During this 3 day Gorilla safari in Rwanda, you will be excited to visit the Volcanoes National Park, also known as the Parc Des Volcans in Rwanda which is habitat to the mountain gorillas and also which offers you with amazing views of your surroundings. Gorilla trekking will be carried out within the Volcanoes next to the Rwandan border with the Democratic Republic of Congo. It also involves hiking through the verdant rainforest in search for the gorillas that are in existence.
Day 1: City Tour and transfer to the Volcanoes National Park
On your arrival at the Kanombe Airport in Kigali, you will be picked up by our guide-driver who will thereafter drive you for a fun and lovable City Tour in the heart of Rwanda, Kigali. You are sure to be wowed by the splendor of Rwanda, the land of “a thousand hills”. The city is very spotless and the people are very hospitable and friendly. The first place that travelers visit during the tour around the city is the Genocide Memorial Center; this provides you with information on the genesis of the genocide. You will also visit the National Museum and many other eye-catching sites within and around the city. You will also enjoy a thrilling drive through the beautiful terraced hills as you head to the Volcanoes National Park. It is a well known habitat to the Mountain Gorillas. You are sure to reach your destination late in the evening and check into your lodge that overlooks the Volcanoes. The lodging facilities range from budget, mid-range to luxury and the choice remains entirely up to you.
Day 2: Gorilla Trekking Rwanda
Following your untimely breakfast, you are to proceed to the Park Headquarters for a briefing regarding gorilla trekking by the park rangers. You will hike through the verdant jungle looking for mountain gorillas. Some amount of physical fitness is needed during this activity since it involves a number of climb hills. The experience is tedious but impressive when you finally face these Mountain Gorillas. You’ll see them in families as they go about their day-to-day routine activities; mothers caring for the young, juveniles playing as well as feeding. You are required to maintain a good distance while you watch them, make sure to turn off the flash of your camera as you capture images. Gorilla Trekking takes approximately two to six hours.
Right after trekking, head back to the lodge for relaxation. Based on the time as well as your energy, you will have a nature walk to see the beautiful twin lakes as well as cultural walk to interact with the local people. You will be entertained by these local people in their traditional dances and songs. Later in the evening you will dine and then slumber back at your lodge.
Day 3: Golden Monkey Trekking is optional at an extra Cost
After an early breakfast, you have the option of going to track the golden monkeys. Before meeting these primates, you’ll see some other monkeys, wildlife and plants. Eventually you will come face to face with the golden monkeys. You’ll observe them play and hop from one branch to the other; it is such an amazing memorable encounter! Otherwise, drive back to Kigali and in case time allows, you will stopover a couple of craft shops to buy a souvenir or two. Proceed to the airport for your departure flight.
Guidelines you need to know before you embark on your Gorilla Trek in Rwanda.
Volcanoes National Park is home to the endangered mountain gorillas in Rwanda. The Park has 10 habituated gorilla groups and only 8 people are permitted to track different families in a day. You are strictly given an hour while in the presence of these gorillas, which is worth your time and money. The walk through the forest or thick vegetation is quite challenging depending on the weather, at times it’s muddy, wet and steep as you search for the gorillas. Some level of physical fitness also is required to enable you achieve your dream of spotting gorillas. You are requested to move at the same pace so that none is left lagging behind. You are allowed stopovers so you could catch a breath. In case you fail to make it, you can a hire a porter at a small fee. Children below the age of 15 years are not allowed to track gorillas.
One thing you must know is that gorillas are so accustomed to human beings, if you are lucky, they can come closer to you and even get to touch you. If this happens, all you should do is to only stay calm and don’t panic because it wouldn’t bring you any harm. Follow closely what your guide tells you while in the presence of these gorillas to enable you take pleasure in every moment with the gorillas. You may wish to track gorillas twice but this will depend on how much money you are willing to spend. A permit in Rwanda costs USD1500 and you are requested to book months in advance due to the fact that they are always in short supply. Last minute reservations are not recommended. Take time as you plan for your gorilla safari in Rwanda.
Best Experience of Gorilla Tracking
Travelers always ask when the best time to track gorillas in Rwanda is. I must say it is one of the many activities that can be done any time in the year. Whenever you feel like traveling, I guarantee you will see the gorillas. However it is a bit difficult to predict weather in Africa, it rains at any time even during the dry season around the volcanoes. The experience of the trek depends on the location of the gorilla family assigned to you. Some Gorilla groups are hard to track and you are required to move longer distances in search for them. It’s challenging even the more when it rains; the terrain becomes muddy and slippery. At the park’s headquarters, you are asked whether you prefer a challenging trek or easy trek. Choice will depend on what you want although the experience is the same once you see the gorillas. Since we are not sure of what time you will get back to the lodge, you are most times given packed lunch from the lodge. As you climb the mountain, the altitudes range from about 2,500m to 4,500m which will require a lot more energy as you go hiking through the dense vegetation. Walking sticks are provided to support you as you walk on the steep slopes. With such an encounter as this, you are required to only pay USD 1500 for a gorilla permit.
What to pack while on a gorilla safari.
The weather in the Virunga is often humid with varying temperatures. The dry season is the best time to track gorillas although expect sudden rains. Such months include January and February, June to September. The rainy months include March to mid May and October to November.
Below is the list of items to pack for your gorilla trek.
*Rain jacket since its keeps raining
*Waterproof back/day pack for your small items
*Waterproof walking shoes or boots with thick socks
*Gloves will help you as you move through the vegetation
*Long pants, short and long sleeved shirt, Jacket and a hat
*Camera with batteries to help you take great pictures
With the right safari clothes, you will enjoy an adventurous gorilla trek in Rwanda. Bookings are always done in advance because permits are sold out on a daily basis.