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Best Time To Go For Gorilla Trekking In Rwanda

Best Time To Go For Gorilla Trekking In Rwanda

Best Time To Go For Gorilla Trekking In Rwanda

What is the best time to go for gorilla tracking in Volcanoes national park? Gorilla trekking in Rwanda can only be done in one national park and that’s volcanoes located in the northwestern part of Rwanda in Ruhengeri. The Park is the most visited national park by tourists every year who come to trek endangered mountain gorillas which are subspecies of the eastern gorillas.

Volcanoes national park is the old park to be gazzetted in Rwanda in 1925. The Park is located in the northwestern part of the country near Musanze town. The Park is famous for hosting endangered mountain gorillas without others found in Virunga national park DR Congo, Mgahinga national park, and Bwindi impenetrable forest national park in Uganda. The Park is not only a home of mountain gorillas but also hosts 5 out of 8 Virunga massif volcanoes- Sabyinyo, Bisoke, Gahinga, Karisimbi, and Muhabura. The Park is also a home of primates such as black and white colobus monkeys, golden monkeys, l’hoet’s monkeys, owl-faced monkeys, dent’s monkeys, blue monkeys as well as vervet monkeys.

Volcanoes national park is a home to home to more than 480 bird species with 100 of them not found anywhere in Rwanda while 16 of them are only endemic to volcanoes in Virunga ranges of the mountains. Among the species to look out of in volcanoes national park are the Archer’s ground robin, Rwenzori turaco, grauer’s rush warbler’, collared apalis, white-tailed blue flycatcher, and Rwenzori batis. It’s also home to mammals like giant forest hogs, forest elephants, bushbuck, and black fronted duiker among others

Volcanoes national park has over 10 habituated gorilla families and each gorilla family can be visited by 10 people on a single day. The gorilla families in the volcanoes national park are Agashya gorilla family, Ugenda gorilla family, Kirwa gorilla family, Kwitonda gorilla family, Amahoro gorilla family, Bwenge gorilla family, Karisimbi gorilla family, Titus gorilla family, Sabyinyo gorilla family, and Umubano gorilla family. Every gorilla family offers its own unique gorilla trekking experience.

Best time to trek mountain gorillas in Rwanda

Mountain gorilla trekking in volcanoes national park Rwanda can be done at any time of the year but some months are better than the rest. dry months of June to September and December to February are the best times to visit the park because there is little or no rainfall, the roads leading to the park are accessible and the trekking trails are dry and passable. Visiting the park in the rainy season is also okay but the roads to the park are impassable and the trekking trails are muddy and slippery.

Price of gorilla permits

Rwanda offers the most expensive luxury gorilla trekking of all gorilla national parks. Rwanda gorilla permits in volcanoes national park cost $1500 per person per trek. Children below the age of 15 years are not allowed to trek gorillas for different reasons and also people with infectious diseases such as flu, cough, and diarrhea.

What to pack for gorilla trekking?

Mountain gorillas live on high elevations of volcanoes national park Rwanda and weather are always unpredictable so you are advised to carry a rain jacket, warm long-sleeved clothes, waterproof hiking boots, good quality camera, sunscreen, a hat, garden gloves, enough drinking water, energy-giving snacks, insect repellents, face mask, and sanitizer.

Getting to volcanoes national park Rwanda

Volcanoes national park is located in the northwestern part of Rwanda neighboring Uganda’s Mgahinga national park and DR Congo’s Virunga national park. The Park is located about 110 km away from Kigali city meaning you can even sleep in Kigali and trek mountain gorillas the next day. The Park can be accessed by either road transport or air transport depending on your budget.

By road transport

It takes you only 2-3 hours to get to volcanoes national park from Kigali the capital city of Rwanda. People who use road transport get an opportunity of exploring Rwanda’s countryside as they go through beautiful scenery, rolling hills, and smiling people on well-constructed.

By air transport

Luxurious tourists can use helicopters to access volcanoes national park. There are chattered at Kigali international airport to Musanze airstrip and the flight can take you about 30 minutes. From Musanze airstrip one can use private means to the park or to your accommodation.

Where to stay in volcanoes national park

Volcanoes national park offers a wide range of accommodation facility options ranging from budget to mid-range to luxury. Some of the accommodation facilities in Virunga national park include Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge, One and Only Gorilla’s Nest, Kinigi Hotel, Bisate Lodge, Davinci Lodge, La Palme hotel, Virunga Hotel, Mountain Gorilla View Lodge, Best View Hotel, Le bambou Gorilla Lodge, Sabyinyo silverback lodge, Amakoro Songa Lodge, and Singita Kwitonda Lodge, Virunga Lodge.

Other activities you can do volcanoes national park

Golden monkey trekking

Golden monkey involves walking up early and move to Kinigi park headquarters for a briefing about the rules and regulations of the trekking. After the briefing, an armed ranger leads you through hiking on different trails in search of golden monkeys. When you allocate the golden monkeys, you will be allowed to spend a maximum of one hour with them in their natural habitats. watch them hunt food, play, breastfeed among others. Golden monkey trekking is not as difficult as gorilla trekking because they don’t shift every day making new nests so this makes them be easily found.

Requirements for golden monkey trekking

Tourists intending to trek mountain gorillas in Rwanda are required to a valid golden monkey trekking permit and also must come along with good waterproof hiking boots, sunscreen, garden gloves, a lot of drinking water, energy-giving snacks, long-sleeved clothes, face mask, sanitizer, a pair of binoculars, good quality camera, insect repellents, and so much more.

Virunga Mountains hike

Volcanoes national park hosts 5 out of 8 Virunga massif volcanoes and these are Mountain Sabyinyo, Mountain Gahinga, Mountain Muhabura, Mountain Karisimbi, and Mountain Bisoke. Hiking any of the Virunga Mountains is one of the best experiences a traveler will have when they hike any of the Virunga massif volcanoes. Hiking will expose them to some of the park attractions such as birds, mammals, endangered mountain gorillas, golden monkeys, stunning views of the surrounding communities as well as views of twin lakes of Burera and Ruhondo.

HikingTwin lakes of Burera and Ruhondo

These twin lakes can be accessed after hiking Mountain Muhabura which shares with Mgahinga National Park of Uganda. This will lead you to twin lakes of Burera and Ruhondo where you can carry out activities like boat cruises see animals such as hippos and crocodiles, birding, sport fishing and you will have perfect views of photography at the lakes among others.


Birding is one of the most exciting activities in the volcanoes national park located in the north western part of Rwanda. During birding, you will need a pair of binoculars to clearly see a number of different bird species because the park is a habitat of over 480 bird species that have been so far recorded in this park. Birds that can be seen in volcanoes national park include handsome francolin, Ruwenzori turaco, red-faced woodland warbler, sunbird, collared apalis, coqui francolin, archers ground robin, Ruwenzori batis, Ruwenzori apalis, bubbling cisticola, Ruwenzori nightjar, miombo wren warbler, brown necked parrot, dusky turtle dove among others.