The 1 day Rwanda gorilla tour is among the most booked and preferred safari in Rwanda. Tourists have opportunity to visit Volcanoes National Park and witness gorillas in just one day. It takes approximately 3 hours to drive from Kigali to Volcanoes National Park.
Mountain gorillas are very rare and endangered wildlife species which are located in Volcanoes National Park. There are currently 10 habituated gorilla groups in Rwanda. You will have a breathtaking experience if you visit Rwanda for gorilla trekking.
Rwanda gorilla day safari.
During this gorilla trekking experience, you will be escorted by a wonderful tour guide who is knowledgeable about gorillas. The tour guide will provide the necessary information that you need to be successful in this wonderful adventure.
You will be driven a 4×4 safari car that is well-maintained and clean. You will enjoy the three hours’ drive to the park thanks to the window seats within our cars. When driving, you can always have the best sightseeing opportunity.
To trek Gorillas in Rwanda, you need a gorilla trekking permit which costs $1500. This money is worth the investment considering what is used for. The money goes into taking care of the gorillas, some get sick, funding several researches, giving back to the neighboring communities which surround the Volcanoes National Park, paying several park staff and many more.
We expect you to be in Kigali before the start of the tour. For tourists who are just arriving into the country, we shall offer you with wonderful airport pickup service before the start of the tour.
Early in the morning at around 5 am, our tour guide will visit your hotel in Kigali. Upon meeting, you will be transferred to Volcanoes National park. Upon arrival in Musanze, you will direct go to the park headquarters where you will be briefed about what to expect during the gorilla trekking experience.
You will meet other tourists who will have come for gorilla trekking that day. Afterwards, you will be assigned a particular gorilla group to trek. And later, under the company of an armed park ranger, you will start moving into the Volcanoes National park. Most times a trekking stick is necessary.
The park ranger is always aware of the gorilla group’s previous activity and using the different marks left behind by the gorillas, the park ranger will know the assumed current location. And you will trek along that direction.
Upon meeting the gorillas, you will stay a distance of at least 10 meters away from them. You will watch their various behaviors. It is always great joy to see the Silverback, the dominant male gorilla controlling the gorilla group.
You will take as many photos as you wish and after the experience, you will return to the park headquarters in a joyous mood. You will meet the tour guide who will be waiting for you. The tour guide will drive back to Kigali. You will have some meals.
It is possible to buy some souvenirs along the way.
Contact us today for the best tours in Rwanda and Uganda.
Tel: +250 787 290611.
Whatsapp/Call: +256 782 29222.
Volcanoes National Park, located in the northwest of Rwanda, is a captivating and iconic protected area that holds significant cultural and ecological importance. This park is renowned for being a sanctuary for the critically endangered mountain gorillas, making it a sought-after destination for wildlife enthusiasts and conservationists. Here’s an overview of what makes Volcanoes National Park a unique and cherished place:
- Mountain Gorilla Conservation: One of the primary reasons travelers visit Volcanoes National Park is for the opportunity to observe mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. The park is home to several habituated gorilla families that have been accustomed to human presence, allowing for remarkable and intimate gorilla trekking experiences.
- Breathtaking Landscapes: The park’s landscapes are characterized by lush bamboo forests, verdant hills, and awe-inspiring volcanic peaks. The dramatic terrain creates a stunning backdrop for gorilla trekking and other activities.
- Gorilla Trekking: Gorilla trekking is the highlight of any visit to Volcanoes National Park. Trekkers embark on guided hikes to locate the gorilla families, an experience that can be physically challenging but is immensely rewarding when you encounter these gentle giants in their natural environment.
- Golden Monkey Tracking: In addition to mountain gorillas, Volcanoes National Park is home to the endangered golden monkeys. Visitors can participate in guided golden monkey tracking to observe these playful and vibrant primates.
- Rich Cultural Heritage: The park’s significance extends beyond wildlife conservation; it also plays a role in preserving Rwanda’s cultural heritage. The surrounding communities have a strong connection to the park and its inhabitants, and visitors have the chance to engage in cultural activities and interactions with local communities.
- Dian Fossey’s Legacy: Volcanoes National Park was the base of operations for famed primatologist Dian Fossey, who dedicated her life to studying and conserving mountain gorillas. Her work continues to influence conservation efforts in the region, and visitors can pay homage to her legacy at the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund’s Karisoke Research Center.
