Rwanda Wildlife Safaris in Rwanda Wildlife Safari Parks
Wildlife safaris in Rwanda have likewise improved through the efforts of the Rwanda Development Board and you can see animals in other national parks like Akagera National Park – the only RwandaWildlifeSafari Park, Nyungwe Forest National Park, and the Gishwati-Mukura National Park. However, for wildlife enthusiasts who would like to have a better wildlife experience, they can visit Tanzania or Kenya which have some of the best sights to view them.
Moreso, Akagera National Park in particular is an ideal destination to add to your primate safaris so that you can enjoy the sight of other animals on your wildlife safaris like Africa’s big five including Rhinos, Elephants, Lions, Leopards, and Buffaloes through amazing game drives.
On the other hand, Nyungwe Forest National Park is the best Chimpanzee tracking destination in Rwanda offering good tours for sighting Chimpanzees in East Africa like Kibale National Park of Uganda.
Your adventures can proceed with a relaxation experience on the white sand beaches of Lake Kivu for a boat cruise, swimming, or birding.
Or better still with your East African visa, you can tour Kenya and also do a Rwanda Uganda adventure in East Africa. DR Congo (especially in Virunga National Park) and Tanzania will also give you amazing experiences.
With the best tour operator, visit Rwanda in East Africa for an exhilarating experience of a Gorilla trek and other memorable adventures. We have carefully designed itineraries for your most enjoyable adventures in Rwanda Uganda and Congo parks like Virunga National Park.
Where Can You See Mountain Gorillas in Rwanda?
These primates can be seen only in Volcanoes National Park.
Volcanoes National Park has about 350 Gorillas out of the over 1000 that are remaining in the world. The park also has about 14 habituated families for amazing adventures.
Consisting of afro-montane forests, savannah grasslands, bamboo forests, swamps, and 5 ranges, visitors usually trek the primates at a slow pace and sometimes trekkers can have short breaks when necessary.
You will walk through these forests to find a Mountain Gorilla group with who you will spend one hour.
Some of the families in Volcanoes National Park include the following
- Susa A Group
- Karisinbi Group or Susa B Group
- Umubano Group
- Amahoro Group
- Agashya Group, or Group 13
- Sabyinyo Group
- Ugenda Group
- Bwenge group
- Kwitonda Group
- Hirwa Group
These families comprise different members for example the silverback Gorillas, one of whom is usually a dominant silverback or the alpha of a group. Other members in these habituated wildlife communities include blackbacks, both adult and sub-adult females, juveniles, and babies.
The Hirwa community often crosses the Rwanda Uganda border between Volcanoes NP and Mgahinga NP.
Other attractions in Volcanoes park include Golden Monkeys, the grave and research center of Diane Fossey, and birds, wild animals, and various tree species.
How Is the Gorilla Walking Experience Like (Trekking With Gorillas) in Volcanoes National Park?
The activity begins with a briefing at the park headquarters at about 7:30 am. Trekkers are then divided into different groups of 8 each to trek one of the Gorilla family groups. The less fit trekkers are given families that are closer to the offices and at exactly 8:00 am, the trek begins with park rangers leading a group to the trails.
The activity itself is a bit strenuous since Volcanoes National Park is hillier than other destinations in East Africa. Travelers find trekking less strenuous in Bwindi in Uganda and Virunga National Park in Congo.
Therefore, preparing for it by doing some exercises prior will make your treks much easier. However, even those who are normally fit usually do these mountain walks.
Upon meeting a family, you will spend an hour with them, taking photos, and videos and watching their human-like behavior.
Guidelines For Tracking Gorillas in Rwanda
These rules and guidelines help in Gorilla conservation, protecting the habitat of the primates and the tourist as they are for their primate safaris.
The private guide and park rangers will first brief you about these rules and other things to consider at the headquarters of the park before your Gorilla trek.
Below are these rules and guidelines that are common in both Rwanda Uganda destinations.
- Do not litter in the park.
- In case you suspect that you have flu or cough, do not go for a Gorilla trek as the primates are capable of catching the disease.
- When with the primates, do not take flash photographs because it will get the attention of the primates. Consequently, because of curiosity, they may take your camera or attack you in case they perceive it as a threat. This is quite a challenge because some dark parts of the forest will not avail enough light for your photos and videos.
