Gorilla Trekking Experience in Rwanda-Gorilla Tour Packages, Best time & Costs
Rwanda is one of the three countries that has mountain gorillas and much recommended for gorilla trekking. Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park is one of the 4 gorilla inhabiting national parks. World over, there are only 2 habitats with 4 national parks that are home to the remaining population of mountain gorillas one being the Virunga massif that crosses through Uganda, Rwanda and Congo and the other Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda.
Rwanda gorilla safaris are the major draw card for tours in Rwanda due to the fact that this was the base of the popular primatologist, Dian Fossey. When Dian Fossey decided to stay in Virunga and interact with the mountain gorillas, she was definitely the first human being to closely relate with these species in the wild. Her book was later turned into a movie version titled Gorillas in the Mist and this drew worldwide attention on mountain gorillas.
Cost of Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Permit
A gorilla trekking permit in Rwanda costs US$ 1500 each. A permit is valid for a single trek and 80 permits are available each day to enable 8 tourists to trek a single family of the 10 habituated gorilla families in the park. Rwanda gorilla tour permits are the most expensive but worth it.
Note that the cost of a gorilla trekking permit isn’t the cost of a gorilla trekking tour in Rwanda. The cost of the whole tour depends on what kind of trip you want and for how many days. On a total cost of the gorilla trekking safari is the cost of the permit, meals, accommodation, transportation, tour guide and cost for any other requested activities.
Trekking gorillas in Rwanda
Many world travelers prefer trekking gorillas in Rwanda and this is because of the experience. There are two major reasons why the cost of trekking gorillas in Rwanda is worth it and these are;
The Mountain gorilla population of Volcanoes National Park is said to move for shorter distances than those in Bwindi Forest. For intending trekkers who would not wish to trek for long, then Rwanda is that perfect destination for gorilla trekking.
Volcanoes National Park is the closest park from the country’s Kigali International Airport. Unlike Uganda and Congo where you have a long drive of about 8 hour from the country’s Airport to the park, in Rwanda the moment you arrive at the airport, you are just 2 hours away from the park. In Rwanda it is possible to drive to the park on the day of the trek or return to Kigali after the trek.
Getting to Volcanoes National Park
To get to Volcanoes Park on your safari in Rwanda, you can access the park by road using a hired 4×4 safari vehicle. The park is about 105 kilometers away from the Kigali International Airport on a drive that lasts about 2 hours.
The most convenient way to getting to the park is by hiring a self-drive safari vehicle or booking through your tour operator. There are no public transport means to the park and can only be used when you are very familiar with the place. Acacia safari can help you do all of the arrangements for your trip.
Best Time for Trekking Gorillas in Rwanda
Mostly when travelers search for the best time to visit Rwanda, it is for gorilla trekking. It is referred to as a year round activity but the best time to go gorilla trekking in Rwanda is during the short and long dry seasons.
The short dry season is from the time of mid-December to early February. The long dry season is from June to September. Both the short and long dry seasons are best times for gorilla trekking.
June – September: The period between June to September is the longest dry season in Rwanda and best time to trek gorillas. During this time hiking is easier as the trails are not so muddy and slippery. There are also few chances of rain pouring during this season of the year but since it is a tropical jungle anything can happen and it can rain. This time is when most tourists come to trek gorillas in Rwanda and permits are on high demand.
December – February: This is the short dry season and also the best time to visit Rwanda for gorilla trekking. This is the best time for travelers who want to see the mountain gorillas and as well go birding. During this time migratory birds are present in Rwanda.
During the dry season it offers the easiest hiking or walking conditions in the forest. The malaria risk is also low during this time.
Rwanda is definitely a great destination for gorilla trekking in Africa. Gorilla safaris in Rwanda with the easy accessibility to the country can be tailored with other safaris in the East African region. The best way of customizing your trip is by including either a Uganda wildlife safari, Kenya safari or Tanzania wildlife safari.
Uganda/Rwanda gorilla safari packages
To help you better plan your gorilla trekking safari, here is a list of top gorilla packages in Uganda and Rwanda that you can choose from;