The Ultimate Guide to Gorilla Tracking in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park

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Many safari activities are done in Rwanda but the gorilla tracking activity is incomparable! This rare wildlife experience that is conducted in the Volcanoes National Park in Northern Rwanda is regarded as the most expensive safari activity. Today it is the most popular tourism activity in Rwanda attracting thousands of tourists who visit the country to some of the last remaining mountain gorillas.

Although the gorilla permit were increased by the Rwanda development board from $750 to$1500 but still many go for this wonderful experience.

On the day of gorilla tracking, one is required to walk up very early and report at the park head quarters before 8:00am to receive briefings from the park wardens or senior ranger guides and also get assigned to the gorilla family to track from. After, the guide will lead you to the forest to begin the search, passing through the thick and sometimes muddy forest, only eight people are allowed per gorilla family. Volcanoes national park has 11 habituated gorilla families which means that about 88 people track the gorillas every day. Once the gorillas are met, you will forget all the difficulties you have gone through and utilize the one hour you are allowed to stay with the gorillas. Spend the one hour with the gorillas while taking as many photos and videos with them. Local trackers monitor the movement of the endangered mountain gorillas daily and an advance team is sent into the park in the morning to try to locate from the movement of the apes depending on the last known location recorded the previous day.

Best time to track the Rwanda gorilla

Gorilla tracking can be done daily in Rwanda and the country can be visited any time of the year depending on the travelers need and interest. However, there are various months suitable for travel and gorilla tracking. The dry season is more suitable for gorilla tracking than in wet season, during the dry season, the roads and gorilla paths leading to gorilla are passable and the dry season begins from June to October and December to February. Although even in the dry season, it can still rain but not to the extent of wet season months. The wet seasons begin from March to May and November. However, during the rainy season there is plenty of food which makes the gorilla to feed on low ground and also to find worth on the lower slopes hence chances of meeting the gorillas within few hours of walk is very high. The dry season is the recommended months to track the gorillas.

How a gorilla permit is acquired  

In if you want to track the gorillas, you are required to send an email to the a genuine tour and travel company organizing gorilla safaris in Rwanda! Within your email indicate when you want to go gorilla tracking and the number of days as well as the number of people interested in tracking. The company’s reservations will advise you if the dates you want to track the gorillas are available, he will advise you to send the money and get your gorilla permits booked for you. It’s always advised to book your gorilla tour with a tour and travel company or a tour agent; they have easy access to the gorilla permits than an individual, they are allowed to book the gorilla permits for up to 2 months. After confirming the booking of your permits, you will be sent a scanned copy of your booked permits as an assurance that you have 1005 chances of meeting the gorillas in their natural habitat. You are required to book the gorilla permits in time at last 1-3 months prior to your gorilla dates, permits are sold on a very demand, sometimes permits get sold early, book the earlier to avoid inconvenience of last minutes booking. Rwanda gorilla permits are sold at the Rwanda development board headquarters in Kigali or at the park head quarters in Kingi volcanoes national park.  Contact us for more information about gorilla tracking and gorilla permit booking.

Accommodations in volcanoes national park  

Lodging in volcanoes national park range from budget, mid-range and luxury, these include

High End Lodges (5 Star)

  • Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge
  • Bisate Lodge
  • Virunga Lodge

Luxury Lodges are

  • Five volcanoes Boutique hotel
  • Mountain Gorilla View Lodge

Midrange Lodges are

  • Gorilla Nest Lodge
  • Le Bambou Gorilla Lodge
  • Da Vinci Gorilla Lodge
  • Gorilla Solution Lodge

Budget Lodges include

  • Kinigi Guest House
  • Muhabura Hotel in Musanze
  • Virunga Hotel in Musanze

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