If you’re planning your first Rwanda gorilla trekking and safari holidays from the United Kingdom, you’re in for an incredible experience. Rwanda is the perfect African safari destination, offering a wide range of activities for family vacations, honeymoons, anniversaries, or simply a getaway from the UK. You can embark on both a gorilla trek in Volcanoes National Park and a safari in Akagera National Park. In this comprehensive guide, we provide essential guidelines to help you plan your Rwanda gorilla trekking and safari holidays from the United Kingdom.
Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda is renowned for gorilla trekking and is one of Africa’s most popular destinations. Situated in western Rwanda, it forms part of the Virunga Mountains, shared between Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The park encompasses five volcanoes: Bisoke, Gahinga, Muhavura, Sabinyo, and Karisimbi. It features a lush bamboo forest, grassland areas, swamps, and heath in various regions. Volcanoes National Park, known as Parc Des Vulcan’s in French and Pariki Yigihugu yibirungu in Kinyarwanda (the local language), is home to endangered primates such as mountain gorillas and golden monkeys. It also boasts diverse bird species, monkeys, trees, forest hogs, bushbucks, and more.
The mountain gorillas are the main attraction in Volcanoes National Park, and gorilla trekking is conducted throughout the year. This activity allows you to visit habituated mountain gorillas in their natural habitat, observing their feeding habits, movements, resting, and social interactions. With experienced trackers, guides, and park rangers leading the way, the chances of encountering these magnificent creatures are as high as 99%. Each trek begins with a briefing at 8:00 am, providing essential guidelines to follow during the trek. Although mountain gorillas share 99% of their DNA with humans, they are still wild animals, and adherence to the guides’ instructions is crucial. The duration of the trek can range from 30 minutes to several hours, depending on the gorillas’ location within the forest. Booking a gorilla trek in Volcanoes National Park is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that should be on everyone’s bucket list. Contact Trek Africa Tours to secure your gorilla safari.
Gorilla permits are vital for a successful gorilla trek in Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda. There are 80 gorilla permits available each day to ensure visitors can see the gorillas. Trek Africa Tours can assist you in the process of booking and securing these permits. Once you provide us with your trek details and desired dates, we will check the availability of permits with the Rwanda Development Board. If permits are available, we will send you an invoice to make payment and secure the permits. If permits are not available on your preferred dates, we can suggest alternative dates with permit availability. Once payment is received, we will book and secure your permits, providing you with a receipt and booking ID to confirm your trek. Rwanda gorilla permits are one of the ten essential things to consider when booking a gorilla trek in Rwanda.
The cost of a Rwanda gorilla permit is USD 1500 per person for all nationalities. However, there is a special discount available for visitors who plan to visit both Nyungwe National Park and Volcanoes National Park between May and November. During this period, the gorilla permit is discounted to USD 1050 per person. Delegates in Rwanda can enjoy a discounted rate of USD 1250 per person. Trek Africa Tours can facilitate the purchase of gorilla permits through authorized travel agents. For a seamless booking experience, contact us at email@example.com.
Volcanoes National Park is home to ten habituated gorilla families available for gorilla tourism and research, while others remain unhabituated. Each gorilla family is named based on various circumstances and is led by a dominant silverback. Some groups are named after influential individuals, significant events, or local place names. When a young silverback challenges the dominant male, he must “steal” some females from an existing group to form his own family. The gorilla families in Volcanoes National Park include:
The variety of gorilla families in Volcanoes National Park provides unique experiences for visitors.
When preparing for a Rwanda gorilla trek, we recommend packing as lightly as possible, considering group travel and baggage restrictions. Here are essential items to include in your packing list:
If you’re interested in a safari holiday in Rwanda, in addition to gorilla trekking, you can explore the wildlife in Akagera National Park. This serene and African wilderness park offers the opportunity to spot the Big Five wildlife in Rwanda. The park, located in the eastern region, is home to buffaloes, elephants, leopards, lions, rhinos, Maasai giraffes, zebras, warthogs, baboons, monkeys, hippos, impalas, waterbucks, bushbucks, elands, and various other species. Night drives often reveal spotted hyenas, genets, civets, white-tailed mongooses, bush babies, elephant-shrews, and different owl and nightjar species. Akagera National Park features diverse habitats, including savannah, montane, and swamp, with a complex system of lakes and papyrus swamps covering over one-third of the park.
Consider organizing game drives and a boat cruise on Lake Ihema, as well as community experiences, for an unforgettable safari experience in Rwanda. Trek Africa Tours can assist in tailoring your holiday to Rwanda from the United Kingdom, ensuring you make the most of your time in the country.
Rwanda Air operates direct flights from the United Kingdom to Rwanda. However, there are alternative flight options to consider based on cost, convenience, and availability. You will arrive at Kigali International Airport, where you can obtain a visa upon arrival or apply online. After arrival, you can enjoy a city tour of Kigali before driving to Volcanoes National Park for gorilla trekking and Akagera National Park for your safari. The drive from Kigali to the parks takes approximately 2-3 hours.
When planning your Rwanda gorilla trekking and safari holiday, it’s crucial to select suitable accommodations within or near Volcanoes National Park. The minimum recommended stay is one night, but staying longer can provide opportunities for discounts and a more immersive experience.
There are various lodges and hotels in Volcanoes National Park, catering to different budgets. Luxury options include Virunga Lodge, Sabinyo Silverback Lodge, and Bisate Lodge. Mid-range options include Mountain Gorilla View Lodge, Lebambou Gorilla Lodge, and Davinci Lodge. Budget accommodations include Gorilla Solution Lodge, Villa Gorilla, Virunga Hotel, Faraji Hotel, Kinigi Hotel, Hotel Muhabura, and La Palme Hotel or Home Inn. Let Trek Africa Tours know your budget and preferred lodge, and we will advise accordingly to ensure a service that matches your needs.
For a safari holiday alongside gorilla trekking, consider staying in Akagera National Park. Luxury lodges in Akagera National Park include Akagera Game Lodge, Akagera Rhino Lodge, and Ruzizi Tented Camp. Mid-range options consist of Magashi Camp, Dereva Hotel, and Akagera Bush Lodge. These accommodations prioritize hospitality, cleanliness, and the implementation of COVID-19 preventive measures to ensure the safety and well-being of guests. Contact Trek Africa Tours to personalize your holiday in Rwanda from the United Kingdom.
With over 10 years of experience in conducting safaris across East Africa, including Uganda, Rwanda, Congo, Kenya, and Tanzania, Trek Africa Tours is a trusted and professional tour operator. In addition to mountain gorilla trekking, Volcanoes National Park offers alternative activities such as golden monkey trekking, Diane Fossey hike, hiking Mount Bisoke and Karisimbi, cultural encounters, and birding. We come highly recommended on Trip Advisor and Safari Bookings. Contact us today to create a bespoke safari to Rwanda from the United Kingdom.