Home » Rwanda Gorilla Trekking | Rwanda Gorilla Tours, Rwanda Gorillas Safaris
Rwanda Gorilla Tours/Rwanda Gorilla Safari trips provide remarkable gorilla trekking in Rwanda to watch the famous Mountain Gorillas in Volcanoes National Park.
This country, which is also called the land of a thousand hills is famous for protecting the huge primates! Thus, many travelers to East Africa often participate in this unforgettable experience.
Tracking Gorillas in Rwanda, East Africa will allow you to meet the world’s largest primates in their beautiful misty environment.
Gorilla experiences in the country occur in the Volcanoes National Park which is Rwanda’s Gorilla sanctuary. This beautiful park protects the highest number of endangered Mountain Gorillas in the Virunga Mountains which is about 604.
Kindly note that the Virunga ranges comprise different national parks for example Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, Virunga National Park of the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Uganda’s Mgahinga Park. Virunga National Park is the major destination for Mountain gorilla tours in Congo.
Contrasting to other safari destinations in East Africa for example the Congo Democratic Republic and Ugandan parks, a Rwanda Gorilla safari is great for even the last minute travelers. All the Gorilla treks during Rwanda safaris occur for about 30 minutes to 8 hours.
Usually, travelers walking to find the giant primates also opt for a visit to the Dian Fossey tomb. Dian Fossey was a legendary primatologist who researched and contributed greatly to Gorilla conservation.
Is Rwanda Known for Gorillas? | Does Rwanda Have Gorillas?
Yes, this country is famous for these primates which is the major activity in the country.
There are other amazing Rwanda safari tours that you can have alongside your Gorilla vacation. Among these are wildlife safaris in Akagera National Park, the Kigali city tour, cultural experiences, and visiting the genocide memorial centers.
Additionally, you can also accompany this thrilling adventure as you explore Rwanda with wildlife safaris in Kenya or Tanzania. Kenya and Tanzania are famous for wonderful game-viewing safaris in Africa.
Gorilla expeditions in the country are safe and you can have it all year round. However, the dry months of June to August and December to February are the best for this experience.
Read below to find out more about these primate safaris.
Where Can You See Gorillas in Rwanda?
Gorilla tours in this land of a thousand hills occur only in Volcanoes National Park and below are the details of this experience in the park.
Volcanoes National Park
Volcanoes National Park is found in the northwest of Rwanda, and it is home to 12 habituated Gorilla families while others are habituated for scientific research.
Many of these Gorilla families in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park have at least one silverback, many females and youngsters.
Below are the different Gorilla groups in Volcanoes National Park.
Even though these Gorilla family groups have many silverback Gorillas, there is always a dominant silverback that leads them all.
On your Rwanda Gorilla tour in Volcanoes National Park, your treks will begin at 7 a.m. at the Kinigi Park headquarters.
Your ranger guide will lead you to a Gorilla family to trek the primates depending on your fitness level.
While you explore the primates in Volcanoes National Park, you will also experience the sight of more than 200 colorful bird species and sometimes meet Golden Monkeys.
What Kind of Gorillas are in Rwanda?
Rwanda has only the Mountain Gorillas. These Gorilla species live only in two destinations among which is Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is a beautiful Gorilla sanctuary in Africa holding about 50% of the total 1,063 on Earth!
The remaining population of these primates is in the Virunga Mountains which cover Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Uganda’s Mgahinga NP. During your Congo safari, Virunga National Park is the ultimate destination for this activity.
In East Africa, the Eastern Lowland Gorillas are only in Kahuzi Biega National Park of the Congo Democratic Republic.
If you wish to meet these Lowland Gorillas in Congo, Prime Safaris & Tours Ltd can organize your amazing vacation to this destination.
Eastern Lowland Gorillas in Kahuzi Biega National Park in Congo are a bit bigger than their cousins even though they have less coarse hair.
Can You Visit the Gorillas in Rwanda?
Yes, you can visit these primates all year round. These primates in Volcanoes National Park are always available for Gorilla tracking during your trips.
How Long is a Trek to See the Gorillas in Rwanda?
Usually, Gorilla tours in the country take about 30 minutes to 8 hours. This depends however on the movement of the great apes.
This is the best time taken for the Gorilla tour in Virunga National Park in Congo and the Gorilla tracking destinations in Uganda.
Lucky travelers can meet these gentle giants in Volcanoes National Park, in a 30-minute trek. However, meeting one of the Gorilla families within such a short time is also possible in Congo Virunga National Park Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, and Mgahinga NP.
When you meet these giant apes, you will only spend one hour as you enjoy watching them go about their daily lives.
