Embarking on the thrilling adventure of trekking mountain gorillas in Rwanda often sparks curiosity among travelers. The experience of trekking these magnificent creatures in Volcanoes National Park becomes a tale of awe and wonder. Here, we delve into the most cherished aspects that travelers frequently share about their gorilla tracking escapades in Rwanda.
Many seasoned trekkers express that gorilla tracking in Rwanda offers a more manageable experience compared to Uganda. The smaller home range of Volcanoes National Park, characterized by rainforests and bamboo forests, contributes to the ease of the trek. The park’s diverse landscape, including heath and moorland, enhances the overall trekking experience.
Rwanda emerges as the perfect destination, especially for elderly travelers. The average time for a gorilla trek in Rwanda is 2-3 hours, shorter than the 4-5 hours in Uganda. This is attributed to the favorable weather conditions in Volcanoes National Park, supporting lush vegetation that facilitates a comfortable journey.
Rwandan gorilla families boast the highest number of babies in East Africa. The annual ceremony of Kwitonda Izina, where baby gorillas are named, serves as a testament to this vibrant and thriving gorilla population.
The gorilla families in Rwanda are known for hosting large and impressive male silverback gorillas. Trekkers who have experienced both Rwanda and Uganda often emphasize this notable characteristic.
The journey from Kigali to Volcanoes National Park is smooth, with well-maintained tarmac roads ensuring a maximum travel time of 3 hours.
The breathtaking view of the five volcanoes – Muhavura, Gahinga, Sabyinyo, Karisimbi, and Bisoke – captivates trekkers, providing an awe-inspiring backdrop, especially visible from the Virunga Lodge.
Rwanda’s moderate temperatures at Volcanoes National Park create an ideal climate for visitors, setting it apart from hotter equatorial destinations.
Visitors often express the solemnity surrounding Rwanda’s history, particularly the tragic events of the 1994-1999 Rwandan genocide, acknowledging the impact it had on the nation.
Some travelers find the cost of gorilla permits relatively high for the one-hour encounter with mountain gorillas, although the experience is deemed priceless.
Despite language barriers – with locals predominantly speaking French and Kinyarwanda – visitors appreciate the friendliness of Rwandan locals, adding a warm touch to their overall experience.
Trekkers often note the bustling atmosphere at the Kinigi Park headquarters, the starting point for various activities in Volcanoes National Park, such as golden monkey tracking, volcano hikes, and the Dian Fossey grave hike.
Travelers frequently seek guidance on tipping, with suggested amounts ranging from 10-20 USD per person for porters, 20-30 USD for guides, and 10-15 USD for trackers.
The assistance provided by porters receives commendation, with trekkers highlighting their invaluable support in carrying bags and offering guidance.
Many visitors find that large packed lunches are unnecessary, opting for light snacks during the trek and preferring to return to the lodge for a leisurely lunch or early dinner.
Some clients express disappointment over the lack of additional forest-related activities within Volcanoes National Park. While options are limited, visits to the Dian Fossey museum in Musanze or a transfer to Lake Kivu for relaxation and water activities provide alternative experiences.
Rwanda invites tourists throughout the year, with optimal months from June to August and December to February. Despite occasional rainfall during March-May and September-November, the unique climate allows for year-round gorilla encounters, making Rwanda a captivating destination for wildlife enthusiasts. Embark on a journey to Rwanda and witness the untamed beauty of its gorilla inhabitants, creating memories to last a lifetime.