This park is situated in the far northwest of Rwanda, Volcanoes National Park protects the steep slopes of this magnificent mountain range – home of the endangered mountain gorilla and a rich mosaic of montane ecosystems, which embrace evergreen and bamboo forest, open grassland, swamp and heath.
Volcanoes National Park is named after the chain of dormant volcanoes making up the Virunga Massif: Karisimbi – the highest at 4,507m, Bisoke with its verdant crater lake, Sabinyo, Gahinga and Muhabura
How to get to Volcanoes National Park Rwanda?
Volcanoes National Park is located in a small village called Musanze previously well-known as Ruhengeri, which is very accessible by public transport from Gisenyi or Kigali or from the airport. The drive to Volcanoes national park is 2 hrs and hence one can do gorilla tracking on the same day and drive back to Kigali after the trek. You will be required to arrive at the headquarters of ORTPN in Kinigi, at the park entrance, by 7:00 am, therefore, if you hope to trek gorillas for one day, you have to wake up very early for your journey so that you are on time. However, there isn’t any public transport from Musanze to the headquarters of the park at Kinigi.
Mountain Gorilla Sustainability and Protection in Rwanda, Congo and Uganda
Rwanda’s Volcanoes national park is the most popular gorilla destination followed by Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga and Virunga national park is picking up on gorilla tourism. While in the 90’s mountain gorillas populations were at the verge of extinction, gorilla trekking is a sensitive activity which when not controlled and managed strictly, may negatively impact on the lives of the mountain gorillas. In a bid to regulate the activity, the governments of Congo, Rwanda and Uganda (the only countries with mountain gorillas) decided to make permits which are more expensive than any other wildlife permit in order to limit the number of visitors and create sustainability of the activity.
The gorilla permit costs $400 in Congo (DRC), $1500 in Rwanda and $600 in Uganda. These gorilla permits help in limiting the number of people trekking the gorillas in order to limit stress on these apes and on their habitat, that may result in their change of behavior or even death. There is only a maximum of 8 permits per gorilla group sold each day to make sure the gorillas are not overwhelmed by the human presence.
In order to conserve mountain gorillas in Africa, respective governments and wildlife organizations came up with a set of guidelines trekkers have to follow in order to remain harmonious with the gorillas, below are some of them.
Revenue collected from tourists to this park 20% of it goes to the local communities surrounding the park and the rest to the maintenance of the infrastructure in and around the national park.
Find Information on gorilla permits in Rwanda , how to book a gorilla trekking permit to volcanoes, guidelines on Africa Adventure Vacations, dressing code for gorilla tracking trip right here on our website.
In the whole world, you can only see the mountain gorillas (Gorilla Berengei Berengei) in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo. In Rwanda, these primates can be seen in the Volcanoes National Park, Parc Nationale Des Volcans, as of 2016, there are 7 mountain gorilla groups habituated making it 56 gorilla permits for visitors to Rwanda available every single day. 8 people per group can trek these endangered apes. Susa group is the best to track with 41 gorillas! With a gorilla permit costing US $ 1500 per person per trek, part of your contribution goes to conserving these mountain gorillas. When visiting the ‘Land of a Thousand Hills’, one should not miss out on the magnificent opportunity to visit Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park (PNV) consisting of 125 km2 of mountain forest and home to the six Virunga Volcanoes and the world famous mountain gorillas. Protected within the PNV, the lushly forested slopes of the mountains form an appropriately dramatic natural setting for what is arguably the most poignant and memorable wildlife experience in the world.
What to expect from Rwanda Gorillas
Here are a few highlights! You have to wake up early morning, meaning that you must find accommodation closer to the park entrance. Your African gorilla guide will be briefing you at 7 am about safety precautions as well as the etiquette. There are over 80 gorilla tracking guides provided by the Rwanda Development Board, well trained and speaking English and French. Together with other members of the group, you proceed to the forest and start the hike which may be tiring depending on your physical strength. Remember they are called mountain gorillas so an element of hiking is a must. The adventure takes anything from 30 minutes to a couple of hours. The English-speaking forest guides are amazingly good, and will lead you to the specific ‘habituated’ mountain gorillas group, which certainly will be acquitted to human presence.
Cost of a Gorilla Permit in Rwanda 2017
- USD $1500 per person for non-nationals
Cost of a Gorilla Trek in Rwanda
Most Rwanda and Uganda gorilla tour operators or gorilla trekking companies Africa Adventure Vacations, Africa Adventure Safaris, Yala safaris will have different prices, both cheap and luxury options. The difference of how much to charge depends on accommodation, vehicle, season and running costs of the company. Local companies will definitely charge lower than the international travel agencies.
1 day gorilla tour about $ 1700 to $ 1850
2 days gorilla Rwanda $ 1900 to $ 2000
3 Days gorilla tracking Rwanda $ 2100 to $ 3000.
Rwanda or Uganda, which is the best destination for gorilla trekking.
Rwanda and Uganda are highly recommended gorilla trekking destinations. Both of these experiences are so amazing. The ride through the rain forest in Bwindi and the bamboo forest of Rwanda is very interesting. There are a good number of people who have tracked mountain gorillas and have continued to go back and planning to go back since the experience is so different and exciting. On the other side, some travelers decide that since they are traveling to East Africa; why not take on gorilla safaris both Rwanda and Uganda Mountain gorillas.