- When the primate takes any of your belongings, allow it to have them as it will later find no use for them. Consequently, it will drop your property and you will be able to get it back.
- Do not eat or drink near the animals as they will seek to have some of your edibles.
- Only those who are 15 years and above are allowed to explore Rwanda on a Gorilla trek.
- Likewise, only a maximum of 8 people in a group are permitted to track a group of these primates.
- Upon meeting a family led by a dominant silverback, trackers will spend an hour with them.
- You will also keep a 7m distance from the family group and if a member approaches you, slowly step back to keep the required distance. This is one of the strategies to prevent contracting a disease or infecting these primates.
How Much Does It Cost to See the Gorillas in Rwanda?
For tracking these amazing primates on your primate safaris, you will need to purchase a Gorilla permit as issued by the Rwanda Development Board. Below is the Gorilla permit cost for the different categories of visitors to Volcanoes National Park.
|Visitor Category||Fee (USD)|
|Foreign nonresident||$ 1500|
|Rwandan foreign resident||$ 500|
|Rwandan citizen||$ 200|
|East African citizen||$ 200|
|Citizens of Africa or foreign residents living in other countries in Africa||$ 500|
The money collected is used for Gorilla conservation and the promotion of any projects toward protecting these primates and their habitat.
The cost of the permit is one of the factors that have a general contribution to your overall adventure.
Other factors include accommodation options, number of days spent on the adventure, activities being done, parks entrance, and whether a tour is using a tour company or not.
Accommodation: Average cost will for accommodation is USD 50 to USD 100, depending if one chooses luxury, midrange, or budget.
The number of days spent on the adventure: More days spent on an adventure means more expenditures than fewer days.
The activities done during the adventure: A tourist who does more activities during their holidays will have a higher expenditure than one who does a few.
Whether a tourist will use a tour operator or not: Traveling with a tour company is more expensive, even though it is more comfortable. A person who therefore uses an operator will spend about USD 3000 or more.
Park entrance: This is USD 200 for foreign nonresidents to Volcanoes NP.
Thus, your whole Gorilla safari will cost about USD 4000 to USD 10,000 depending on the above factors.
What Is the Best Time of the Year to See the Gorillas in Rwanda?
Every season is generally rewarding for visiting a Gorilla family as you explore Rwanda.
In the rainy season, families will remain at the lower altitudes of the mountain ranges hence finding them will be easier. Usually, even those at distant steeps will slope down when they see a group of trekkers in the forests trying to find them.
In the drier seasons, the tracks are drier and easier to walk through than in the rainy season. However, the Gorillas tend to move to relatively higher altitudes in this period, hence making the activity a bit more difficult.
However, the dry season which is the peak season offers the best experiences because of the dry tracks and favorable weather to do most tour activities.
So generally, the drier seasons of the year will be more fruitful and comfortable for your tours in this amazing country in East Africa. This also applies to other national parks for a Gorilla trek.
Is Rwanda or Uganda Better for Gorilla Trekking? | Is It Better to See Gorillas in Uganda or Rwanda? | Is Uganda or Rwanda Better to See Gorillas?
Mountain Gorilla treks in the land of a thousand hills are as thrilling as they are in Uganda. Both adventures will give you unique experiences and a very memorable trip to see the Rwanda Uganda primates of East Africa.
However, certain aspects make each destination special from the others to enable you to choose the perfect Rwanda Uganda adventure in East Africa.
For example, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest has cheaper Gorilla permits and more habituated families compared to Volcanoes National Park. Additionally, Bwindi’s terrain is easier to trek than the slightly higher altitudes of Volcanoes NP.
On the other hand, Volcanoes National Park is easier to access from Kigali when you explore Rwanda than Bwindi is from Kampala, the capital of Uganda.
Both Rwanda Uganda tours are therefore good for primate adventures with Uganda boasting Bwindi impenetrable forest and Kibale National Park and Rwanda boasting Volcanoes park and Nyungwe Forest National Park.
What To Carry for Your Tours in Rwanda
Several things will make your encounters more memorable and more still, comfortable. Some of the things to carry include;
- Camera; this will let you easily take photos and videos of the primates for remembering your experiences.
