For the last 5 months the world has been on the lockdown because of the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic this also directly affected tourism worldwide including the primate tourism activities in Rwanda which were forced to close to curb the spread of the virus to the endangered species Mountain Gorillas and Golden Monkeys that leave in Volcanoes National park and other parks in Rwanda forcing Rwanda to reduce the number of visitors per Golden Monkey family from 16 to 12. However, by the start of June many countries started opening up for tourism starting with domestic tourism, Rwanda also has since then opened up for tourism activities which kicked off on 17th June 2020 starting with domestic travelers and chartered fly in travelers with strict follow of the guidelines set by the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization to control the spread of the COVID-19 and ensure the health and safety of all tourists visiting Rwanda, this also included reducing the number of visitors per Golden Monkey family from 16 to 12 in the new normal tracking a group at a time.
Rwanda is one of the best places in the world to see primates in their natural habitat; Mountains Gorillas, Golden monkeys and Chimpanzees. Primate tourism activities in Rwanda include Gorilla tracking only done in Volcanoes National Park, Golden Monkey tracking done in Volcanoes National and Gishwati Mukura National Park, and Chimpanzee tracking done in Gishwati Mukura National park and Nyungwe National Park.
Rwanda Government through the Rwanda Development Board on 17th June 2020 re-opened up for tourism activities in all its national parks and other parts of Rwanda together with its private sector Rwanda Development board is offering attractive all-inclusive tourism packages for Rwandans and foreign residents. The packages are designed for you to explore Rwanda’s amazing leisure and recreational activities across the country. Because of Covid-19 effect the board also offered various offers and discounts on various activities in Rwanda National Park which will be operational until 31st December 2020 as below;
- Gorilla permits are now available at USD200 for Rwandans and East African nationals living in Rwanda, USD500 for foreign residents and USD1500 for international tourists coming with charter flights, this will remain the same for those arriving in Rwanda through scheduled flights starting on 1st August 2020.
- Special packages are available for groups, families and corporates on other products in Volcanoes and Nyungwe National Park, contact us here for details
What are the specific guidelines and SOPs for International Visitors travelling to Rwanda?
- All passengers including those in transit will be required to show proof of a COVID -19 PCR negative test from a certified laboratory, taken within 72 hours of arriving in Rwanda
- Passengers entering Rwanda and tourists, a second PCR test will be conducted upon arrival at Kigali International Airport, with results delivered within 24 hours during which in this time, Visitors will be expected to remain in designated hotels at own cost as they wait for the results.
- Tourists who cannot test in their country of origin will be able to test twice in Rwanda, the first test will be taken upon arrival at Kigali International Airport while the second test will be taken 48 hours after arrival.
- Tourists will only be expected to visit tourist attraction sites after two consecutive negative tests and will wait for their results at the designated hotels.
- Departing Visitors will also be offered a COVID -19 test at the Airport
- While in the country, Visitors and flight crew members are expected to abide to health guidelines by the ministry of Health and specific guidelines for tourist attractions including National parks.
What are the Guidelines for Golden Monkey tracking in the New Normal in Rwanda?
Rwanda government through the Ministry of Health, Rwanda Development Board and other international organizations has set various guidelines to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 and ensure the safety and health of all tourists visiting Rwanda for Golden Monkey tracking and other tourism activities in Rwanda National Park. Here below are the guidelines we recommend you follow during your visit to Rwanda;
- Masks: Ensure the correct use of masks for guests and staff at all times during golden monkey tracking.
- Hygiene and sanitation: Provide means to wash/sanitize hands frequently throughout the facility. Sanitize frequently touched public surfaces.
- Physical distancing: Manage density of people within the tourist facility with physical distancing of at least 1–2 meters.
- Communicate with employees and guests effectively on prevention, including the use of signage, notices and internal protocols.
- Ensure temperature screening of all incoming guests and alert health authorities on toll-free number 114 in case of any anomaly.
- Tourists are required to use cashless transaction methods such as payment by bank transfer in advance of the visit, mobile money, and debit/credit cards.
