Planning a super luxury and VIP gorilla holiday in Rwanda
Rwanda is worth choosing as your gorilla trekking destination, especially if you hope to go with a luxury gorilla safari package. The inclusions and exclusions of a Rwanda gorilla safari package place it in the luxury category. You need to book your gorilla permit first, as it is the only document that allows you to participate in searching for the fully habituated mountain gorillas in the wilderness.
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You must know how many people you hope to travel with for a gorilla holiday in Rwanda or if you hope to do a solo gorilla safari. Select the means of transport you hope to use to Volcanoes National Park. Is it a safari vehicle or charter means? Select luxury accommodation facilities where you hope to spend your gorilla trekking holiday in Rwanda.
Volcanoes National Park is the only habitat for mountain gorillas in Rwanda, located in the northwestern part.
How To Plan Luxury Gorilla Trekking Holiday in Rwanda
Select the gorilla trekking date.
Identify the date when you hope to do gorilla trekking in Rwanda and the number of people or permits you hope to buy. The date may be confirmed or tentative if you still determine the gorilla trekking date.
You may directly check gorilla permit availability from the Rwanda Development Board or use a tour operator like Encounter Africa Safaris.
Book A Gorilla Trekking Permit For Rwanda
You must possess a gorilla permit from the Rwanda Development Board to access the mountain gorilla families of Rwanda. Rwanda has 96 gorilla permits open to the public to book per day out of 15 gorilla families.
When you purchase the Rwanda gorilla permit, you must forward personal details like your full name as indicated on the passport, nationality, date of birth, and passport expiry date.
What Is the Cost Of Rwanda Gorilla Permit?
The Rwanda Gorilla Permit costs $1500 per person per trek. You can buy your gorilla permit directly from the Rwanda Development Board or through a tour operator. A maximum of 8 gorilla permits are open each day for public booking.
What is included and excluded in the cost of Rwanda Gorilla Permit
The Rwanda gorilla permit includes security during gorilla trekking, park entrance fees, a certificate after gorilla trekking, gorilla conservation support, local community support, and one hour with the mountain gorillas.
Exclusions of Rwanda gorilla permit cost are porter fee, tips, accommodation, transport to the destination, and any other items of a personal nature.
You can use Encounter Africa Safaris to reserve safari amenities for you, like accommodation, vehicle hire, driver guide, and others; we have over ten years of experience organizing Rwanda safaris and give free advice to tourists wanting to know more about Rwanda.
Can I purchase a Rwanda Gorilla Permit in Instalments?
Rwanda Development Board allows tourists to pay for their gorilla permits in portions of 30% and 70% respectively. This only applies to people who purchase their gorilla permits 90 days before the trekking date but have to top up 90 days before the trekking date.
If you forget to top up your gorilla permit, you are penalized for it.
Fully paying for your gorilla permit is the best decision you can make to avoid chances of forgetting to top up in time.
How Can I Reschedule Rwanda Gorilla Permit?
Everybody who purchases a gorilla permit wishes to have that precious one hour before the mountain gorillas; however, due to unforeseen circumstances, you may choose to reschedule to a future date.
The procedure for Rwanda Gorilla Permit Reschedule include;
Write to Rwanda Development Board requesting to reschedule your gorilla permit to a future date. Include the reason for your chance of plan and attach evidence, if any.
Once I have received your gorilla permit, I have rescheduled it to the new date of your choice based on the availability status.
Rwanda Development Board charges you for gorilla permit rescheduled service.
- Select the number of days to spend on the Luxury Rwanda Gorilla Holiday.
The least number of days you can be on a gorilla trekking holiday in Rwanda is 2 days gorilla safari. You may spend much more time depending on what you wish to combine with gorilla trekking in Rwanda, like the Golden Monkeys trek, birding in Volcanoes National Park, local community visits, scenic viewing, and so much more.
You may select packages like 3-day gorilla trekking Rwanda, 5-day gorilla and chimpanzee trekking Rwanda, 6-day gorilla and Game Drive Rwanda, and others.
Most service providers like accommodation facilities in Rwanda per day’s costs, so the more days on safari, the higher the cost.
- Book Means of Transport to Volcanoes National Park
You can take road transport from Kigali Airport or the city to Volcanoes National Park, about 3 hours drive. The way is scenic as you drive through winding roads past a number of highlands where Rwanda acquires its name, the “land of a thousand hills.”
When you secure, your transport means in time, you can book a 4×4 wheel drive vehicle comfortable enough for your holiday time in Rwanda with a professional and experienced driver guide.
In case you opt for charter flights to Volcanoes National Park, you can book from Kigali Airport. It would be best to get clearance from Rwanda’s Civil Aviation Authority.
- Select additional Rwanda Safari activities to combine with gorilla trekking.
Apart from the gorilla trekking holiday in Rwanda, you can add more activities like chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe National Park, golden monkey trekking in Volcanoes National Park, canopy walking in Nyngwe National Park, visiting Rwanda museums like Ethnographic Museum in Huye, Art Museum in Nyanza, visit the Rwanda genocide memorial and other Rwanda safaris destinations.
The number of days you hope to be on the Rwanda holiday helps in putting together a convenient safari itinerary tailored to your interest.
- Choose Luxury accommodation to stay at during Gorilla Safari.
