Interesting facts about Gorilla trekking in Rwanda
Volcanoes national park is the only habitat for Rwanda gorilla trekking safaris. At the moment, Rwanda has about 15 gorilla families open for tourism.
Volcanoes National Park lies in the North Western part of Rwanda, sharing a boundary with Mgahinga National Park in Uganda and Virunga National Park in D.R. Congo.
The mountain gorillas of Volcanoes National Park sometimes wander from the bottom to the slopes of five volcanoes of the renowned six Virunga Volcanoes. These mountains include Mountain Karisimbi, Mountain Bisoke, Mountain Gahinga, Mountain Sabyinyo, and Mountain Muhabura.
When doing a gorilla trekking safari in Volcanoes National Park, the trek is steeper as, at times, you have to follow the mountain gorillas to where they may be spending the day.
Rwanda Development Board is the only body that sells and regulates the Rwanda gorilla trekking permits.
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How to Book Gorilla Trekking Permit For Rwanda
You must obtain a permit from Rwanda Development Board for every gorilla trekking safari to Rwanda.
You must have a date when you wish to take a gorilla trekking safari, the number of eligible people you hope to travel with, or the number of times you are doing gorilla trekking.
When you send an inquiry, our safari consultant checks availability from the Rwanda Development Board gorilla permit listing.
If the status of the gorilla permits for your preferred date is positive, we advise you to purchase yours in advance. The gorilla permits get sold out fast because of high demand worldwide, yet supply is low.
Later we requested personal details like nationality, date of birth, full name as indicated on the passport, and passport expiry date.
How Much Can I Buy A Rwanda Gorilla Permit?
The Rwanda gorilla permit costs $1500 per person per trek. You may be allowed to pay in installments when you purchase this Rwanda gorilla permit in advance, at least 90 days before the trekking date. The Rwanda gorilla permits Instalment procedure is 30% and 70% of the total cost.
You must remember to fully top up 90 days before trekking or stand to lose the gorilla permit.
What Is Included in The Rwanda Gorilla Permit Cost?
The ranger guide fees, one hour with the mountain gorillas, mountain gorilla conservation fund support, local community support, security, park fees, etc.
The gorilla permit cost excludes
Drinks, tipping, packed lunch, snacks, and any other items of personal nature.
Is The Rwanda gorilla Permit Refundable?
The Rwanda Development Board set policies to be followed in case one requires to get a gorilla permit refundable. First, you must know that every gorilla permit is only valid till the date of trekking. Beyond this, it is considered invalid.
You may also reschedule your Rwanda gorilla trekking date in case you are not in a position to travel by the booked date.
What Is The Procedure For Rescheduling Rwanda Gorilla Permits
Please write an email addressing it to Rwanda Development Board and state why you wish to reschedule your gorilla permit. Attach evidence to back up your plea.
When you get the go-ahead, you must know when you wish to reschedule your gorilla permit. Our safari consultant has to recheck availability as per your new date.
Your gorilla permit is rescheduled to this date. You must make some payments if you wish to change your gorilla permit date again.
What Are The Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Families?
At the moment, Rwanda has only 15-gorilla families open for tourism. Some of the Rwanda gorilla families include the Karisimbi family, Agashya family, Amahoro family, Sabyinyo family, Hirwa family, Susa family, Muhoza family, Bwenge family, Ugyenda family, Umubano family, Igisha family, and Kwitonda family.
After a briefing at the ORTPN, you are randomly divided among the different gorilla families according to age, physical fitness, and others.
Which is The Easiest Rwanda Gorilla Family To Trek?
Identifying the gorilla family that is easy to trek in Rwanda is challenging. This is because they relocate according to the prevailing factors in Volcanoes National Park.
The mountain gorilla family feeds from a particular area for some time, and when food is done, the dominant silverback is mandated to seek new feeding areas for the family.
What Time Does Gorilla Trekking In Volcanoes National Park Start?
Every day, Gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park starts early morning at around 0800 hours at ORTPN. But, first, you must attend a briefing so that information and particular unusual facts about the gorilla family you are trekking are given to you.
You may be disqualified from attending gorilla trekking when you miss a briefing at the ranger station. This is because of the chances of failing to follow the required gorilla trekking rules that, may yield into a stampede in the forest. This may disrupt the entire gorilla trekking day for all groups.
Carry the right gorilla trekking gear, too, and chances of hiring are available before starting the gorilla trek. Ensure you have at least two clean masks, and sanitize your safari Boots as instructed by the ranger guide. This is to prevent the spreading any contagious germs to mountain gorillas and other forest dwellers.
Hire a porter at this point to assist in carrying your belongings and give you a push when need be.
A porter is a person you hire to carry your gorilla trekking gear and other necessary equipment you require to assist you during gorilla trekking.
Some Of The Factors That Determine When To Locate The Gorilla Family Include:
Locating the Rwanda gorilla families may take 2 hours to three-quarters of the day. Therefore, it would be best if you had some patience because the forest has a lot of things happening among the gorilla families and other forest dwellers.
The proximity of the mountain gorilla food
Mountain gorillas feed from a particular locality for some time, and when food is done, they move to another area. Sometimes it is hard to trace where the family may have moved to, so trackers must be involved.
