Rwanda is renowned for its gorilla trekking tours, offering an incredible opportunity to encounter endangered mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. Here’s some important information about gorilla trekking tours in Rwanda:
Volcanoes National Park: Located in the Virunga Mountains, Volcanoes National Park is the primary destination for gorilla trekking in Rwanda. It is home to several habituated gorilla families and offers breathtaking scenery.
Gorilla Trekking Permits: To participate in gorilla trekking in Rwanda, you need to obtain a gorilla trekking permit. These permits are limited in number and should be booked in advance through the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) or authorized tour operators. It is advisable to secure your permits well in advance as they can be in high demand.
Trekking Experience: Gorilla trekking involves hiking through the forest in search of gorilla families. Treks can vary in duration and difficulty, ranging from a few hours to a full day. The actual time spent with the gorillas is limited to one hour to ensure minimal disturbance to their natural behavior.
Experienced Guides: During your gorilla trek, you will be accompanied by experienced guides and trackers who are knowledgeable about the gorillas and the forest. They will provide insights, ensure your safety, and assist in locating the gorilla families.
Health and Safety: Gorillas are susceptible to human diseases, so it’s important to follow health guidelines to protect their well-being. Visitors are required to wear face masks, maintain a distance of at least 7 meters (about 23 feet) from the gorillas, and avoid trekking if they are experiencing any illnesses, such as cold or flu.
What to Pack: Essential items to pack for gorilla trekking include sturdy hiking boots, long trousers, long-sleeved shirts, waterproof clothing, insect repellent, a hat, sunscreen, and a backpack for carrying water and snacks. It’s also advisable to bring a good camera to capture your unforgettable encounters with the gorillas.
Accommodation: There are various accommodation options available near Volcanoes National Park, ranging from luxury lodges to budget-friendly options. It’s recommended to book accommodation in advance, especially during peak seasons.
Other Activities: In addition to gorilla trekking, Volcanoes National Park offers other activities such as golden monkey tracking, nature walks, and visits to the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International’s Karisoke Research Center.
Gorilla trekking tours in Rwanda offer a unique and life-changing wildlife experience. They not only provide the chance to see mountain gorillas up close but also contribute to their conservation efforts. It is important to respect the gorillas and their natural habitat by following the guidelines and regulations set by the authorities.
It’s always advisable to check with the Rwanda Development Board or reputable tour operators for the most up-to-date information and guidelines regarding gorilla trekking in Rwanda.