This is a guide to booking Rwanda gorilla trekking tours from the United States of America (USA). Of recent, Encounter Africa safaris has been receiving so many inquires from potential clients in the USA about gorilla trekking in Rwanda and we have found it paramount to provide information and step by step process of how to book a gorilla safari to Rwanda to see habituated mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park. In this article, we will provide information about the below.
- Where to see mountain gorillas in Rwanda
- How to book Rwanda gorilla permits
- Where to stay in Volcanoes National Park
- What else can you do in Rwanda
- Best time to visit Rwanda
- Why you should visit Rwanda
About Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda
Are you looking to booking a gorilla safari to Rwanda to visit and enjoy some time with mountain gorillas and you are not sure where these habituated mountain gorillas are? Mountain gorillas in Rwanda are in Volcanoes National Park found in the Virunga ranges shared by three African countries of Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Volcanoes National Park has 15 habituated mountain gorilla families which are always open diary for gorilla trekking. Volcanoes National Park is predominately bamboo forest which is food for these giant primates making it one of the easiest national park to see mountain gorillas in the wild. Bamboo forests are not so think compared to the impenetrable tropical forests of the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. It’s for this reason that many people prefer visiting mountain gorillas in Rwanda compared to other countries such as Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Top Rwanda gorilla trekking safari holidays
- 2 Day Volcanoes NP gorilla tour
- 3 Day Rwanda gorilla safari
- 6 Day gorilla, nyungwe and lake kivu
- 11 Day Rwanda gorillas, chimps, and wildlife
How to book Rwanda gorilla permits from United States of America
Trekking Rwanda mountain gorillas requires one to have a gorilla permit. A gorilla permit is a document or card issued by Rwanda development board and allows the holder to spend one hour with a given habituated mountain gorilla family in Volcanoes National Park. A gorilla permit also includes park fees, security while in the forest, services of a ranger guide as well as a certificate after your gorilla trek. Gorilla permit does not include transport to and from Volcanoes National Park and accommodation.
Rwanda gorilla permit currently costs $1500 per person per trek, making it one of the most expensive destinations to visit mountain gorillas. Those who have trekked mountain gorillas in Rwanda have testified that this money is worth the experience you get if you book a gorilla holiday to see mountain gorillas in Rwanda.
To book Rwanda gorilla permits while in the USA requires you to contact a registered and Licensed Tour Operator in Uganda or Rwanda who will do all the work on your behalf as you concentrate on other things or you can contact Rwanda development board Directly via phone or email.
Encounter Africa safaris operates gorilla trekking safaris to Rwanda to see these apes in Volcanoes National Park and will make your life easy if you contact us to take care of your gorilla permit. Once contacted, we will check availability, reserve your gorilla permit and securing it for you as soon as you make payment. Rwanda gorilla permits are issued out on first come first serve due to the fact that they are very competitive most especially during high and peak season. All you need to do is to send us dates when you plan to visit Rwanda for gorilla trekking (Day, month and year) and we will do the needful and send you scanned copies of your gorilla permits for your records.
Booking your Rwanda gorilla trekking safari from USA through Encounter Africa safaris
Encounter Africa safaris has assisted thousands of clients from different countries all over the world including those from Europe, Canada, USA, Australia and so many more. All you need to do is to send us an email from which ever part of United states of America you will be detailing when you want to trek mountain gorillas in Rwanda, number of people in your group, your budget and type of accommodation you want booked for you.
Once we have the above information, it will act as a guide to check availability of all services and send a quotation via email. We first contact Rwanda development board to check availability of gorilla permits since this is the core of any gorilla safari to Rwanda to see habituated mountain gorillas. Once we find them on your specific dates, we will get back to you on how to make payment so that we secure your gorilla permit. Encounter Africa safaris accepts both Bank transfers and Credit card payment with the later attracting a 5% surcharge. As soon as payment is made, all you need to do is to send us proof of payment and we will go ahead and make payment using our credit. This is because most wire transfers and credit card payments to Africa will take 2-3 working days to hit our bank account and we cannot wait all that long since we could end up missing out on your gorilla permit. We request you to send us passport details as they will be asked by Rwanda development board before issuing out your gorilla permit. As a policy, we will send you scanned copies of these gorilla permits for your records.
Accommodation for your Rwanda gorilla safari overnights
After acquiring your gorilla permit, the next important step is to get you where you will stay while in Volcanoes National Park. Most clients come to us when they have an idea of the Lodges they want to spend their nights, others have certain interests and budgets to work with. If not, don’t worry as we we will assist you choosing a lodge that will suite your budget and interests. Most budget Lodges around Volcanoes National Park range from $70-100 per person per night while Luxury Lodges range from $350-1000 or even more. This has sometimes made Rwanda an expensive gorilla trekking destination for many people. Once we check availability and find that there is room, we will make a reservation to hold our rooms tentatively as we send you a quote.
