Gorilla Trek & Ultimate Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda | Volcanoes National Park

The mountain gorillas are the primary attraction of  Rwanda, and the Gorilla Trek is the highlight of any trip to this country. Discover more about gorilla trekking vacations, seeing gorillas in the wild, and getting a permit. Trekking for mountain gorillas in their native tropical forests of Africa is known as “gorilla trekking.”


When is the Best Time to See the Mountain Gorillas in Africa?

Uganda, Rwanda, and the Congo all provide year-round opportunities to hike gorillas. June, July, August, September, and December are prime time for gorilla trekking. This is because it is less humid and simpler to move about in the parks, where the gorillas are located. Mornings in Volcanoes national park average at 11 degrees Celsius (52 degrees Fahrenheit) year-round, while afternoons average at 23 degrees Celsius (73 degrees Fahrenheit).

Gorilla Tracking in Volcanoes national park’s Secret Jungles

There are fewer visitors during the winter months of January and February. Occasionally or when it’s raining.

March, April, and May are the wettest months. The slopes make the walk quite challenging.

In the months of June, July, and August, permits sell out rapidly due to high demand. When to visit  Rwanda for a gorilla safari.

How Do I Choose a Gorilla Tour Operator?

The Finest Gorilla Trekking Agencies in Rwanda

  1. Active African vacation
  2. Rwanda Gorilla Trek
  3. Cheap Rwanda Safaris

There are several gorilla safari tour operators in Rwanda. There are several factors to think about when choosing a tour operator, including price, availability of gorilla permits, online ratings, and recommendations from other companies.

What Places Should I Consider for Lodging?

Top four (4) luxury Gorilla safari lodges in Rwanda- Volcanoes National Park

Your financial situation will dictate the quality of the safari lodge or hotel you can afford. There are hotels that charge as much as $5000 a night for two people to stay, while others charge much less. It’s not only about the room rate; it’s also about the location, the food, the service, and everything else.

  • Cost of a Standard Hotel or Lodge
  • Budget hotels may be had for between $50 and $200 per night.
  • A reasonable middle range
  • Ranging in price from $300 to $2500 each night.
  • If you want to stay close to the tracking site, have your travel agent help you out.

The Five Best Gorilla Safari Lodges in Rwanda

  • Singita kwitonda lodges, from $2000
  • One & Only gorilla nest start at $2000 per night.
  • Bisate lodge begin at $3000
  • Five volcanoes hotel start at 500$ to 2000$.
  • Virunga inn & Spa start from 400$ to 1500$
  • Price range for a stay at the Gorilla Safari Lodge is from $ 400 to $7000

Musanze town and Kinigi within the park limits both have a variety of lodging options, from luxurious lodges and resorts to more modest hotels. Gorilla Nest, Bisate Lodge, Singita Kwitonda, Virunga, and Five Volcanoes are among the more luxurious options, while Amarembo lodge, Le Bamboo lodge, Da Vinchi Gorilla Lodge, and Ingagi Park View Lodge are among the more reasonably priced options. Muhabura Hotel, La Palme Hotel, Garden Palace Hotel, etc. are only a few of the inexpensive hotels in the area.

What is the cost of a visit to the gorillas?

  • How Much Will a 2023 Gorilla Safari Cost?
  • In Rwanda , you may go on a one-day gorilla trek for almost $1900$
  • About $2400 is the price of a two-day gorilla safari.
  • About $ 3700 is the price of a three-day gorilla trek.

Of course, different tour companies will have different costs, but a gorilla safari for two people should cost about $3800. The high-end journey should set you back between $6000 and $8000 for two people. Most tour operators in Rwanda that offer gorilla treks agree that the most popular trip package is the middle-range one that is neither the cheapest nor the most costly.  If you can plan your vacation during the off season, you can save money..

You may be wondering whether and why a gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park costs so much. What happens is as follows.