Timing for doing gorilla trekking
During the severe rainy season, the trails are slippery, and the forest has dense humid conditions. The rivers overflow, creating soggy conditions. Since the soils are volcanic, they retain a lot of water, yet there is less sunray penetration to the ground.
Trekkers find challenges climbing to the slopes, which slows the time to locate the mountain gorillas.
Pace Of The Trekkers During Gorilla Trekking
If the people you are allocated with to do gorilla trekking are fast and physically fit, you make it to where the mountain gorillas are fast. However, when the group you are trekking with is slow, you may take some time to find where the mountain gorillas are.
Fight Amongst The Mountain Gorilla Families
When the gorilla family you are trekking fights with another family, and they lose, it may be pushed into the deeper ends of the forest.
This may delay tracing where the gorilla family may have relocated.
When The Dominant Silverback Is Adventurous
When the dominant silverback is adventurous, the gorilla family may be pushed to follow his hobby. Locating the way about this gorilla family may take some time. Therefore, some patience is necessary in case the history of that gorilla family includes being adventurous.
What is the cost of the Gorilla trekking safari in Rwanda?
Whether you choose the luxury, mid-range, or budget package, the gorilla trekking permit is the universal cost of this Rwanda safari.
These are some things you can base on to calculate the gross Rwanda safari package.
The number of days on the Rwanda safari
The more days on your Rwanda safari, the higher the gross cost. The price of each activity you combine with gorilla trekking in Rwanda increases the total cost. The more days on safari, the higher the gorilla trekking safari cost.
Time of booking the gorilla trekking safari
When you book the Rwanda gorilla trekking safari in the peak season, the cost is high because of the high safari competition in this season.
During the low season, which is March to May or November, gorilla trekking safari service providers may discount some of their costs like accommodation, vehicle hire, ranger guides, etc.
Number Of people joining your gorilla trekking safari
The more people joining you from the Rwanda safari, the less the per-person cost. You can share expenses like vehicle hire, driver guide fee, etc. As a solo person on a gorilla trekking safari, so bear all the Rwanda safari expenses alone.
Other activities to combine with Rwanda Gorilla Trekking
Any additional activities you combine with gorilla trekking in Rwanda, like chimpanzee trekking and birding, the higher the cost. Each of these activities is charged individually.
What Other Activities to Combine with Gorilla Trekking In Volcanoes National Park
Golden Monkey Trekking
Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda hosts golden monkeys. You can combine gorilla trekking with golden monkey trekking in Volcanoes National Park. Golden monkeys are a particular species of monkeys with golden brown hairs. They are limited in number, and just like mountain gorillas, they are some of the most endangered primates in the world.
You must obtain golden monkeys trekking permit from the Rwanda development board to do this activity.
Birding in Volcanoes National Park
The bird life of Volcanoes National Park is fantastic, with over 300 bird species identified, including Albertine endemics. However, you must hire a professional birding guide with birding experience in Volcanoes National Park to enjoy the entire adventure.
Some birds you may spot include the handsome francolin, Shelley’s Crimsonwing, Rwenzori turaco, Mountain masked Apalises, Rwenzori Batis, and others.
Hike To Dian Fossey Grave
You can walk through the steps of the fallen mountain gorilla heroin Dian Fossey. She was an American primatologist with great defense for the survival of the mountain gorillas. Her effort and research on mountain gorillas since 1967 is one of the reasons why the world can do gorilla trekking at the moment.
She faced a lot of resentment from the local community, and in 1985, she was brutally murdered by unknown assassinators.
Nature walks in Volcanoes National Park.
You can take a guided walk in the volcanoes national park. This park has other primates like blue monkeys, black and white colobus, vervet monkeys, and grey-cheeked mangabey.
A variety of butterflies live in the forest, plus other charming sceneries. The natural ancient trees that form the dense canopy of this forest are amazingly unique.
What Are The Rules Of Gorilla Trekking In Volcanoes National Park
- No spitting on the vegetation because this is food for the mountain gorillas. Even spitting on soil is forbidden as this may spread germs to the mountain gorillas.
- Keep your voice low while trekking to locate the mountain gorillas. This may scare the mountain gorillas and push the families into hiding.
- When you locate the mountain gorillas, give a space of about 8 meters from the mountain gorillas. This prevents the chances of passing an infection to the mountain gorillas.
- Only children aged 15 years and above are allowed to attend gorilla trekking. This is because it’s a wilderness activity that requires some patience. The time of locating the mountain gorillas has yet to be discovered.
- Dumping used items in the forest is forbidden as it may alter the nature of the forest where mountain gorillas thrive. In addition, they are naturally vegetarian, which may reduce the mountain gorillas’ food.
- If you catch a contagious infection, volunteer to stay behind so that you do not pass this infection to the highly susceptible mountain gorillas.
- Please do not eat or drink before the mountain gorillas, as they may be forced to pull this away from you. They are wild animals that must search for their food.
- Only one hour is allowed with the mountain gorilla when you locate them. This is because they have been habituated to be in the presence of humans for just that hour.
- Provoking the mountain gorillas is forbidden as this may cause them to get agitated.
Get in touch with us for more information.