Hiking on the mountain can be done from both Rwanda and Ugandan side. Tourists can be met at the Ntebeko Visitor Centre and Rwanda at Kinigi Visitor Centre by the guides who can be advised on what to do during the hike.
The mountain is the third highest mountain among the Virunga Mountains and for tourists on a Rwanda gorilla tour, Bwenge gorilla family group will be found along the slopes of the mountain at an elevation of 3711 metres above sea level. The hike through the mountain while trekking for the gorilla family is rewarding because a tourists on a Rwanda tour will have a chance to see the various vegetation covers like the hagenia forests, on the steep slopes the tourists can see equatorial rain forests. The different vegetation covers are homes to various bird species like the handsome francolin, masked mountain apalis, Ross’s turaco, lapwings and many more. Butterfly species like the small copper butterfly, orange tip butterfly, among others.
The mountain has the largest Crater Lake Bisoke Crater Lake which can be another tourist attraction tourists on a Rwanda gorilla tour can enjoy looking at and appreciate the beauty of Mother Nature while on the hike.
Tourists on a Rwanda tour interested in gorilla trekking or Rwanda gorilla safaris will have a chance to hike mountain sabyinyo where the Sabyinyo gorilla family group is found. In the north east of the mountain, Lake Kivu can be seen and in the west Lake Bunyonyi in Uganda can be seen. Interesting about the park is the fact that the peak of the mountain is found in 3 countries that is Uganda, Rwanda and Congo and the mountain is within the different parks of the countries namely Mgahinga Gorilla National park in Uganda, Virunga National park in Congo and Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda which is fascinating to tourists while on their Rwanda gorilla tour. Another interesting factor about the mountain is where the local derived its name ‘’sabyinyo’ which mean teeth in Kinyarwanda and because the peak of the mountain looks like an old man’s worn teeth on the jawline they decided to name it sabyinyo.
The mountains is 3669 metres high above sea level making the hike to its peak memorable, during the hike other than the mountain gorillas, tourists are likely to see the elephants, buffalos which can be seen in the bamboo forest of the mountain, the sabyinyo ladders can also be seen that offer a spectacular view of the vegetation and the misty clouds which gives a terrifying view yet interesting at the same time.
Mountain Gahinga lies between, sabyinyo and Muhabura Mountains being the smallest. For tourists on a Rwanda tour, they will have a chance while on their Rwanda gorilla tour will have a chance to hike the family in order to trek the Hirwa gorilla family group which is usually found in the bamboo forest of the mountain.
The mountain sits on an elevation of 3474 metres above sea level and for tourists on a Rwanda gorilla tour, it is a great idea if they proceed to hike to the peak after spending time with the gorillas because they are able to discover magnificent and breathtaking attractions as they proceed for instance. The swamp at the peak which is a beautiful attraction, however, tourists usually don’t go to the swamp because they stop at the peak but continuing ahead another world is explored that offers magnificent views.
The swampy area that used to be a crater lake receives frequent visits from the duikers that are usually seen grazing around and sometimes serval cats can also be seen hunting them down. The tourists can also see other animals like primates on the way, for example, monkeys like the golden monkeys and many more.
Rwanda Gorilla Families
Tourists on a Rwanda tour that are interested in Rwanda gorilla tour will have a chance to see the different Gorilla groups in the Volcanoes National Park. The Park has a total of 11 habituated groups that gives a chance to the tourists to participate in the activity.
Susa gorilla family: The group is one of the hardest to trek but once trekked they give the most rewarding experiences for tourist on a Rwanda gorilla tour. The group is usually found in the high altitudes of the mountain making it hard to trek but with the help of the rangers and guides, it enables the group to locate them easily. The family is one of the popular groups in the Park because it was studied by Dr Dian Fossey a primatologist that wrote about the Mountain gorillas in Rwanda in volcanoes national park named Gorillas In The Mist.
