Gorilla Trekking in Volcanoes National Park
Gorilla Trekking in Volcanoes National Park: Volcanoes national park in Rwanda is the only park in the country that offers visitors gorilla trekking tours. The national park has a total of 15 habituated gorilla families with only 10 available to tourists for tracking.
Volcanoes national park in Rwanda is one of the oldest national parks in Africa following its establishment in 1925. The national park is blessed with a number of bird and plant species. It is also one of the habitats that is home to the endangered species of Mountain Gorillas in the world; the others being in Virunga National Park in DRC and Mgahinga National Park in Uganda.
The national park covers a total area of 160 kilometers squared and is known for various biodiversity including the five volcanic mountains out of the nine Virunga mountains, vegetation types, endangered mountain gorillas, golden monkeys, animal species like elephants, buffaloes, bushbucks, giant forest hogs, bird species among others. It has 178 bird species of which 13 species and 16 sub species are found in the Virunga Conservation Area and Rwenzori Mountains respectively.
Gorilla Trekking in Volcanoes National Park.
Gorilla trekking is the major activity conducted in Volcanoes national park in Rwanda. Gorilla trekking is an exciting activity where visitors above the age of fifteen years move into the forest in search of the endangered mountain gorillas and once found spend one hour with the gorillas in their natural habitat. Gorilla trekking activity starts with a briefing in the morning about the expectations and rules to follow while trekking in the jungle at the park headquarters in Kinigi. After the briefing you will be grouped into 8 people according to your interests and physical fitness, you will be allocated a park guide and then start trekking. Gorilla trekking takes about 2 to 7 hours depending on the location of the gorillas because they like to move from one place to another in search of food.
The national park is a home of over 15 habituated gorilla groups of which one family called Hirwa migrated to Mgahinga national park in Uganda in October 2019 leaving them 14 Gorilla groups. Gorilla trekking tours in Volcanoes national park allows a maximum of 8 people to trek each habituated gorilla family and once found visitors are slowed to spend one hour with the gorillas leaning more about their behaviors, habitat, taking photos among others which gives them extra ordinary gorilla trekking experiences on their safari.
Cost of a Gorilla Trekking Permit in Volcanoes National Park.
Gorilla trekking permit in Volcanoes national park costs $1500 for all nationalities and is the most expensive gorilla trekking in other gorilla destinations for example in Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga gorilla national park the gorilla trekking permit costs $700 for Foreign Non Residents and $600 for Foreign Residents while in Congo a gorilla trekking permit costs $400 for Foreign Non Residents. The gorilla trekking permit in Rwanda is worth the money paid because it allows you to spend one hour with the gorillas in their natural environment and is valid for one day just like other gorilla destinations and gives you the best gorilla experience on your safari in Rwanda.
Accommodation in Volcanoes National Park.
Tourists visiting Volcanoes national park can stay accommodation facilities including Virunga Lodge, Bisate Lodge, Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge, Mountain Gorilla View Lodge, Kinigi Guest House, Da Vinci Gorilla Lodge, Muhabura Hotel, Mountain Gorillas Nest Lodge among others which offer comfortable shelter, great scenic views of the national park, prepare both local and international dishes for visitors, offer other service facilities like sauna, massage, swimming pool, free internet, library among others which make the visitors on a safari in Rwanda exciting.
Best Time for gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park.
The national park can be visited all year round however the best time to visit is during the drier season in the months of June, July, August, September, December, January and February when there is less rainfalls in the forest, short grass which gives easy viewing of the gorillas, dry grounds among others. Gorillas can as well be visited during the wet season in the months of March to May and October to November though there is always heavy rainfall which makes trekking difficult due to the wet, muddy and slippery grounds.
How to get to Volcanoes National Park.
The national park can be accessed by road from Gisenyi town or Kigali City. All trips to the national park begin at Kigali International Airport. Visitors will then have to embark on a 2 hours’ drive to the park’s headquarters in Kinigi. The national park’s close proximity to Kigali City makes it a convenient destination for short tours.
Other Activities Offered in Volcanoes National Park.
Other activities offered in Volcanoes national park include; golden monkey trekking, hike to Dian Fossey, hike Bisoke and Karisimbi Mountains, birding, guided forest walk and community cultural tours like a visit to the Iby’ iwacu Community Village.
Visitors can as well combine gorilla trekking in volcanoes national park with chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe Forest national park and a guide hike to and from the canopy walkway bridge in Nyungwe forest.
Contact our team of expert tour consultants at Explore Rwanda Tours for the best offers on safaris in Rwanda.