Going for gorilla trekking in Rwanda is very safe for anyone interested in this African safari. Rwanda has enjoyed great peace since the 1994 genocide. In Rwanda, gorilla trekking is one of the best safari experiences that even the government is deeply involved in every step.
Rwanda gorilla trekking is only done in Volcanoes National park that lies in the North western part. Volcanoes National park is the prime primate destination in Rwanda too hosting black and white colobus, golden monkeys, vervet monkeys, grey cheeked mangabey, blue monkeys and others.
For keen birders on a Rwanda birding safari, you have a double change of seeing the mountain gorillas and numerous birds in Volcanoes National park. Some of the birds you may get to spot include Handsome Francolin, Shelley’s Crimmsonwing, African Green Broadbill, Mountain Masked Apalises, Collared Apalis and others.
At the moment, Volcanoes National Park is hosting about 12 gorilla families that meander the slopes of five of the six volcanoes. These include Mountain Gahinga, Mountain Muhabura, Mountain Bisoke, Mountain Karisimbi and Mountain Sabyinyo. Some of the Rwanda gorilla families include, Ugyenda family Susa family , Igisha family, Sabyinyo family , Amahoro family, Agashya family, Kwitonda family, Umubano family, Hirwa family, Karisimbi family, Bwenge family and Muhoza family.
The Rwanda rangers each wake up earlier than other trekkers to follow the gorillas in the wilderness to establish where they might spend the day. They forward a report of there possible way abouts to the administration. This however does not mean that I t’s the exact point where the mountain gorillas are going to be all day although they normally do not feed far from there.
Volcanoes National park in Rwanda has some of the well trained rangers with great knowledge about the mountain gorillas, there sounds, there way of life and others. They are dedicated to conserving the mountain gorillas and ready to give this information to the visitors.
The ranger guide in Rwanda cooperate with other Rwanda security agencies and neighboring security agencies to protect this area, the people and the mountain gorillas.
You also have the mandate of ensuring that you are safe during Rwanda gorilla trekking safari by
Count Large Sums Of Money in A safe Place during Gorilla trekking Safari
Not counting large sums of money in public. This may attract the wrong people who will skim to steal it from you or ambush you from any point.
Do not Travel With Precious Items During Gorilla Tour
Try not to travel with your precious items that you may not be able to offer protection all time. In case you have them, stay in accommodation with great security and declare your precious item to the lodge manager so that it can be kept in a safe in case there is one. Remember to collect it before departure too.
Know where Your Children Are During Gorilla Trekking
In case you have children aged 15 year and above going for gorilla trekking, ensure they are close to you or you trek in the same group for easy monitoring. Advise your safari consultant about this in advance so that some special arrangement can be done on ground if possible.
Do not Enter Volcanoes National Park For Gorilla Trekking Without an Escorting Ranger Guide
Although the mountain gorilla families you trek are habituated for human presence, there are other forest dwellers like vipers, forest elephants and others. You need a ranger guide to lead the way. These wild animals may sometimes be very harmful especially when you have nothing to use for defense.
Although the ranger guide follows the pace of the slowest trekker, ensure you do not deviate from others. You can be lost in the forest yet there is no network or internet service in the wilderness to communicate with people outside.
No eating Street Food During Gorilla Trekking Safari In Rwanda
You may wish to taste the local Rwandese cuisine but you need to ask your ranger guide for direction of the best places to go to. This is to prevent any chances of getting food poisoning. With food poisoning, you may be disqualified from attending gorilla trekking in case you have uncontrollable dysentery.
Avoid damping Garbage Anywhere in Rwanda
Rwanda as a government policy there is no dumping waste any howly. This is may cause you to be imprisoned. Even dealing in drugs in Rwanda is forbidden which may earn you a prison sentence. Try to avoid this. When packing, try not to carry camouflage in Rwanda because its unlawful
Pack the right Gorilla Trekking Gears for Rwanda Safari
The gorilla trekking adventure in Volcanoes National park is mainly on steep slopes if ridges, plateaus and mountains so you need to pack the right gorilla trekking gears. Some of the possible items you can pack for gorilla trekking in Rwanda include safari boots, insect repellant, long trousers and shirt, safari hat, garden gloves and others.
Do some exercises before gorilla trekking in Rwanda
The mountain gorillas live in highlands so you need to have some level of fitness to enjoy the entire experience. You need to stretch your muscles more than usual to make up for your time when in the jungle searching for the mountain gorillas.
Hire a porter too in case you need some assistance during Rwanda gorilla trekking. They can give you a push in case you are so tired to move on. The porters can also carry some of your belongings.
Avoid Getting Out At Night Without The Knowledge of the Lodge Staff
Do not get out of your lodge in the night without the knowledge of your lodge staff because you do not know what you may encounter especially if you are sleeping with in the park
What Is the Best Time For Booking Gorilla Trekking Tours In Rwanda
The Rwanda gorilla trekking safaris are open all year round but most tourists prefer the drier months, which is June to September and December to January.