The family is also popular because it is the only group in the park with twins. Currently, the group has 28 members with 3 adult females but they previously had 42 members but because of the family disputes, the family divided leading to the formation of the karisimbi group. The group can be trekked on Mountain Karisimbi.
Karisimbi gorilla group: The group is one of the hardest group to trek because it is found at an elevation of 4507 metres on the slopes of Mountain Karisimbi the group after splitting from Susa group it was named Susa A in 2009 but in 2010 they changed its name to karisimbi where they reside, the group on the mountain is usually found near the caldera of the mountain and it should be noted that the reason why the silverback of the group Nyagakangaga was to avoid trouble and clashes with other families. The group after the family disputes in the Susa group, the silverback Nyagakangaga parted with 15 members some of which decided to join other group and today it comprises of 11 members.
Kwitonda gorilla group: The name of the group was derived from the deceased silverback that dominated the group before his passing; kwitonda was one of the most humble silver backs in the park. Unfortunately, he died at the age of 40 because he was old and his health was not stable. Important to note in the group was during his reign, kwitonda allowed other silver backs to mate with the females which are quite different in gorillas because the silverback has all rights of being the only one that mates with the females and for this reason the group has grown in number with 28 members. The family is now headed by Akarevuro. Important to note about the group is the fact that kwitonda who was the dominant silver back before he died was from the Virunga National Park in Congo who migrated to Rwanda because the increased tension in the gorilla families in the park and the kwitonda family is found along the slopes of Mountain Muhabura.
Amahoro Gorilla Family: Amahoro in Kinyarwanda means peace which describes the group as a peaceful one, the dominant silverback of the group is called Ubumwe which means ‘’togetherness’’ since the silver back is interested in togetherness and working together, peace and harmony which is not the case with other gorilla families that are interested in expanding their gorilla families. The group is also difficult to track and is found on the slopes of mountain Bisoke. The humble nature of Ubumwe has led the group to lose members and currently the group has 18 members.
Umubano family: Just like Susa group, the Amahoro group although there was peace, among the silver backs of the group there were conflicts especially between Charles and Ubumwe which led Charles to flee the group and form the Umubano group. Since Ubumwe is a good and humble leader he allowed Charles to go with two females which would help him grow his family and expand it. Charles is one of the youngest and strongest silver backs in the park which has enabled him to expand, maintain and protect it against any external attacks which has helped the family grow in such a short time and currently the group has 13 members with 2 silver backs. On some occasions, Ubumwe and Charles meet up with their families but they never fight or anything this is because of the peaceful nature of Ubumwe and Charles since they were all once in the Amahoro group together.
Sabyinyo family: Sabyinyo family is one of the easiest groups to trek because they are found on the edge of the park. Exciting about the group is the giant silverback Guhonda who is the largest, heaviest and the strongest among all the mountain gorillas in the park. Guhonda has protected and maintained the group from both internal and external attacks that can lead to the division of the group with his physical strength and might it has enabled the group to stay intact even after different challenges from Ryango another silver back. The group is found in the dense vegetation on the slopes of mount sabyinyo and sometimes they can be found on the slopes of Mountain Mgahinga. With the formation, the group in 1992 a group of 24 females were brought together and 2 silverback to form the group.
Hirwa Gorilla group: The group was formed by some members of the sabyinyo group and Susa family, after Munyiga a silverback in the Susa group left the group because he was mating with the females in the group yet he was not the dominated silverback he left the group. With a few females and some he met along the way he got more females and together with other members from the sabyinyo group, they were able to make the Hirwa family with 16 members which are found on the slopes of Mountain Sabyinyo however the group can easily be seen in an hour. Also important about the Hirwa group is that the tourists on a Rwanda gorilla tour will see are the twins that the female gorilla was able to bare which makes it one of the few families with twins in the Volcanoes National Park.
