Things to consider when planning a luxury gorilla safari in Rwanda
Things to consider when planning a luxury gorilla safari in Rwanda. You wish to have top-notch services when traveling luxury for a gorilla safari in Rwanda. Reserving the gorilla permit is the number one step to consider, as this is the only assurance for this Rwanda safari. Rwanda currently opens 96 gorilla permits to the public daily, but they sell out fast due to high competition for them worldwide.
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In Rwanda, Volcanoes National Park on the Northwest is the only home to these endangered mountain gorillas. Apparently, 15 gorilla families are open for gorilla trekking in Rwanda under the care of the Rwanda Development Board(RDB).
Book upscale Rwanda Accommodation For your luxury gorilla safari in advance because only a few facilities are available. During the peak season, that is, June, July, August, September, December, and January, these facilities fill up to capacity because of many holidaymakers.
Planning the means of transport to use during the gorilla safari is vital. You can navigate Rwanda to Volcanoes National Park by road or air, depending on your preference.
Your luxury gorilla safari packing list needs to be relevant and light to avoid getting inconvenienced by lots of unnecessary bags. When packing for the gorilla safari, you need wilderness-friendly colors and long enough to protect your body from getting hurt by rough surfaces.
A Summary of Volcanoes National Park
Volcanoes National Park is the only mountain gorilla habitat in Rwanda. This park lies on the northwestern side of Rwanda, and from Kigali Airport, you take about 3 hours of drive on winding roads. Rwanda is generously mountainous; from this, it gets its nickname, the “land of a thousand hills.”
Currently, Volcanoes National Park is home to 15 gorilla trekking families. A few of the Rwanda gorilla families include the Kwitonda family, Umubano family, Karisimbi family, Amahoro family, Sabyinyo family, Susa family, and Agashya family, to mention but a few. Each day, the Rwanda Development Board opens 96 gorilla trekking permits of Volcanoes National Park to public booking. In and around Volcanoes National Park is a wide range of accommodation facilities you can book, including upmarket facilities.
What To Consider When Planning A Luxury Gorilla Safari In Rwanda
Book the Rwanda gorilla permit
No matter which Rwanda gorilla safari plan you are traveling with, the gorilla permit is the number one priority as it’s the only ticket allowing access to the gorilla trekking experience. When booking the gorilla safari, you must select the date and the number of permits to book.
Note that you are randomly allocated a gorilla family during trekking so you can share the experience with other people who may be outside your part safari budget plan. If you want an exclusive gorilla trekking experience, you can close off the gorilla family for the day, which means you buy off the rest of the gorilla permits. Maximum 8 gorilla permits are opened to the public per day per family.
At Encounter Africa Safaris, when you contact us, we can assist you in booking the gorilla permit from the Rwanda Development Board, but we require some details from you. State the date and number of tickets needed.
Our safari consultant checks for gorilla permit availability as we are an accredited company with access to the Rwanda Development Board gorilla permit list.
Upon finding availability, purchase your gorilla permits as soon as possible because they are in high demand, yet supply is restricted to a maximum of 8 gorilla permits per family.
What is the cost of the Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Permit?
The Rwanda gorilla permit costs $1500 per person for foreign nonresidents, $500 for foreign residents, and $300 for East African Residents.
The cost of a Rwanda gorilla permit covers ranger guide fees, park entrance fees, security, mountain gorilla conservation, local community support, government tax, briefing, and one hour with the mountain gorillas.
Exclusions include Rwanda gorilla permit tips, porter hire, accommodation, transport, etc.
Book Luxury Volcanoes Accommodation
Identify the luxury accommodations in which you wish to spend your nights of the Rwanda gorilla safari experience. Spending the night within or closer to Volcanoes National Park is important because you need to wake up early to catch up for briefing at ORTPN, which starts very early in the morning, that is to say, 0800 hours.
It would help to have accommodations with cozy, sophisticated, well-aerated rooms offering excellent services. A great night equals great memories of your luxury gorilla safari experience.
- Volcanoes luxury accommodation: Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge, Virunga Lodge, Bisante Lodge
Secure Transport to Volcanoes National Park
You need a 4×4 wheel drive vehicle to Volcanoes National Park. The roads are relatively in good condition but winding as you drive through the hilly countryside. Booking a safari land cruise with a popup roof gives you a great view of the surroundings alongside the roads. The safari vehicle must be in good condition, offering everyone traveling with at least a window seat and enough legroom.
Hiring an experienced and professional driver guide is like a cherry on the safari cake. You understand more about Rwanda’s general information than what you read about from the tabloids.
Charter flight services are available at Kigali Airport to Volcanoes National Park. You need to make preparations and make all necessary air clearances.
Select additional Rwanda Safari activities.
Besides gorilla trekking, you can engage in additional Rwanda activities depending on your safari time. While on the Rwanda safari, you can also engage in chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe National Park, golden monkey traveling in Volcanoes National Park, game drives in Akagera National Park, and Rwanda city tours.
With the help of our safari consultant, you can tailor a Rwanda safari itinerary that soots your selected needs.
