Important things to consider when booking for gorilla safari in Rwanda: This beautiful country is one of the most commonly visited areas when it comes to gorilla trekking. With the country’s one and only volcanoes national park, Rwanda has managed to promote its tourism sector making it a luxurious trekking destination. Volcanoes national park sits in the far Northwestern part of Rwanda with its magnificent mountain range.
Furthermore, the park is a home for the endangered mountain gorilla species. It is also a mosaic of montane eco-systems which embrace evergreen and bamboo forest, open grassland and swamp. The park has dormant volcanoes of Karisimbi, Bisoke, Sabinyo, Gahinga, and Muhabura which are shared between Uganda, Rwanda, and DR Congo.
Trekking and seeing these gorillas in Volcanoes national park is 99% chances. It requires you to go through the thick rain forest alive with the calls of 200 species of colorful birds, tree forest hogs, and rare golden monkey species. These treks give you an hour to be with the gorillas in their natural habitat. Additionally, like any other trek, there is a briefing for all the trekkers where they receive instructions and guides.
1. Gorilla families in Volcanoes national park.
Volcanoes has 20 gorilla families, however, only ten gorilla families that are available for trekking. Each group is under a silverback who leads the group. Also, they are named depending on the silverback’s name, influential personnel, situations, and local names of places especially where they were first spotted.
- Amahoro which is led by Ubumwe the silverback.
- Sabinyo group led by Guhonda and named after Mt. Sabinyo
- Kwitonda group led by Kwitonda silverback, this migrated from Congo.
- Hirwa group led by Munyiya the silverback.
- Agastya group also known as group 13 because it had only 13 members led by Agastya silverback.
- Susa A group is the largest group of 41 members and has twins called Byishimo and Impano.
- Titus group named after silverback Titus
- Bwenge group which occupies mainly the slopes of Karisimbi and Bisoke Mountains.
- Umubano group led by Chalse silverback
- Karisimbi/Susa B group named after Mt. Karisimbi because it lives on the upper slopes of Mt. Karisimbi.
2. How many gorilla permits are available each day?
The gorilla permits in Rwanda are 80 in number and available for trekking on a daily basis. The permit is the most necessary document all trekkers should have since no one is allowed to trek without a valid permit. Pamoja tours and travel advises all travelers to book the permits in 3-4 months advance especially in the peak seasons of the year. Permits can either be secured by the traveler or any trusted tour operator. Once you contact Pamoja tours and travel, we will help you plan for your trip and book your gorilla permits in no time.
- Send an email to Pamoja tours and travel company and give us the confirmed dates of your planned trip. Also include the activity you want to engage in so we can check for the validity of chimpanzee trekking permits.
- Once the permits are available, we will book your permit and send you details of where you need to pay for the permit.
- When you invoice for payments, we will proceed and secure your permit.
- When it’s confirmed, we will then send you scanned copies of the permit with a booking ID confirming your safari.
3. Costs of gorilla permits in Rwanda.
Rwanda’s gorilla permits are quite expensive to purchase because Rwanda is a luxurious destination when it comes to gorilla trekking. In Rwanda, the permits go for US 1500$ for foreign nonresidents, US 500$ for foreign residents and US 200$ for east African residents. There are a number of reasons which explain the different permit prices. However, this is mainly because each county has its own policies. In the months of May to November, visiting Nyungwe national park and volcanoes national park earns you a 30% discount on the permits which are sold at US1050$ per person and US1250$ for delegates.
The other offer is a three consecutive days trek of gorillas in Volcanoes for US5000$ per person.
4. Best time to go trekking
You can visit Rwanda any time of the year since Volcanoes national park lies under the tropics therefore expect rain even in the dry seasons. The best time to visit is during the drier time of the year is in the months of January, February, June, July, August, and September. This is because the vegetation cover isn’t thick which gives you a chance to see the gorillas and make your way through the forest easily. However, during this time of the year, there are a lot of tourists coming for trips. This simply means that booking trekking permits and accommodation is more difficult. That’s why you are advised to book your permits and accommodation 3-4 months before.
You can check out the most popular Rwanda Gorilla safari;
9 Days Rwanda and Gorilla wildlife
5 days Rwanda Gorilla and Wildlife safari
The wet season also comes with discounts as mentioned above (refer to the point of permit prices). These discounts are the best for those who are planning to trek in Rwanda and also good for saving up some extra dollars.
5. Accommodation facilities in Rwanda while on a trek.
Generally, Rwanda has a number of accommodation facilities that range from budget accommodation to midrange and luxury accommodation.
For people who wish to have the best of Rwanda while on a trek, be prepared to have the best accommodation facilities, some locally crafted designer lodges, and those with the latest urban interior designs. The lodges in Rwanda offer single, double, twin, triple, and family rooms, for instance;
- Virunga lodge
- Sabinyo silverback lodge
- Mount gorilla view lodge
- Bisate lodge
- Le bambou gorilla lodge
- la Palme hotel,
- Home inn,
- Villa gorilla,
- Virunga hotel
- Faraji hotel
Prices for these hotels range depending on the type of accommodation, services, and the type of room you plan to use. Contact Pamoja tours and Travel Company for any information and in case you need any advice about the accommodation facilities in Rwanda. All these are near the park and around the park.
6. What to park for gorilla trekking in Rwanda?
There are a number of things to park on your gorilla trekking safari. As a company with expertise in such fields, we advise all trekkers to park and wear essentials as light as possible. Below is a list of a few things you should always park on your trip.
- Waterproof hiking boots that are light enough for you to move comfortably. Since these are mountain gorillas you are trekking, expect to hike through a mountainous forest.
- Rain jacket is another important thing to consider especially when it is has a dull-color and light especially for those who trek in the wet seasons of the year. Nevertheless, the park receives rainfall throughout the year even during the dry seasons although it is less or no rainfall during this time.
- Long-sleeved shirts that have a dull color to protect you from insect bites, long trousers to protect you from getting bitten by safari ants. This is key among important things to consider for a gorilla trekking safari.
- Garden gloves which are very good for holding firmly onto something like trees in case you slip on the slippery trails and also the way you move in the thick forests, you need to make your way through the thick vegetation with the help of your hands.
- Protective sun gear like sunscreen, shades, and a hat to keep you from the strong sun rays while trekking for hours.
- Cameras for photography to capture the moment while you are trekking. Memories especially during a happy moment bring happiness therefore, you should also carry extra batteries just in case the ones in the camera die.
7. Access to Volcanoes national park
The park is accessible by road especially since Kigali is just a two hours’ drive from the park. From Kigali international airport, you can access the park in the northwestern part of Rwanda. The route is suitable for those who don’t wish to sit for long since it’s the shortest route.
You can also access the park through Congo (Goma town of Congo) to Gisenyi town of Rwanda where you get to connect to the park in Rwanda. This takes some time from Congo to Rwanda and then to Volcanoes.
Those from Uganda can access the park through the Cyanika border of Rwanda-Uganda. This is in the southwestern part of Uganda wherefrom the border, a tourist juts connects to the park.
Pamoja Tours and Travel company is one of the most trusted tour operators is ready to help in every way we can when you book with us. We organize every kind of safari, secure your gorilla trekking permits, and transport you to and from, book accommodation as well as advising you accordingly. Contact us for any details and information or any sort of advice or visit our site for more up-to-date information about booking a gorilla trekking safari in any part of East Africa like Uganda or Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.