In the Republic of Rwanda, mountain gorillas are found in Parc National des Volcans and this is located in the Virunga and is joined with Mgahinga National Park. Tourists visiting Rwanda, a country with a thousand hills, one should not miss out the magnificent opportunity of visiting the Rwanda’s Parc National des Volcans which consists of 125 kilometers of mountain forest and a home to six Virunga Volcanoes and the world famous mountain gorillas. This national park is protected and managed by the Rwanda office for Tourism and national parks and its access begins in the lively town of Musanze which is situated at the base of the entrance of the park. This town has been the base point for gorilla visits and enters a stunning backdrop of Karisimbi, Bisoke, Mikeno, Sabyinyo, Mgahinga and Muhabura volcanoes. It’s a 90 minute drive from Rwanda’s capital city Kigali and one can get to this town from Kigali either by private vehicle or public taxi minibus.
How to obtain gorilla permits in Rwanda and where to trek Gorillas
Mountain Gorilla fees and Gorilla permits
The Mountain gorilla fees in Rwanda cost US $ 750 per person for the non nationals. This day of gorilla trekking, you will be required to present yourself for briefing at the offices which are situated in Musanze at 7:00 Am and if you are also planning to do gorilla tracking safari in Uganda the same information should be presented as given by the Uganda Wildlife Authority Gorilla Rules.
What you should observe before departing on your gorilla tracking expedition
The following should be noted for your adventurous safari for Gorilla tracking in Rwanda;
- A maximum number of 8 visitors are allowed to visit the habituated mountain gorillas
- You should wash your hands before you head out to the gorillas
What you should do on your way to the gorillas.
- Your voices should be kept low
- Do not leave rubbish in the park therefore, whatever you bring into the forest you should be carried back out with you
- A long side with your guide, you will be taken where the gorillas observed the gorillas the day before and from there you will follow the gorilla trail
- You will look for gorilla’s nesting sites along the way
- After you have approached the mountain gorillas, the guides will inform you to get ready
What you should do when you are with the gorillas
- You are required to stay about 7 meter which is 21 feet distance and this should be observed all the time
- Always stay in tight group when you are near the gorillas
- Your voices should always be down at all times though it is okay to ask your guide questions
- You should not smoke, drink or eat when you are near the gorillas because this will inevitably increase the risk of transmission of diseases.
- Mountains gorillas charge therefore you should follow the guides rule and you should not look at the gorillas directly in the eyes and never run away because this will increase risk.
- Photographing with a flash is not allowed thus, when taking pictures, move slowly and carefully
- Do not touch the gorillas since they are also wild animals
- The guide may not tell you this. You should note that the maximum time you can spend while with the mountain gorillas is strictly one hour. In case the gorillas become agitated or nervous , the guide will finish very early
- Your voices should be kept low until and you should keep away about 200 meters away from the gorillas.