Gorilla tracking holidays in Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda – Volcanoes National Park borders Virunga National Park in Democratic Republic of Congo and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in south-western Uganda. Besides its huge population of Mountain Gorillas, this National Park also harbors the endangered Golden Monkeys, primate specie that apparently offers the best diverse tourism activity within this National Park. Volcanoes National Park also shelters five of the eight volcanoes of the Virunga Mountains which are: Mount Karisimbi, Mount Bisoke, Mount Muhabura, Mount Gahinga and Mount Sabyinyo) covering over 160 km2 of rain forest and bamboo.
A few reports also claim that a small number of Forest Elephants can be found in this National Park but on very rare occasions. The Bird life spans at 178 species, with about 12 of the main species and 15 of the subspecies being endemic to the Virunga conservation area and the great Ruwenzori Mountains. Several activities are run by the Rwanda Development Board for tourists with the main one being Gorilla trekking. Other activities however include Golden Monkey tracking, twin lakes visit, mountaineering, visiting Dian Fossey’s tomb, touring Iby’Iwacu cultural village plus a few community visits.
Great Adventures Uganda organizes Rwanda Gorilla safaris and tours to Volcanoes National Park to trek the endangered Mountain Gorillas. It is advised that you book your Gorilla trek at least 3-5 months in advance. Volcanoes National Park Gorilla tracking is one of the sought after activity and sometimes Rwanda Gorilla permits tend to sell out quickly. This mostly happens in high season months of June, July, August, September, December, January and February when rains are relatively low and nobody would like to trek Rwanda Gorillas in rainy season if there is a chance to avoid it. We will arrange to book your Rwanda Gorilla permits before they run out of stock at Rwanda Development Board book your accommodation and organize your transfers to and from Volcanoes National Park. Great Adventures Uganda has been organizing Gorilla safaris to Rwanda and by contacting us, you will benefit from our health experience that has been acquired over a time.
Volcanoes National Park is found in a small village called Musanze previously well-known as Ruhengeri, which is very accessible by public transport from Gisenyi, Kigali City or from the Kigali International Airport. The drive to Volcanoes National Park is 2-3 hours and hence one can do Gorilla tracking on the same day and drive back to Kigali after the trek. You will be required to arrive at the National Park headquarters in Kinigi, by 7:00 am, therefore, if you hope to trek Gorillas for one day, you have to wake up very early for your journey so that you are on time. However, there isn’t any public transport from Musanze to the headquarters of the National Park at Kinigi.
Visiting Rwanda for 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, are regarded as the rainy in the country.
Overall Rwanda has a good whether 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 period of time. Tourists interested in visiting mountain Gorillas, this is 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. We still suggest your waterproof clothing even during these drier months, as this Equatorial climate is very unpredictable. This period is also a peak season, hence the prices can be higher on things like accommodation, car hire etc.
On the other hand, some travelers especially those on budget like visiting in the wet season. During this season, hotels have low occupancy, hence give travelers discounted food and sleeping services which is an added advantage. Also, there is low demand for Gorilla permits which guarantee visitors a chance to see these endangered species with no competition.
Visit Genocide Memorial site and Kigali museum
Tracking Mountain Gorillas
DAY One: Arrival in Kigali International Airport and transfer to Volcanoes National Park
On arrival at Kigali International Airport, you will meet by our driver/guide and your day starts with a complementary tour of Kigali City. Named in 1907 by Dr. Richard Kandt, the first colonial resident governor of Rwanda; Kigali city is surrounded by lush hills of green and is referred to as the land of a thousand hills. Get to visit interesting spots which may include; the craft market, Gisozi Genocide Memorial site and Kigali museum. Depart for Ruhengeri area the second largest town in Rwanda, with its stunning backdrop of five volcanic mountains the Virungas arriving at your hotel late afternoon for dinner and overnight.
Drive time– 2-3 hours
Day Two: Gorilla Trekking in Volcanoes National Park
After an early breakfast, you will proceed to the National Park headquarters to meet your ranger guides for the day. After completing our park formalities, we are embark on a once in a life time experience of tracking mountain Gorillas. Once you spot them you are allowed to spend one hour watching with them. This is perhaps one of the most breath taking wildlife experiences on earth!!! You get so close to these awesome giant primates. You stare at each other blankly not knowing who to break the long silence first. Tracking the mountain Gorillas through the light mountain forest on the slopes of the Virunga is a magical experience. These massive primates are extremely rare, with less than 900 living today. You will get within seven meters of distance with them. The trekking may be fairly strenuous; up to six hours or longer at a relatively high altitude.
Day Three: Second Gorilla tracking Experience in Volcanoes National Park
Early breakfast, you will proceed to the National Park headquarters to meet your ranger guides for your second Gorilla tracking day. Just like a day before once you spot the Gorillas you are allowed to spend one hour watching with them. This is perhaps one of the most breath taking wildlife experiences on earth!!! You get so close to these awesome giant primates. Take the second chance to stare at each other blankly not knowing who to break the long silence first. Tracking the mountain Gorillas through the light mountain forest on the slopes of the Virunga is a magical experience. These massive primates are extremely rare, with less than 900 living today. You will get within seven meters of distance with them. The trekking may be fairly strenuous; up to six hours or longer at a relatively high altitude. We encourage for your own enjoyment to make sure that you are perfectly fit and healthy. Return to your hotel for lunch and later dinner and overnight. If you still have time on this day you will visit Iby I’wacu cultural village and enjoy the entertainment of the former poachers and take you through many cultural ways of Rwanda.
Day Four: Drive back to Kigali International Airport for your flight out
After breakfast you will bid your host good bye and depart for Kigali. Engage in last minute shopping in one of the friendliest African capitals, before returning to the Airport for your onward international flight back home. Contact Great Adventure Safaris to book Gorilla tracking holidays in Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda Africa.