Are you dreaming of a visit to Rwanda for a safari holiday? This blog post will guide on the tips to planning a gorilla tour to Rwanda so you don’t have to rely on yourself and yet Primate Safari Experiences Ltd is there for you. Many visitors’ fluke in for gorilla trekking adventures in Rwanda.
You want to know why? It is simply because an encounter with the mountain gorilla is truly a magical lifetime experience. Regardless of how you plan to make your safari, whether as an individual or a group. Planning a gorilla tour by yourself will give you the most exceptional safari experience ever.
You will need to do all the necessary work like checking the availability of gorilla permits and tour dates, which may not be the case when you use a tour operator.
Similarly, despite the fact that Primate Safari Experiences Ltd makes it easy to plan your gorilla tour, it is quite expensive in the long run but even budget travelers can afford if in case they save for Gorilla Trekking in advance.
Consider a piece of useful advice from the following useful tips
Choose where to go for Gorilla Trekking in Volcanoes National Park
Gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park is only conducted in habituated gorilla families, each of which offers trekkers a unique experience. Every habituated gorilla family is assigned to visitors to trek in a group of 8 visitors each day. The habituated groups that have been set for gorilla tours in Volcanoes National Park include;
The Amahoro group this group is usually found between the Karisoke and the Visoke peaks of the Virunga volcanoes. This group has about 17 gorillas. Together with the Umubano group of 11, they are the furthest from the park headquarters.
The Sabinyo Group is usually found between Mt. Sabinyo and Gahinga. It has about 12 individuals, with a couple of silverbacks in the group.
Agashya Group, formerly referred to as “Group Thirteen”, is often found close to the Sabinyo group, and has about 25 gorillas including two silverbacks.
The Susa Group is the largest in volcanoes NP with about 40 individuals, including 3 silverbacks. This group is usually found high up on Mount Karisimbi, which makes for a relatively more challenging hike, but it is well worth the effort.
The Karisimbi Group, which split from the Susa group a few years ago, can be found in the Mt. Karisimbi area. Tracking these two groups requires a full day hike.
The Kwitonda Group has 18 members and was habituated in the DRC. They crossed the border into Rwanda in 2005, and are now open for visitation.
The Hirwa Group has around 11 members including one silverback and a pair of twins.
The Bwenge Group, named after the group silverback, has 11 members and can be a tough trek.
The Ugende Group, whose name means “on the move” – because its 11 individuals are always moving to new areas is also quite difficult to track.
Make an Inquiry about the availability of Gorilla Permits & Book in Advance
It is very important that when planning a gorilla tour by yourself, you need to be updated about the availability of gorilla permits. The information about the availability of Gorilla Permits can always be accessed from Rwanda development board for the basic gorilla permit information in Rwanda.
When you discover that the permits are available, then go ahead and book through any of these bodies and then pay for the deposit in advance.
To avoid last-minute hassles especially in the high season of the gorilla tours, it is advisable to make your booking/reservation at least 6 months before the trekking date. This is due to the amplified demand for these permits and for the purposes of timely allocation of the gorilla families among trekkers.
Make Reservations for your lodge/camp/hotel for the gorilla tour
Gorilla Safari lodges after knowing which permits available and the location of the gorilla families, then you will need to book for your safari accommodation for the days you will spend during the trek.
To better enjoy the adventure, book the lodge that is nearer to the gorilla trekking starting point so as to ease the movement from the hotel/lodge to the starting point.
Just like with gorilla permits, hotel/lodge booking requires payment of the deposit for the reservation purposes. However, even after booking and payment of the deposit, you need to keep in contact with these lodges for the updates and any changes.
They include Mount Gorilla View Lodge/Bisate Lodge/Virunga Lodge/Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge (Luxury), Da Vinci Gorilla Lodge (Midrange), and Kinigi Guesthouse (Budget).
Organize your transportation Means
Having booked for the permit and the lodge, you have to get the means of transport. Many Safari Car Hire companies are available in your destination but it needs to book earlier in order to choose a comfortable car before hiring them to other tourists.
You can hire for all the days you will be on a trip, in case you book in advance. When the actual day approaches your booked car is given to u that can take you to the final destination.
What to pack for your gorilla tour
You have to be well prepared for the gorilla trek since it is a forest adventure. The weather in the forests where mountain gorillas live is very unpredictable weather, slippery grounds and much undergrowth with thorny bushes.
You must, therefore, pack hiking boots, long-sleeved shirts, and panties, a sun hat, hand gloves, and raincoats. These help in case of unpredictable weather changes.
Since photographing is the only activity allowed while with the gorillas, you should not forget a non-flash light camera.
Tipping while on your Gorilla Tour
This is not compulsory to undertake though deemed very helpful and rewarding to the locals, only if you can. You can choose to tip the guide and other service providers or any other service provided, especially in the hotels and lodges. Tipping on a Primate safari is taken as a form of appreciation and motivation to the community.
Lastly, with all the above, you can now start planning a gorilla tour yourself or by Primate Safari Experiences Ltd. We wish you a successful journey to Rwanda for your safari holiday experience.