Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Safari

Volcanoes national park in Rwanda is located on the northwestern side of the country

2 Days Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Safari

2 Days gorilla trekking safari in Rwanda is one of the most amazing experiences in Volcanoes national park. Many people save and plan for years to be able to meet eye to eye with mountain gorillas in their natural habitats. Mountain gorillas are only found in volcanoes national park located in the northwestern part of Rwanda. Volcanoes national park is one of the four national parks in central Africa where mountain gorillas are only found. The other national parks are Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and Mgahinga national park in Uganda and Virunga national park in DR Congo. This 2 days Rwanda gorilla trekking safari is especially suitable for tourists that are flying into Kigali to attend a business or conference and those with limited time on holiday. Gorilla trekking brings you very close to mountain gorillas that live in groups led by a silverback.

Volcanoes national park in Rwanda is located on the northwestern side of the country about 2.5 hours from Kigali city. The park is part of the wide Virunga conservation area which covers Mgahinga national park of Uganda and Virunga national park. Volcanoes national park covers a total area of 160 sq. km bordering Virunga national park of DR Congo and Mgahinga national park of Uganda. Volcanoes national park was at one time the largest national park in Rwanda but when DR Congo got its independence the park lost some of its parts to Virunga national park in DR Congo. Volcanoes national park become famous when Dian Fossey an American primatologist established her research base in the park in 1967. She built Karisoke research center between mountain Bisoke and mountain Karisimbi after she had fled from DR Congo for security reasons. Dian Fossey was killed on 26th December 1985 in her room by unknown people.

Apart from mountain gorillas, visitors to volcanoes national park have an opportunity of seeing golden monkeys, buffaloes, African elephants, hyenas, bush pigs, bushbucks, duikers, forest hos, and several primates. Visitors can also see 5 out of 8 volcanoes in Virunga mountains – Karisimbi, Muhabura, Sabyinyo, Bisoke, and Gahinga. Despite the high costs of gorilla trekking in Rwanda ($1500), many tourists still choose the park because of its nearness to Kigali city. This tour can be combined with mount Bisoke hiking experience

2 Days Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Safari highlights

Day 1: Transfer to volcanoes national park

Day 2: Gorilla trekking in volcanoes national park and transfer back to Kigali city or airport

Detailed itinerary

Day 1: Transfer to Volcanoes National Park

On arrival at Kigali international airport, you will be welcomed by an Africa adventure vacations representative and you start your journey to volcanoes national park. Alternatively, if you are already in Kigali city you will be picked by our driver guide from your hotel or residence and drive to volcanoes national park. The driver-guide will have a short briefing with you about the safari and you will start your drive to volcanoes national park. The journey from Kigali city to volcanoes national park is about 2 – 3 hours while enjoying the views of rolling hills and great scenery along the way. Upon reaching volcanoes national park, you will check-in at the park entrance and have a short drive to your lodge for relaxation, dinner, and overnight stay.

Accommodation: Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge – luxury, Da Vinci Gorilla Lodge – mid-range, Villa gorilla – budget

Day 2: Gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park and transfer back to Kigali

After heavy early morning breakfast, our driver-guide will pick you up from your hotel and you will have a thrilling morning drive to Kinigi which is the headquarter of volcanoes national park to have a briefing with the park headquarters regarding gorilla trekking. After the briefing, you will be grouped into 8 people and you will be given a ranger guide who will lead you to the indigenous forest in search of mountain gorillas. Gorilla trekking in volcanoes national park offers you 8 habituated gorilla families but the allocation is done by the park rangers depending on your fitness and age. If you have luggage, you can hire porters to help on but on a fee. Gorilla trekking takes you about 30 – several hours depending on the speed you are trekking, the nature of the terrain, and the location of the allocated gorilla family. When you meet a gorilla family, you are given a maximum of 1 hour to observe, record moments, and take photographs of these giant apes. While looking for mountain gorillas there are opportunities of spotting buffaloes, monkeys, elephants, giant forest hogs while listening to different sounds of birds. After gorilla trekking, you will be driven back to the lodge for relaxation and lunch. Later check out of the park and drive back to Kigali for a drop-off at your hotel or Kigali international airport for your return flight.