Rwanda  charges $ 1500 for a gorilla hiking permit, with 75%  going towards conservation efforts. Fifteen percent goes to the government, while the remaining ten percent is split amongst the park communities. The price of the permit includes park entry, a tracker in advance, and a ranger for an hour, so there are no hidden charges associated with seeing the gorillas.

Costs Beyond Transportation When Hiking

Feed Costs

  • About $50 per day is spent on food and drink. Tour companies often provide meals and nonalcoholic beverages.

Costs Related to Traveling

  • You should expect to pay between $500 and $2,400 for a flight leaving from your country.
  • A day car rental should cost about $200$

Passports and Border Control

  • You may go on safari in Tanzania, Kenya, and Uganda for the cheap, low price of a tourist visa to East Africa.

Costs for Porters

Renting a Sedan chair to be carried by porters can set you back anything from $100 to $500.

Methods of Reducing Expenses

  • It’s risky to go on a trip by yourself.
  • Get rooms at the best low-cost hotels.
  • Go with Rwanda instead of Uganda
  • Don’t rely on the bus system since it won’t get you where you need to be on time.
  • Do not fly on hired aircraft.
  • Visit the mountain gorillas in the off-season.

In which African country may I see gorillas?

The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, and Rwanda all have gorilla populations. However, there are two main types of gorillas: mountain gorillas and lowland gorillas, with a few more sub-species in between. We highly suggest visiting Rwanda if you want to see mountain gorillas, and the Republic of the Congo if you want to see lowland gorillas. While mountain gorillas are not entirely unknown in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, it has been more challenging to track them down in certain areas due to the political unrest there.

However, if you’re planning a safari, a visit to Tanzania and Kenya—especially when the wildebeest migrate through the Mara River into the Serengeti plains—could be the perfect addition to your trip We can’t find any gorillas in Kenya, South Africa, or Tanzania. We often suggest multi-country safaris, especially in East Africa.

While mountain gorillas are larger and have darker black fur, lowland gorillas are typically smaller and have a noticeable forehead ridge. There are just around 1000 mountain gorillas left in the wild of Africa, making them the rarest primate in the world. Contrarily, there are more than 100,000 lowland gorillas in the Republic of the Congo alone.

Gorilla Trekking families in Volcanoes National Park Rwanda

MOUNTAIN GORILLA TREKKING AT VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK-What is the best time to see gorillas in Rwanda

Structure and Background of the Group


This traveler group joined in 2000, making them the most recent to do so. After a period of violence at the hands of infiltrators from the neighboring Congo in the Virunga area, the leader Silverback in this group was given the name Amahoro, which means peace. This silverback may be approached with relative ease.


After the death of the thirteen’s silverback leader in 1992, this gang came together. At first, everyone knew who they were.

Due of the difficulty experienced throughout the habituation process, they are referred to as wasps, or amavubi. Only Guhonda, Ryango, and Ruhennyi, three silverback gorillas, made up the group.

Ijisho, Gukunda, and Kampanga, as well as Safari, another female from Group 11, were taken from Group 13 after the death of their group’s dominant silverback.

Four females and two silverbacks created a new group. Sabyinyo is the new name for the organisation. Sabyinyo Mountain is the original concentration point for the community.

A group’s make-up is always shifting, with new members joining and others leaving as a result of natural processes including reproduction, mortality, immigration, and emigration.

This community is notable for its generosity and for housing the largest silverback in the world. This silverback enjoys pounding his chest to demonstrate his superiority.

Note that : Mountain gorillas leave their groups for one of two reasons: either to form their own groups or to escape inbreeding.

Group 13

There are more than thirteen people in group thirteen, despite what you may have heard. According to the established hierarchy, the total number of members of this group is now thirteen. Back then, teams may be dubbed by the sequence in which they were approached. Dian Fossy’s approach was first used.

Group 13 has never had more than one silverback, and when Murith, their leader, died in 1992, the other silverbacks in the area formed a new group called Sabyinyo, taking all the adult females with them. This left Group 13 with only three young males who were unable to take charge.

