What should I expect on a gorilla trek in Rwanda? When it comes to gorilla trekking safaris in Rwanda, a lot of imaginations come at the minds of travelers. But, once you have finalized with everything that is required of you to make your gorilla trekking safari successful, next should be to make it come true.
Everyone has their own experience about gorilla trekking, and you too will have distinct share of it. Tracking to view gorillas in their natural environment is demanding from purchasing gorilla permits, booking accommodation, transport to physical fitness.
Gorilla Permit a Must- have
Yes, gorilla permits are required and not any permit but valid ones. Obtaining a gorilla permit in Rwanda is easier via a local tour operator on ground and you need USD1500 to have it booked. Gorilla permits in Rwanda like other destinations should be booked early at least 2 to 6 months prior visiting mountain gorillas.
Early rise for briefing on Gorilla Trekking Rules
As early as 7:00am, you should be at Kinigi to meet the park official for briefing on guidelines for gorilla trekking such as maintaining a 10 meters’ distance from mountain gorillas, no use of flashlight cameras, maximum of visitors to track gorillas is 8 people, etc. Other than gorilla trekking rules, gorilla family plus park guides allocation is also done during this short period of briefing. At 8:00am is when you and your guide will set foot into the jungles to explore mountain gorillas.
Safety Rules for those going on gorilla trekking in the Volcanoes National Park
Gorillas are gentle and peaceful apes… but they are also extremely powerful animals . So it is good to know some basic rules of gorilla etiquette.
- Keep at times a distance of minimum 7 meters from the gorillas.
- Do not point out at gorillas with your fingers
- Do not look straight in the eyes of gorillas.
- Maximum stay with the gorillas is one hour. Instructions are to be followed as given by the guide.
On your way to see mountain gorillas
- Keep low your voices as soon as you set foot into Jungles of Volcanoes NP – other than reducing disturbance on daily activities of gorillas or make them react to you, keeping low your voices allow you observe some birds plus other wildlife.
- Follow your guide and keep within your gorilla trekking group.
- Don’t throw rubbish while in the park.
While with mountain gorillas;
- Don’t touch gorillas – leave them to roam or move as they want even when they approach or rub themselves on you.
- A 10m distance should be maintained at all times from Rwanda gorillas.
- No smoking, drinking, or eating is allowed while with gorillas.
- Spend strictly one hour face to face with gorillas as directed by your park guide or official.
How long will gorilla trek last?
Rwanda gorilla trekking isn’t predictable but expect to spend from 2 to 6 hours in the jungles. But this covers 1 hours of photo taking and observing how the gorillas behave, body gestures as your guide can be interpreting. Treks through Volcanoes NP involves navigating through the bamboo forest and other vegetation, high elevation to see the massive mountain gorillas.