Rwanda has firmly established itself as one of the prime destinations in Africa for mountain gorilla trekking safaris. The magnificent Volcanoes National Park, situated in the northwest of the capital city, Kigali, is home to 11 fully habituated mountain gorilla families. These gentle giants find sanctuary amidst the five Virunga volcanoes: Muhavura, Gahinga, Sabyinyo, Karisimbi, and Bisoke.
Volcanoes National Park, merely a 3-hour drive from Kigali, ranks as Rwanda’s top safari destination for gorilla trekking. It boasts an estimated population of over 300 mountain gorillas residing in their natural habitat within the park’s lush tropical rainforest.
This 160-square-kilometer expanse is not only the haven for endangered mountain gorillas but also serves as the home to the captivating Golden monkeys. Additionally, the park features the legendary Karisoke Gorilla Research Laboratory, which was founded by the renowned primatologist Dian Fossey. Her ground-breaking work in the park allowed the world to better understand these incredible creatures.
While her operations came to an unfortunate halt on December 26, 1985, when she was brutally murdered by unknown poachers in Volcanoes National Park, Dian Fossey’s legacy continued. Organizations like the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund and the Rwandan government, with support from tourism and other donors, have relentlessly championed gorilla conservation in her memory.
Gorilla trekking has traditionally been considered a physically demanding activity, but there is a category of individuals who often go overlooked in this adventure: physically challenged people.
Disabilities can arise due to various circumstances, whether natural or the result of accidents. Yet, these challenges should not deter anyone from pursuing their dreams of immersing themselves in the beauty of wilderness nature, trekking to visit mountain gorillas and golden monkeys.
Trek Africa Expeditions is here to ensure that your dreams of embarking on a safari become a reality. Over the years, we have diligently trained our guides to cater to individuals with special needs, making Trek Africa Expeditions a premier safari operator when it comes to organizing safaris for those who are physically challenged.
We apologize for the terminology we’ve used (when we refer to “unfit,” we mean individuals with one limb or without any limbs). Gorilla tracking in Rwanda’s mountainous terrain of Volcanoes National Park does involve walking, which is why we have put in place special provisions to make it accessible to the physically challenged. Here’s how we successfully manage gorilla tracking for these individuals:
Through our partnership with the Rwanda Development Board, we have secured access to the VIP lounge at Kigali International Airport. Upon arriving in Rwanda, clients will be transferred to the VIP lounge, where they will meet their private safari guide. The guide will then accompany them to their hotel for an overnight stay and relaxation. Trek Africa Expeditions does not book flights for clients, but we recommend that physically challenged individuals book first-class seats when traveling to Rwanda and avoid tight connecting flights.
The vehicle used for this safari is meticulously customized to meet the needs of physically challenged tourists. For more information about the vehicle’s capabilities, please contact Trek Africa Expeditions.
We take great care in selecting hotels that cater to the needs of physically challenged individuals. For more information, please contact Trek Africa Expeditions.
Trek Africa Expeditions will book a sedan chair during the gorilla tracking experience in Volcanoes National Park. For more information, please contact Trek Africa Expeditions.
Local porters residing within the boundaries of the park provide extra assistance in carrying the sedan chair, bags containing cameras, food, and water, thereby creating employment opportunities within the community.
Given the significant distances involved in transfers between Kigali and Volcanoes National Park, we recommend chartering a helicopter. For more information, please contact Trek Africa Expeditions.
Due to the unique needs of physically challenged individuals, it is advisable to travel with a personal caretaker who can be readily available in case any needs arise. These caretakers are usually well-acquainted with the clients and their requirements. For more information, please contact Trek Africa Expeditions.
Physically challenged individuals may prefer to travel without a group to avoid inconveniencing other tourists. In such cases, we recommend hiring the services of a private guide who will be at their disposal throughout the trip. For more information, please contact Trek Africa Expeditions.
Given the nature of the safari experience for physically challenged individuals, it is highly advisable to secure comprehensive insurance coverage. We recommend obtaining travel insurance for your trip to Rwanda. Please consult with Trek Africa Expeditions for more details.
Due to the complexity of organizing such trips, it is advisable to make reservations at least a year in advance. You can find the terms and conditions for booking with Trek Africa Expeditions on our website.
Trek Africa Expeditions is committed to protecting the vital and confidential information of our clients. We ensure that no third parties are involved, guaranteeing the utmost privacy for our travelers.
Based on past experiences of the excitement generated upon seeing the gorillas on the first day of tracking, we recommend that clients book two gorilla permits. Please contact Trek Africa Expeditions for more information.
Gorilla tracking is often considered a physically demanding activity, which might deter those in the advanced stages of life (65 years and above). However, age should not be a barrier to fulfilling one’s dreams. Trek Africa Expeditions is here to ensure that your dreams of embarking on any of our safaris become a reality. Over the years, we have continued to train our guides to cater to the needs of elderly individuals, making Trek Africa Expeditions a top safari operator for organizing safaris for older tourists. Contact Trek Africa Expeditions to book Rwanda gorilla tours for physically challenged and elderly tourists