Volcanoes National Park; is Rwanda’s famous home for the endangered species of wildlife the mountain gorillas.
Found in the North West of the country, Volcanoes National Park is only a few hours away from the capital city Kigali (it’s only a 2 hours’ drive away).
Apart from mountain gorilla trekking, Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park is quite an endowed forest with so many other interesting tourist attraction s and activities.
At Volcanoes National Park visitors are able to engage in mountain gorilla trekking( its major activity), golden monkey tracking, wildlife viewing , Birding, Hiking to Dian Fossey’s Grave – the American Scientific Researcher who brought the awareness of mountain gorillas to light; having dedicated all her life time to saving and protecting the intriguing creatures in their localities, Volcano hikes to Karisimbi, Bisoke, Sabyinyo among others, Visiting and relaxing at the twin lakes of Burera and Ruhondo, Guided Forest and Nature walks ampng others.
Best Time of Travel
It tends to rain at any time of the day and the year within Volcanoes National Park but this never has any much impact on the mountain gorilla trekking expedition. Except for a fact in the rainy seasons of January, February, March, April, May, September, October, November and December; it’s quite tough hiking the volcanoes ranges due to the steepness and slippery floors and in the dry seasons of June, July and August; the hikes are quite simple with dry steep slopes and here visitors tend to flock the Virunga region of Rwanda.
None the less; The Question of when is the best time to go for a mountain gorilla trekking trip remains in the hands of the client when they are ready and available to take onto the trip in Rwanda.
How to Book Gorilla Trekking Permits
Tourists planning onto taking a mountain gorilla trekking trip to Rwanda, must have a Mountain Gorilla Trekking Permit (this allows visitors entry into the Volcanoes National Park to enjoy these unique wildlife species).
In Rwanda, mountain gorilla trekking permits are acquired from the Rwanda Development Board or even a Trusted Tour Operating Agency in either Uganda / Rwanda.
Mountain Gorilla Trekking permits are obtained at $1500 for per person on the first come first serve basis especially for the high seasons of June, July and August when they tend to get finished quickly ( when every one wishes to have a simple trek on dry and less slippery slopes of the Volcanoes P ark)
The cost for Rwanda gorilla permit was increased from $750 to $1500 per person on the 1st – June -2017.
There are 10 existing gorilla family groups in Rwanda with 2 set aside for research purposes and the remaining groups available for tourism purposes.
Therefore in a single day, only 72 tourists are allowed within the Volcanoes National Park; with 8 visitors assigned to every single gorilla family group.
This makes the availability scarce as compared to the high demand from travelers across the world.
It’s therefore very important to always have your gorilla permit secured 3 months prior to your traveling time.
Tourists wishing to have a double experience with the mountain gorillas; it’s very possible but remember each gorilla permit goes for $1500 for a day.
On the eventful trekking day; rise early, enjoy breakfast and report at the Kinigi Park Headquarters and engage in a morning briefing on the gorilla trekking code of conduct provided by the Park Warden. After this, embark on your gorilla trekking expedition; once you locate the amazing creatures, enjoy an hour with them and watch them as they play, eat tease and nurture their young ones or even go on with their daily activities in your presence without any disturbances and later retrieve the starting point, to meet your guide for your return to the lodge.