For those embarking on the extraordinary adventure of Gorilla trekking in Rwanda, understanding the rules and regulations is paramount. The Rwanda Development Board has outlined essential Gorilla tracking do’s and don’ts that every visitor must adhere to. These guidelines, issued in printed leaflets by the Rwanda Development Board (commonly referred to as Gorilla rules), are crucial for ensuring the safety and well-being of both visitors and the magnificent Mountain Gorillas.
Volcanoes National Park is situated in the quaint village of Musanze, formerly known as Ruhengeri. It is easily accessible by public transport from Gisenyi, Kigali City, or Kigali International Airport. The drive to the national park takes approximately 2-3 hours, allowing visitors to engage in Gorilla tracking on the same day and return to Kigali after the trek. To ensure punctuality, it is essential to arrive at the National Park headquarters in Kinigi by 7:00 am. However, please note that there is no public transport available from Musanze to the National Park headquarters at Kinigi.
Rwanda welcomes Gorilla tracking enthusiasts year-round. However, certain seasons offer more favorable conditions. The dry seasons, spanning December to early March and June to September, are highly recommended for travel. December to March constitutes an extended dry period, with temperatures occasionally reaching 29 degrees Celsius. Conversely, March to mid-May and July to September are classified as the rainy seasons.
While Rwanda enjoys favorable weather throughout the year, the dry season is preferable. During this time, the climate is generally pleasant, wildlife viewing is more common, and there is minimal rainfall during Gorilla treks. Waterproof clothing is still advisable due to the unpredictable equatorial climate. It’s important to note that the dry season is also a peak tourist season, potentially resulting in higher prices for accommodation and other services.
Conversely, budget-conscious travelers may opt for the wet season, during which hotels offer reduced rates due to lower occupancy. Additionally, there is reduced demand for Gorilla permits, ensuring a chance to encounter these endangered species without competition.