The 3 day Rwanda gorilla trekking tour will take you to Volcanoes national park where you will witness the gorillas, take the tour to the iby’iwacu cultural village, and also participate in golden monkey tracking.
You will have a wonderful experience in Rwanda during this amazing trip. There are various luxury and budget accommodation facilities where you can lodge and spend the wonderful evening during your stay in the park.
Gorilla trekking is among the prime tourism activity in Rwanda. Mountain gorillas are unique and endangered wildlife species which are located in Volcanoes National Park. There are currently 10 habituated gorilla families in Rwanda.
During the gorilla trekking, you will choose the gorilla family depending on your level of fitness. Some gorillas families prefer to stay close to the park headquarter while for some, you need to trek deep into the park to spot them. The joy of watching the gorillas far outweighs the process of trekking to see the gorillas.
We offer amazing airport pickup services to our clients and we assure that we shall pick you up from Kigali International airport to your hotel in Kigali.
Day 1: Transfer to Volcanoes National Park.
After breakfast at the hotel, our tour guide will visit your hotel to pick you and take around the city while witnessing some iconic tourism attractions such as the Kigali genocide memorial, the former presidential palace, craft shops , and others. Kigali is neat and well planned city. You will have lunch at one of the restaurants.
Afterwards, you will start driving to the volcanoes national park. It takes approximately 3 hours to drive to the park. Along the way, you will have a stop at the Kings palace in Nyanza. Upon arrival in Volcanoes, you will check in your lodge and enjoy the dinner.
Day 2: Gorilla trekking day.
Early in the morning, you will be driven to Park headquarters in Musanze for the briefing. The briefing starts at 7am and each trekker are supposed to attend. During the briefing, you will be informed about information that you need to know about the gorillas. Afterwards, you will be given chance to pick among the gorilla family to trek.
You will also have the opportunity to hire a porter. Later, you will start moving into the park in search of the gorillas. You will be escorted by an armed park ranger who is knowledgeable about gorilla trekking. Gorilla are quiet animals.
To locate them, you need to interprete various signs and mark left behind during their path. The park ranger will assist with that. And after seeing the gorillas, you will be allowed a period of 1 hour with the gorillas where you will witness their various wild behaviors. The silverback gorilla which is leader of the family group is normally curious.
Juvenile gorillas are very playful. Sometimes, they will even come close and sometimes even touch you. After this one hour, you will return to the park headquarters and later our tour guide will drive you back to the lodge where you will be served with the perfect meals. In the evening hours, you will visit the Iby-iwacu cultural village to learn about the culture of the people. You will enjoy the dances and various cultural aspects of the people.
Dinner will be served
Day 3: Golden monkey trekking.
Early in the morning, you will visit the park for golden monkey trekking. you will visit the park for golden monkey trekking and afterwards, you will start moving into the park in search of the golden monkeys.
Golden monkeys are endangered wildlife species and several initiatives have been started to save them. After the gorilla trekking experience, you will be driven back to Kigali or you will be driven to the airport to take a flight back home.
Contact us today for the best tours in Rwanda and Uganda.
Tel: +250 787 290611.
Whatsapp/Call: +256 782 29222.
Gorilla trekking in Rwanda has a fascinating history that reflects the country’s commitment to wildlife conservation, tourism development, and the protection of one of the world’s most endangered species, the mountain gorilla. Here’s an overview of the history of gorilla trekking in Rwanda:
Early Conservation Efforts: Rwanda’s journey towards gorilla conservation began in the early 20th century. Efforts were made to protect the mountain gorillas inhabiting the Virunga Mountains, a range that spans Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Conservationists recognized the importance of preserving these gentle giants, which are found nowhere else in the world.
1970s and Dian Fossey: The work of American primatologist Dian Fossey played a pivotal role in raising awareness about mountain gorilla conservation. Fossey established the Karisoke Research Center in the Virunga Mountains, where she conducted groundbreaking research on gorilla behavior and social structures. Her efforts brought international attention to the gorillas’ plight and the challenges they faced due to habitat loss, poaching, and other threats.