Ugenda family: Just like the name ‘’Ugenda’’ which means ‘’mobile’’, the family is always on the move which makes it hard to trek because they are always on the move searching for food. In other words, they don’t have a specific area for the settlement they are everywhere they can get food. The group can be found on the slopes of Mountain Bisoke. Currently, the group has got 11 members with 2 silver backs and just like other groups tourists on the Rwanda gorilla tour will have a great experience trekking the group.
Titus family: One of the most exciting groups to trek is the Titus group that used to be led by Titus a very strong silverback who was produced during Dian Fossey’s time of gorilla research. Titus’ family was killed by poachers and he was the only survivor. Titus was later adopted by a loving family that raised him he grew with Beetsme of which they formed a group and they brought along 5 female members to make a strong group. Beetsme loved Titus so much that in the group they had formed together he chased away all the male gorillas sparing only Titus but to his shock in 1991, Titus challenged Beetsme for leadership and Titus won the battle and he took over the family, during his reign, Titus was able to expand his family in a way that he was responsible for over 20 gorillas that he fathered.
However, in 2007, Titus’s son Kuryana challenged his father and still lost the battle which forced him to break away from the family and went and started his own. At the age of 35 years, Titus died and this led to the fleeing away the group is not open for trekking since it is the only one group for research purposes but during overbooking of the gorilla permits, the family can be trekked and it is found on the slopes of mountain Bisoke and mountain karisimbi
Agashya Gorilla family: In the formation of the family it had 13 members which led to it being called the group 13. It was led by Nyakarima who was later defeated by Agashya who still leads the group till now, the family has increased in number with a total number of 27 members with only one silverback. Nyakarima expanded the family from 13 to 25 members but this was not enough for him to lead the group because in gorillas it’s the strong ones that lead, and that said, it led to a challenge from Agashya who won the battle and this made him the dominant silverback of the family. This family is found on the slopes of mountain sabyinyo.
Bwenge Gorilla family: The family among the different mountain gorilla families in volcanoes national park faced the most horrifying time when 6 of its infants all died. The group today consists of 11 members and it was formed by the dominant silverback called Bwenge who joined a group of female gorillas to make the Bwenge family. The group is usually found along the slopes of mountain Bisoke and for lazy trekkers, this is the best family to trek by lazy trekkers.
Tourists on a Rwanda gorilla tour will have a chance to visit different gorilla families and they will be able to observe their daily life activities like feeding patterns, how the female feed the young ones.
How to obtain a gorilla permit
A tourist on a Rwanda Gorilla Tour will have to book for a gorilla permit a few months earlier because there is a limitation to the number of gorilla permits that ani issued daily. There is a total number of 80 permits and these enable tourists interested in the activity to trek the 10 groups. So the permits are given to those that book earlier. Tourists can book for the Rwanda gorilla permits in various tour companies or through the Rwanda Development Board the tourism board of the country. The price for a gorilla permit in Rwanda is US$ 1500 for all the people interested in the activity.
Rwanda Gorilla Trekking
Rwanda Gorilla Trekking is the activity that involves tourists on a Rwanda gorilla tour to get close with the mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. Since mountain gorillas in Rwanda are found along the slopes of the different virunga mountains namely sabyinyo, Muhabura, Karisimbi, Bisoke and Gahinga, and it involves hiking which can take a specific period of time In order to see the primates.
Before a tourist on a Rwanda tour starts on the hike in order to trek the gorillas, he will first present the gorilla permit that he obtained to the park head quarters so they are given a guide and ranger to take them for the hike in order to trek the gorillas.
A maximum of 8 people are allowed to trek each Rwanda Mountain Gorilla Family/Group because their territories are fragile and if high numbers visit them they can migrate to different areas. Before tourists set out to trek the gorillas, they will be first briefed about the activity by telling them about the dos and don’ts while carrying out the activity for instance while in contact with the gorillas, tourists are not supposed to feed the gorillas and they shouldn’t get so close to the primates because they can easily contract diseases to the primates.
