Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda
Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda
Rwanda has (11) habituated Gorilla Families that can be tracked in Volcanoes National Park. The interest in Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda has grown since the Rwanda Development Boards Sponsorship of The Arsenal Football jersey, as well as the recent influx of luxury lodge operators, the growth of Rwandair and celebrity endorsement and investment in Rwanda's Tourism
Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda is made even more incredible due to the fact that there are only 3 places in the world where it can be done, Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda and the gorilla's natural habitat is very limited.
The Gorilla Trekking Experience
All Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda is done in Volcanoes National Park and begins at the Park Headquarters in Kinigi. After a briefing from the guides you will be assigned a Gorilla Family to track and you Gorilla Trekking adventure will begin. An advance party of guides will have gone ahead into the forest to locate where the gorillas slept the previous night and will have began to track their movements. These guides will communicate with your team via a walkie-talkie and the trek into the forest will begin.
Gorillas Trekking itself can take anywhere from a few hours or the whole day depending on how far the gorillas have moved from the place they spent the previous night. For conservation purposes, the time allowed with the Gorillas is 1 hour. There are also a multitude of other animals that you might encounter including antelopes and rare monkeys not to mention the beauty of the forest itself. Once you have completed Gorilla Trekking you will return to the lodge, for a well earned rest and time to reflect on a truly magical experience.
Gorilla Families in Rwanda - 1
Susa Gorilla Family
Named after River Susa
28 members with 3 silverbacks
Sabyinyo Gorilla Family
Named after Mount Sabinyo
8 members with 2 silverbacks
Amahoro Gorilla Family
Amahoro means peace
17 members with 1 silverback
Gorilla Families in Rwanda - 2
Agashya Gorilla Family
Formally known as group 13
25 members with 1 silverback
Umubano Gorilla Family
formed after a member of the Amahoro Gorilla Family broke off to form a new group
7 members with 1 silverback
Kwitonda Gorilla Family
Kwitonda means humble one
18 members with 2 silverbacks
What to wear Gorilla Trekking
1. Shirts made of a material that dries quickly or wick away moisture.
2. A fleece layer for when you stop for a rest just in case you begin to cool down and for evenings as it can get quite chilly in Bwindi.
3. A third rain layer just in case rains. (a cheap poncho will do)
4. Long pants, also made of a synthetic material. The length of the pants are important as this will help with the combat stinging nettle plants and red ants.
5. Waterproof pants to wear on top of regular pants is optional
6. Boots that fit above the ankle are crucial as you might encounter ankle-deep mud at certain points, and even knee-deep mud that will attempt to suck the boots right off your feet!
7. Gaiters (are garments worn over the shoe and lower pants leg. They are worn over your boots that go up to the knee). These are optional and are based on personal preference as well as the type of boots and trousers you choose to wear.
8. Smart Wool socks
9. All clothing should be neutral coloured, loose-fitting and relaxed clothing.
10. Sunscreen and moisturising cream 11. Sunglasses with neck strap
12. Insect repellent with DEET, please note that DEET can affect man-made fibres and plastics.
13. Daypack / small rucksack
14. Bush hat with a brim for sun protection
15. Binoculars – Optional
The Dry season from mid-December – February and June – September is ideal because navigation through the thick vegetation that lines the steep slopes of Volcanoes National Park i is much easier.
Gorilla trekking can also be done in the wet season from March-May and October – mid-December but the journey is significantly harder and requires stronger resolve on the part of the trekkers.
Of course, the beautiful Rwandan weather dictates how it goes in the end, so it is not uncommon at all for heavy rain to fall on occasion, even in the dry season.
Only 88 permits in Bwindi each day, for a maximum of 8 trekkers per gorilla family
Trekking permits must be booked well in advance through a registered safari operator
To protect the gorillas, trekkers that are ill are not permitted on these experiences
Permits are not issued to anyone below 16yrs
Gorilla Families in Rwanda - 3
Hirwa Gorilla Family
Bwenge Gorilla Family
Uegenda Gorilla Family
Titus Gorilla Family
Karsimbi Gorilla Family