Tourism and Gorilla Trekking: In the 1980s, Rwanda recognized the potential of sustainable tourism as a means to fund gorilla conservation efforts. Gorilla trekking was introduced as a controlled and regulated activity, allowing a limited number of tourists to visit habituated gorilla families in their natural habitats.
1990s and Political Unrest: The early 1990s brought political unrest to Rwanda, including the devastating genocide in 1994. This period of instability had negative consequences for gorilla populations. Some gorillas were killed, and conservation efforts were disrupted.
Post-Conflict Conservation Efforts: After the genocide and the subsequent establishment of a more stable political environment, Rwanda renewed its focus on conservation. The government and conservation organizations worked together to protect gorillas and their habitats. Partnerships were formed to rebuild the tourism sector and ensure the sustainability of gorilla trekking.
Gorilla Tourism Development: Rwanda’s commitment to gorilla conservation and responsible tourism led to the development of infrastructure, lodges, and facilities to support gorilla trekking. This, in turn, provided local communities with livelihood opportunities and incentives to participate in conservation efforts.
Increasing Popularity and Success: Over the years, gorilla trekking in Rwanda gained popularity as a unique and unforgettable wildlife experience. The controlled and well-managed approach to gorilla tourism has contributed to the recovery of gorilla populations and the improvement of their habitats.
Sustainable Tourism Model: Rwanda’s success in gorilla conservation and tourism has inspired other countries with mountain gorilla populations to adopt similar models. The revenue generated from gorilla trekking permits directly funds conservation initiatives, community development projects, and anti-poaching efforts.
Gorilla Trekking Today: Today, gorilla trekking is one of Rwanda’s most iconic and sought-after experiences. Tourists from around the world visit the Volcanoes National Park to witness these majestic creatures in their natural habitats. The success of gorilla trekking in Rwanda serves as a powerful example of how conservation, community engagement, and sustainable tourism can work together to protect endangered species and support local communities.
The history of gorilla trekking in Rwanda is a story of perseverance, collaboration, and a shared commitment to saving a critically endangered species. It showcases how tourism can become a force for positive change, contributing to the protection of wildlife, ecosystems, and local livelihoods.
Volcanoes National Park, located in the northern part of Rwanda, is a place of extraordinary natural beauty and profound significance for both conservation and human history. Renowned for its role in protecting the endangered mountain gorillas, Volcanoes National Park is one of the most iconic and sought-after destinations for wildlife enthusiasts, researchers, and travelers seeking an up-close encounter with these majestic creatures. Here’s an overview of Volcanoes National Park:
- Biodiversity and Conservation: Volcanoes National Park is part of the larger Virunga Massif, a chain of eight volcanoes that straddle the borders of Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The park is not only home to the critically endangered mountain gorillas but also houses a variety of other wildlife, including golden monkeys, various bird species, and unique plant life. The park’s diverse ecosystems range from bamboo forests to open grasslands and volcanic peaks.
- Gorilla Trekking: The park is best known for its gorilla trekking experiences. Tourists from around the world visit Volcanoes National Park to embark on guided treks to encounter mountain gorilla families in their natural habitats. The park is home to several habituated gorilla families, which means they have become accustomed to the presence of humans, allowing for a safe and controlled viewing experience.
- Cultural Significance: Volcanoes National Park also has cultural significance. It was here that renowned primatologist Dian Fossey conducted her groundbreaking research on mountain gorillas and established the Karisoke Research Center. Fossey’s work played a pivotal role in raising awareness about gorilla conservation and the challenges they face.
- Adventure and Exploration: In addition to gorilla trekking, the park offers other activities such as guided hikes to the summits of the volcanoes, including Mount Karisimbi and Mount Bisoke. These hikes provide opportunities to witness stunning panoramic views, volcanic landscapes, and unique flora and fauna.