- Scenic Hikes and Treks: Apart from gorilla and golden monkey tracking, the park offers a variety of hiking and trekking options that lead to stunning viewpoints, unique landscapes, and glimpses of local flora and fauna.
- Cultural Tourism: Volcanoes National Park promotes cultural tourism, allowing visitors to engage with local communities, participate in traditional activities, and learn about the cultural significance of the park and its wildlife.
- Sustainable Tourism: Efforts in Volcanoes National Park focus on sustainable tourism and conservation initiatives, aiming to protect the delicate balance between preserving the environment and supporting local livelihoods.
- Accessibility: The park is accessible by road from Rwanda’s capital, Kigali, making it a convenient destination for travelers. The drive takes about 2-3 hours.
In summary, Volcanoes National Park stands as a symbol of conservation, cultural heritage, and the incredible biodiversity of Rwanda. With its gorilla trekking opportunities, stunning landscapes, and commitment to conservation, the park offers a once-in-a-lifetime experience that fosters a deep appreciation for nature and wildlife conservation efforts.
Gorilla trekking in Rwanda is an extraordinary and unforgettable adventure that offers the rare opportunity to observe one of the world’s most iconic and endangered species, the mountain gorilla, in its natural habitat. With a significant portion of the global mountain gorilla population residing in the Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda has become a prime destination for travelers seeking an intimate encounter with these gentle giants. Here’s a comprehensive guide to gorilla trekking in Rwanda:
- Preparation: Gorilla trekking requires some physical fitness and preparation, as you’ll be hiking through sometimes challenging terrains. It’s advisable to have a reasonable level of fitness, sturdy hiking boots, and appropriate clothing. Additionally, permits for gorilla trekking need to be obtained in advance through the Rwanda Development Board or authorized tour operators.
- Getting There: Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park is located in the northwestern part of the country, and the primary starting point for gorilla trekking is the town of Musanze (formerly known as Ruhengeri). Musanze is easily accessible from the capital city, Kigali, by road, which takes about 2-3 hours.
- Trekking Experience: On the day of your trek, you’ll join a group led by experienced guides and trackers. The trek can vary in duration and difficulty, ranging from 1 to 4 hours depending on the location of the gorilla family you’re visiting. Trekkers are grouped into small parties, ensuring a personalized and immersive experience.
- Encountering Gorillas: Once you find the gorilla family you’re tracking, you’ll spend a designated amount of time (usually around one hour) in their presence. This is a remarkable opportunity to observe gorillas interacting, playing, feeding, and going about their daily routines. Remember to maintain a safe distance, follow the guides’ instructions, and avoid making sudden movements or loud noises.
- Guidelines and Respect: To minimize stress on the gorillas and protect their health, strict guidelines are in place during gorilla trekking. These include maintaining a safe distance (usually around 7 meters), avoiding direct eye contact, refraining from touching the gorillas, and following the rules provided by your guides.
- Photography: Photography is allowed during gorilla trekking, but it’s important to use flashless cameras and ensure that your equipment doesn’t interfere with the gorillas’ natural behavior. The goal is to have a respectful and unobtrusive presence.
- Sustainability and Conservation: Gorilla trekking permits and associated fees contribute to the conservation efforts aimed at protecting mountain gorillas and their habitats. Your visit directly supports conservation initiatives, community development, and anti-poaching efforts.
- Weather and Packing: Rwanda’s climate can be unpredictable, so it’s recommended to dress in layers and pack rain gear. A waterproof backpack, snacks, water, sunscreen, insect repellent, and a hat are some of the essentials to bring along.
- Ethical Travel: Choose reputable tour operators and companies that prioritize ethical and responsible gorilla trekking practices. Respect for the gorillas, their environment, and the local communities is crucial for sustainable tourism.
Gorilla trekking in Rwanda offers an unparalleled opportunity to connect with nature, contribute to conservation, and create lasting memories. The experience of being in the presence of these majestic creatures is both humbling and awe-inspiring, making gorilla trekking an adventure of a lifetime.
