Mountain Gorilla Trek & Cultural Gala Rwanda – 3 Days
This 3 Day Mountain Gorilla Trek & Cultural Gala Rwanda Safari offers the opportunity to trek Mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park, learn about the fascinating culture of the Rwandese people displayed through folksongs, music, dance and drama, and listen to the horrendous accounts of how more than one million people were killed during the Rwanda genocide in the 1990s.
- The thrill of trekking Mountain Gorillas in the challenging forest terrain and the humbling experience of coming face to face with them as they feed, play, rest and bond with their young
- Being treated to the colourful cultural gala of the Rwandese people at Iby’iwachu cultural village
- Listening to the heartrending accounts of the astonishing genocide that occurred in Rwanda.
Day 1: Tour of Cultural and memorial sites in Kigali & transfer to Volcanoes National Park
Day 2: Gorilla trekking in Volcanoes & visit to Iby’iwachu Cultural Centre
Day 3: Transfer to Kigali
Day 1: Tour of Cultural and Genocide Museums in Kigali & transfer to Volcanoes National Park
You will have breakfast and set out to visit the prominent memorial sites in the city of Rwanda before transferring to the Volcanoes National Park. These will include the Genocide memorial sites where thousands of innocent people lost their lives during the genocide of the mid 1990s are buried, the former residence of President Habyarimana now a Presidential Palace Museum, and the Nyamata church from where people who had gathered for refuge were brutally killed.
In these places you will listen to the horrendous narratives of how people were cruelly put to death and learn about the history of the country from the colonial periods through to the present time.
You will have lunch and transfer to Ruhengeri town just outside the Volcanoes National Park.
Dinner and overnight will be at the lodge of your booking.
Day 2: Gorilla trekking in the Volcanoes National Park
You will have an early breakfast and join other tourists at the Kinigi Park headquarters at 08:00am for a briefing on the Gorilla tracking rules. You will be allocated a Gorilla family to track and guides to lead you to the Gorillas. The trekking is a strenuous exercise through thick jungle on steep terrain that is uneven, wet and often muddy for as many as 2-5 hours, depending on the location of the Gorillas. Once sighted, you will spend a maximum of one hour with the Gorillas.
You will return to the lodge to refresh and later go out to visit the Iby’iwachu cultural village for a Kinyarwanda cultural gala.
You will return to your lodge for dinner and overnight.
Day 3: Transfer to Kigali
You will have a relaxed breakfast and later transfer to Kigali for overnight or straight to the airport for your departure flight.
Requirements for this Safari:
- A Visa for Rwanda which you can get at the airport
- Gorilla trekking permit paid for in advance
- Travel & Health insurance arranged by you in your home country before you travel.
- Yellow fever vaccination (certificate for proof)
- Physical fitness
The Safari package includes:
- Accommodation as per the itinerary
- 4WD safari vehicle
- Bottled drinking water
- Gorilla trekking permit
- Services of an English speaking driver/guide.
- Return airport transfers.
The Safari package excludes expenses of a personal nature such as:
- Other drinks apart from bottled water
- Tips to local guides
- Telephone expenses
- Porter fees while trekking Gorillas
- Personal insurance
Enquire about this safari
What to Expect on a Rwanda Gorilla Safari
For a great gorilla trekking experience, you need to be fairly fit, equipped for the humid, muddy conditions of a rainforest hike, and in good health – gorillas are susceptible to human illnesses but don’t have our immunity, which means a common cold can be deadly to a whole family of gorillas and you won’t be permitted to trek if you are unwell. Even in the dry season, the rainforest is a challenging environment: it’s humid, wet and muddy with some steep slopes, plenty of insects and thick vegetation. It is absolutely worth the effort to spend time with gorillas in the wild, but be prepared to exert yourself on the trek.