Rules and Regulations to Follow During Your Gorilla Tour in Rwanda
The guidelines below help to keep you and the primates safe, especially your health and that of the endangered primates.
Below are the rules and regulations to follow:
Guidelines Before Going into the Jungle
- Only those who are 15 and above can participate in walking to find these giant primates. This is because such children are prone to getting infected by diseases like Mumps, and Measles. On the other hand, it is hard to control the children around the Mountain Gorillas. This rule also applies to trekkers in Uganda and Virunga National Park in Congo.
- Only a group of 8 people are allowed to visit a Gorilla group each day to minimize stress on the apes.
- In case you suspect that you have an airborne disease like cough, cold, or flu, you should not participate in the Gorilla trek as they can also easily catch such diseases.
- Travelers usually wash their hands before going for a Gorilla trek to get rid of any germs in their hands. This is an important guideline to also be applied in Virunga National Park in Congo and Uganda’s Mgahinga and Bwindi national parks.
Rules to Follow During the Trek and While with Primates:
- Maintain silence when you finally meet the primates after your Gorilla trek. However, you can still inquire from your ranger if you have any questions.
- Littering during the Gorilla trek and when you meet the primates is not allowed as it destroys the ecosystem.
- Keep a 7-10m distance from the great apes to keep safe.
- You are not allowed to touch the primates as they may mistake the intention of your touch. Note although habituated, these primates are still wild animals.
- Additionally, eating, smoking, and drinking near these giants is illegal as they may want some of your eats. This important rule also applies to the national parks in Uganda and Virunga National Park in Congo.
- You are advised to be in a group on your gorilla trek expeditions and primate safaris.
- If you feel like sneezing around the apes, turn away or cover your face because infectious diseases like cough and flu are dangerous to the great giants.
- The instructions of your ranger during your Gorilla trek are important. This applies also to Virunga National Park in Congo and Uganda’s Mgahinga and Bwindi National Parks.
- On your Gorilla trek, you only have one (1) hour with the great apes.
- Using your flash cameras for photography is not allowed as it most times stresses these giants.
- If you feel like easing yourself during your Gorilla trek, get off the track, and bury the waste including the toilet paper used 30cm deep in the soil.
Packing List for a Gorilla Trip in Rwanda- What to Pack for a Gorilla Trip in Rwanda
The right packing list on your Rwanda Gorilla tour will give you some of the most memorable experiences.
Below, we look at the best packing list for your holiday.
- A camera
- Insect repellents
- Enough drinking water
- Gardening gloves
- Long trousers and long-sleeved shirts
- Rain jacket: This is helpful in case it rains while on your Gorilla trek.
- Solid hiking boots: This is helpful during your Gorilla trek as you climb the quite challenging slopes of the Virunga region.
- Sunscreens, sunglasses, and a sun hat will protect you from dangerous sunrays, especially in the dry season.
- A day backpack: This helps you keep your important things like the camera, toiletries, and safely packed lunch safe. This is important even for your wildlife safaris in Akagera National Park.
- Packed lunch and energy-giving snacks are also great for your excursions, especially on your Gorilla trek.
Kindly note that the above rules also apply to Uganda’s Bwindi NP and Congo Virunga National Park.
What to Wear on a Gorilla Tour in Rwanda?
Travelers are advised to wear eco-friendly clothes as seen below.
Clothes that are Khaki, Brown, and Grey are recommended.
Also, note that
- a) Bright colors for example red and clothes with animal prints usually irritate the apes, therefore you should avoid them.
- b) Black clothes may apply for trekking because of the dirt but they usually absorb a lot of heat, especially during the dry months.
- c) Waterproof hiking shoes are important for hiking challenging hilly mountains and muddy terrains along the trail.
- d) Additionally, it is important to wear long socks or gaiters. to tuck in your pants so that you avoid safari ants, branches, and thorns among others from hurting you.
Hotels (Safari Lodges) in Rwanda to Use During Your Gorilla Safari
During your tour as you explore Rwanda, there is a wide range of accommodation classes that you can choose from for your tour.
For example, you can enjoy luxury, mid range, and budget options of safaris.
Popular Luxury Lodges
- Bisate Lodge Volcanoes
- Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel
- Virunga Lodge
- Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge
Top Mid Range Lodges
- Da Vinci Gorilla Lodge
- La Palme Hotel
- Le Bambou Gorilla Lodge
- Garden Place Hotel
Recommended Budget Lodges
- Villa Gorilla
- Hotel Muhabura
- Kinigi Guesthouse
Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Best Time to Go | What is the Best Time of Year to See the Gorillas in Rwanda? | What is the Best Time of Year to go to Rwanda to See Gorillas?
