Rwanda gorilla permits are documents issued to grant clients access to the gorillas. Clients present this document at the park headquarters and they are allocated random gorilla group for their Rwanda gorilla trekking experience. So how much are gorilla permits in Rwanda? You will have to part away with $1500 to buy a permit. Rwanda is located in central eastern Africa. It’s famously known as the land of a thousand hills and mountains. Rwanda is home to the last few endangered mountain gorillas together with Uganda and Congo. Rwanda gorillas can only be found in Volcanoes National Park in Musanze.
Volcanoes National Park Rwanda is not only home to mountain gorillas but also to five of the 8 Virunga Volcanoes. These mountains sit on the Virunga Conservation Area with Mount Karisimbi being the highest at an elevation of 4,507 meters above sea level. Other mountains found in this park include Mountain Sabyinyo, Mountain Muhabura, Mountain Gahinga, and Mountain Bisoke.
Mountain gorillas roam within the foothills of these mountains. When you book a hike to one of these mountains, you may end up seeing gorillas free even without buying permits for gorilla trekking in Rwanda. You are most likely to meet them on your way up just that you will not be allowed to spend any time around them.
Cost of Gorilla Permits in Rwanda
The Rwanda gorilla trekking permit cost is the highest at $1500 each. This has made Rwanda a luxury gorilla trekking destination as a permit goes for $1500 compared to Uganda and Congo where a gorilla permit costs $600 and $400 respectively. The cost of gorilla trekking permits in Rwanda doubled in 2017; from $750 each to $1500 each. Permits in Rwanda should be bought in advance, like 3 months before the actual day of trekking because they are on high demands and sold on the first-come-first-serve basis.
Rwanda gorilla permits can be obtained through a trusted travel agency or from the Rwanda development board. 50% of the gorilla trekking fee will be refunded to tourists in case they show any sign of illness prior to their trekking experience. Sick people are not allowed to visit gorillas because gorillas can easily get infected by human infectious diseases which are a big threat to them as they lack the necessary immunities to fight diseases.
Check Online Availability of Permits
You can check online availability of Rwanda gorilla permits here. The online system shows accurate availability and will help you plan your gorilla trip better. Please note that permits are sold on first come first serve basis hence, if you find only a few permits left for your date then you ought to purchase them online or immediately request a tour operator to do it for you.
For the case of gorilla trekking, all the people intending to trek on that particular day are required to report to Kinigi park headquarters by 7:00 am in the morning for a short briefing session before making their way into the forests to trek gorillas. Only persons of 15 years of age and above will be allowed to trek mountain gorillas. After obtaining a Rwanda gorilla permit, you will be assigned to a random mountain gorilla group. This allocation process is absolutely random and you cannot influence it in any way. You can now carry the necessary gorilla trekking equipment with you and follow the set gorilla trekking rules as you make your way to the gorillas.
How to book gorilla permits of Rwanda
Unlike other gorilla trekking countries, you can buy gorilla trekking permits for Rwanda online through the Irembo Portal. The system allows you to pay by credit card and not go through any tour operator. After purchase, you are sent an email as a reference that you will have to present at the park offices the morning you track. After presenting your reference, the park wardens will verify its validity before your gorilla permit is printed on a paper.
The other alternative is going through a tour and travel operator and have them organize everything for you including accommodation, transportation, meals and more. This is the best option and we do offer this kind of service. You can see some of our Rwanda safari packages for a complete travel plan.
Discounts for Gorilla Trekking Permits
If you are visiting all the three Rwanda national parks; Volcanoes, Akagera, and Nyungwe Forest National Parks, you will pay $1100 instead of $1500. However, you have to present proof that you are visiting the other two parks in Rwanda besides Volcanoes. For Akagera, you can show proof of accommodation booking or park entrance and for Nyungwe you have to show your Chimpanzee trekking permit.
The best time to trek gorillas in Rwanda is during the dry seasons of June to September and December to February. If your trekking in the rain season, you should endeavor to carry good hiking boots, raincoats, warm clothing, garden gloves, energy snacks and so much more. Tourists can hire porters to help them carry backpacks at a very cheap price.