Your professional gorilla guide and tracker leads you into the forest’s secret paths, looking for a habituated gorilla family. Once found, you’ll approach the gorillas quietly and settle down to observe them from between 7 and 10m (22 to 32 ft) away. You’ll spend between 40 minutes and an hour with the gorillas, watching the adults forage and groom each other while the babies tumble and play. You’ll be under the watchful gaze of the great silverback patriarch, whose soft brown eyes constantly sweep over his family protectively. Witnessing gorillas express typically human gestures and emotions is a truly profound experience and one of the reasons that gorilla trekking is such a life changing encounter.
You’ll be asked to leave any personal items or bottled water you’re carrying with your porters and approach the gorillas with only your camera. You are not allowed to use a flash and it’s best to use a camera that doesn’t make loud clicks, whirring or other mechanical noises.
Quick links to gorilla trekking tips
- Habituated Uganda Gorilla Groups
- Gorilla Habituation Experience
- Gorilla Tracking – Uganda or Rwanda
- Uganda Wildlife Authority – Gorilla Trekking
- Experiential Gorilla Safari in Uganda
When To Go – Best time to go on a Gorilla Safari in Rwanda
Although a Rwanda Gorilla Safari can be conducted all year round in the Virunga Mountains, due to the somewhat damp seasons experienced by Volcanoes National Park jungle in which these gorillas stay, the majority of tourists prefer visiting in the dry seasons where traversing the jungles is somewhat doable – and that is the months of June to September as well as from December up to February. You can visit at any time of the year, the low season calls for cheaper gorilla permit price.
Temperature & Weather
Up the mountain Forest could be very cold especially in the morning & night. The annual mean temperatures range is 7°C to 20°C with the coldest months being June & July. Hence warm clothing are required, plus wet weather gear because Virunga receives up to 2390mm of rain every year. This is centered on during 2 wet seasons, short rains in March- May & heavy rainfall in the months of September-November. In Virunga, rain often falls as long hours of soft drizzle, instead of short tropical deluge. Our Tour Experts will help you prepare depending on the season.
Volcanoes National Park is located in north-western corner of Rwanda approximately 3 hours drive from the Kigali International airport.
The gorilla permit
The gorilla permit is the second most important document next to your Visa and passport. The Rwanda gorilla permit costs $1500, a hefty sum but very much worth it. You should know that some of this money is used to take care of these creatures, help them repopulate and protect them from the rampant poaching.
Acquiring a gorilla permit can be strenuous especially in peak season. We would recommend buying them months in advance to avoid the long cues. The permit per person in most cases is included in the package price, so you’ll not need to hustle acquiring the document.
Once you have the gorilla permit and you’re guided into the jungle, prepare your emotions because seeing the mountain gorillas is guaranteed.
What To Wear on the Gorilla Safari.
Rwanda Gorilla Safari gear guide: Good quality walking boots if trying any hikes or even climbs, warm layers of cloth for the cold evenings and clothing for wet weather remember it becomes cold and wet at this high altitude.
However during the day, the sun is strong even when cloudy therefore always remember to carry and wear sunscreen as well as a sun hat. In addition, you may have to carry along waterproof bags to safeguard cameras plus additional equipment for the hike. Water plus snacks are additional recommended items plus a packed lunch for people doing full-day expeditions.
What else after the gorilla safari?
While in Rwanda, besides visiting the mountain gorillas, you can take a game drive safari across the boarder into Uganda’s Queen Elizabeth, Lake Mburo National Park or within Rwanda you can visit Kigali City, Akagera National Park and several other Rwanda attractions worth checking out. Most tourists on African trip combine Tanzania safari adventures with gorilla trekking in Uganda and Rwanda in addition to a safari in Kenya or Mount Kilimanjaro Trekking in Tanzania.
Let’s get you started on this trip, right? Request for a quote.
Quick Safari Details
Number of people: Tailored
Leaves When: Any Day
Start/End: Kigali, Rwanda
Activities: Road Drive, Gorilla Trekking, Jungle Trek, Bird Watching
Destinations: Volcanoes National Park
Price: Request a Quote
Best time to go: June to September and December up to February.