Gorilla tours when you visit Rwanda are possible all year round. However, the best time for trekking the primates in the country is during the dry months.
These dry months are from December to February and June to August. This is also the peak season for tourism due to the small amount of rainfall expected in Volcanoes National Park.
Therefore, treks are easier because the trails are drier and mud-free and easy to hike.
Alternatively, going for a tour during the wet months is also great. The wet months have so much food in the jungle for the gentle giants making them stay in the lower altitudes and not the higher altitudes to look for food.
Therefore, the treks in the wet season take a shorter time although these treks are muddy and it may rain. Carry a rain jacket or Poncho as you explore Rwanda in this season.
Are Rwanda Gorilla Tours Safe? | Are Gorilla Tours in Rwanda Safe?
Since the Rwanda genocide of 1994, the Rwandan Government has promoted peace and caused the country to be the safest country to visit in Africa. Thus, all tours to visit Rwanda primates are safe and many travelers have experienced this in past years.
Below, we look at how Rwanda primate safaris/Rwanda Gorilla safaris are safe.
- Armed park rangers will always guide you during your Gorilla trek to ensure your safety in the jungle.
- Rangers also patrol the park to keep it safe from poachers who may hurt the trekkers or animals.
- Rwanda safaris are also only done on habituated Gorilla groups that are used to human presence thus making their aggression minimal.
How Hard is Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda? | How Difficult is Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda?
Rwanda Gorilla trekking safaris are a bit challenging because of the location of the park in the steep Virunga region. However, the more physically fit travelers will have less strenuous challenges.
This thrilling experience occurs in the thick and misty rainforest through the challenging terrain, slippery trails, valleys, etc.
Upon meeting the Mountain Gorillas, however, you will forget all the challenging walks and enjoy the Rwanda Gorilla trekking safaris that are worth undertaking.
To make your Gorilla Rwanda safaris:
- There are porters to help you with your Gorilla trek as they will help carry all your belongings.
- Likewise, you can ask to be allocated one of the Gorilla family groups which is closer to making the long treks shorter.
- Also, to prepare for your trek, you can do physical exercise for the trip to explore Rwanda easier.
How Much is Gorilla Trekking Permits in Rwanda | How Much Does it Cost to See the Mountain Gorillas in Rwanda?
How much does it cost to trek with Gorillas in Rwanda? Gorilla trekking tours in the country cost 1500 USD, paid only for the permit for Gorilla treks.
How Much Does it Cost to Visit Mountain Gorillas in Rwanda for Rwandans?
Rwandese pay USD 200 for a Gorilla trek.
How Many Gorilla Permits are on Sale in Rwanda Every Day?
Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park has 12 habituated Gorilla families. Thus, there are about 96 permits available for travelers every day as they explore Rwanda.
Is There a Discount on Gorilla Permits in Rwanda?
There are no discounts on permits for Gorilla trekking safaris as you explore Rwanda. This is also the same with Congo Virunga National Park and Uganda Bwindi and Mgahinga National Parks.
Where to Buy Gorilla Permits in Rwanda? | How to Book a Gorilla Permit in Rwanda?
Many visitors going for tours to visit Rwanda’s primates can book their permits through a trustworthy tour operator.
Alternatively, you can personally book a permit from the Rwanda Development Board to see these primates.
Kindly note that permits given by the Rwanda Development Board are sometimes limited, therefore it is important to book them in advance.
How Much is 1 Day Gorilla Trek in Rwanda?
The cost of a 1-day gorilla safari in the country begins from about 1700 USD per person. This is inclusive of the Gorilla permit, an English-speaking private guide, transport, and accommodation.
Unlike in Uganda, it is possible to do a 1-day Gorilla trek as you explore Rwanda due to the small size of the country that is a 2 hours drive from Kigali to Volcanoes National Park. This allows travelers to save money on transport and accommodation.
Is Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Worth it? | Is Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda Worth it?
Gorilla Rwanda safaris are a special event bringing you a personal experience with the great primates. Therefore, doing a Rwanda Gorilla safari is worth the money.
- Visiting the primates helps in Gorilla conservation as much of the money used to buy the permits is used to protect their natural habitat. This is because the humble giants cannot survive in captivity.
- Likewise, a large percentage of the money collected for conservation fees is used to pay the salaries of park rangers who monitor the safety of the endangered Mountain Gorillas and other wildlife in their natural habitat.
- Additionally, a 10% fee is used to support local communities around the park. For example, schools health centers, and roads are built to promote infrastructural development in these local communities.