Meal plan: Breakfast and lunch

Tour includes

Transportation

Gorilla permits

English speaking driver-guide

Accommodation for one night

Food

Drinking water

Tour excludes

Insurance

Entry visa

Air tickets

Tips

Personal expenses

Hotel fee in Kigali

What to pack for 2 Days Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Safari?

Hiking boots

Long-sleeved shirts

Insect repellents

Camera and extra batteries

Binoculars

Hat and sunglasses

Energy giving snack

Drinking water

Rain jacket

Best time to visit Rwanda for gorilla trekking

Although mountain gorilla trekking in Rwanda can be done throughout the year, the best time to track mountain gorillas in the dry season when there is less rainfall with trails dry and passable. The dry season occurs from June to September and from December to February.

Relevant information

Where to find mountain gorillas in Uganda?

Uganda is blessed for having to national parks where you can find mountain gorillas and these are Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga national park all found in south western Uganda. Mgahinga national park is situated at the borders with volcanoes national park of Rwanda and Virunga national park of DR Congo.

Bwindi impenetrable national park

Bwindi impenetrable national park is found in southwestern Uganda at the edge of the great rift valley of east Africa. Bwindi impenetrable national park covers an area of 331 sq. km and has 4 sectors that is Buhoma in the north, Rushaga in the south, Nkuringo and Ruhija in the east of the park. the park is also a home to about 120 mammal species and about 350 recorded bird species

Gorilla families in Bwindi impenetrable national park

Bwindi impenetrable national park is a habitant to 19 gorilla habituated families spread across the four sectors in the park. there are 5 habituated gorilla families in buhoma sector and these are mubare gorilla family, habinyanja gorilla family, rughegura gorilla family, katwe gorilla family and muyambi gorilla family. Rujiha sector has 4 habitauted gorilla families and these are oruzongo gorilla family, bitukura gorilla family, mukiza gorilla family and kyaguriro mountain gorilla family. Rushaga has 5 gorilla families namely nshongi gorilla family, mishaya gorilla family, kahungye gorilla family, bwezi gorilla family and busingye gorilla family.  Nkuringo sector has nkuringo gorilla family, bushaho gorilla family, Christmas gorilla family and bikingi gorilla family. All these gorilla families are available for gorilla trekking to tourists because they are considered too be habituated.

Mgahinga gorilla national park

Mgahinga national park is located in western Uganda at the base of volcanoes mountains on the borders with Virunga national park of DR Congo and volcanoes national park in Rwanda. Mgahinga national park has 3 inactive volcanoes and these are Muhabura, Gahinga and Sabinyo and all these are hikers paradise. Mgahinga national park covers an area 34 sq. km which makes it the smallest national park in Uganda. The park is a home to one gorilla family.

Gorilla families in Mgahinga gorilla national park

Mgahinga gorilla national park is a home to only one group habituated family called nyakagezi with 4 recorded silverbacks which is makes it a gorilla group with the highest number of silverbacks in one family in Uganda. Mgahinga national park is limited to 8 clients every day to trek nyakagezi gorilla family.

How many mountain gorillas are left in the world?

There are over 1050 mountain gorillas living in the world according to Virunga massif. These mountain gorillas live in the dense forests of Uganda. DR Congo and Rwanda.

Impact of gorilla trekking in Uganda

Gorilla trekking tours in Uganda has come along with a number of effects to the government, local community and private sector;

10% gorilla permit fees go to the community

For every tourist that treks gorillas, 10% of the fees directly goes to the communities around the park which is then used to develop community projects such as hospitals, schools and clean water

Sponsorships

Some travelers who come to trek gorillas in Uganda support school kids through sponsorships

Hotel staff

Most hotel staff in lodges around the park come from near by communities and through gorilla tourism, a number of lodges have been set up along the edge of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park employing about 70% of the total stuff in lodges.

Porters

Travelers with excess luggage are always advised to carry luggage to hire porters and these are from the near by communities and they usually charge between $20 to $30 which is paid directly to porters enabling them to feed their families and pay school fees.

Donations

There are so many NGO around the gorilla parks and some of these provide support services to the community and mostly orphans however; you can contact Africa adventure vacations for how to donate to Bwindi.

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