Asking question about gorilla trekking and the frequent answer from Rwanda Development Board or the rangers is what is keeping this safari activity growing every no and then.
Mountain Gorillas in Rwanda were the first eye openers after a census carried out by Dr. Dian Fossey in the 1980s. She and her team noted that about 250 mountain gorillas were existing in the world by the time of this census. Dian Fossey staged her mountain gorilla research Enquire
Dian Fossey’s outcomes about the mountain gorillas brought the plight of the mountain gorillas to the concern of both local and international bodies. The mountain gorillas were put on the list of the highly endangered primates of the world.
What is gorilla trekking in Rwanda?
Gorilla trekking in Rwanda is an adventure where you follow a fully habituated Mountain gorilla family in the wilderness. You need a gorilla trekking permit for Rwanda to get access to these mountain gorillas.
So far Rwanda has 12 gorilla families open for tourism with 96 gorilla permits. These Rwanda gorilla families include: Susa family, Igisha family, Karisimbi family, Sabyinyo family , Amahoro family , Agashya family, Kwitonda family , Umubano family, Hirwa family, Bwenge family, Ugyenda family and Muhoza family.
With each gorilla family, only maximum 8 gorilla permits are allowed for the public to book in order to reduce on the effects of mass tourism to the foliage on which mountain gorillas depend.
The demand for mountain gorilla permits is very high worldwide yet supply is limited for conservation reason.
The number of gorilla families may change any time as gorilla habituation is still going on. Even more gorilla families keep breaking up because of internal conflicts.
How Much Is The Cost Of Rwanda Gorilla Permit?
The cost of Rwanda gorilla permit is $1500 per person per trek. The cost of Rwanda gorilla permit includes park fees, security, gorilla conservation support, one hour with the mountain gorillas and the ranger guide fees.
The cost of Rwanda gorilla permits excludes tipping, drinks, energy bites, gorilla trekking gears and any other items of personal nature.
Is The cost Of Rwanda Gorilla Permit Worth?
Purchasing the Rwanda gorilla permit is costly but worth every penny. You get to be one of the lucky tourists for the days to stand amongst the only left over mountain gorillas in the world.
You contribute to the gorilla conservation fund which supports the existence of the mountain gorillas. In the entire world, so far about 1000 mountain gorillas are existing in only the Virunga area.
By 1980s, population of mountain gorillas was at the rim of extinction with about 250 mountain gorillas counted in the census of that time by Dian Fossey and her team. This put the mountain gorillas on the list of highly endangered primates of the world.
Although the mountain gorilla population is tremendously increasing every census, more financial support is still needed. This is because the reasons that led to there dwelling numbers by 1980s are still occurring like setting snares, human encroachment on there habitats and so much more.
Identify the date when you wish to do gorilla trekking and number of gorilla permits you are interested in purchasing. You are allowed to do gorilla trekking more than once depending on your interest but the gorilla permit applies for only one day.
You can purchase your gorilla permit through a tour operator like Arch Safaris And Tours. We are a licensed tours company with over 10 years of experience in planning safari in Uganda and Rwanda. The Rwanda Development Board also issues gorilla trekking permit but you must be patient with the bureaucracy you go through when trying to find availability.
In case availability of gorilla permits for Rwanda is positive, we advise our clients to purchase theirs as soon as possible to avoid last minute panic. The gorilla permits are sold off fast at first come first served basis.
We later request for some passport details like the full names on the passport, nationality, date of birth, passport expiry date and others. Rwanda development Board uses these records for tourism statistical analysis and keeping purposes. When advertising, the Rwanda Development Board gets a better picture of where to put more emphasis.
After gorilla trekking some of these records are added to your certificate of accomplishment that is handed to you.
Can I Get A Refund For Rwanda Gorilla Permit?
In case you wish to get a refund for your Rwanda gorilla permit because you are unable to attend, you have to follow the policy of Rwanda Development Board.
When you are a no-show, expect no refund because the gorilla permit is only validity up to the date when it is booked.
You may opt to reschedule your gorilla permit but you have to address the matter to Rwanda Development Board. Write to RDB stating in detail the reason for wishing to rebook the gorilla permit on another date.
When you get a positive response, you must have the date when you wish to move your gorilla permit to.
Is Rwanda Gorilla Permit Transferable?
The Rwanda gorilla permit is nontransferable especially after the client’s name is printed on the permit.
Can I Purchase the Rwanda Gorilla Permit in Instalment?
The Rwanda gorilla permit can be purchased in instalment in potions of 30% or 70% of the total cost. This is applicable when you purchase the gorilla permit before 90 days to the date trekking. Remember to top up fully before the 90 days to the date of trekking or stand to loose it completely the other potion.
You have to top up your Rwanda gorilla permit before transferring it to another date.
Which Accommodation To Book For Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Safari?
The Rwanda gorilla trekking accommodations are booked according to luxury, mid-range and budget. You can make a choice of where you can spend your nights.
Some of the Rwanda gorilla safari accommodations include Sabyinyo Silverback lodge, Mountain Gorilla View Lodge, Kinigi Guest house, La Bambou, Hotel Mille Collines, Hotel La Palme and others.
