Rwanda is a special gorilla trekking destination of its own. Rwanda’s mountain gorillas live within the Virunga region, which is in Volcanoes National Park. This is a compact park and forms part of the extensive Virunga Conservation Area. Lying in Northwestern Rwanda, Volcanoes NP accounts for 30% of the world’s endangered mountain gorilla population.
Traveling to visit gorillas in Volcanoes Park takes just 2–3 hours’ drive from Kigali or you can transfer from Kabale via Katuna border/Kisoro through Chanika border to Northwestern Rwanda. It is at Volcanoes Park where Dian Fossey did her research for 18 years, and today, the park is home to 12 habituated gorilla groups – Agashya/Group 13, Susa B‑Karisimbi, Hirwa, Amahoro, Kwitonda, Ugenda, Bwenge, Susa A, Umubano, Sabyinyo, Titus, Pablo, etc.
Volcanoes N/P derives its name from the Virunga Volcanoes, and five of the eight Virunga Massifs all exist here. The park was established in 1925 making it Rwanda’s oldest park, and its land area measures up to only 160sq.km.
Gorilla permits to allow you to visit Rwanda mountain gorillas are only issued to persons above 15 years. Each of Rwanda’s gorilla trekking permits can be booked at USD1500, and it is possible to book it in advance via a reliable tour operator on the ground or contact Rwanda Development Board- RDB. Trekking gorillas in Rwanda begins at Kinigi offices, and getting there takes just 2–3 hours’ drive from Kigali.
On a gorilla safari tour in Rwanda, it is also possible to visit other leading primate destinations. They include Nyungwe Forest National Park and Gishwati-Mukura National Park- where you can enjoy chimp trekking.