Interesting facts about Gorilla Trekking In Rwanda
Interesting facts about gorilla trekking in Rwanda. Gorilla trekking in Rwanda is an opportunity to be just a few meters away from the only leftover mountain gorillas in the world. Rwanda has only Volcanoes National Park as its home to the mountain gorillas hosting 15 gorilla trekking families. Some gorilla families in Rwanda include Amahoro, Susa, Agashya, Muhoza, Sabyinyo, and Umubano.
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Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda is positioned in the northwestern part of the country, just about 3 hours from Kigali airport. To be allowed entry to do gorilla trekking in Rwanda, you must book the gorilla permit from the Rwanda Development Board. This is the body that controls the sale and distribution of the Rwanda gorilla permits, but you can go through an accredited tour operator like Encounter Africa Safaris.
Before booking a gorilla trekking permit in Rwanda, you must be 15 years and beyond. This age limit was placed because of the nature of the topography of Volcanoes National Park and other Virunga areas. Because of the serious volcanic work in this area, children below 15 years may not be in a position to sustain the long hours of searching for the mountain gorillas and hiking where they may be.
On the day of gorilla trekking in Rwanda, all participants are expected to gather at the ORTPN for briefing then gorilla trekking starts at 0800 hours. After a briefing in Rwanda, tourists are allocated gorilla families, but the criteria used are hard to determine as sometimes it’s according to age brackets, fitness level, gorilla families visited for repeat clients, and so much more. All you need is be fit for the gorilla trekking adventure in Rwanda.
The least number of days to be on gorilla trekking safari in Rwanda is 2-day gorilla trekking in Rwanda. This is because of the short time you can take on the way from Kigali to Volcanoes National Park. Even the roads in Rwanda are fairly well built, giving you a chance to a smooth ride. In case you wish to make a stop over for a gorilla trekking safari in Africa, Rwanda may be the best option as you save time, too.
How To Book Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Permit?
Before booking the Rwanda gorilla permit, you must have a date when you wish to do gorilla trekking and the number of permits you wish to book. This is to avoid moving back and forth with checking gorilla permit availability.
At Encounter Africa Safaris, we have over 10 years of experience organizing gorilla safaris to Rwanda. We can assist you with booking the gorilla permits and additional amenities.
When you enquire from us with the details about the Rwanda gorilla safari, our safari consultant checks availability from the list of the Rwanda development board. We are one of the few companies accredited to have access to this list by the Rwanda Development Board.
Our tours consultant gets back to you as soon as possible upon getting availability but we request you to purchase your gorilla permit as soon as possible. This is because the gorilla permit status changes without warning as first come first served criteria is used to reserve Rwanda gorilla permits. The demand for peak season gorilla permits gets crazy creating scarcity during the high season.
It is hard to find Rwanda gorilla permits available at the last moment of this season because they sell out. This is because of the overwhelming demand for them worldwide yet demand is limited to maximum 8 per gorilla family.
For identification, you need to forward some personal details to be added to your gorilla permits like your full name are presented on the passport, nationality, date of birth, and passport expiry date.
How Much Is The Cost Of Rwanda Gorilla Permit?
At the moment, the cost of Rwanda gorilla trekking permit is $1500 for foreign nonresidents, $500 for foreign residents and $300 for East Africans.
Sometimes Rwanda Development Board may offer discounted gorilla permits to a cost of $1050 but this may be in the low season. To qualify you must also be booked to atleast two nights in other Rwanda National Parks that is Akagera National Park or Nyungwe National Park, terms and conditions apply.
What Are Inclusions And Exclusions in the cost Of Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Permits?
The cost of Rwanda gorilla permit covers ranger guide fees, park entrance fees for the day of the gorilla trek, security, mountain gorilla conservation, local community support, government tax, certificate, briefing, one hour with the mountain gorillas, and others.
Exclusions in the cost of gorilla permits tips, accommodation, porter hire, and any other items of personal nature.
Is The Cost Of The Rwanda Gorilla Permit worth the money?
The cost of the Rwanda gorilla safari is worth every penny as these are some of the few mountain gorillas living in the wilderness in the world. To promote the conservation of the mountain gorillas, some funds need to be acquired to support the existence of these primates.
From the cost of the Rwanda gorilla safari permit a portion is given to the local community as a way to appreciate there contributions to the survival of the mountain gorillas and there habitats. Sometimes, the mountain gorillas stray into their farmlands, so this is a way of giving back to the local community as compensation.
Since tipping is not part of the gorilla permit cost, you may generously extend this token of appreciation to the service provider you encounter during the gorilla trekking safari like ranger guides, lodge staff, and others. With the tips, you encourage them to continue and improve the services they offer at the gorilla safari destinations.
Which is the best time to book Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Safari?
Booking the gorilla trekking safari is an all-year-round thing however the drier months are best preferred that is June, July, August, September, December, and January. This serves as the peak season too, but demand for these permits is high too, so advance booking is required.