Important things to know before booking Rwanda gorilla safaris from USA
Price of Rwanda gorilla permit
Before booking your Rwanda gorilla trekking tours from the United States of America, you need to know that Rwanda gorilla permit costs $1500 per person per trek, and this includes one hour with mountain gorillas in the wild, services of a ranger guide, park entry fees, and a certificate after the trek. While one is allowed to spend one hour with mountain gorillas, the trek to find mountain gorillas can take 30 mins to a whole day depending on where mountain gorillas will be and their movements.
Consider contacting a Tour operator
You also need to know that it is better to contact a registered like Encounter Africa safaris to assist in booking all your services from gorilla permits, accommodation and transport. While we charge a small fee, you will find that by doing so, you will save time and efforts planning this tour. Many people who have tried to contact Rwanda Development board have faced delays compared to when you contact registered tour operator. Encounter Africa Safaris is a fully registered and licensed Tour operator offering Safaris in the entire East and Central Africa. We are highly rated and reviewed on trip advisor. Once contacted, we will make your work very easy.
Know the age limit for gorilla trekking in Rwanda
You may be in the USA but want to book a gorilla trekking holiday in Rwanda. It is important to know that the age limit for gorilla trekking in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park is 15 years and above and anyone below the age of 15 years will not be allowed to trek. It is for this reason that Rwanda development board requests for passport details before issuing out your gorilla permit.
How to get to Rwanda from United States of America
There so many flights from the United States of America to Rwanda. Most flights make connections through Europe so it is better you do a lot of research online. Such airlines include Rwanda Air, Kenya Airways, Emirates, KLM and Brussels Airlines.
How to get a visa for Rwanda from the USA
All tourists from the United States of America can apply for a Rwanda tourist visa online or get it on arrival at Kigali International Airport. Due to covid 19 pandemic, there some changes so kindly check with us for more details. If you are interested in visiting other East African countries such as Kenya and Uganda, it is better to apply for an East African Tourist visa which will allow you to visit these countries with this visa.
Best time to plan your Rwanda gorilla trek from United States of America
Are you in the United States of America and wondering when to start planning your gorilla trekking safari to Volcanoes National Park? It is important to know that gorilla trekking in Rwanda is so competitive and that you need to start planning your safari a year in advance. This is especially during high and peak seasons where gorilla permits and other services fill up so quicky and you need to secure them in advance. High seasons in Rwanda are June, July, August, September, December, January and February of every year.
How many days do I need for my Gorilla trekking safari?
Rwanda is the only country where a one-day gorilla trek can be organized from Kigali city to volcanoes National Park and back. This is because of the short distance involved. It is about 2 hours drive from Capital city Kigali to Volcanoes National Park where we find mountain gorillas. While this is possible, we at Encounter Africa safaris don’t recommend it to people flying in from the United States of America to Rwanda for gorilla trekking. You need a night in Kigali for covid test, and then two nights in Volcanoes National Park. The first night at Volcanoes National Park is for relaxing and acclimatization while the second night is for relaxing after your gorilla trek in the forest. Contact Encounter Africa safaris for more details on this.
What is the main airport in Rwanda?
Kigali international Airport is the main Airport for Rwanda. It is located few kilometers from Kigali. Kanombe international Airport is home to Rwanda Air and many international Airline companies do operate scheduled flights here.
What else can one include in a Rwanda safari from the United States of America?
There is a lot to see and do or include in your Rwanda safari from the United States of America. Besides the mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park, you can do nature walks in the forest, trek golden monkeys or hike any of the volcanic mountains in Volcanoes National Park. You can also include chimpanzee trekking, birding and canopy walk in Nyungwe National Park as well as wildlife safaris in Akagera National Park. Kigali city tour is a must do if you have some spare time while visiting Lake Kivu at the boarder of Rwanda and Democratic republic of congo is highly rewarding. There is so much more to see and do in Rwanda and you need like 10 or more days if you are to fully explore what Rwanda has to offer.
Booking Rwanda gorilla tour during Covid 19
It is possible to book your gorilla trip to Rwanda during the covid 19 pandemics and see mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park following SOPS by the Rwanda government. Please contact us for details about this. Rwanda government has also been flexible for cancellations because of covid 19. It is now possible to reschedule your gorilla permit to another date if you get any challenge related to Covid 19. When you book your gorilla safari through Encounter Africa safaris, we will assist you in rescheduling your gorilla permits or processing a credit note. For more information about rescheduling permits and processing credit notes, please contact us.
Where else can I book a gorilla trip from USA?
Apart from Rwanda, there two countries in Africa with Mountain gorillas. These countries are Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. If you want to compare gorilla trekking in Uganda and other countries, we recommend Uganda where mountain gorillas live in Bwindi impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park. A gorilla permit in Uganda costs $800 and gives the same experience as that of Rwanda. You can also choose to do mountain gorilla habituation experience safaris where you will have an opportunity to spend four hours with mountain gorillas under habituation. Only four people are allowed for this experience and it is only available in the southern sectors of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. For more information about booking Rwanda gorilla trekking tours from The United States of America, please contact us on email.