- In case the primates or other wildlife destroy the crops of farmers neighboring the park, the park management usually refunds them.
- Meeting the humble giants in their misty habitat is also among the most celebrated safaris in Africa to encounter on your trips.
Uganda Gorilla Tours vs. Rwanda | Is Uganda or Rwanda Better for Gorilla Trekking? | Is it Better to see Gorillas in Uganda or Rwanda?
Is Rwanda or Uganda better for Gorillas? Usually, tourists planning to have a Gorilla safari adventure during their safaris in Africa can have various factors as to whether to go trekking with the primates in Rwanda or Uganda.
Below are the different factors to consider for your tours:
- The destination for Gorilla tours in Rwanda Africa is easily accessible since it is just a 2 to 3-hour drive from Kigali Airport. This is not the case with Uganda as you will have to drive for about 8 hours from Entebbe to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park for your Gorilla trek.
- Last-minute travelers can also have Gorilla Rwanda tour safaris in Africa easily because of the nearness of Volcanoes NP to and from Kigali Airport.
- A Uganda Gorilla permit costs USD 700 while the Rwanda permit costs 1500. Thus, Gorilla tours in Uganda will allow you to save USD 800 during your vacation.
- Gorilla safaris in Volcanoes National Park are a bit more challenging the those in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Thus, meeting these primates in Bwindi Impenetrable NP is easy even for those who do not have a normal level of fitness due to the lower altitude of the park.
- Because Uganda has more Gorilla families, there are more permits sold every day than in Rwanda. Uganda thus sells 160 permits daily but Rwanda sells 96 permits daily.
- Uganda is also the only destination where you can do the Gorilla habituation experience in East Africa and the whole world. Thus, travelers who would like to experience Gorilla habituation can only choose Uganda for this adventure.
Note that it is also possible to have a Rwanda Uganda safari to trek these in both countries of East Africa for a more memorable experience.
Other Amazing Safaris in Rwanda to Accompany on Your Gorilla Tour
You can have other exquisite safari experiences to accompany your exquisite Gorilla tour to allow you to enjoy other activities in the country.
Below are some of these activities.
Wildlife Safaris in Rwanda’s Akagera National Park
Doing game-viewing safaris will enable you to explore Rwanda’s rich wildlife. During your wildlife safaris, you will also get to view Africa’s big five and other big game of Africa which you can also spot in Tanzania or Kenya safaris.
During your wildlife safaris in Akagera National Park, you will watch various animals for example Lions, Buffalos, Leopards, Elephants, Hippos, Rhinos, and many Antelope species, etc.
On your wildlife safaris and tours in Akagera National Park, you will view most of the game animals on safari game drives.
Bird-Watching Safaris in Rwanda
Birding enthusiasts should also prepare to have an adventure of a lifetime as they combine bird watching with a Mountain Gorilla adventure during your vacation.
This land of a thousand hills in East Africa is also the best place to watch the Albertine Rift endemic birds.
Nyungwe Forest National Park also provides the best birdwatching experience. Rwanda’s Nyungwe Forest National Park has more than 322 bird species including the 29 Albertine endemics for example the Rwenzori Turaco, and the Handsome Francolin.
Other than Nyungwe Forest National Park, you can also have amazing birding tours in Akagera National Park and Volcanoes NP. Water birds and other wildlife can also be found around the shores of Lake Kivu or its white sand beaches.
Chimpanzee Tours in Rwanda Nyungwe Forest National Park
Chimpanzee tours in Nyunwge Forest are among the most famous safari activities to do on your vacation.
You will have an amazing encounter with the Chimpanzees in their home. Chimpanzees are the closest relatives to man, sharing a DNA similarity of 98-99%.
On the amazing Chimp trek, you will get to meet other amazing primates for example the rare L’Hoest’s Monkeys and Colobus Monkeys.
Kindly note that apart from Rwanda’s Nyungwe Forest National Park, Uganda’s Kibale National Park also offers the best primate safaris in East Africa. Kibale National Park provides the best Chimpanzee tours in East Africa and Africa at large.
Other Adventure Tours in Rwanda to Undertake on Top of Your Gorilla Tour
- Cultural experiences: This will lead you to visit the Iby’iwachu cultural village for lively traditional dances.
- Visit the genocide memorial sites: For example the Gisozi, Ntarama, Nyamata, Murambi, and Bisesero. A local private guide will enlighten you about the amazing history 1994 genocide. Likewise, your private guide will also make sure that you are safe during your adventure.
