Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda | What Time Does it Start

Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda | What Time Does it Start? Gorilla trekking in Rwanda is a bucket-list adventure that allows visitors to come face-to-face with majestic mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. One of the common questions that prospective trekkers have is what time does gorilla trekking actually start? In this blog, we will delve into the details of the gorilla trekking schedule in Rwanda, including the starting time, factors that influence the timing, and how to make the most of this incredible experience.

Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda | What Time Does it Start

The Official Start Time of Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda

Gorilla trekking activities in Rwanda usually commence in the early morning hours. The official start time for gorilla trekking is typically around 7:00 AM local time. However, it is essential to note that this may vary slightly depending on the specific park regulations, weather conditions, and the gorilla family assigned to your trekking group.

Factors Influencing the Starting Time

Several factors influence the starting time of gorilla trekking in Rwanda. Here are some key factors to consider:

Park Regulations:

Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, home to the renowned mountain gorillas, operates under strict regulations to ensure the safety and well-being of both visitors and the gorillas themselves. The park authorities set the starting time to ensure that trekkers have ample daylight to complete their trek, return safely, and minimize disturbance to the gorillas during their rest periods.

Trekking Group Allocation:

Before the start of each trekking day, visitors are assigned to different gorilla families or groups. The park authorities allocate the trekking groups based on factors such as fitness level, preferences, and the location of the gorilla families. The starting time may vary for each group, depending on the distance they need to cover to reach their designated gorilla family.

Weather Conditions:

Weather conditions play a crucial role in determining the starting time of gorilla trekking. Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park is located in a mountainous region, and weather patterns can change rapidly. Treks usually start early to take advantage of the cooler temperatures and minimize the chances of encountering heavy rainfall later in the day.

The Importance of Starting Early

Starting early for gorilla trekking in Rwanda offers several advantages:

Increased Chances of Gorilla Encounters:

Mountain gorillas are generally more active during the cooler morning hours, making it more likely for trekkers to observe them engaging in various activities such as feeding, playing, or interacting with their family groups.

Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda | What Time Does it Start

Avoiding Crowds and Ensuring Serene Encounters:

By starting early, trekkers have the opportunity to enjoy more intimate and tranquil encounters with the gorillas. The park limits the number of visitors per gorilla family, and an early start helps reduce the likelihood of encountering large crowds during the trek.

Ample Time for Trekking:

Gorilla trekking can be physically demanding, involving traversing through dense vegetation and steep terrain. Starting early ensures that trekkers have sufficient time to locate the gorilla family, observe them, and return to the starting point before sunset.

Tips to Make the Most of Your Gorilla Trekking Experience

To maximize your gorilla trekking experience in Rwanda, consider the following tips:

Arrive at the Park Headquarters Early:

It is advisable to arrive at the park headquarters well before the scheduled start time. This allows you to complete the necessary registration, receive a briefing from park rangers, and be ready for your trekking group allocation.

Dress Appropriately and Pack Essentials:

Wear comfortable, sturdy hiking boots and dress in layers to accommodate the changing temperatures throughout the day. Carry essentials such as sunscreen, insect repellent, a waterproof jacket, snacks, and plenty of water to stay hydrated during the trek.

Follow Park Guidelines and Ranger Instructions:

Gorilla trekking is a regulated activity, and it is essential to follow the guidelines provided by the park authorities. Listen to the instructions of your assigned park rangers, maintain a safe distance from the gorillas, and adhere to the designated time allocated for observing the gorilla family.

Respect the Gorillas and their Habitat:

While in the presence of gorillas, maintain a calm demeanor, refrain from making sudden movements or loud noises, and avoid direct eye contact with the gorillas. Respecting their space and natural behavior ensures a harmonious experience for both visitors and the gorillas.

Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda | What Time Does it Start


The official start time for gorilla trekking in Rwanda is typically around 7:00 AM, but it can vary based on factors such as park regulations, trekking group allocation, and weather conditions. Starting early offers several advantages, including increased chances of gorilla encounters, avoiding crowds, and allowing ample time for trekking. By following the park guidelines, arriving early, and being prepared, visitors can make the most of their gorilla trekking experience in Rwanda and create memories that will last a lifetime.

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