Rwanda Gorilla Tours are the safari packages offered by tour operators in East Africa to enable travelers to Explore Rwanda on a Tour. Rwanda is one of Africa’s smallest landlocked countries with a lot of tourism attractions within its boundaries. This country has had a successful and growing tourism industry over the past few years. Rwanda is part of the 3 lucky countries that still have the existence of the mountain gorillas with a steadily growing population over the years with the continued efforts of the community and the stakeholders of the tourism industry.
Rwanda Gorilla Tours can be done in the Volcanoes National Park found in Ruhengeri district at the foothills of five of the Virunga massif volcanoes that is Mount Sabinyo, Mount Bisoke, Mount Muhabura, Mount Gahinga and Mount Karisimbi which is the highest of all the 8 volcanoes standing at 4,507 metres. Volcanoes National Park covers an area of about 160 square kilometers and is the most visited park in Rwanda. Most tourists come to visit the mountain gorillas and while at the park can also visit other primates like the Golden monkeys, Black and white colobus monkeys, L’hoest monkeys to mention but a few or even opt to visit Dian Fossey grave, the Buhanga eco park, Musanze caves or even go on a cultural tour to top up the Rwanda Gorilla Tours.
A gorilla permit in Rwanda costs 1500 US Dollars and this is a great price for the experience that the park has to offer. You can access Volcanoes national park by landing at the Kigali International airport in Kigali City and drive by road for 2 hours until the park gate or even connecting via Uganda borders which is Katuna or Cyanika. Cyanika is nearer so it is the more recommended of all the two Ugandan borders with Rwanda. Also, from Congo in case, one was doing a Virunga visit in the Virunga National Park, and you can connect from the Goma-Gisenyi border just 2 hours away enroute to Kigali. Ruhengeri district which is also known as Musanze is the home to these last remaining gorilla species. To book a permit for any activity at the park, you will have to book through the Rwanda Development Board online or through a trusted tour company to advise you which days are available for the tour you are interested in.
The gorillas met on the Rwanda Gorilla Tours are noted to be different from the gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest Uganda because of their physical differences like the body build is bigger with more fur as the temperatures of volcanoes is higher than that of Bwindi. The Volcanoes Forest is more mountainous and thick thus the thick hairy bodies to help them regulate their body temperature.
A maximum of 8 persons are allowed to visit one gorilla group and can spend only 1 hour in their vicinity taking photos and studying these animals as they go about their daily routines of playing and the mothers taking care of their young ones. Gorilla families are led by one dominant silverback that can be identified by the silver strip at the back and only one male can be the leader of the group.
Volcanoes National Park has 11 habituated gorilla groups that are available for viewing on a daily. These gorilla families include:
- Susa gorilla family, which is a further group and harder group to trek. This is also the group that was cared for and researched upon by the Famous Dian Fossey and also featured in the movie “The Gorillas of the Mist”.
- The other ten gorilla groups are the Karisimbi group, the Umubano group, the Kwitonda group, the Sabinyo group, the Amahoro group, the Hirwa group, Ugenda group, Agasha group, Titus group, and Bwenge group that are believed to be the clever group like the name suggests.
On your Rwanda Gorilla Tours, create some time to hike the Dian Fossey tomb as it is part of the experience to get to know more on the history of gorilla trekking in Rwanda during her time and now and see the efforts that the park has put in to see the success of this activity at the park.
Volcanoes National Park is also a great destination for those looking for luxurious hotel stays with some of the world’s recognized structures like the 5-star lodge including Bisate lodge and Singita Kwitonda Lodge that have started operation in the country as of August 2018. There are some other great accommodations that one can opt for that are more pocket-friendly. Get in touch with a great operator so as to get one that favors your tastes, preferences, and budget.