Hiking to the different mountains in order to trek the gorillas can be tiresome and by this tourists can pay porters US$20 to help them with their luggage. On reaching the gorilla territories, tourists are not supposed o look at the gorillas straight in the eyes because to them it means you want to challenge them, a tourist is supposed to keep their distance the only way to come closer is after the guide or the ranger feels it’s ok and safe to do so.
Tourists will be able to see the different gorilla members, how they groom themselves by checking for parasites in their fur/ hairs and how they spend their different wrestling with each other as a sign of playing and many more. Tourists will have an amazing experience while in contact with the gorillas.
Dian Fossey’s grave
Some of the other attractions that a tourist will be able to see is the Dr Dian Fossey grave at Karisoke research centre. She is also an important aspect while on the Rwanda Gorilla Tour. Dian Fossey was an American primatologist who fell in love with Africa especially Rwanda when she visited volcanoes National Park and had a chance to see the gentle giants as she described them. She loved the gorillas with every discovery she made about them after researching about them. She realised they are not hostile primates but rather protective of their families, they are also shy and gentle in nature. Dian tried every means possible to ensure that the Rwanda Mountain Gorillas were conserved and protected b this she established the Karisoke research centre, she employed a patrol to carryout patrol searches for poachers and she destroyed the traps that were put up by the poachers to trap the animals.
She established the gorilla cemetery where the gorillas that lost their lives to the poachers were buried and after her murder in December 25th 1985 she was buried at the cemetery near her Gorilla friends that were also killed. The hike to her grave is emotional and also rewarding because it is the efforts of the primatologists that helped to bring to light the conservation of the endangered species.
Kwita Izina Festival
Tourists on a Rwanda tour can participate in the Kwita Izina Festival in the country by finding out from their tour companies when it is to take place which can also be an exciting adventure while on their Rwanda gorilla tour. The festival’s name Kwita Izina in English translates as naming something or anything and in this case naming the gorillas. The festival is based around naming newborn gorillas in a family.
In Rwanda when a child is born, celebrations take place because children are a sign proof blessing the same applies to the gorillas the ceremony is a sign that gorilla conservation is really happening in the country the festival is an educational one by telling the people the benefits of conserving the wildlife species and avoiding activities like poaching. There is also entertainment where international artists get to perform which can be interesting and fun to the tourists on a Rwanda gorilla tour because they get to loosen up by participating in the festival were food is served, drinks and many more.
Accommodation while on a Rwanda gorilla tour
Tourists on a Rwanda a gorilla tour will have a number of accommodation facilities to choose from which will cater for different types of tourists raging from budget to mid range and luxury. All the hotels offer top-notch services like excellent customer care service, clean rooms, dining services, bar services and many more. The hotels are within the proximity of volcanoes national park where gorilla trekking takes place some of the hotels include the following; Ingagi park view lodge which is only 3.2km from the Park, Sabyinyo silverback lodge 1.8 km away from the park, Danita House, Gorilla volcanoes hotel which is 25 minutes away from the park, La Palme hotel and many more.
Equipment/items while on a Rwanda gorilla tour
- Rain coat reason being most of the families are found on a high altitude and this means at any time it can rain even in the dry season.
- Insect repellent because there are many insects that can sting the tourists while on the trek for the Rwanda Mountain Gorillas.
- Hiking boots that will help in the slippery routes where it is hard for tourists to hike.
- Drinking water and something to eat because the hike to the different groups can be tiresome and can take time.
- Camera can be carried along and pictures are allowed but tourists should not use flash because it can alarm the Rwanda Mountain Gorillas.
Tourists choosing Rwanda as their tourism destination is the best choices any tourist can make because it will offer different safari tours but the most important and satisfying is the Rwanda Gorilla tour which will ensure that a tourist on a Rwanda tour will experience the best while in contact with the ‘’gentle giants’’.