- Responsible Tourism: Rwanda’s approach to gorilla tourism is exemplary in its commitment to conservation and responsible tourism. A limited number of trekking permits are issued each day to minimize the impact on the gorillas and their habitats. The revenue generated from these permits contributes to conservation efforts, local community development, and anti-poaching initiatives.
- Accessibility: Volcanoes National Park is easily accessible from the capital city of Kigali, making it a convenient destination for travelers. The park’s proximity to Kigali allows for day trips or multi-day excursions, depending on your preferences.
- Accommodations: The park offers a range of accommodations, from luxury lodges to mid-range options, catering to various budgets and preferences. Many of these lodges are situated with stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
- Conservation Success: Thanks to Rwanda’s dedicated conservation efforts, the population of mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park has been steadily increasing, serving as a testament to the positive impact of responsible tourism and collaborative conservation initiatives.
Volcanoes National Park is a place of wonder and importance, offering a unique blend of adventure, conservation, and cultural significance. It’s a destination that not only provides an unforgettable encounter with mountain gorillas but also promotes the protection of these incredible creatures and their habitats.
Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda offers a range of activities that allow visitors to immerse themselves in its natural beauty, encounter diverse wildlife, and learn about conservation efforts. From gorilla trekking to cultural experiences, here are some of the top activities you can enjoy in Volcanoes National Park:
- Gorilla Trekking: Gorilla trekking is the most iconic activity in Volcanoes National Park. Guided by experienced trackers, you’ll embark on a trek through the lush forest to observe mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. It’s an awe-inspiring experience that provides a unique opportunity to closely observe these majestic creatures.
- Golden Monkey Tracking: In addition to gorillas, Volcanoes National Park is home to the endangered golden monkeys. Golden monkey tracking allows you to spend time observing these playful and colorful primates as they move through the bamboo forests.
- Hiking to Volcanic Summits: For those seeking adventure and stunning vistas, guided hikes to the summits of the park’s volcanoes are available. Mount Bisoke and Mount Karisimbi are popular choices. The hikes offer breathtaking panoramic views and unique volcanic landscapes.
- Dian Fossey Tomb and Karisoke Research Center Visit: Pay homage to the legendary primatologist Dian Fossey by visiting her tomb and the Karisoke Research Center. Learn about her pioneering work to protect and study mountain gorillas and gain insights into gorilla conservation efforts.
- Iby’iwacu Cultural Village: Experience Rwandan culture and traditions by visiting the Iby’iwacu Cultural Village. Interact with local communities, learn about traditional practices, and enjoy dance performances. The village showcases efforts to integrate conservation with community development.
- Nature Walks and Birdwatching: Explore the park’s lush forests and diverse ecosystems on guided nature walks. You can spot various bird species and learn about the unique plant life that inhabits the park.
- Twin Lakes Visit: Take a trip to the beautiful Twin Lakes of Burera and Ruhondo, located near Volcanoes National Park. Enjoy scenic views, interact with local communities, and even embark on a boat ride on the lakes.
- Community and Conservation Initiatives: Engage in activities that support local communities and conservation efforts. Participate in tree planting, community visits, and other initiatives that contribute to the park’s sustainable management.
- Photography and Sightseeing: Whether you’re capturing the beauty of the mountain gorillas, the stunning landscapes, or the intricate details of the park’s flora and fauna, photography enthusiasts will find endless opportunities for breathtaking shots.
- Relaxation and Reflection: Take some time to simply soak in the serene ambiance of the park. Relax, meditate, and reflect on the natural wonders around you.
Remember that some activities, such as gorilla and golden monkey tracking, require advance booking and permits due to their limited availability. When planning your visit to Volcanoes National Park, consider your interests, physical fitness, and the experiences you’d like to have. Each activity offers a unique way to connect with the park’s beauty, wildlife, and conservation efforts.
Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda is renowned for its biodiversity, hosting a variety of wildlife species within its diverse ecosystems. While the park is most famous for its population of mountain gorillas, it is also home to other animals that contribute to its vibrant ecosystem. Here’s a list of some of the notable animals that can be found in Volcanoes National Park:
- Mountain Gorillas (Endangered)
- Golden Monkeys (Endangered)
- Black-and-white Colobus Monkeys
- L’Hoest’s Monkeys
- African Forest Elephants
- Duikers (Various species)
- Giant Forest Hogs
- Spotted Hyenas
- Side-striped Jackals
- African Civets
- African Clawless Otters
- Various Bat Species
Birds: Volcanoes National Park is also a haven for birdwatchers, with over 200 bird species recorded. Some of the notable bird species include:
- Rwenzori Turacos
- Rwenzori Double-collared Sunbirds
- Crowned Hornbills
- Kivu Ground Thrushes
- Malachite Sunbirds
- Rwenzori Batis
- Grauer’s Warblers
Reptiles and Amphibians: 22. African Green Mambas
- Gaboon Vipers
- African Clawed Frogs
- African Bullfrogs
Butterflies and Insects: 26. Various Butterfly Species
- Praying Mantises
- Stick Insects
Aquatic Life: 29. Various Fish Species (in lakes and streams)
Please note that this list represents only a portion of the incredible biodiversity found in Volcanoes National Park. The park’s distinct habitats, which include bamboo forests, montane forests, and open grasslands, support a wide variety of species that contribute to its unique and vibrant ecosystem. Guided treks, nature walks, and other activities provide opportunities to encounter these remarkable creatures during your visit.
Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda offers a range of accommodation options that cater to different preferences and budgets. Whether you’re seeking luxury lodges, comfortable camps, or budget-friendly stays, the park provides a variety of accommodations that allow you to immerse yourself in its natural beauty and wildlife. Here are some accommodation choices available within or near Volcanoes National Park:
- Bisate Lodge: Bisate Lodge is a luxury accommodation option situated near the park. The lodge offers luxurious villas with stunning views of the surrounding landscape. It’s known for its eco-friendly design and commitment to conservation.
- Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge: This upscale lodge offers comfortable accommodations with views of the Virunga volcanoes. It’s located near the park’s headquarters, making it convenient for gorilla trekking. The lodge supports community initiatives and offers a range of amenities.
- Virunga Lodge: Virunga Lodge is another luxury option that offers breathtaking views of the Virunga volcanoes and the twin lakes. The lodge provides spacious cottages, a restaurant, and various activities to enhance your experience.
- Amakoro Songa Lodge: Amakoro Songa Lodge offers mid-range accommodations with cozy cottages and beautiful views. The lodge emphasizes sustainability and community involvement.
- Kinigi Guest House: Located near the park headquarters, Kinigi Guest House offers comfortable and budget-friendly accommodations. It’s a good option for travelers looking for a more affordable stay.
- Muhabura Hotel: Muhabura Hotel is situated in Musanze, which is a town close to the park. It provides budget-friendly accommodations, making it suitable for those seeking a cost-effective stay.
- Gorillas Volcanoes Hotel: Gorillas Volcanoes Hotel is another option located in Musanze. It offers mid-range accommodations, a restaurant, and easy access to the park.
- Guesthouses: There are also various Airbnb listings and guesthouses in the nearby town of Musanze, offering additional accommodation options.
When planning your stay in Volcanoes National Park, consider your preferences, budget, and the experiences you want to have. Whether you choose luxury lodges, mid-range accommodations, or budget stays, Volcanoes National Park provides a range of choices to enhance your wildlife and nature adventure. It’s advisable to book your accommodations well in advance, especially during peak seasons when demand is high.
The best time to visit Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda depends on your preferences and the experiences you’re seeking. The park offers distinct advantages and unique attractions throughout the year. Here’s a breakdown of the best times to visit Volcanoes National Park:
- Dry Season (June to September and December to February): The dry season is generally considered the best time to visit Volcanoes National Park. During these months, the weather is relatively dry, and the trails are less muddy, making trekking more comfortable. This is also when gorilla trekking is most popular, as the drier conditions make the trails more accessible and wildlife is often easier to spot.
