Rwanda Gorilla Trek
Experience the exhilaration, the excitement and the poignancy of an encounter with gorillas in their natural habitat. Our three-day Add-On to your African adventure takes you to the slopes of the Rwandan mountains, home to one of the few remaining troops of the endangered mountain gorilla.
A challenging trek through the steep Virunga mountains that rewards trekkers with an experience unlike any other - spending time alongside the rare and endangered mountain gorillas. A breath-taking experience, made all the more interesting by our experienced and knowledgeable local guides, who are expert trackers and have an intimate knowledge of each gorilla, the troop dynamics, as well as the rich history of conservation in the area. Contact us today to book the ultimate African Add On, Rwanda Gorilla Trekking.
Gorilla Trekking Itinerary
Day 1 - Travel to Ruhengeri
On arrival at Kigali International Airport, Rwanda, you will be met by your driver/guide and depart for a 2 hour drive to Ruhengeri, with its stunning backdrop of five volcanic mountains – the Virunga's. Arrive at hotel for lunch, dinner and overnight.
Day 2 - Gorrilla Trek
After an early breakfast, you will be collected from your hotel and proceed to the National Park Headquarters in Kinigi to meet your guides for the day. After completing our park formalities, we embark on a once in a lifetime experience of trekking to see mountain gorillas. Your guides are experts at tracking the gorilla groups as they move around the mountains, and once you spot them, you will get within metres of the family and be privileged to spend an hour among them, watching your closest long-lost cousin. This is perhaps one of the most breathtaking wildlife experiences on earth, as you get so close to these awesome giant primates. Trekking to see the gorillas through the light mountain forest on the slopes of the Virunga's is a magical experience as these massive primates are extremely rare, with less than 700 living today.
The trekking may be fairly strenuous; up to six hours or longer at a relatively high altitude, so we encourage for your own enjoyment to make sure that you are fit and healthy prior to the trek. It is important to bring good hiking boots, long trousers, gloves for protection against stinging nettles, some snacks & sweets (for you, not the gorillas) as well as sufficient water as the rainforest gets hot and humid during the day. You will spend one hour with the gorillas, but it is an hour you will never forget. Return to your hotel and overnight.
Day 3 - Continue onwards to next trek or climb
After breakfast you will depart for Kigali. Engage in last minute shopping, if time allows, in this friendly African capital, before flying onwards to Arusha or Nairobi for your Kilimanjaro or Mt Kenya trek or climb.
Who is it suitable for?
Gorilla trekking can be arduous work, so it's important that you're fit and in good health. Trails climb through thick forest at heights of up to 3,000m, traversing steep-sided mountains and valleys. To minimise the possible transmission of human disease to the gorillas people who are unwell on the day will not be allowed to continue. No children under 15 years of age are allowed to go gorilla tracking.
Gorilla Trekking Permits
Only a limited number of permits are issued each day, and therefore it is essential to book well in advance. Cost is currently US$1500 per person per day and in the rare circumstance that gorillas move out of range there is no guarantee of seeing a gorilla troop. A percentage of the permit goes towards communities living around the parks.
Volcanoes National Park
First established in 1925 to protect mountain gorillas from the threat of poaching, the Volcanoes National Park was the very first national park to be created in Africa. The park has since expanded to cover a 160km² area of northern Rwanda and is home to five of the eight volcanoes of the Virunga Mountains. The park gained international attention through the release of the 1988 movie ‘Gorillas in the Mist’ which detailed the life of American zoologist, Dian Fossey. Fossey established the renowned Karisoke Research Centre in the park and from this base, she dedicated her life to the research and protection of mountain gorillas until her subsequent death in 1985. To this day, the Karisoke Research Centre continues to spearhead the fight against poaching and thanks to its successful conservation program, the mountain gorillas of the Virungas are the only great ape species whose population has increased in recent years. As well as the rare and endangered mountain gorilla, the Volcanoes National Park also shelters golden monkeys, spotted hyena, buffaloes, elephants and bush bucks, along with over 170 species of birds. Unique and vibrant plant species also enhance the scenic views from the park.
There is a range of accommodation options available in the Ruhengeri area, from simple to luxurious. Please contact us to discuss your preferred option and be aware that due to the popularity of gorilla trekking in the region that it is advisable to book well in advance.
The luxuriously appointed Virunga Lodge offers superior accommodation for the luxury traveller. Private bandas offer the finest views in Africa, uniquely decorated rooms in the Rwandese style, fantastic food and exceptional, personalised service.
Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge
Situated on the slopes of the Virunga's, near the Volcanoes National Park headquarters, the Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge offers dramatic views and superior comfort in its range of cottages and suites.
Contact us to make a booking, or learn more about Rwandan Gorilla Trekking. Our African specialist, Tiffany Shervell will be in touch with further detail and to discuss your preferred itinerary and accommodation options. It is possible to add the Rwanda Gorilla Trekking option either at the beginning or end of your AC trek or climb. Please be aware that due to the limited number of permits issued each day it is advisable to book well in advance.
Running successful journeys and expeditions is more about experience, knowledge and strategic management than any other factors. As an organisation, we place a substantial amount of time and resources into ensuring our trips are well planned and supported. You can be assured that the AC staff will provide you with friendly advice and knowledgeable support throughout the planning stages of your trip and we will be there to provide backup while the trip is running.
Tiffany Shervell, Client Liaison
Tiffany has worked with Adventure Consultants since 2005 and is our Office Manager and Marketing Assistant. She has a passion for travel and adventure that has seen her work and travel throughout the world, including visiting Tanzania with AC.