During luxury gorilla trekking Rwanda safari, may select accommodations like Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge, Hotel Mille Collines,
You may overnight in Kigali city as long as you drive to Volcanoes National Park headquarters at ORTPN in time for briefing.
- Do Exercises Before Gorilla Trekking In Rwanda
The way to the mountain gorillas is sometimes strenuous, but having some level of fitness saves you from muscle pulls and delays the rest of the gorilla trekkers. The topography of Volcanoes National Park is volcanic, with plateaus and ridges to hike in case the mountain gorillas are spending their day uphill or in the valleys. There is no need to spend the entire day in the gym but do simple exercises beyond your normal movement that can support you for an unknown time in the jungle.
- Pack The Right Gorilla Trekking Gears
Packing light but relevant for gorilla trekking makes you feel comfortable while in the jungle searching for the mountain gorillas. Volcanoes National Park has some gorilla trekking gear you can hire; however, to feel comfortable, you must carry your own.
On the list of what to carry for gorilla trekking, you can pack safari boots, safari attire, a camera, insect repellant, and several others.
- Purchase international flights in advance.
Missing your international flight may cost you a lifetime meeting with the mountain gorillas in Rwanda, so purchase your international flight ticket in time. The gorilla permit is nontransferable, so make your flight arrangements in advance to void being a no-show with no reason.
How Much Is A Luxury Gorilla Holiday In Rwanda
The cost of Rwanda luxury safari starts with the gorilla permit, which costs $1500 per person per trek.
The other gorilla safari costs vary with the:
The Number Of People On Rwanda Safari
The more people accompanying you for gorilla trekking, the less per person cost, even with a luxury gorilla safari package. In case you take a solo gorilla trekking package, you incur all the costs included as an individual.
The Number Of Days To Spend On Gorilla Holiday
The more days you spend on holiday, the higher the safari cost. Service providers charge per day costs, so the more days on safari, the higher the cost price.
Time For Booking A Gorilla Safari
When you book a Rwanda gorilla trekking safari in the high season, the costs are high no matter what safari package you choose. The demand for gorilla safaris in the peak season, that is, June, July, August, September, December, and January, is high.
The low season may attract some discounts even with luxury service providers in order for them to break even. The low Rwanda gorilla safari season is normally March, April, May, and November.
Rwanda development board, at times, offers discounts on gorilla permits in the low season, but this is a vague arrangement.
Other Activities To Combine With Gorilla Safari
Other than gorilla trekking in Rwanda, you may include golden monkeys trekking, a trek to Diane Fossey’s grave, birding in Rwanda, a canopy walk over Nyungwe National Park, chimpanzee trekking, game drives in Akagera National Park, and others. Each activity is charged differently, and it’s hard to do all these activities in a single day, so you need extra time.
Is gorilla trekking in Rwanda difficult?
Gorilla trekking in Rwanda is done in Volcanoes National Park, which is generally volcanic with highlands where mountain gorillas spend their day.
During the severe rainy season, the ground is slippery from the decomposing matter and soggy, making the hike to find the mountain gorillas challenging.
One of the escorting ranger guides holds a machete to trim the creepers that may obstruct your way to locate the mountain gorillas.
Wearing the right gorilla trekking gear helps you go through the gorilla trekking experience beautifully. You can pack safari boots, warm wear, a long-sleeved shirt and trousers, toiletries and others.
How Dangerous Are Mountain Gorillas?
Mountain gorillas are generally calm primates, although, on the outlook, they seem scary because of their dark-furred bodies, sunken brown eyes, and moving by knuckle locomotion. At a glance, the mountain gorillas seem dangerous; however, they are serene and show less resentment toward humans because the gorilla families are habituated to be in the presence of humans.
When angry, the mountain gorillas thump their chests hard, walk on one leg, pull grass around them, and dash into the deeper forest.
Mountain gorillas have ever attacked tourists during the gorilla trekking safari. This doesn’t mean you provoke the mountain gorillas by touching their infants, mimicking them because you may not know what you are communicating.
Is Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Safe?
Although gorilla trekking is done in the forest, Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park is safe for tourists. Each day, a team of ranger guides go into the forest to patrol where the mountain gorillas are and the situation prevailing in the forest.
The Rwanda ranger guides coordinate with other security agencies to keep law and order in this area.
You need to pay attention to personal security by only entering a volcanic forest with an escorting ranger guide, staying close to the people you are trekking mountain gorillas with, and trying not to eat street food that may cause food poisoning.
How Long Is Gorilla Trekking In Rwanda
The time of completing the mountain gorilla trek in Rwanda is hard to tell because of the changing situations in the wilderness. Sometimes tourists can locate mountain gorillas after 2 hours, while others have spent more time in the wilderness.
When the mountain gorillas have a fight, the loser may move into the deeper forest, which may be hard to trace.
Mountain gorillas change feeding areas, especially when food is exhausted from one area. This may prolong the gorilla trek or may be closer to the starting point of the trek.
When the gorilla family has victory, they may celebrate for some time, so chances of spotting them in a short time are high.
If the gorilla family loses a family member, especially the dominant male, they may scatter, so locating them becomes challenging.
For these reasons, it’s hard to determine which is the easiest gorilla family to trek in Rwanda.
Contact us for more information.