Gorillas in Rwanda

Trek Gorillas in Rwanda at Volcanoes National Park

Gorillas in RwandaGorillas in Rwanda make the biggest portion of the country’s tourism and constitute the biggest earner from foreign visitors. While visiting Rwanda, the ‘Land of a Thousand Hills’, one should not miss out on an outstanding chance for Gorilla trekking at Volcanoes National Park, the habitat for the world’s celebrated mountain gorillas in the country. The Volcanoes National Park Rwanda covers an area of 125 square kilometers of mountainous forests and a home to six Virunga Volcanoes. Protected within the the park, the forested slopes of the mountains form properly stunning natural landscape for what is by no doubt the most moving and outstanding wildlife experience in the world; Gorilla Tracking. Encountering a nonviolent and composed mature silver back gorilla is exciting. The inspiring climb to the gorilla’s natural home of shady bamboo forest offers unbelievable views in all directions, before the trackers are absorbed in the bewildering familiarity of the rain forest, alive with the calls of colorful birds and the babbling of unusual golden monkey.

Tours to See Gorillas in Rwanda

  • 1 day Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda: For this, you depart from Kigali early in the morning, do gorilla tracking and return in the afternoon.
  • 2 day Rwanda Gorilla Tracking Tour: With this safari, you can do a trekking safari accompanied by one activity like Golden Monkey tracking, Dian Fossey grave hike or a nature tour.
  • 3 days Gorilla Safari Tour: This trip involves gorilla and golden monkey trekking and a mountain climbing to the Dian Fossey grave.
  • 4 Days Gorilla and Nature Tours: Gorillas, Monkeys, Dian Fossey grave and Lake Kivu boat cruise are what to enjoy during this vacation package.

Conservation of Mountain Gorillas in Rwanda

Rwanda Gorillas are managed and protected by the Rwandan Office for Tourism and National Parks (ORTPN) and one accesses their habitat from Ruhengeri town, located near the base of the park entrance. The ORTPN is under the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism (MINICOM) and is in charged with the management of Rwanda¿s national parks and wildlife reserves. The Environmental Protection Service comes under the Ministry of Land Resettlement and Environment and plays a role in environmental monitoring and conservation. Ruhengeri has long been a standing spot for gorilla visits and gives eye-catching scenery of Karisimbi, Visoke, Mikeno, Sabyinyo, Gahinga and Muhabura volcanoes. Ruhengeri is a 45-minute drive away from Gisenyi and the spectacular Lake Kivu.

A gorilla tour visit can take something from a 1 to 4-hour trek through the forest, led by knowledgeable trackers who have spent their complete lives living in or close to the forest. A walk through the forest will be fascinating as one weaves through hanging vines, moss covered Hagenia trees and gigantic Lobelias that flourish in the tropical environment of the forest. You will spot golden monkeys swinging from the bamboo, or see wild buffalo, bush duiker and a wide selection of bird life.

The Virunga ecological unit is composed of 4 major vegetation zones: bamboo (base altitude), Sub-alpine (3300 – 4000 m), Hagenia and Hypericum forest (2600-3300 m) and Afro-alpine (4000 m+). A one hour opportunity is available for you to watch the gorillas as they do their daily routine, feeding, playing and relaxing, as you question your ancient existence and remember the wonder that kept Dian Fossey living in the forest for almost 18 years. Everyone should visit Rwanda before he dies. Volcanoes National Park is excellently known for Mountain Gorilla trekking as a major activity. Every year, Kwita Izina, a gorilla naming ceremony in Rwanda is held at the park to give names to newborn gorillas from various families. This event is aimed at bring local and global awareness to the plight of of the endangered primates.

Gorilla Families in Rwanda

Mountain gorillas in Rwanda are organised into families under which they are trekked by tourists from all over the world. There are 10 gorilla families in Rwanda habituated and available for trekking. To visit and trek each gorilla group, one must have bought a Rwanda gorilla permit through a reputable tour operator. Rwanda gorilla groups include:-

  • Amahoro group – 15 individuals located on the Visoke volcano.
  • Hirwa group – 12 individuals located on the Sabinyo volcano.
  • Umubano group – 7 individuals located on the Visoke volcano.
  • Sabyinyo group – 10 individuals located between the Sabinyo and Visoke volcanoes.
  • Susa A group – 35 individuals located high on the Karisimbi volcano (long and strenuous hike).
  • Karisimbi Group (Susa B)
  • Agashya Group or Group 13 – 21 individuals located on the Sabinyo volcano.
  • Kwitonda Group – 10 individuals located on the Sabinyo volcano, sometimes in Democratic Republic of Congo and thus off-limits. Please note that only the Park Authorities will allocate you which gorilla group to visit.
  • Ugenda Group – had 11 members
  • Bwenge Group – Comprised of 7 individuals

Other tourist activities in Rwanda

These include Golden monkey tracking, Karisimbi Volcano climbing, Climbing of Bisoke volcano, Tour of Twin Lakes, Burera and Ruhondo, the thrilling exploration of Musanze caves and the natural bridge and visiting the tomb of Dian Fossey, a distinguished primatologist.