Mountain Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda
Unlike other countries, Rwanda is gifted with Mountain Gorillas found in Volcanoes National Park. In Rwanda, you can only track mountain gorilla in Volcanoes National Park (Parc National des Volcans), a part of the wider Virunga (mountains).
At least 500 mountain gorillas inhabit this (Virunga) complex and live at altitudes ranging from 2,300-4,500 m within the southern part of Virunga National Park (DRC), and the Volcanoes National Park in northern Rwanda, while a few use the Mgahinga National Park, southwestern Uganda.
In Rwanda, Gorilla’s families or groups are divided into two those which are for the study/ research purposes and these are only accessed by scientists and researchers. These include: Beetsme, and Pablo’s Shida’s and have the largest number of individuals
The park is easily accessible from Kigali city and visitors on tight schedule can as well consider taking a 1 day gorilla trek and back to their home countries. The quickest and low budget Gorilla safari is:
GORILLA TRACKING RWANDA SAFARI (1 DAY)
This itinerary is made to offer a quick experience of an encounter with the mountain Gorillas in Rwanda. From Kigali, the journey will take us through the rolling hills which characterize much of Rwanda. Take photos while traveling to the home of mountain Gorillas (Volcanoes national Park) to enjoy a life-time wildlife experience tracking Gorillas.
DAY 1: EARY MORNING TRANSFER TO VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK
Wake up very early for break fast; be picked from your Hotel in Kigali by 4:30am Rwandan time to the home of mountain gorillas. Be at the briefing point by 7:00am for the tips concerning gorilla trekking.
In accompany of senior ranger guides, move into the jungle and start searching for the intelligent, gentle apes. Stay amidst gorillas for a maximum of one hour, take photos. Return to Mountain Gorilla view lodge or Muhabura Hotel for lunch. Return to Kigali airport for your flight back home.
Gorilla trekking permit costsUS$ 1500 per person and Gorilla permits are bought in advance from Rwanda Development Board (RDB) or from local tour operators you trust. Gorilla tracking in Volcanoes National Park is guaranteed since the park has ten Gorilla groups namely Susa Group with 33 members, including 2 Silverbacks, Sabyinyo Group with 13 members, including 2 Silverbacks, one of whom is the biggest of all the silverbacks in the volcanoes, Amahoro (‘Peace’) Group has 18 members, including 2 Silverback, Group 13 name changed to Agashya (meaning special) with 27 members, including 1 Silverback, Umubano (‘Live Together’) Group with 13 members, including 2 Silverbacks, Kwitonda Group has 23 members, including 4 Silverbacks, Hirwa Group with 16 members, including 1 Silverback, Karisimbi Group has 16 members, including 2 Silverbacks, Ugenda Group has 11 members including 2 Silverbacks and Bwenge Group has 11 members including 1 Silverback.
Like human families with the man as the head of the family, each gorilla group is headed by the silverback to lead, control, mate females and defend the family against any danger.
Volcanoes National Park – Gorilla tracking experience is conducted in the Bamboo forest making it less strenuous to find Gorillas in their natural environment. Unlike in Zoos, meeting Gorillas in their natural habitat is incomparable. Successful trekkers are awarded certificates by the Rwanda Development officials for record keeping and future memories.