The three young males, Munani, Nyakarima, and Kwirinda, stuck together until the eldest, Munani, became a silverback; after that, Nyakarima left the group, and Kwirinda perished as a result of injuries sustained during encounters with other groups.

Silverback Munani wanted to build his group, so he interacted with group Sabyinyo and stole Safari one, a girl who had been in group eleven before she joined Sabyinyo. He also added Gukunda and Cyuzuzo to his collection of women.

In 2002, the silverback died of natural causes, leaving the group with just seven members and a black back, who for five months co-led the group with the eldest female (named Safari) until a new silverback arrived.

A new Silverback, called Agashya, joined the gang, and now there are 10 of them. The Black back he encountered, however, refused to submit to the new silverback and instead chose to live a lonely existence with the rest of the group.

After Agashya came to control, the tribe grew from 15 to 23 members, including nine grown women, in only three years.

Agashya, a name that means “something special,” refers to the gorilla’s extraordinary ability to command a troop of twenty-one.


this was formerly a component of the Amahoro group until a split created the Umubano. after there is more than one silverback in a group, the next in rank usually takes over after the leader dies.

Charles, the head of the Umubano, was not like this at all. When the dominant silverback passed away. Instead of submitting to the next silverback, Charles formed his own group of two ladies and departed.

He is ambitious for such a young silverback, and he has quickly expanded his group and his number of female members. The silverback is the most content and confident of the bunch.


The number of mountain gorillas in this group is second biggest. Dian Fossy conducted the first research on this group of 40 people, finding that four of them were silverbacks. The steep slopes of Karisimbi are home to this creature.

Unique to this family is the occurrence of a pair of uncommon twin gorilla births. From a total of three events documented at Volcanoes.

One baby tragically passed away within a month, while the other was successfully reared to maturity before being slain in the poaching incident of 2002.

A female Nyabitondore, at 12 years old, gave birth to male and female twins on May 19, 2004. For the last two years and eight months, Nyabitondore has been caring for the twins, who may be the first twins to survive among mountain gorillas


The lone silverback in this bunch just started this new group. Its people were all transplants from preexisting communities. There are now nine members. Its tranquil nature is one of its distinguishing features.


The Democratic Republic of the Congo is the homeland of this band. In 2005, it came with 16 acclimated members, and it has since been seen by many visitors. One adult silverback and two female and juvenile blackbacks make up the group.

The dominant silverback is an extreme introvert.

Travel in Style on a Gorilla Safari

The most luxurious gorilla trekking is in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park. In Rwanda, a gorilla permit would set you back $ 1,500, while a 9-day luxury safari at places like Bisate Lodge, Singita Kwitonda Lodge, or Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge can set you back more than $15,000.

Which nation has the finest conditions for seeing mountain gorillas?  If we look at Uganda and Rwanda side by side

Rwanda Vs Uganda Gorilla Trekking

Gorilla trekking is one of the reasons visitors come to Uganda and Rwanda since it is the only site in Africa where gorilla trekking is possible. Gorilla trekking is done in both Rwanda and Uganda, and those who have visited both countries can attest that the experience is similar.  However, most tourists planning gorilla safaris always inquire about Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda vs. Uganda. Visit and see Rwanda to learn how the two vary, particularly in pricing!

Visit and tour Rwanda will help you distinguish between the two nations, but the decision on which country to visit is ultimately up to you. There are many aspects to consider while selecting the best gorilla trekking spot.

Cost Comparison

Both nations need a gorilla permit, so you must obtain one before you can go gorilla tracking. Gorilla licences in Uganda cost 700 USD apiece, whereas Rwandan permits cost 1500 USD per person. But why? The best is always expensive lets us see why

Trekking to see gorillas Travel and Time

Entebbe International Airport is Uganda’s principal entrance point. From Entebbe International Airport, it is a 9-10 hour journey to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and one of the four starting places for gorilla trekking in the dense jungle. You may, of course, schedule a flight to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest for an additional fee. You will have access to either Rusahga and Nkuringo in the north or Buhoma and Ruhija in the south of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. These are all gorilla trekking locations inside the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. If you want to go by road, you will need three days to follow gorillas

Gorilla tracking spots in Rwanda are near to the airport, which is  only 3 hours’ drive from Kigali. A gorilla safari in Rwanda may be completed in two days. You may undertake chimp or golden monkey tracking in addition to gorilla tracking in one of the wildlife parks, most likely Akagera National Park, or you can tour Kigali and visit the memorial centre.

