Rwanda gorillas are found in volcanoes National Park located in the Virunga and is joined with Mgahinga National Park and Virunga National Park. Today, Rwanda gorilla tours have become a household name in African tourism because of the Nature of vegetation and terrain plus its proximity to the Airport. When visiting the Land of a Thousand Hills, one should not miss out on the magical opportunity to visit Rwanda’s volcanoes National Park consisting of 125 Km2 of mountain forest and home to the six Virunga Volcanoes and the world famous mountain gorillas.
Access to volcanoes National Park
Volcanoes National Park is managed and protected by the Rwandan Office for Tourism and National Parks (ORTPN). Access begins in the lively town of Musanze, situated at the base of the entrance of the park. Musanze has long been the base point for gorilla visits and entertains a stunning backdrop of Karisimbi, Bisoke, Mikeno, Sabyinyo, Mgahinga and Muhabura volcanoes.Musanze is a 90-minute drive from Rwanda’s capital city, Kigali. One can get to Musanze from Kigali either by private vehicle or by public taxi minibus. If you intend to make a gorilla visit, you will need to organize your own transport from Musanze town to the park boundaries, where you will continue your trip on foot. Vehicles can be hired for this purpose in Musanze town. Musanze is also only a 45-minute drive away from Gisenyi and the stunning Lake Kivu.
First gorilla trek
Your first gorilla trek beings with an early breakfast and go to ORTPN offices for briefing after that set off in the forest for Gorilla trekking. A thrilling trek through the refined foothills of the Virungas provides inspiring views in all directions. Then, suddenly, the trail enters the national park, engrossing trekkers in the strange closeness of the rainforest, alive with the calls of colorful birds and chattering of the rare golden monkey, and besieged with fresh spoor of the mountains’ elusive populations of buffalo and elephant. Through gaps in the forest canopy, the marvelous peaks are sighted, easily easy to get to and among the uppermost in Africa, indicating an ascent. Gorilla trekking is quite strenuous but a worthwhile on encounter of these gentle giants. The happiness you get when you come across with these apes will wipe away your intricacy of the strenuous trek. Spend time watching gorillas, watch the adults feeding their young ones, brushing and resting as the youngsters play from vines in a pleasurably playful display.
Second gorilla trekking
On the day of your second gorilla trek you will have early morning breakfast after return to the park offices for another briefing as the previous day, after enter into the rain forest jungle searching for the mountain gorillas but today you visit another gorilla group and take into the rules and regulations of yesterday trekking and when you meet the primates take the unforgettable photographs and videos.
When you are with the gorillas
- A 7 meter (21 feet) distance should be observed at all times from the gorillas. The further back you are, the more relaxed the group will be.
- You must stay in tight group whey you are near the gorillas.
- Keep your voices down at all times. However, it is okay to ask the guide questions.
- Do not smoke, drink or eat when you are near the gorillas. Eating or drinking inevitably will increase the risk of food/drink morsels/droplets falling, which could increase the risk of transmission of diseases.
- Sometimes the gorillas charge. Follow the guides example (crouch down slowly, do not look the gorillas directly in the eyes and wait for the animals to pass). Do not attempt to run away because that will increase the risk.
- Flash photography is not permitted! When taking pictures move slowly and carefully.
- Do not touch the gorillas. They are wild animals.
- The maximum time you can spend with the gorillas is one hour. However, if the gorillas become agitated or nervous, the guide will finish the visit early.
- After the visit keep your voices down until you are 200 meters away from the gorillas.
You can also have an opportunity to visit the Gisozi Genocide Memorial Museum in Kigali before your flight back home. The memorial is very moving and the tour takes a couple of hours and will be of interest to anyone who has spent some time in this enchanting country. It is in memory of the multitudes murdered in Rwanda´s genocide 1994. The Memorial sites and centers are places of dignified remembrance for loved ones lost. It is also a place of reflection and learning for the wider community, both in Rwanda and internationally. Afterwards, you will be transferred to the airport.