When Is The Best Time To Book the Luxury Rwanda Gorilla Safari?
Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda is open year-round for gorilla trekking; however, the dry season is preferred. The dry season, which runs June, July, August, September, December, and January, counters the peak season too.
Demand for gorilla permits during the peak season gets high towards the start of the season, so you can play it safe by booking the permit at least 6 months to a year in advance. Because of the limited supply, purchasing the gorilla permits is on a first-come, first-served basis. None of the gorilla permits can be reserved without payment.
Last-minute Rwanda gorilla trekking permits are hard to find, making it challenging to book other supporting amenities, like accommodations.
Low-season Rwanda gorilla permits may be available at the last minute, but only a guarantee sometimes. In the low season Rwanda tourism period, which is usually March, April, and May, there are fewer gorilla trekking safari bookings, so chances of going solo are higher. Suppose you wish to do exclusive Rwanda gorilla trekking. In that case, you can also seize this opportunity as chances of closing off a gorilla family for just your travel party are more open.
What is the Age Limit For Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda?
15 year and beyond is the age limit for gorilla trekking in Rwanda. The nature of the topography of Volcanoes National Park is volcanic, with plateaus and ridges where these primates may spend part of their day. Hiking may be challenging for a child below 15 years.
Even the time of finding the mountain gorillas is still being determined, which is quite tiring. A child below 15 years old may need more time to be ready to withstand long hours of searching for mountain gorillas, which requires patience. A child below 15 years old may not tolerate this unpredictable forest walk.
How Long Is Gorilla Trekking in Volcanoes National Park?
The duration of the gorilla trekking adventure in Volcanoes National Park is hard to determine. This depends on factors prevailing in the wilderness, like proximity of the mountain gorilla feeding area, in case of a fight with another gorilla family, weather conditions of the day, and the pace of fellow tourists and others.
Upon finding the mountain gorillas, only one hour is allowed in their presence, so maximize it to keep memories of this once-in-a-lifetime primate adventure in Rwanda.
This also makes it hard to determine which Rwanda gorilla family is easy to trek. The gorilla family that was easy to access the previous day may be the next day’s furthest. You need to be open-minded because there is a lot in the wilderness to add to the list of things to see.
Is Gorilla trekking in Rwanda Difficult?
Gorilla trekking is strenuous because of the topography of this area. This is a volcanic area with remains of ridges and plateaus draped by thick green vegetation. It would help if you had some fitness level, as mountain gorillas sometimes spend their time on the slopes.
Carry some energy bites that you can munch on when tired to re-energize during the short breaks you take.
Do Mountain Gorillas Bite?
Mountain gorillas are naturally calm and serene creatures in their natural environment. On the outlook, these primates seem intimidating because of their dark-furred body, deep brown sunken eyes, and knuckle locomotion.
This, however, doesn’t mean you provoke the mountain gorillas because they also have mood swings. When angry, the mountain gorillas thump their chests hard, pull grass around them, walk on one leg, and pull grass around them.
Follow the gorilla trekking rules religiously, as these guidelines help calm the situation with the mountain gorillas.
What Is The Cost Of Luxury Gorilla Trekking In Rwanda?
The cost of a luxury gorilla trekking safari in Rwanda varies with the quotation content, accommodation to book; transport means to use, and others. The first cost of the luxury Rwanda gorilla safari is the gorilla permit. As mentioned above, the current cost of Rwanda gorilla trekking permits is $1500 for foreign nonresidents, $500 for foreign residents, and $300 for East African residents.
When calculating the cost of a luxury gorilla safari package at Encounter Africa Safaris, we consider the number of days on safari, the number of people traveling, additional activities to combine with gorilla safari, and others.
What Rules Should Be Followed on Rwanda’s Gorilla Trekking Safari?
- Provoking and mimicking the mountain gorillas is forbidden as you may not know what you may be communicating.
- Wear a clean mask when you are with the mountain gorillas to prevent the spread of the coronavirus to these precious primates.
- No feeding the mountain gorillas; if you are eating, do it at least 300 meters away from them. This is to prevent any chances of them grabbing it from you, yet they are wild animals that must search for their food.
- Sneezing or coughing before the mountain gorillas may spread an infection, so do it away from them.
- Keep a distance of about 8 meters from the mountain gorillas when you locate them to prevent the chances of spreading infectious germs to them.
- Only children aged 15 years and above can do gorilla trekking because of the nature of the entire experience. Hiking to locate the mountain gorillas may be challenging for children below this age. Even the time of finding the mountain gorillas is still being determined, which requires patience. A child below this age may not withstand this.
- Littering the forest is forbidden, which may alter the nature of the forest where the mountain gorillas live.
- Only enter the forest with an escorting ranger guide because there are other unhabituated forest inhabitants that you may encounter, and they hurt you.
- Only one hour is allowed with the mountain gorillas when you locate them. They have been habituated to be in the presence of humans for just that time.
- Surrounding the mountain gorillas is forbidden because it makes them feel ambushed. Please keep in the tight group so that it does not cause suspension.
Contact us for more information about planning your luxury safari in Rwanda.