Gorilla Hike
Rwanda

ABOUT THIS HIKE

Tracking Rwanda’s mountain gorilla remains one of the most moving, life changing experiences. 

Known as the Land of a Thousand Hills, Rwanda is a small and beautiful country. Its sweeping grasslands rise up from the plains and lakes of the eastern borders to meet a mountain range that runs north to south, which make Rwanda an excellent luxury safari and holiday destination. Intermittently broken up by plateaus and highland, it is a crucial source of water for both the Congo and the Nile. 

Volcanoes National Park is part home to Rwanda’s Virunga Mountains and possibly the best place in the world for mountain gorilla trekking. It is Africa’s oldest park and as such makes for an extraordinary experience.  

 

Rwanda is home to more than 60% of the World’s mountain gorilla and the country has managed to slightly increase this number in recent years, despite well-documented difficulties it has faced. 

The plight of the mountain gorilla first reached the outside world via the writings and documentaries of Dian Fossey (Gorillas In The Mist), and its continued survival owes much to her pioneering work.  Her death was a great blow to the world of conservation, but The Parc National Des Volcanes remains in good hands, and since 1999 has, year in, year out, welcomed a growing number of international travellers, all keen to experience that almost spiritual sense of wonder that comes with tracking mountain gorillas. 

 

Requiring only that you are moderately fit, your gorilla trekking will begin early in the morning, and can take anything from one to eight hours. Accompanied by gorilla guide, an armed ranger, in accordance with park regulations you will spend an hour in the company of the gorillas. 

HOW MANY GORILLAS WILL YOU SEE? 

Over 18 gorilla families inhabit Volcanoes National Park, and only 12 of them are open for trekking. The others are reserved for research. Gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park always starts at Kinigi HQ with a briefing. It’s typically done by 8 people (in groups) and you’ll be assigned to a gorilla family for the day. 

HOW MUCH TIME WILL YOU SPEND WITH THE GORILLAS? 

Your gorilla trekking permit will allow you one hour with an assigned gorilla group. Though it can take from 30 minutes to 9 hours for a gorilla trek, most tourists find them within 3 hours. 

THINGS TO DO IN RWANDA, BESIDES GORILLA TREKKING

There are many things you can do after gorilla trekking permits in Rwanda. You can visit Nyungwe Forest – home to chimpanzees and many other primates, or go on Kibinga forest walk or Nyanza safari tour by boat. There are also several hiking trails that don’t require special permits : Ruhengeri Bridge trail , Mahoma trail or Kinigi Bigogwe trail. 

ITINERARY

Day 1: 

Arrive in Rwanda transfer to Volcanoes National Park 

You will be meet at the airport by our crew, who will then transfer you to the North to Parc des National (Volcanoes National Park). The transfer today is 80km from Kigali approximately a two hour drive.  

Day 2: 

Volcanoes National Park -Gorilla trekking-Twin lakes visit/ Community walk 

Today after an early breakfast, our crew will take you to the park headquarter by for briefing, then you will start embark on the amazing adventure which is gorilla tracking.  

 

This activity takes between 1 to 6hours to trek and trekkers are permitted to be with the gorillas for 1 hour. You will experience seeing them play, guard each other, feed among others. While trekking hikers will be in line to also see other animals like the golden monkeys, elephants, buffaloes as well as birds. 

After trekking, you will return back and head to the lodge for lunch and opt for a visit to the twin lakes; Burera and Ruhondo or take a walk in the community and watch traditional dances of the locals or if you just relax in the afternoon at your lodge. 

Day 3: 

Golden monkey tracking or optional Dian Fossey tomb visit 

After an early breakfast then you will be guided by the park ranger to track the golden monkeys, these animals are very interesting to watch while they play, move around trees and feed. After you will be taken to visit the Dian Fosssey tomb, here you will find out a lot concerning this primatologist who once took care of the mountain gorillas.  

Day 4: 

Kigali city tour 

After breakfast you will be taken for a city tour and to visit a few places of interest such as the National Museum. There will be time after to buy local gifts from places such as the pottery projects, markets and handicraft shops etc 

Day 5: 

Departure 

Drive to the airport for your flight back home. 

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Check out our Gorilla Trek FAQ's!

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