- Only privately managed beaches should be open. Beach management should assign a permanent supervisor to monitor implementation of guidelines for COVID-19 prevention.
- Ensure Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA) physical distancing guidelines are respected including an unoccupied seat between each passenger in all tourist vehicles and boats.
- Clean and disinfect tourist cars and boats before and after use. Keep 50% occupancy for effective physical distancing.
- All staff operating in national parks and accommodation establishments located in touristic areas are expected to be tested every two weeks.
- For any emergency, question and/or feedback related to COVID -19, please call toll-free number 114.
How many visitors are allowed to see each golden monkey family in Rwanda per Day?
To ensure the safety and health of tourists during golden monkey tracking in Rwanda, Rwanda has reduced the number of visitors tracking a given golden monkey family from 16 visitors to 12 visitors this measure will ease practicing social distancing during the trek and the one hour encounter with the Golden monkeys once you find them.
Where is Golden Monkey tracking done in Rwanda?
Golden Monkey tracking is done in Volcanoes National Park and Gishwati Mukura National Park. In Volcanoes National Park Golden monkeys live along with the Mountain Gorillas and with this you can as well do both trek on your visit to this park and I Gishwati Mukura National Park Golden monkeys live along with the Chimpanzees and monkeys. Both National parks can be accessed from Kigali.
How much is Golden Monkey tracking in Rwanda?
Like Gorilla tracking for Golden Monkey tracking you will also need to secure your golden monkey permit in advance for you to be allowed to go for the trek in either Volcanoes National Park or Gishwati Mukura National park. A Golden monkey permit costs USD $100 per person per trek in Rwanda. The permits are bought from Rwanda Development Board (RDB) in Rwanda. Like Gorilla tracking permits, Golden Monkey permits also sell out very quickly and tourists are advised to book their permits atleast 2 to 3 months in advance before the tracking date. This permit gives you an opportunity to spend one hour with the golden monkeys once you find them, it included park entry fees, conservation fees, ranger fees and government taxes.
Where to stay while tracking Golden Monkeys in Rwanda in the New Normal
There are lots of accommodation available near Volcanoes National Park and Gishwati Mukura National park with luxury, mid-range and budget accommodation facilities all available and the decision on where to stay is entirely left to the traveler to decide based on their budget and preference.
In Volcanoes National Park, Luxury lodge options include Five Volcanoes Hotels, Mountain Gorillas’ Nest Lodge, Sabinyo Silverback Lodge, Bisate Lodge, Virunga Volcanoes Lodge. These lodges try to do their best to go over and beyond in services to ensure that the guest who stay here are very comfortable and have the best time, with VIP rooms that sometimes come with room service and on the house alcoholic drinks(read includes on the lodge option before choosing)
The Midrange lodges in Volcanoes National Park, Mountain Gorilla View Lodge and Lebambou Gorilla Lodge, Davinci Lodge offering you good rates and value for moneys’ worth, these are the options to choose from when booking in Volcanoes National park.
For budget travels the options are many from budget accommodation to camping in Volcanoes National Park one can choose from Gorilla Solution Lodge, Villa Gorilla, Virunga Hotel, Faraji Hotel, Kinigi Hotel, Hotel Muhabura and La Palme Hotel or Home Inn.
For Gishwati Mukura National Park given the fact it being a new national park there are few accommodation options for your stay and the best one is Gishwati Lodge.
Why book with Encounter Africa Safaris your Golden Monkey tracking in Rwanda
Encounter Africa safaris offers amazing Golden monkey trekking experiences in Rwanda. Contact us for our discounted packages and also tailor made Golden monkey tracking tours in Rwanda. Our professionalism in organizing authentic experience stems from the fact that we have overtime assembled a team mixed with young and energetic staff guided by well experienced mature managers and directors who are Ugandans and passionate about what they do. Encounter Africa Safaris is highly rated and reviewed on trip Advisor and safari bookings to help you learn on the experiences of the other travelers who have traveled with us and we are ready to follow all the set SOPs to ensure safety and health of our clients.