The best time to do gorilla trekking in Rwanda is during the two dry seasons, which generally offer more favorable conditions for trekking, wildlife viewing, and overall comfort. Rwanda has two main dry seasons:
- December to February: This is one of the prime periods for gorilla trekking in Rwanda. The weather is generally dry, and the hiking trails are less muddy compared to the wetter months. Clear skies also enhance visibility for photography and wildlife observation. This season is considered optimal for those looking for a more pleasant and comfortable trekking experience.
- June to September: The second dry season is from June to September. Similar to the December to February period, this time of year offers drier weather and better trekking conditions. The landscapes are lush and vibrant due to the previous rainy season, making for stunning scenery. These months also coincide with many travelers’ vacation periods, so it’s advisable to book permits and accommodations well in advance.
While the dry seasons are generally recommended, gorilla trekking is possible year-round in Rwanda. The wet seasons, from March to May and October to November, can still provide unique and rewarding experiences:
- March to May: These months constitute the long rainy season. While trekking conditions can be challenging due to muddy trails, the lush vegetation and fewer tourists can make for a more intimate and secluded gorilla encounter. Birdwatching is also excellent during this time.
- October and November: The short rainy season can bring brief but heavy showers. While the trails might be muddy, this period can still be a good time for gorilla trekking, especially in October when the rains are generally not as intense. The landscape is green, and the park is less crowded.
The best time to do gorilla trekking in Rwanda is during the dry seasons from December to February and from June to September. These months offer more predictable weather, less mud on the trails, and better visibility for wildlife viewing and photography. However, if you’re open to the challenges and unique experiences of the wet seasons, visiting during the months of March to May and October to November can provide a different perspective and a more tranquil atmosphere. Regardless of the time of year, Rwanda’s mountain gorillas promise an incredible and awe-inspiring encounter.
Certainly, here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about a 1-day Rwanda gorilla trekking tour:
- Is it possible to do a gorilla trekking tour in Rwanda in just one day? Yes, it is possible to do a one-day gorilla trekking tour in Rwanda. This typically involves a day trip to Volcanoes National Park for a brief but immersive encounter with the mountain gorillas.
- How does a 1-day gorilla trekking tour work? On a 1-day gorilla trekking tour, you’ll depart early in the morning from a central location (often Kigali) and drive to Volcanoes National Park. After a briefing and allocation to a gorilla group, you’ll embark on a trek to find and spend a limited time with the gorillas. After the trek, you’ll return to the starting point and then to your departure location.
- How long is the trek on a 1-day tour? The length of the gorilla trek can vary depending on the location of the gorilla family you’re assigned to. It can range from 1 to 4 hours of hiking through the forest.
- Can I book a 1-day gorilla trekking tour in advance? Yes, you can book a 1-day gorilla trekking tour in advance through us or directly with the Rwanda Development Board (RDB). It’s advisable to secure your permits well in advance due to limited availability.
- Do I need a permit for a 1-day gorilla trekking tour? Yes, a gorilla trekking permit is required for any interaction with the gorillas, including on a 1-day tour. The permit gives you permission to visit a specific gorilla group for a limited time.
- How much does a 1-day gorilla trekking tour cost? The cost of a 1-day gorilla trekking tour varies based on factors such as permit fees, transportation, and additional services. It’s recommended to check with us or the RDB for current pricing.
- What should I bring on a 1-day gorilla trekking tour? Essential items include sturdy hiking shoes, rain gear, a hat, insect repellent, water, and a small backpack. A camera is also recommended to capture the incredible experience.
- Are there age restrictions for gorilla trekking on a 1-day tour? Yes, the minimum age for gorilla trekking in Rwanda is generally 15 years. This is to ensure the safety and comfort of both visitors and the gorillas.
- How close can I get to the gorillas on a 1-day tour? Visitors on a 1-day gorilla trekking tour are allowed to get within a certain distance (usually about 7 meters or 21 feet) from the gorillas. This helps minimize stress to the gorillas and the risk of disease transmission.
- Can I combine a 1-day gorilla trekking tour with other activities? While a 1-day tour is primarily focused on gorilla trekking, We may offer additional activities such as cultural visits or interactions with local communities, depending on the itinerary.
These FAQs provide a general overview of common questions about a 1-day gorilla trekking tour in Rwanda. It’s important to verify the specific details, requirements, and regulations with the tour operator or relevant authorities before planning your trip.