Visitor’s full passport information is needed
After full confirmation of the booking, passport details of the trackers will be require at the park headquarters to enable writing out the gorilla permits. Please ensure the full names, passport number and country of passport issuance are sent.
Please note: You must be over 15 years of age to obtain a gorilla viewing permit.
When should I book My Rwanda Gorilla permit?
It’s advised to book your gorilla permits 90 Days before your travel to Rwanda however last minute inquiry can apply to those that may be in the neighboring countries or in Kigali for other official duties and would wish to trek the gorillas in a short notice.
Why trek Mountain Gorillas in Volcanoes National Park?
The Gorilla permits in Rwanda may seem to be very expensive whereby the cost USD1500 per person per trek compared to other neighboring countries like Uganda which is at USD700 per person per trek, and the Democratic Republic of Congo which is at USD450 per person per trek.
Based on Rwanda history of the 1994 Genocide that led to the killing of almost 800,000 people, Rwanda still remain on the World’s best countries to visit based on the development of the country over a short time.
Great Adventure Safaris we highly recommend Gorilla trekking for older people as a best choice to trek Gorillas in Rwanda as its terrain is easier than Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and the Virunga National Park of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Other things to do in Volcanoes National park
Golden monkey tracking
Golden monkeys trekking takes place in volcanoes national park and at the same time 7:00 just like gorillas. These rare species are also listed as endangered – and Volcanoes national park currently has two habituated golden monkey
Dian fossey tomb hike
The Dian Fossey Tomb is situated 30 minutes’ drive from the Volcanoes park headquarters and to the trailhead to the Karisoke Research Camp. You will start the trek through the forest taking between an hour and a half and three hours, depending on your fitness oops that are available for visiting by tourists in the park, both of which make about 80 members.
Hiking to the top of Mt Karismbi is one of the key tourism activities you should not miss on your Rwanda safari to Volcanoes National Park. Rising at an elevation of about 4507m above sea level is MT. Karisimbi, a stratovolcano which is the highest of the eight major volcanoes of the Virungas field and the 5th highest in Africa. It strides along the border between Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda on the western branch of the African Rift valley
Rwanda cultural tour
A Rwanda cultural tour to Ibyiwacu cultural village is one of the key features that make Rwanda safaris exceptional experiences. Ibyiwacu Cultural Village gives you a rare chance to meet local people, in their environment, with a taste of our culture and traditions. Be genuinely welcomed by the community as a special visitor while they proudly present to you aspects of their traditions and beliefs. The only way to get to know people, is getting close and interacting with local people, and taking part in their daily activities and most of all with them.
Visit the twin lakes
The twin lakes of Burera and Ruhondo were named so because they are situated in the same areas and their physical connection. They have located within Musanze district a walk away from the Volcanoes national park. The lakes offer tourists a beautiful view of the landscape, wetland habitat, and water birds.
How long does gorilla trekking take?
After booking Rwanda gorilla permits, Keeping all factors constant like food, disturbance from wild gorillas, interaction with other animals, rain easier treks usually take 2-3 hours and hard treks take 5-8 hours.
What is the best time to trek mountain Gorillas in Rwanda?
Rwanda gorilla tracking can be done all year round. The best time to travel to Rwanda is during the drier seasons, periods between December to early March and June to September. December to March is a long dry season for Rwanda, with temperatures going up to 29 degrees Celsius for some days while the months of March – Mid May, July to September, on the other hand, Rwanda regarded as the rainy country.
Overall Rwanda has a good weather throughout the year but the dry season is more preferable. The weather is generally good in addition wildlife viewing is also more common during this time. For tourists interested in visiting gorillas – this is also the best time for gorilla tours since there is a minimal chance of rain during the trek and a good hiking terrain in the rainforest. On the other hand, some travelers especially those on budget like visiting in the wet season. During this season, hotels have low occupancy and hence give travelers discounted food and sleeping services.
Click here to read more about getting to Volcanoes National park in Rwanda
Age limit for gorilla trekking in Rwanda
Rwanda gorilla trekking age limit is currently at 15 years and above meaning that children below the age of 15 years are not allowed to trek gorillas in the volcanoes National Park Rwanda.
How many people are allowed to see gorilla in Rwanda every day?
It should be noted that globally, it was agreed that every habituated mountain gorilla family must be trekked by a maximum of 8 people per day for one hour.
What is included in Rwanda Gorilla permit price?
One hour of interaction with mountain gorillas
A gorilla permit is a pass to see and spend an hour with the critically endangered mountain gorillas. Without a gorilla permit no traveler is allowed to access the gorillas. Within this hour, travelers are allowed to take photos, videos and records of mountain gorillas with their amazing human like characters, which make their encounter memorable indeed. It’s only these records that travelers take home for memories of their safari. For those doing a habituation experience, a gorilla habituation permit allow travelers to spend four hours with mountain gorillas undergoing habituation. However, habituation permits costs 1500usd, which is quite high, but the experience is worth paying. Gorilla training/habituation is only done in Rushaga sector Bwindi impenetrable forest national park in Uganda.
Park entry fees
Unlike in savannah national parks where travelers pay park entrance fees, travelers to all gorilla national parks do not pay park entrance fees. Therefore, a gorilla permit allow travelers to freely entre Bwindi impenetrable forest national park, Mgahinga gorilla national park, Volcanoes national park and Virunga national park without any restrictions
On the actual day of gorilla trekking, travelers are assigned park ranger guide to take them through the jungle. The rangers are fully hired and paid by Rwanda development board in. Their salary is wholly extracted from revenues collected from the sale of gorilla permits. All driver guides allocated to travelers by respective travel operators stay at the starting point and wait for travelers until they come back from watching gorillas.
Besides, park rangers, the park employ trackers who hike into the jungle early before the start of the actual trekking to check out the where about of mountain gorillas had nests and current feeding area. After finding the gorillas, trackers call back at the headquarters to inform the guide on which directions to start the trek so as to avoid off tracking saving travelers time and energy. These trackers keep following the gorillas until rangers and travelers find them.
This are armed personnel who are usually at the starting points for gorilla tracking in volcanoes national park their work is to protect tourists against animal attacks forest elephants, buffalos and wild gorillas.
Refund/cancellation policy of Rwanda Gorilla permit
The Rwanda Development Board (RDB) shall refund 50% of the gorilla tracking fee for any visitor showing signs of illness. Any sick visitor shall not be allowed to track the gorillas if declared unfit by the Warden in Charge. This only applies to visitors who have traveled all the way to the park.
Those planning to visit the Republic of Rwanda must Visit the Rwanda Directorate general of Immigration and Emigration, and now Rwandan visa can be issued upon arrival at Kigali international airport. you can contact Great Adventure safaris for detailed information about Gorilla trekking and Gorilla permits in Rwanda.