Is Rwanda Safe For Gorilla Trekking?
Yes, Rwanda is safe for gorilla trekking and any other Rwanda safari activities. In Rwanda is slowly dusting off the ashes of the 1994 genocide and its steadily growing into a lovely Africa safari destination.
The Rwanda development board rangers are vigilantly keeping volcanoes national park safe for the forest dwellers and tourists.
They work hand in hand with other Rwanda security agencies to maintain law and order in this area.
You also need to pay attention to personal safety by not entering Volcanoes National Park without an escorting ranger guide.
Pay attention to your property as not everybody on gorilla trekking safari is safe for you to deal with.
Why Go Gorilla Trekking In Rwanda?
Rwanda is a land of beautiful hills and that is why it is called a land of a thousand hills. Rwanda currently has 12 gorilla families open for tourists viewing. Rwanda is one of the only countries in the world where mountain gorillas find home.
Volcanoes National Park is the only home for the mountain gorillas in Rwanda. Mountain gorillas are some of the endangered wild animals and conserving them is priority so that they can still exist in the future.
When you go gorilla trekking, you contribute to the mountain gorilla conservation fund.
Annually, about 10% of the profits accrued from the sell of gorilla permits is injected into the surrounding community as compensation for the times the mountain gorillas stay. The community leader use these fund to support community projects like building schools, road maintenance, security and so much more.
What Else To Do In Rwanda Apart From Gorilla Trekking?
Game drives in Akagera national park
You can do game drives in Akagera national park. This park is a victim of the consequences of the 1994 genocide but is slowly recovering. During the game drive, you may get to see animals like elands, zebras, giraffes, waterbucks, bushbucks, cape buffaloes, herds of elephants and others.
Chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe national park
You need to book a chimpanzee trekking permit for Nyungwe National Park to gain access to participating in this trek. Uwinka is the headquarter of Nyungwe national park and it’s from here that you can start chimpanzee trekking. You need a chimpanzee trekking permit from Rwanda development board. Two chimpanzee trekking sessions are conducted that is to say in the morning and afternoon.
Birding In Rwanda
Rwanda has over 700 bird species and variety of habitats that a number of birds can call home. Rwanda is generally green and you can do Rwanda birding safari too after gorilla trekking. Rwanda hosts some of the Albertine rift endemics. Rwanda has about 44 regional endemics and 4 pure endemic Some of the birds you may get to see include White-Bellied Robin-Chat, Dusky Crimsonwing , Red-Throated Alethe, Archer’s Robin-Chat, Yellow-Eyed Black Flycatcher, Rwenzori Nightjar, Rwenzori Turaco, Red Collared Mountain Babbler, Kivu Ground Thrush and others.
Cultural Experience In Rwanda
Rwanda is endowed with great culture that is worth adding to your to do activities in Rwanda. On arrangement, you may attend a Rwanda music festival where you may witness the Intore dance moves where and the rhythmic sounds of the long drums.
Take a walk to the cultural center to watch the beautiful art facts of that have existed in the country for generations.
What To Pack For Gorilla Trekking In Rwanda
Long camouflaged shirt and trousers
For protecting your body from forest creepers that may crawl into your attire.
Safari Tracking boots
To cover your feet from any sharp surfaces that are in the jungle. They must be capable of going through soggy surfaces.
The wilderness is filled with stinging insects that may cause some harm to your body. You need those that your skin is comfortable with.
A poncho or rain coat
It rains any time without warning so you need to protect your body from getting cold.
A fleece or sweater
Volcanoes National Park gets cold early morning and late afternoon so you need some warmers.
During gorilla trekking, you may tripe and fall so instead of landing on harsh surfaces, the garden gloves can protect you. Touching biting nettles with bare hands can be irritating during gorilla trekking.
A pair of stocking
Tacking your trousers into the stockings gives extra protection from insects that can creep in.
Sound proof flash-less Camera
To protect memories of your gorilla trekking experience, you need a camera.
A light water proof bag
You need to protect your gears from getting scattered in the wilderness.
Munching on the energy bites keeps you moving in the forest because time of locating the mountain gorillas is not known.
What Not To Do During Gorilla Trekking In Rwanda
Do not enter the forest without an escorting ranger guide during gorilla trekking in Rwanda.
In case you catch a cold or flu, volunteer to stay behind so as not to pass this infection to the mountain gorillas.
Spitting on vegetation or the ground is forbidden as this is where mountain gorillas get there food.
Keep a distance of about 8 meters from the mountain gorillas when you locate them to prevent chances of passing any infection to there vulnerable primates.
Try to keep your voices low in order not to disturb the mountain gorillas and others forest dwellers.
When eating or wishing to smoke, do it atleast 200 meters from the mountain gorillas. They are wild animals that must not depend on human provision.
Using flash photography is forbidden because you may agitate the mountain gorillas and push them into hiding.
Ask the ranger guide to dig a hole for you atleast 30 meters deep and cover everything beyond recognition.
Try not to provoke the mountain gorillas as they are wild animals despite the fact that they are habituated for human presence.
The age limit for gorilla trekking is 15 years and above.
Only one hour is allowed with the mountain gorillas when you locate them.