Experience using Gorilla Tracking

Gorilla tracking in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest requires a higher level of physical fitness and stamina. The rain forest is dense, and tracking gorillas through it requires greater physical effort. For most individuals, this adds to the excitement of the encounter. Tracking the gorillas is as exciting as, if not more so than, ultimately seeing the gorillas up close.

In Rwanda, though, gorilla tracking is done on the edge of a volcano, where the tracking is a little simpler. On a Rwanda gorilla trek, you are placed in a group depending on your physical ability, but in Uganda, you are placed in a group based on your gorilla permit.

Viewing and photographing gorillas

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is a dense forest that is fairly dark if you want to shoot photos, but whether you obtain decent photos depends on a lot of circumstances such as the family you are visiting, the camera, the time of day, and the location. However, photographing gorillas amid the dense forest is fairly doable; many people have done so in the past.

In Rwanda, you will be trekking up the side of a volcano; tracking through the forest may be difficult, but you will still get a good glimpse of the gorillas and some photos. So, whether you visit Rwanda or Uganda, you will be able to observe and photograph gorillas.

What to Bring on a Trip to See the Gorillas in Rwanda

  • Waterproof hiking boots are a need.
  • Get your bags ready.
  • Insect-prevention sprays.
  • Raincoat with little bulk.
  • Poncho
  • Binoculars,
  • bottled water
  • Boots, etc., for a walk.
  • Used gloves for gardening
  • Pants, or a lengthy pair of pants
  • Food to keep you going.

How Challenging Is It to Go on a Gorilla Safari?


The scale for Gorilla Trekking runs from 50 to 100.

Moderately Challenging Trail

The condition of your body is the single most important factor in determining how challenging your gorilla journey will be. The weather and the load you’re carrying are other considerations. You may hire a group of gorillas to march you through a workout routine if you like. Gorilla trekking is not tough; people in their 60s and 70s have completed the journey successfully.

What to expect on a gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park Rwanda

You will begin your search for the primates from the forest’s edge extremely early on the day of your gorilla expedition. From your hotel, your guide or driver will take you to the park headquarters in Kinigi village. The guides are very competent, knowledgeable, and fluent in English. They will take you to see a specific family of mountain gorillas that have become used to human visitors (thus the term “habituated”).

You will be split into groups of eight and taken to the trailhead, where you will meet your mountain gorilla trekking party, following a training on safety and gorilla etiquette. After entering the forest on conventional pathways, your guide will keep in radio contact with the group’s stay-behind trackers so that everyone can be found if needed. The elevation is around 2,500 meters, so even at a leisurely pace, the walk might take anything from 30 minutes to several hours. It’s normal to feel a little out of breath at this altitude. This is really typical!

A huge silverback gorilla may weigh up to 200 kg, so most hikers are understandably nervous. That’s equivalent to carrying around three normal-sized men. However, once you meet the gorilla troop, your fears will quickly go. There will be periods when the gorillas are dispersed throughout a very limited area of thick foliage. They are uninterested in the guests, who they observe with little curiosity, and will carry on with their daily eating and interacting as usual. Sometimes one may approach you with curiosity, usually a little child, and get so near that you’ll have to back away.

Try to keep your voice down and avoid making any unexpected movements while you are in your group

The Role of the Covid- test in Gorilla Tracking

Gorillas may be able to get Corona virus since they share 98% of their DNA with humans. Covid 19 is a major threat to the survival of gorillas since the animals are susceptible to respiratory illnesses like the flu and other airborne diseases.

