Luxury Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda
Not so many adventures offer more magical wildlife encounter on foot than mountain gorilla trekking in Rwanda, Uganda and Congo. Luxury gorilla trekking in Rwanda is a great chance for tourists to engage in an-foot walk adventure in the lushly bamboo forest, steep slopes to see the massive mountain gorillas.
The only remaining mountain gorillas reside in the Virunga Mountain slopes – Rwanda (Volcanoes National Park), Congo (Virunga National Park) and Uganda (Mgahinga Gorilla National Park). The other portion of these endangered species lives in the verdant rain-forest of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. About 98% of the mountain gorilla DNA is similar to that of humans, a good reason they are our closest relatives.
What is gorilla trekking?
Gorilla trekking doesn’t have actual definition but it is a general term used to mean away for which tourists can visit to view gorillas in the wild. Viewing gorillas in the wild is possible in the already habituated gorilla group families – gorillas live in families and each habituated group is allocated to 8 people to track per day.
Gorilla trekking Vs gorilla tracking
There is a slight distinction between gorilla trekking and gorilla tracking. Trekking gorillas entirely involves following gorillas in their habitat and this is done by a group of trekkers led by an experienced guide. The treks involve you immersing yourself into the verdant bamboo vegetation and some steep slope areas to look for gorilla families.
Gorilla tracking is a general term that is often used to refer to gorilla trekking. Unlike trekking, for gorilla tracking, it is more of using monitoring techniques to guide find gorilla families. A tracker makes the best use of different strategies or signs to help him or her find where these apes are. During gorilla tracking, trackers are sent to the forest early prior actual trekking begins. Literary, tracking gorillas starts first then followed by actual gorilla trekking.
Luxury gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park Rwanda
Rwanda is one of the smallest countries on the African continent, but naturally endowed with unique wildlife species such as mountain gorilla. From 2017, Rwanda positioned herself as a luxury mountain gorilla safari destination with gorilla trekking permits costing USD1500 person.
Luxury gorilla trekking in Rwanda is done in Volcanoes National Park Ruhengeri. This is accessible within few hours, about 2-3 hours’ drive in Rwanda’s good road network in the Northern province. 160sq.kms is the area coverage for Volcanoes National Park Musanze or Ruhengeri.
It is in Volcanoes National Park where 30% of the 1063 mountain gorillas all live. Located in the Northwestern Rwanda, Volcanoes National Park is endowed with all 12 habituated gorilla families including Hirwa, Bwenge, Susa A, Umubano, Amahoro, Ugenda group, Titus, Sabyinyo, Kwitonda, Karisimbi, Agashya etc and these are trekked starting from Kinigi offices.
Volcanoes National Park Rwanda is the oldest park and holds not only mountain gorillas, but also other countless wildlife such as elephants, buffaloes, golden monkeys, spotted hyenas, black fronted duikers, bushbucks alongside 200 bird species.
What is a day of luxury gorilla trek like?
A luxury gorilla trek begins with briefing on gorilla tracking/trekking rules and allocation of gorilla families to visitors. This is conducted at Kinigi offices and you leave for actual adventure at 8:00am. Your trek in the jungles may cover from 2-6 hours with guarantee of 1 hour of magical encounter when you come across a gorilla family.
Gorilla trekking rules
Wash or hand sanitize before, during and after your gorilla trekking.
Strictly a single gorilla group is visited by 8 people a day.
Don’t leave the park dirty but in better state than you got it.
Avoid looking at gorillas direct to their eyes.
Flash cameras aren’t allowed for photography of gorillas.
Keep a 10m distance far from gorillas.
Don’t go tracking gorillas when sick or ill, etc.
Packing for luxury gorilla trekking in Rwanda
For all memorable luxury gorilla trekking in Rwanda, there are comfortable luxury accommodation for visitor overnight stay in Volcanoes NP. They include Bisate Lodge, Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge, Mountain Gorilla View Lodge, Virunga Lodge and Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel.
Best time to travel for luxury gorilla trekking in Rwanda
Luxury gorilla trekking in Rwanda is best done during the dry season or months of the year when roads leading to Volcanoes National Park are very accessible. The floor of the gorilla habitat is kept relatively drier due to low or even no rains while the vegetation is short offering uninterrupted view of mountain gorillas. There are two dry seasons to consider planning your luxury gorilla trekking safari in Rwanda – from June, July, August, September and December, January to February of every year.
What to carry on your luxury gorilla trekking?
Pack light but only have essentials such as gardening gloves, waterproof hiking boots, valid gorilla permits, bottled drinking water, visas, first aid kit, non-flashlight camera, insect repellent, long trouser, snacks, daypack, long sleeved shirts, toiletries, rain jacket, sweater, and others.