Rwanda offers the most expensive mountain gorilla permits with each permit costing $1500 per person per trek. The USD 15,000 experience books you an entire mountain gorilla family. Nevertheless these permits must be obtained in advance of 3-6 months before coming to the country due to high demand especially in the peak season.
Rwanda is one of the countries in African gifted with the endangered mountain gorillas apart from Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Rwanda gorilla trekking can be done at Volcanoes national park found on the Virunga massif range.
Rwanda gorilla trekking at the Kinigi visitors centre at the park headquarters where you will be allocated to gorilla families according to age and fitness level, a group of eight people will be allowed to trek each gorilla family. The briefing takes place at the park headquarters where you will be told about gorilla trekking rules and regulations and tourists can also hire porters at the headquarters if they wish to.
After briefing your gorilla trekking safari starts with a guide leading you to the jungle, the trekking time cannot always be determined depending on the location of the gorilla family some points can be very steep but the reward afterwards is worth the try. The trekking takes between 30 minutes to 7 hours.
The moment you find the gorilla family, tourists will be given an hour of observation and taking photos and while in the presence of mountain gorillas you will need to lower your voices, keep in the group, if there is an urge to sneeze or cough you must turn away, you will also be required to keep a distance of 7 metres away from gorillas.
The gorilla trekking rules have been set up to avoid mountain gorillas from attacking tourists so this rules must be followed carefully to avoid being charged at by wild gorillas. After an hour with mountain gorillas you will move back with your guide quietly without noise until the point you started trekking from.
For the disabled or elderly people, gorilla trekking can still be done using the sedan seat stretcher with four porters carrying you through the forest and you will only be put done during the observation hour and after that they carry you back to the starting point. If you’re going to use a sedan seat, then it’s good to inform the park headquarters earlier or the tour operator you’re using such that they can reserve in advance.
The gorilla trekking safari in Rwanda can be combined with a visit to Nyungwe forest national park for chimpanzee trekking or alternatively tourists can enjoy walks through the famous canopy walk way which is one of its kinds in the whole east and central Africa.
What to bring for gorilla trekking
Mountain gorilla trekking does not only require fitness but one must also pack things they will need for trekking mountain gorillas such as; water proof hiking boots, rain coats, insect repellents, warm and long sleeved clothes, energy snacks, plenty of drinking water, sun screen and so much more.
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