  • Maintain a distance of 7 meters from the gorillas at all times.
  • The minimum age requirement of 15 years old still stands.
  • There will be a gorilla viewing for one hour.
  • Masks are a need.
  • Avoiding sneezing is a good idea.
  • Make sure you use proper sanitation and stick to standard operating procedure.

Time of Year for Gorilla Trekking

Safaris to see mountain gorillas may be done any time of the year. However, hiking conditions may be more challenging during the months of April through May and November.

The best times to undertake gorilla trekking are in the dry months, from around June to the middle of September, and from December to February

Getting your gorilla trekking permits in order

Permits for gorilla treks at these peak times may be difficult to come by on short notice. So, it’s best to prepare ahead of time. Learn more about the tour operators who can handle organizing the acquisition of your permits by contacting us.

Acquiring Gorilla Tracking Permits

There are only 96 gorilla treks offered every day. The Rwanda Development Board (RDB) raised the price of gorilla licences from $750 to $1,500 on May 6, 2017. RDB claims that the increased cost is necessary to bolster preservation initiatives and encourage community growth

Trips to See Primate Species in Africa

Gorilla Trekking in Volcanoes National Park Rwanda

Gorilla tracking in Rwanda takes place in the Virunga Mountains in Volcanoes National Park. The fee to see a gorilla is $1500. Eighteen gorilla families live in Rwanda. When visiting Rwanda, the Susa family is the best option for a gorilla trek. Late June, July, and August are when most tourists go to Rwanda. Volcanoes National Park is located on one of the Virunga Mountains. Karisimbi, Bisoke, Sabyinyo, Muhabura, and Mgahinga all have the potential to house many kinds of ape. Virunga National Park and Kahuzi Biega National Park in the Republic of the Congo are possible locations for more gorillas in Africa.

The Silverback Gorilla affection

Gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park Rwanda

Locating African Golden Monkeys

After gorilla tracking and chimpanzee tracking, monitoring golden monkeys in Rwanda is the most popular pastime among trekking tourists. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda and Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda are both in the Virunga mountains, and both are home to golden monkeys.

How Should You Dress?  Picking the Perfect Outfit

When packing for a gorilla trek, it’s important to keep in mind that you’ll need tough walking boots if you plan on doing any hiking or climbing, several layers of clothes for the cool evenings, and rain gear, since the weather may quickly turn cold and rainy at such a high altitude. You’ll need to bring a thin jacket. Wearing gloves, long sleeves, trousers, and hiking gaiters that go up to the knees is a must. The best hiking boots are a need for a gorilla journey. You may learn more about the best camera and binoculars to bring on an African safari, as well as what to dress on a safari in Africa.

What Are Gorillas Like? : A Question about Mountain Gorilla Trekking.

Males may grow to be 6 feet tall and 350-500 pounds heavy, making them about twice as heavy as females.  These have great strength and power, and their arms are quite long.  The males are called silverbacks because, with age, their formerly black back hair becomes silver.  Even while using performance-enhancing medications, a man’s strength is ten times that of the strongest boxer.  The armspan of a silverback could extend to 7 feet.

Because they prefer cooler climates and higher altitudes, mountain gorillas have longer, darker hair than their lowland counterparts.  Between 40 and 50 years is their typical lifespan. Although adult mountain gorillas spend most of their time on the ground, they may sometimes climb a tree if it provides sufficient food and shelter for their offspring. It’s a shocking fact that humans and gorillas are genetically identical (98%)..

When it comes to food, what do mountain gorillas prefer?

The Mountain Gorillas of volcanoes national park prefer to feed on the afro-montane vegetation found there.  Mountain gorillas, a critically endangered species, eat a wide variety of vegetation, including flowers, leaves, fruit, roots, bamboo, and shoots, when available.  A daily intake of 75 pounds is acceptable for adults.

