Rwanda is a fantastic destination for gorilla trekking safaris, as it is home to a significant population of mountain gorillas. These gentle giants are critically endangered, and Rwanda’s efforts in gorilla conservation have made it one of the best places in the world to observe and learn about these magnificent creatures.
Gorilla trekking safaris in Rwanda offer a unique and unforgettable wildlife experience. Remember to respect the gorillas’ natural habitat and contribute to their conservation efforts by supporting sustainable tourism practices.
For the gorilla trekking safaris tour in Rwanda, the primary destination is the Volcanoes National Park. This park is located in the northern part of Rwanda and is home to a significant population of mountain gorillas. The park is part of the larger Virunga Massif, which spans across Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Volcanoes National Park is easily accessible from the capital city of Kigali, which is approximately a 2 to 3-hour drive away. Most gorilla trekking tours depart from Kigali and include transportation to the park.
Within the Volcanoes National Park, there are several habituated gorilla groups available for trekking. These groups have undergone a gradual process of habituation, enabling them to tolerate human presence to a certain extent. Each group is assigned to a specific trekking route, and the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) determines the daily allocation of permits to limit the number of visitors per group.
When booking your Rwanda gorilla trekking safaris tour, Tubale Safaris Ltd a reputable East Africa Tour Operator will assist you in obtaining the necessary permits and will allocate you to a specific gorilla group for your trek.
It’s worth noting that while Volcanoes National Park is the primary destination for gorilla trekking safaris tours in Rwanda, there are other parks in the region where gorilla trekking is possible. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda and Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo are also popular choices for gorilla trekking safaris, and they offer a slightly different experience.
However, if you specifically want to visit Rwanda for gorilla trekking, Volcanoes National Park is the ideal destination to embark on your adventure and witness these incredible creatures in their natural habitat.
When embarking on a gorilla trekking safaris tour in Rwanda, it is essential to adhere to the rules and regulations set in place to ensure the safety of both visitors and gorillas. These guidelines are enforced by the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) and the park authorities.
It’s crucial to follow these rules and regulations to ensure the safety and well-being of the gorillas and to contribute to long-term conservation efforts. The guides and rangers accompanying you during the trek will provide further guidance and clarification on these guidelines.
A valid gorilla trekking permit is required for each visitor. Only a limited number of permits are issued per day to minimize the impact on gorilla groups. Permits should be obtained in advance through authorized Tubale Safaris Ltd a reputable East Africa Tour Operator or the RDB.
The minimum age for gorilla trekking in Rwanda is 15 years. This is to ensure the safety of both visitors and the gorillas.
Gorilla trekking is conducted in small groups, usually comprising a maximum of 8 visitors per gorilla group. This helps reduce stress on the gorillas and ensures a more intimate experience for visitors.
Visitors who are sick or have any contagious diseases are not permitted to participate in gorilla trekking to minimize the risk of transmitting diseases to the gorillas. It is also advisable to have updated vaccinations, including a valid yellow fever certificate.
During the gorilla trek, visitors must follow the instructions and guidelines provided by the guides and rangers. These guidelines include maintaining a minimum distance of 7 meters (21 feet) from the gorillas, avoiding direct eye contact, speaking quietly, and keeping group movements slow and calm.
Once the gorilla group is located, visitors are allowed to spend a maximum of one hour observing the gorillas. This time is strictly enforced to minimize disturbance to the gorillas and ensure they can go about their daily activities undisturbed.
Visitors are allowed to take photographs and videos during the gorilla trek. However, the use of flash photography is prohibited, as it can startle the gorillas. It’s important to be respectful and not disturb the gorillas while capturing your memories.
Visitors are not allowed to feed the gorillas or touch them. This is to prevent any potential harm to the gorillas and maintain their natural behaviour.
Visitors must adhere to a strict “leave no trace” policy by not leaving any litter or waste behind. This helps maintain the pristine environment and protects the gorillas and other wildlife.
Visitors should respect the natural environment by staying on designated trails and avoiding unnecessary disturbance to the flora and fauna.