During the low season, sometimes the wet season, all factors are kept constant (March, April, May, and November), and chances of finding gorilla permits at the last minute are more open. There are usually fewer bookings, but not a guarantee that the gorilla permits will be available all the time.
No matter the season, to avoid getting last-minute disappointments with the gorilla permits, advance reservation is needed. Having the gorilla permit is the only confirmation that you are to attend a gorilla safari.
Is Rwanda Safe For Gorilla Trekking?
Rwanda is safe for gorilla trekking as a well-trained ranger guide team and park wardens are in place to protect the mountain gorillas, their habitat, and visitors in the Park. They coordinate security affairs with other Rwanda security agencies to maintain Law and order in and around the Volcanoes National Park.
On a personal level, tourists on Rwanda gorilla trekking safari must abide by the rules of gorilla safari to stay safe while in Volcanoes National Park, some of the rules include no entering the forest without a ranger guide because you may encounter other forest dwellers that may be harmful.
How Difficult Is Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda?
Gorilla trekking in Rwanda is strenuous because of the terrain in this area; however, as a tourist, you need to do pre-tour exercises that will keep you fit.
The topography of Volcanoes National Park is mountainous with five mountains that is Mountain Gahinga, Mountain Muhavura, Mountain Karisoke, Mountain Sabyinyo and Mountain Bisoke in place. This makes the way to the mountain gorillas steeper and more challenging.
The vegetation on the slopes of these highlands is thick and draped, making it challenging to go through, but the ranger guides carry a machete to help with trimming and creating a way through.
Every tourist is advised to have some level of fitness to avoid getting muscle pulls along the way. You can also hire a porter to carry your gorilla trekking gear and request a walking stick to offer you extra support.
Are Rwanda Mountain Gorillas Dangerous?
Mountain gorillas are naturally calm primates despite their fierce outlook and the intimidating information portrayed about them in movies and animations. At a glance, the mountain gorillas may stimulate some adrenaline especially to first timers.
Before a Rwanda gorilla family is opened to public booking, it is first habituated for an unknown period to get them familiar to human presence before opening it to public visits. This gorilla family is first opened to human visits when finally approved to be ready. These gorilla families also go through several mock visits.
In nature, mountain gorillas are shy primates but can also charge when agitated, and some of the actions they display include chest-thumping, hooting, grabbing grass around, and so much more. it is not when these characteristics are displayed, the mountain gorillas are angry with their visitors, but at times, it may be a family issue.
Upon noticing such behavior, do not panic because you may cause these mountain gorillas to run into hiding. Wait for the ranger guide to establish the root cause of the anger and offer a solution on how you are not to get involved in this drama. Sometimes you may just be required to pay elegancy to the dominant silverback as he tries to show off his autocratic behaviors.
How Long Is Gorilla Trekking In Rwanda?
The length of the gorilla trekking safari in Rwanda is quite hard to determine though mountain gorillas may be seen in two hours while others may take longer. The terrain of Volcanoes National Park is steep resulting from surrounding highlands that is mountain Gahinga, mountain Muhavura, mountain Sabyinyo, Mountain Bisoke and Mountain Karisimbi.
Getting to the mountain gorillas gets depends on conditions prevailing in the wilderness like the location of the feeding spot, weather conditions prevailing in the day, in case of a fight with another gorilla family, the pace of trekkers and others.
You need patience during gorilla safari and have an open mind while searching to find the mountain gorillas as there is plenty in the wilderness to see. No matter how long it takes to locate the mountain gorillas, the feeling you get when you find them is unmatched.
What are the guidelines for gorilla safaris in Rwanda?
Rwanda gorilla trekking rules were set to protect mountain gorillas, other forest dwellers, and their habitats from after-effects of human presence. Failure to comply with the rules of gorilla trekking may lead to termination of the gorilla permit without refund.
- No one with a communicable infection like COVID-19, cough, or flu is allowed to access the mountain gorillas. These primates are highly susceptible to human infections.
- When with the mountain gorillas, try not to surround them as they feel ambushed. Remain in a tight group.
- Keep a distance of about 8 meters from the mountain gorillas to reduce the chances of passing an infection to the mountain gorillas.
- When you locate the mountain gorillas, you have only one hour with them during gorilla trekking to allow them later to go on with their day today life.
- Never use flash photography when with mountain gorillas, as this may cause them to get scared.
- No smoking or chewing when standing before the mountain gorillas. You may entice these primates to grab it from you, yet they are wild animals that must search for their own food.
- In case you need to sneeze or cough, do it away from the chimpanzees to prevent chances of passing an infection to them.
- Burry all fiscal in a hole dug at least 30 centimeters beneath and cover well beyond recognition.
- Littering the forest is forbidden as it alters the nature of the forest where these primates live.
- The age limit for gorilla safaris is above 15 years as because the time to search for the mountain gorillas, the nature of the terrain where these primates live, and patience may not go well with children below this age.
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