Morning for a mountain gorilla starts at six o’clock. It wraps up around 6 in the evening, with a midday sleep included.  The sun rises in Rwanda  about 6 a.m. and at 7 o’clock at nighttime. Every day, they move to a new location, where they construct nests out of natural materials like twigs and leaves.  There are those who claim to have slept comfortably in them.

To what extent do mountain gorillas face extinction?

Mountain gorillas’ security is a common concern for tourists visiting volcanoes national park .  Tourists who see mountain gorillas in Rwanda  may be certain that the animals they encounter are used to human presence despite their intimidating size and strength.  In other words, it may take them up to two years to get acclimated to human company.  has though Dian Fossey opposed allowing people to view mountain gorillas at first, the money earned has helped the species survive and has grown in recent years.

gorilla trekking in Rwanda

gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park Rwanda

Mountain gorillas will fight to protect their young and territory.  Silver, the dominant male of the Mountain Gorillas, will fight to the death if two or more groups of gorillas meet.  Recently, rangers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo had to interfere when a fight broke out between two Silverbacks.

A typical group size for mountain gorillas is 10, although they may have as many as 30 or 40 members.  Children are born at any time of the year, and there is no specific mating season.  The average reproductive age for men is about 15, while for girls it’s between 10 and 12 years old.  Women may potentially have 4 to 6 children throughout the course of their lifetime, with each kid being born every 2 to 3 years.  Around the age of 11, boys begin to leave their group, whereas slightly more than half of the females do.  Twenty-five different roars, grunts, and cries used by mountain gorillas have been documented by scientists.

Gorilla photography on a safari in Rwanda

If you’re a skilled photographer, photographing mountain gorillas is one of the most unforgettable opportunities you’ll ever have. Keep in mind that the lighting in the jungle is likely to be dim, and that you are not allowed to use a flash.

Acquaintance with the Mountain Gorillas

When you first come face to face with these creatures, you may be surprised to learn that male gorillas may weigh up to 500 pounds and stand 6 feet tall. Their diet consists mostly of bamboo shoots, roots, flowers, fruits, and leaves found in the afro-montane region, with around 75 pounds consumed daily. Silverback male gorillas may reach heights of 7 feet because to their long, powerful arms.

When visiting the mountain gorillas, trekkers are usually given a safety briefing that covers topics such as:

  • The gorilla family can only handle up to eight visitors at a time.
  • When you’re in the woods, be quiet.
  • Don’t be that person that litters the park.
  • Keep a safe distance from the gorillas, no closer than 7 metres.
  • Do not use flash while taking pictures.
  • When around the gorillas, refrain from any and all food, drink, and tobacco use.
  • You shouldn’t touch them. Don’t forget that they’re still animals in the wild.

Finally, remember that they could charge, and don’t freak out if that happens. Instead, keep your cool, squat down, and gaze steadily below. Disease transmission is a concern for the gorillas as well.

Beginning as early as 6:30 AM, visitors should start arriving at the park headquarters. Make sure to verify your licence. Talk to other hikers and learn the ground rules for behaving like a gorilla.

Keep in mind that searching for mountain gorillas requires some athleticism, since you’ll be going upwards. However, enjoy the walk since interacting with the gorillas is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Why Go to Rwanda

The documentary film Royal Tours has been with us for a few days, but the novelty has not yet worn off. Rwanda is home to three further national parks and many other interesting tourist attractions. Peter Greenberg, the film’s creator, takes a trip to Rwanda. Rwandan President Paul Kagame serves as his ultimate guide as he travels the country highlighting its unique variety.

Highlights of the documentary include the pair’s gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park Rwanda, their exploration of the pristine Nyungwe National Forest and walk on Nyungwe’s elevated canopy walkway, their exposure of the world to the diverse plant and animal life found in Akagera National Park, and their jet-skiing on the comical Lake Kivu, which stretches into the Democratic Republic of the Congo. ( DRC).

The documentary captured the beauty of Rwanda in its purest form. Among the many reasons this nation is so well regarded is that it is home to more than half of the world’s surviving mountain gorillas, and visitors may see them in their native environment.