- Binoculars; sometimes one may want to do birding while for a Gorilla trek and so binoculars will help with this.
- Insect repellant; the bushes usually have insects that may bite or cause discomfort as you explore Rwanda. An insect repellant will then help to keep you safe from them
- Sunscreen lotion; even in a cooler environment, you still need your sunscreen lotion to protect you against the ultraviolet rays of the sun in the savannah and sunny areas of the country.
- Rain jacket or Poncho; in case it rains, a rain jacket or poncho will come in handy to protect you from the rain.
- A walking stick; the tracking paths are hilly therefore those that would like extra support will need a walking stick.
- Packed lunch or snack and drinking water; will nourish you with energy along your trek.
- A waterproof backpack; will allow you to keep all your belongings safely and for easy carrying.
In case you have a lot of luggage, you can hire a porter cheaply at the trailheads to help you with your luggage. Their services can cost between $10 to $15.
How To Dress for Your Safari in Rwanda
During your Gorilla trek and wildlife safaris, allow comfort to be the intent for all that you wear in a new environment.
Long trousers and long-sleeved shirts; are comfortable attires for a Gorilla trek as they help in covering your body to protect it from vegetation cuts and harsh weather conditions.
Strong sturdy shoes; they will also make your travels more comfortable along the treks to give you easy movements along the way. You will consequently be able to pass through the challenging steep slopes and some slippery surfaces.
Gardening gloves; will protect your hands from the thorns that are in the bush as you trek in the forest.
A hat or cap; the sun may be hot, so a hat or cap will help to protect your face and head from the heat.
Sunglasses; likewise, polar sunglasses help to protect your eyes from the effects of the sun.
Top Tour Operators for Your Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Safaris
Choose the best tour operator for your holidays today! Prime Safaris & Tours Ltd is the best and most trustworthy tour operators who will also provide you with a private guide on your amazing Gorilla trek and wildlife safaris.
Best Tour Packages for Your Rwanda Safaris
For your lovely Gorilla trek and wildlife safaris in this beautiful land of a thousand hills, below are well-customized tour packages that you can conveniently choose from for your Rwanda safaris, some of which combine Rwanda Uganda, and a Congo trip.
- 2 days: Rwanda Gorilla tours in Volcanoes National Park.
- 3 days: Rwanda Gorilla tours in Volcanoes Rwanda safari park.
- 5 days: primate safari in Volcanoes NP and Chimpanzee tracking in Nyungwe Forest National Park.
- 6 days primate safari: Rwanda Gorilla, tracking Chimpanzees, and Golden Monkey Tracking.
- 10 days Rwanda Uganda: Primate tour and wildlife safaris in Volcanoes and Akagera National Park.
- 12 days Rwanda Uganda: Primate adventures (Rwanda Gorilla) and wildlife safaris in Volcanoes and Akagera National Park.
Where To Stay During Your Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Safaris
Volcanoes National Park avails luxury, mid range, and budget accommodations for trekkers. Below are some of these lodges that you can choose to stay in for your holidays in this destination.
Luxury lodges; Bisate Lodge, Virunga Lodge, Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel, Sabinyo Silverback Lodge.
Mid range lodges; Le Bambou Gorilla Lodge, Garr Hotel, and Garden Palace Hotel.
Budget lodges; Kinigi Guest House, and Hotel Muhabura.
However, there are also other accommodation options in Akagera National Park and other destinations in the East of Africa where you can stay when you explore Rwanda Uganda, Congo, Kenya, and Tanzania.
Most Popular Frequently Asked Questions About Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Safaris
Does Rwanda Have Gorillas?
Yes, Rwanda has Gorillas in the Volcanoes National Park.
Other places protecting these primates are Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda and Virunga National Park in DR Congo.
Additionally, Kahuzi Biega National Park in the democratic republic also protects the Eastern Lowland Gorillas and Virunga National Park, the endangered Mountain Gorillas. The lowland Gorillas together with the Mountain Gorillas of Virunga National Park are subspecies of the Eastern Gorillas found in East and Central Africa, particularly DR of Congo.
Additionally, you can add Chimpanzee tours to your adventures in Nyungwe Forest National Park and Kibale National Park.
Is Rwanda Known for Gorillas?
