Rwanda is one of the few counties where visitors from all over the world go for gorilla trekking other than Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo. Rwanda is located in the Great Rift Valley of Central Africa sharing its borders with Uganda in the North, Burundi in the South, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in the West and Tanzania in the east.
The country has part of it covered within the Virunga Conservation Area which crosses to D.R. Congo and Rwanda covering Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, Mgahinga National Park in Uganda and Congo’s Virunga National Park which are all known for gorilla trekking. The area has a chain of 8 volcanoes which of course cannot be separated from gorilla trekking as most of the gorilla families inhabit the slopes of these volcanoes, four of which are located in Rwanda including Mount Sabyinyo, Mount Bisoke, Mount Gahinga, Mount Karisimbi and Mount Muhabura.
Gorilla trekking takes place in Volcanoes National Park and is considered to the best place that someone can visit to see gorillas in Africa. Gorilla trekking is the most popular activity within the park, the park is covered with montane and bamboo forests plus savannah vegetation which makes tracking of mountain gorillas more adventurous. Gorilla trekking is usually for the able bodied as it requires some sort of fitness since it involves hiking to the steep volcano slopes as its where most gorilla families are habituated.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
Compared to Uganda and D.R. Congo, gorilla trekking in Rwanda is more expensive but worth the expense since the experience here is extremely different and the best one can have and the very reason, we refer to it as the luxury gorilla trekking. It’s very important that you book a permit in advance since there is a very high demand due to the many tourists that enter the country to see gorillas at the park and it depends on the time you intend to visit.
The peak season here is always in June, July, August and September and if you intend to go for gorilla trekking within those months then it’s better you book you permit at least four months earlier.
Gorilla trekking permits are sold at US$1500 for every person but with special offers for those visiting many parks or conference attendees. For everyone who intends to go for gorilla trekking, they must have a gorilla trekking permit as it’s a requirement for anyone to go in for gorilla trekking. The entire cost for a gorilla trekking safari will carry on the cost of gorilla trekking permit, transport and accommodation.
WHEN TO DO LUXURY GORILLA TREKKING IN RWANDA?
Gorilla trekking can be done at any time of the year, so there should be no reason stopping you from visiting any time of the year. The best time however to visit would be during dry season which spans from the months of December to February and June to September.
This is because hiking to trek mountain gorillas through the volcano slopes can be difficult during the rainy season as the slopes may get slippery. It is however expensive during that time since most tourists choose to travel during the dry season.
LUXURY LODGES IN VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK.
Accommodation is key for any trip you choose to take which is why you always have to choose the best accommodation. There are different places with varying accommodation prices depending on your budget for which you receive a luxury experience.
This property is uniquely positioned as the residents can catch sight of the Bisoke and Karisimbi volcanoes. Bisate is designed in resemblance of these volcanoes in a cone like shape.
The lodge can only accommodate 12 guests on a given night giving an elegant African exclusive experience with its wooden roof, fire place, among others. There is ample and secure free parking space, a fitness center, onsite bar and restaurant.
The lodge is served by nearby airstrip, for any visitors who would wish to connect from the lodge to Kigali airport.
The place is located at the park’s boundaries within an hour drive from the park’s headquarters. Virunga lodge is strategically located at a higher altitude of 2,175 meters above sea level giving the residents a magnificent view of the Virunga Volcanoes in the North West and a clear look at the twin lakes of Ruhondo and Burera.
The lodge is uniquely constructed with stone walls and wooden floors and all services available at pleasure. Visitors at Virunga lodge are always entertained traditional dances from the Indore dance troupes, free Wi-Fi accessible, massage plus a bar serving all kinds of wines and whisky.
Sabyinyo silverback lodge.
Sabyinyo silverback lodge is ranked as a 5‑star accommodation facility located in Musanze district within the boundaries of the park near the Kinigi where the park’s headquarters are located. The services at the lodge are exquisite as it has 8 cottages clearly designed to host visitors as they have a fire place, ensuite bathroom, a bed room and dressing room.
Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel.
The lodge is situated in Kinigi town at the edge of Volcanoes National Park which is just at the edge of park entrance. Providing the utmost comfortable accommodation, the hotel provides easy access to the park and perfect night sleep for anyone who just had a long gorilla trekking day.
Embracing culture, the place has stone cottages with a sitting space outside to have the nature view of the place and feel the perfect temperatures within the place plus a pool and gardens.
WHAT TO PACK?
What you always need for luxury gorilla trekking in Rwanda not any different from what is required elsewhere. What you wear is always so important, so it is important you pack the following:
· Long sleeved shirts and trousers.
· Hiking boots; since the slopes are usually muddy and steep.
· Gardening gloves. These are intended to protect your hands.
· Rain jacket, regardless of the time you visit. The park is covered by rain forests so it’s possible receiving rain.
· Carry along a hat, insect repellant, among others.