- Gorilla Trekking and Golden Monkey Tracking: The dry season, particularly from June to September and December to February, is ideal for gorilla trekking and golden monkey tracking. The clearer weather makes the experience more enjoyable, and wildlife is often more active and visible.
- Shoulder Seasons (March to May and October to November): The shoulder seasons are characterized by light rains, and while they can be considered the low season, they also have their advantages. The parks are less crowded, allowing for a more intimate experience with the gorillas and other wildlife. Additionally, the landscape is lush and green during this time, providing a picturesque backdrop for your adventures.
- Birdwatching: If you’re a bird enthusiast, the wetter months of the shoulder season (April to May and October to November) are excellent for birdwatching. Many migratory bird species join the resident birds, enhancing the diversity of avian species in the park.
- Photography and Scenery: Both the dry and shoulder seasons offer great opportunities for photography and enjoying the park’s stunning landscapes. The lush greenery of the wetter months and the clearer skies of the dry months provide different perspectives for capturing the park’s beauty.
- Accessibility: The park is accessible year-round, but road conditions might be more challenging during the wet season (March to May and October to November). Some areas may become muddy and difficult to navigate during heavy rains.
- Gorilla Permit Availability: It’s important to note that gorilla trekking permits are in high demand, and it’s advisable to book them well in advance, regardless of the season you plan to visit.
The best time to visit Volcanoes National Park depends on your interests, preferences, and the experiences you want to have. Whether you prioritize optimal gorilla trekking conditions, birdwatching, or the lush landscapes of the shoulder seasons, Volcanoes National Park offers a unique and unforgettable experience year-round.
Certainly, here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about a 3-day Rwanda gorilla tour:
- What is a 3-day Rwanda gorilla tour? A 3-day Rwanda gorilla tour is a short and immersive itinerary that allows you to experience gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park over the course of three days. It typically includes trekking to see mountain gorillas, as well as opportunities for cultural experiences and exploring the local surroundings.
- How does a 3-day gorilla tour itinerary usually look like? The itinerary typically includes:
- Day 1: Arrival in Rwanda, transfer to your accommodation near Volcanoes National Park.
- Day 2: Gorilla trekking experience, cultural activities or visits to local communities.
- Day 3: Optional activities such as another gorilla trek, golden monkey trekking, or exploring nearby attractions, followed by departure.
- How much does a 3-day gorilla tour cost? The cost of a 3-day gorilla tour varies depending on factors like accommodation, transportation, permit fees, and additional activities. It’s advisable to contact tour operators or the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) for accurate pricing.
- Do I need a permit for gorilla trekking on a 3-day tour? Yes, a gorilla trekking permit is required for each day you plan to trek with the gorillas. This allows you to visit a different gorilla group on each day of your tour.
- How many gorilla families can I visit on a 3-day tour? With a 3-day tour, you have the opportunity to visit up to three different gorilla families on each day. This enhances your chances of observing different behaviors and dynamics among the gorilla groups.
- Are there age restrictions for gorilla trekking on a 3-day tour? Yes, the minimum age for gorilla trekking in Rwanda is usually 15 years. However, age restrictions may vary slightly among different tour operators.
- What should I pack for a 3-day gorilla tour? Pack essentials such as comfortable hiking shoes, rain gear, a hat, insect repellent, sunscreen, a camera, and appropriate clothing for different weather conditions.
- Can I combine gorilla trekking with other activities on a 3-day tour? Yes, a 3-day tour allows for flexibility in combining gorilla trekking with other activities such as golden monkey trekking, cultural visits, nature walks, or exploring nearby attractions.
- What is the level of physical fitness required for a 3-day gorilla tour? Gorilla trekking involves hiking through uneven terrain and dense vegetation. While you don’t need to be an athlete, a reasonable level of fitness and mobility is recommended for an enjoyable trekking experience.
These FAQs offer insights into common questions about a 3-day Rwanda gorilla tour.