Gorilla tracking tours from Gisenyi – Gisenyi is a border town which lies on the border with Democratic Republic Cong, and it’s in the Albertine Rift, the western branch of the East African Rift valley. Gisenyi is a large town on the northern edge of the Lake Kivu, an hour’s drive from Volcanoes National Park and it is one of the perfect places to relax after your Gorilla trekking experience. Once a colonial beach resort of note Rubavu’s waterfront is lined with fading old mansions, hotels and trendy bars on the lake shore, ideal for sun downer, cocktails on and along the lake.
Great Adventure Safaris specialize in organizing Gorilla tracking tours from Gisenyi to Volcanoes National Park. Our Gorilla trips from Gisenyi depend on the time you want to trek the Mountain Gorillas in Volcanoes National Park, budget and how many people are you in the group and you need two days for your this trip. On the first day our professional drive/guide will pick you up from your location at Gisenyi and transfer you to Volcanoes National Park and if time allows you visit the Iby’Iwacu cultural village for cultural interaction before your dinner and overnight. On day two you will trek the Mountain Gorillas and then after drive back to your location in Gisenyi and this will mark the end of your Gorilla tour from Gisenyi.
How to get there
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.
Best time to visit
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.
Day 1: Pick up from Gisenyi and Transfer to Volcanoes National Park
Our Great Adventures Uganda Driver Guide will pick you from any Hotel in at Lake Kivu to start your safari to the Volcanoes National Park. This journey is very scenic and will take you through the country side of a thousand hills Rwanda and depending on the time you arrive you will visit the Genocide Memorial Center before proceeding to the Volcanoes National Park for dinner and overnight.
Drive time: 2-3 hours
Day 2: Gorilla tracking and transfer back to your hotel or any location in Gisenyi
This morning after your breakfast and with your packed lunch, you will drive to the National Park offices for a briefing about the dos and the don’ts while on your Gorilla tracking in Volcanoes National Park. After that, you will be transferred to the starting point of your Gorilla walk. Please note that Gorilla family allocation depends on your interests, fitness and age though there is no guarantee as these Gorillas keeps moving and changing locations as you walk to them.
Please inform your guide of your interests and he will try to request for the Gorilla family of your choice before you start the trek into the Volcanoes National Park. Gorilla tracking can be strenuous and a certain level of fitness is required. Gorilla tracking can take from 30 minutes to three quarters of the day so one needs to prepare for both. Your guide will try to provide information about trees, spices of birds and other wildlife in the forest until you reach a given family of Gorillas.
You will be allowed only one hour of photography and observing Mountain Gorillas as they go on with their daily activities and then trek back to the National Park offices to pick your certificates. You will then drive back to your hotel in Gisenyi for your overnight in Kigali town or your International departure flight. Please ensure that you book flights that depart late from Kigali International Airport if you intend to fly back after your two days Rwanda Gorilla safari in Volcanoes National Park.
End of your Tour: Drop off at your Hotel at Gisenyi or at any location in Rwanda
Drive time: 2-3 hours