- Visiting the grave of the famous Dian Fossey will also allow you to visit her former Karisoke Research Center where she studied the primates and thus made them famous.
- Doing a Kigali city tour through your tour operator.
- Relaxation on the white sand beaches of Lake Kivu: The white sand beaches of Lake Kivu is Rwanda’s biggest lake and one of the best place to relax.
- Mountain hiking safaris: for example, hiking Virunga Mountains for example Mount Karisimbi and Mount Bisoke.
How Much is a Gorilla Safari in Rwanda? | How Much Does a Gorilla Safari Cost in Rwanda?
How much does it cost to do Gorilla trekking in Rwanda? There is no fixed price for your Gorilla safari in the country, but there are various factors that will help you to determine the cost of your Gorilla safari in the country as seen below.
- Number of Days Spent on Your Holiday
More days spent on your tour will make your safari cost higher. This is because, with each day, you spend more on accommodation, transportation, meals, and park entrance fees.
- The Choice of Accommodation Class
Various factors determine Gorilla trekking tours and accommodation is one of them. Luxury accommodation is more expensive than budget accommodation.
- Other Safari Activities to Do During Your Tour
Adding other activities to your tour will also raise your safari cost. Thus, more safari activities to do on your holiday will make you spend more on your Gorilla safari price.
- Safari Vehicle You Wish to Use During Your Safari
Additionally, the safari vehicle you use will determine your Gorilla vacation cost. For instance, a safari van is quite cheaper than a 4×4 safari land cruiser because of the difference in fuel consumption.
- Number of People on a Vacation
Although a large group of people causes a safari Gorilla vacation to be more expensive, traveling in a group will make you share costs with group members, especially for transport and accommodation.
What to Expect When You Visit Gorillas in Rwanda?
There is a lot to expect during your Gorilla tours and safaris in Africa.
Upon meeting these gentle giants in their beautiful misty environment, you will spend one (1) hour. You will watch these endangered Mountain Gorillas feeding, grooming, roaming around, grooming, and watching the young ones play in the jungle, etc.
Best Rwanda Gorilla Tours | Best Gorilla Holiday Safaris in Rwanda
There are various packages to give you the best experiences and since the country is near Uganda, Rwanda Uganda tours are possible through one tour operator. Doing a Uganda Rwanda safari is an amazing experience to undertake for a great experience.
You can top up a tour for a Rwanda Uganda adventure with a wildlife tour in Kenya or Tanzania safari. Kenya and Tanzania are some of the best places to experience wildlife safaris.
Below are some of the best tours to experience:
3-Day Rwanda Tour
This is an amazing memorable safari holiday to the land of a thousand hills as it will allow you to explore Rwanda Kigali city and the beautiful historical sites of the country for example the genocide memorial sites.
4-Day Rwanda Uganda Tour
This is also an amazing tour for short-time travelers who wish to explore Rwanda Uganda. This package allows you to visit Golden Monkeys in Rwanda, have a Kigali city tour, and a Gorilla tour in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
Other Amazing Safari Packages in Rwanda
a) 9 days Rwanda Uganda tour: In this package, you get to go for a Kigali City tour, do Chimp tracking, have a boat cruise on Lake Kivu, have the Musanze cave experience, enjoy Golden monkey tracking, and visit Uganda’s primates for Gorilla trekking safaris.
b) 12-day wildlife safari Tour: This package will lead you to Gorillas, Game viewing, Chimpanzees, a hiking experience, and a Community visit, among others.
c) 14 days wildlife tour: Gorilla and chimp adventures, game viewing, and cultural experiences.
d) 15 days wildlife safaris: Gorilla and chimp tracking, Game viewing, Mount Bisoke hike, and community visits.
e) 16 days wildlife safaris: Gorilla, Chimpanzees, and Golden Monkey tracking, game viewing, Mount Bisoke hike, and cultural experiences.
In conclusion, travelers interested in encountering the endangered Mountain Gorillas in their natural habitat in Africa can visit Rwanda as an ultimate destination.
Gorilla tours and primate safaris in the country are majorly done in the misty Volcanoes National Park which protects the highest population of the primates in the Virunga ranges.
To have an amazing Gorilla tour in the country, you can add a wildlife tour, visit Dian Fossey’s tomb, or have a Kigali city tour to add to this adventure. You may also visit one of the genocide memorial centers.
Also, adding an adventure in either Kenya or Tanzania will make the experience worth undertaking.
Inquire and book with us your affordable Gorilla tour in this land of a thousand hills today for an amazing experience. Email your inquiry and we shall be more than happy to respond and help plan your Rwanda Safari.