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Gorilla trekking Rwanda: sight-seeing gorillas in Rwanda

by Juan José Herranz | February 22, 2022
rwanda gorilla tour

Rwanda is a country in eastern Africa, a few kilometers south of the equator. Uganda, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Burundi border it. This is a land with savannah vegetation in the east and numerous lakes and mountains in the west.

Despite its tiny size, Rwanda is one of Africa's top tourism destinations. It is blessed with rich wildlife, diverse landscape, culture, and tradition, which have drawn travelers from all over the world.

One of its most popular activities to do is gorilla trekking Rwanda. Remember that to travel to Rwanda, you will most likely need a Rwanda visa online.

Rwanda gorilla trekking at Volcanoes National Park

The Volcanoes National Park is Rwanda's prime site where tourists can go gorilla trekking in Rwanda. Volcanoes National Park is one of Rwanda's three national parks. This park is located in Rwanda's northwestern region and includes five Virunga chain mountains: Bisoke, Karisimbi, Muhabura, Sabinyo, and Gahinga.

In Volcanoes National Park, you can go golden monkey trekking, on Dian Fossey hikes, have cultural encounters in the Ibyiwacu village, hike in Musanze Caves, and see birds.

Before engaging in a gorilla trekking Rwanda at Volcanoes National Park, tourists must get a gorilla permit prior to the actual date of trekking. A gorilla permit in Rwanda can be purchased from a travel agent or tour operator or directly from the Rwanda Development Board offices in Kigali.

The gorilla trekking in Rwanda permit costs $1500 per person for local inhabitants, foreign non-residents, and foreign residents. For the gorilla trekking activity, distinct groups of people receive special rates based on their interests. In Rwanda, approximately 80 gorilla permits are provided per day for tourists to walk the park's 12 habituated gorilla groups. You can learn about what to wear to go gorilla trekking in Rwanda with our article about the essential Rwanda travel tips.

Gorilla seen during a gorilla trekking in Rwanda

Other National Parks to gorilla trek

Beyond the Volcanoes National Park there is the Akagera National Park, less than 3 hours from Kigali to the east. There you can see gorillas, lions, elephants, antelopes, zebras and rhinos. Akagera and its wildlife have achieved a remarkable rebound from near extinction following the 1994 genocide, thanks to the African Parks organization. The 1,140-square-kilometer expanse (one of Central Africa's largest protected wetlands) now has all five Big Five species, and more.

Nyungwe Forest National Park, one of Africa's most important forest conservation regions, is home to a variety of distinct biodiversity, including 1,068 plant species, 322 bird species, and 75 mammal species. The majority of visitors come to this rainforest to track chimps that park rangers have habituated to humans. This animal encounter is less expensive than gorilla trekking but no less amazing.

The park also has East Africa's only canopy walk. You'll walk over the lush jungle, with a dizzying view of the far treetops and mountains.

Species of gorillas to see in a gorilla trekking Rwanda

Mountain Gorillas are the only Gorilla species found in Rwanda. Mountain gorillas are one of the endangered animals thought to be on the verge of extinction. Fortunately, statistics show that the population of mountain gorillas has been slowly increasing, from around 250 animals in the wild in the 1970s to around 1,000 now.

Mountain gorillas are now one of the most protected and safeguarded wildlife on the planet. Mountain gorillas are often shy and powerful creatures. They are docile and harmless to humans, yet when disturbed, they can charge and become aggressive. The male, who is the leader of the group, is always the first to charge and respond to a threat, whilst the females will battle to the death to protect their pups.