During the dry months the mountain gorillas are more active with the other forest dwellers like the golden monkeys, black and white colobus, olive baboons and others.
This is the peak season too for other Rwanda tourism safaris which include birding, game drives. Even its neighbors Tanzania for great wildebeest migration and Uganda are having there peak season. You can enjoy a number of other activities and East African countries when you book your travel safari time in the dry season.
This season also has high competition for services like vehicle hire, driver guide fees, accommodation and others.
The low seasons, which is normally, March to May in Rwanda may be less visited but when you do gorilla trekking in this season, you may have chance of using the prevailing discounted prices. Sometimes Rwanda discounts here gorilla trekking permits for the low season. This gives chance for those on limited budget wishing to go to Rwanda for gorilla trekking to travel.
The low seasons also provide chance for those wishing to take professional photographs to have less destruction from other trekkers included on the safari. You may have the entire gorilla family to yourself and no other tourists to delay you as you search for the mountain gorillas. Such an exclusive experience can only be possible in the low season. you may have to pay no extra coin for such an exclusive gorilla safari adventure while others have to pay to close off a gorilla family for the day.
Although the mountain gorillas live in the ragged highland of Virunga area, Rwanda gorilla trekking is more steeper compared to her counter parts Uganda and D.R.Congo.
This is however doesn’t mean that you cannot locate the mountain gorillas. You must have some level of fitness. This helps you to go through the jungle with less difficulty and you can locate the mountain gorillas in any place.
Wearing the right gorilla trekking gears like the safari boots, tack in your clothes in stockings, apply insect repellant also add to your body protection.
Try not to be slow when you are searching for the mountain gorillas so that you do not delay in the forest
What Time Do You Locate The Mountain Gorillas in Rwanda
The time of locating the mountain gorillas in Rwanda is unpredictable because it depends on different factors like the proximity of there food and others. Finding the mountain gorillas during gorilla trekking in Rwanda may take between 2 hours to three quarters of the day.
Some of the factors why there is no specific time when you hope to see the mountain gorillas include
Proximity of The Mountain Gorilla food
When the mountain gorillas are feeding close to the starting point of the trek, you may take limited time to locate them. In case they are feeding far, you need to walk a little longer to find them. Some level of patience is required. Even the ranger guide have no clue of where to locate the mountain gorillas because they are mobile primates that must look for what to feed on.
In Case of A Fight Between Gorilla Families
Sometimes the mountain gorillas fight each other especially for territorial dominancy ao the loosing gorilla family may be forced to relocate to another area. Even some gorilla families that split may be quite challenging to locate too. This also may delay the gorilla trek in Volcanoes National Park
Death of A Member Of the Mountain Gorillas Family
When the mountain gorillas loose a family member especially the dominant silverback, they go into a somber mood. They may go into hiding for some time and tracing them may take researchers time.
You are requested to have some level of patience or you may be given another family to trek in case all is not well with this gorilla family. This is the reason why rangers wake up earlier than anyone to first establish the mood of the gorilla family and where it may be spending the day before tourist come.
What Is the Cost Of Rwanda gorilla Trekking Safari
Obtaining the Rwanda gorilla trekking permit is the initial cost for all gorilla safaris in Rwanda. other factors that contribute to the entire package include
The number of days on gorilla trekking safari in Rwanda
The more days on gorilla trekking safari in Rwanda, the higher the safari quotation. Most of the service providers in Rwanda charge per day costs. This means the more days on safari, the higher the safari cost.
Activities to combine with Rwanda gorilla trekking
The more activities you combine with gorilla trekking in Rwanda, the higher the safari cost. You can combine gorilla trekking in Rwanda with activities like game drives, launch trips, birding, Kigali city tour and others. You just need to tailor the best itinerary that covers the time you hope to be on safari in Rwanda.
The number of Paying people On Rwanda Gorilla Safari
The more people you hope to add to your gorilla trekking safari, the less the cost per person. This is because you share some costs like the vehicle hire, driver guide fees, gas and others. When you take a solo gorilla trekking package, you must bare all the costs that are included.
The gorilla safari package you choose for Gorilla Trekking
Most of the gorilla trekking packages in Uganda are charged according to luxury, mid-range and Budget. Each of these has different inclusions and exclusions. When the safari package has more inclusions, the higher the cost of safari . The less inclusions, the lower the cost of safari.
Warm clothes to protect you from catching a cold in the morning and late afternoon.
Safari boots to protect your feet from the harsh surfaces of the jungle.
Insect repellant to keep away biting insects in the jungle.
Foldable safari hat to protect your hair from water dripping off the tree leaves.
Safari clothes to wear when going into the jungle.
A backpack to carry with your gorilla trekking gears.
Toiletries in case your lodge doesn’t provide.
A pair of stockings to tack in your clothes and protect your body from creepers that may walk in.
Pajamas to wear in the night.
Garden gloves to protect your palms from harsh conditions in the jungle.
A camera to take photos of the beautiful moments in the jungle
Binoculars to enjoy the beautiful features in the forest.
Flip flops to change into after gorilla trekking.