Frequently asked questions about Rwanda Gorilla trekking : Mountain gorillas are one of the world’s most sought after largest primates and undoubtedly the most magnificent wild creatures to interact with. A trip to the luxuriant Volcanoes National Park to view these star attractions is incomparably the most inspiring travel experience that comes once in a life time. Volcanoes National Park is one of the only four protected areas in Africa that attract visitors for gorilla trekking experiences. Many Gorilla trekkers normally ask different questions regarding to Gorilla trekking in Rwanda.  Here aim today to explain some of the frequently asked questions about Mountain Gorilla trekking in Rwanda in this article. And they include;

What is gorilla trekking?

What is gorilla trekking? This is the most frequently asked question about the gorilla trekking in Rwanda. Gorilla trekking is an activity that involves walking through a dense forest in search for habituated wild Mountain Gorillas where by a group of trekkers along with armed ranger and guides are in position to follow up the wild mountain gorillas that have already been habituated and used to humans presence as the go with their daily life activates roaming inn the forest.  Mountain Gorilla trekking can only be carried out in Volcanoes national park.

Where can one trek gorillas besides Rwanda?

Most trekkers after knowing what gorilla trekking is, they also immediately asked where else one can trek mountain gorillas. Well,

Mountain gorilla trekking can also be carries out in Congo, particularly the democratic republic of Congo. Mountain gorilla trekking can majestically be carried out in Virunga national park and this is the third interesting destination for mountain gorilla trekking in Africa after The pearl of Africa “Uganda”

Mountain gorillas can also be trekked in Uganda. In Uganda mountain gorillas trekking can be carried out in two national parks that is, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park all located in south western part of the country. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park only has over 11 habituated gorilla family that are track every day and yearly.  There are mainly four different trail points  for visitors to track the mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and they include; Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga and Nkuringo whereas Mgahinga Gorilla National Park only have one habituated Gorilla group called Nyakagezi gorilla family. Nyakagezi gorilla family is comprises of 10 members; 5 silver backs, 2 adult females, 2 infants, 1 juvenile. The members of Nyakagezi gorilla family are Nshuti, Mutugamba, Nyiramwiza, Nshuti, Bugingo, Rukundo, and Ndugutse

How many habituated mountain gorilla families in the Volcanoes national park?

Gorilla trekking in Rwanda is an amazing experience which offers a tourist an opportunity to view the primates in the thick forest on Volcanoes. These rare primates are only tracked in habituated gorilla groups and in Rwanda. There are 12 habituated gorilla groups in the Volcanoes National Park. There are other groups habituated fir research and these can only be accessed by researchers or scientists and they have the largest members of the family and they are Beetsme and Pablo’s Shida’s.  and  there are only  10 gorilla families that are tracked by visitors or opened for tourism every day and  they include the Susa gorilla family, Sabyinyo family, Amahoro, Group 13 also known as Agasha family, Kwitonda family, Umubano gorilla family,  Bwengye, Hirwa family, Ugenda gorilla family and Karisimbi gorilla family.  With the maximum of 8 persons and trackers are allowed to view the gentle giants for a maximum of one hour. This means that 80 visitors can possibly enjoy a gorilla trek each day within the Volcanoes National Park.

How difficult to trek gorillas?

As I have already defined it earlier that, gorilla trekking is the process or activity that involves walking in the dense forests to search for the wild gorillas!  It is difficult to determine how difficult or easy gorilla trekking can be in the national park. The trek can vary in difficulty depending on the location of the gorilla family you are trekking, as some families are easier to find while others are more challenging to reach due to their higher elevations. And the fact that Rwanda’s hike to the habituated gorilla families can take about 2-6 hours which involves you hiking through the thick and impenetrable slippery vegetation and for first time hikers it is quite difficult and the ease to locate the gorillas depends on a number of factors which may include food availability this is because gorillas limit their movements when there is plenty of food.

Can Gorillas Swim?

Gorillas cannot swim and for that reason they keep on avoiding large water bodies like lakes and rivers unlike other animals that like to play with water. In search of food they sometimes wade through swamps on two legs with the water reaching up to their waist. If gorillas are surprised by a rain shower, they simply stay motionless and wait for the rain to stop. If there is a cave or a similar shelter close by, they will sit underneath, but they will never use large leaves or branches to cover themselves.

Which food do Gorillas eat?

Mountain gorillas are vegetarians primarily dwelling on leaves, shoots, roots, stems, tree barks and flowers. They also feed on fruits, bamboo shoots and wild celery. Their main home is the hagenia forest since their food is explored within this area throughout the year. The Bamboo shoots tends to grow faster and tender shoots are accessible in the months of August and December.

What is the best time to go for gorilla trekking?

What is the best time to trek gorillas in Rwanda is also another frequently asked question. Well the best time to visit Rwanda for a gorilla trek is during the short dry season from mid-December to early February or over the long dry season months of June to September. During the dry season, Gorillas move actively in their natural habitat .Trekkers get an opportunity of viewing them feed their young ones, swinging from one branch to another.

Frequently asked questions about Rwanda Gorilla trekking

How much is gorilla trekking permit?

A gorilla trekking permit is a legal document that is issued by Rwanda Development Board to any visitor above the age of 15 year allowing him or her to visit a habituated gorilla family and spend one hour with the mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. Gorilla trekking permit in Volcanoes national park costs 1,500 dollars per person for foreign nonresidents. African foreign resident are charged 1,500 dollars per person and 30,000 Rwandese Francs for East African residents.

What is the best lodge for gorilla trekking?

This is also another concerned question from most of the trackers who go to the volcanoes national park, well! Volcanoes national park offers trekkers with affordable accommodations ranging from budget to luxury options such as Luxury Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Lodge, Sabyinyo Silverback, Rwanda, Mountain Gorilla View Lodge, Le Bambou Gorilla Lodge, Kinigi Guest House, Muhabura Hotel, Rushel Kivu Lodge, Amata n’Ubuki Boutique Hotel, Nirvana Heights Resort and Spa, Da Vinci Gorilla Lodge among others

What is the minimum age of gorilla trekking?

15 years is the minimum age limit considered when it comes to gorilla trekking in Rwanda and it’s not only imply to Rwanda alone but also Uganda and Congo as well. A person aged 15 years is considered to be mature and able to manage and handle moving along the jungles and straining trails while trekking gorillas. Also a person of 15 years can understand the dos and don’ts regarding the gorilla trekking procedures and to follow instructions including minimizing on the noise levels.

How can I acquire a gorilla trekking permit?

Gorilla permits in Rwanda are 1,500 dollars  per person. You can buy the permits from the Rwanda Development. Their headquarters is in Kigali or you can get a permit from an authorized agent. Another option may be a better choice through the travel agency will often include the permit in your travel/tour package. And permits are recommended to book in advance.

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