Rwanda is known to the outside world as one of the famous places to trek Gorillas that live among the thousand hills of this country. However, apart from Gorilla trekking safaris, various other reasons make this tour destination known to the outside world. For example;
- The Virunga Mountains like the active Mount Karisimbi which borders Rwanda and the democratic republic, Mount Bisoke, Mount Muhabura, Mount Gahinga, and Mount Sabyinyo.
- The genocide memorial.
- Golden Monkeys.
- Wildlife safaris especially in Akagera National Park.
- Hilly topography.
Can You Visit the Gorillas in Rwanda?
Anyone who is 15 years and above can visit the gentle giants during their Rwanda safari. Gorilla permits are available for foreign nonresidents, foreign residents, and citizens of East Africa.
Travelers to East Africa can also visit the Gorillas in Bwindi and Mgahinga national parks and the two species in Congo in Virunga National Park and Kahuzi Biega NP. Rwanda Uganda combined packages are however currently the best for primate tours.
You can alternatively choose Tanzania, Kenya, and Congo that has some of the best wildlife destinations.
Is Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda Worth It? | Is Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Worth It?
Yes, a Gorilla trek in the land of a thousand hills is worth it. Explore Rwanda further by merging your trekking trip with other Rwanda safari activities like
- Cultural experiences
- Visiting the genocide memorial or the Dian Fossey grave
- Trekking Chimpanzees
- Wildlife safaris
- Visiting the famed Lake Kivu for its white sand beaches and having an encounter with the fishing and local communities, hence great cultural experiences.
More so, you can also do a tour within East and Central Africa, covering DR Congo through the amazing Virunga National Park, Kenya, Tanzania, and Rwanda Uganda primate safaris in East Africa.
How Difficult Is Gorilla Trekking In Rwanda? | How Hard Is Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda?
A Gorilla trek in Rwanda is fairly strenuous for those who do not have a normal level of fitness. Therefore, it is advisable to prepare for your various primate safaris by doing some exercises to be fit and ready for your Rwanda safaris to explore Rwanda. Physical fitness, even though not a necessity for most activities, will prove helpful for even your Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, and Congo tours.
Visiting these giants in the hilly forests is however easier in Virunga National Park in Congo and Bwindi Forest National Park in Uganda.
More so, compared to other primate safaris like Chimpanzee tracking in Kibale National Park in Uganda, Gorilla tours are much more strenuous.
How Much Does It Cost to Go Gorilla Trekking In Rwanda?
A Gorilla trek trip as you visit Rwanda has different costs depending on the experiences that the traveler would like to have.
For example, the traveler may depend on the following aspects that affect their cost
- Luxury, mid-range, or budget lodges.
- Extra safari activities to their tracking experiences for example Golden Monkey tracking, tracking Chimpanzees, and visiting local communities.
- Either use a safari company or do a self-travel by hiring a private guide.
These above factors affect the cost of your Gorilla trek tours, but depending on one or all the factors, a safari to Volcanoes National Park will take about 7000 US dollars.
The Gorilla permit itself is $1500 for foreign nonresidents who explore Rwanda Gorillas.
Note that Gorilla safaris are cheaper in Uganda and the cheapest in Congo at Virunga National Park as seen by each country’s Gorilla permit cost. A combined Rwanda Uganda Congo tour can sometimes enable you to choose the cheapest activities from comparison.
How Long Is a Trek to See the Gorillas In Rwanda?
A Gorilla trek takes about 2 to 8 hours depending on when you meet the gentle giants. This is the average time for even other destinations like Uganda and DR Congo.
What Other Safari Activities Can You Do in Rwanda Apart from Gorilla Trekking?
Below are some other activities to do during your safari to explore Rwanda.
- Golden Monkey tracking
- Climbing the Virunga Mountains
- Chimpanzee tracking
- Cultural experiences
- Canopy walk
Visit Rwanda on your Africa safari today! This beautiful adventure will allow you to have an exceptional encounter with the rare and endangered Mountain Gorillas living in the most beautiful national parks in Africa.
Additionally, a Rwanda Uganda itinerary will be more adventurous for tourists, or better still those that would like to explore all the countries in the East of Africa like Kenya, Tanzania, and Congo.
Book with the most professional and trustworthy tour operator as you visit Rwanda.