Rwanda Development Board - Remarkable Rwanda

MOUNTAIN GORILLA TRACKING

Tourists are advised against making erroneous, incomplete or false applications. Such cases may include among others, applying for the wrong product, uploading a false ID /Visa and uploading an expired ID/ Visa. Please be advised that verification of tourist documents is done at park entry gates. Tourists who made erroneous, incomplete or false applications WILL be denied entry to the park regardless of whether they paid and acquired a system-generated permit.

 

In case of any doubt about your application and supporting documents please send your supporting documents to RDB Tourism Reservation Office on email reservation@rwandatourism.com.

 

Rwanda Development Board accepts no liability for erroneous, incomplete or fraudulent applications

Minimum age: 15 years

Tourist Permit Fee
Visitor Category Adult Student/Child
Foreigner $ 1500 -
Foreign resident in Rwanda $ 1500 $ 1500
Rwandan citizen $ 1500 $ 1500
East African citizen $ 1500 $ 1500
East African Foreign resident $ 1500 $ 1500

Rwanda is one of only three countries in the world where the critically endangered mountain gorillas live.

Gorilla tracking in Rwanda is often described as "life changing" and with good reason. With only 880 estimated Gorillas left in the world, to see these gentle creatures in their natural habitat is a truly unique moment.

Gorillas make their homes in and amongst the bamboo-covered slopes of the Virunga Mountains in the Volcanoes National Park in northern Rwanda. Trek to see them and you’ll be introduced by your expert trackers and guides to one of the fully-habituated families of mountain gorillas and you can stay with them for an awe-inspiring hour, often crouching just a few feet away, whilst the gorillas go about their daily lives.

Hikes in the mountains can last anywhere from 30 minutes to 4 hours + depending on the family allocated to your group and their rental. The journey back can take just as long goal you are Often the carried along by the euphoria you feel at seeing the gorillas!

Expert guides give a pre-trek briefing on specific protocols and rules for visiting the gorillas That Live Within an altitude of 2500 and 4000m. Porters are available to help carry backpacks and cameras, as well as helping you with your footing along your hike which can be hard work, but well worth it.

Gorilla Families

There are ten families living in the Volcanoes National Park that are fully habituated and available for visits by the public (whilst others are habituated for scientific research purposes only). Each family consists of at least one Silverback (but sometimes as many and four), along with several females and a group of youngsters.

Susa

The Largest group with 38 gorillas. They’re hardest to trek as they tend to range high into the mountains. They have rare 5 year old twins named Byishimo and Impano.

Sabinyo

17 members Sabyinyo is an easily accessible group led by the powerful silverback Guhonda.

Amahoro

19 gorillas, led by the calm and easy going Ubumwe. To reach Amahoro, it’s usually a fairly steep climb but it is well worth it!

Agashya

(Formerly known as Group 13) today it has 22 members - a very positive sign for conservation.

Kwitonda

23 members led by Akarevuro, originally habituated in DRC so they tend to range quite far making it a moderately difficult trek.

Umubano

a family of 13, who broke off from Amahoro with leader, Charles.

Hirwa

This group has 18 members and only fairly recently formed from former Group 13 and Sabyinyo family members. They are led by Munyinya.

Requirements

Reporting times at Visitor Information/registration Centres at Park entry is 07h00.

Foreign Residents in Rwanda and East African countries need to-have a minimum of four consecutive months' residency status / work permit in their passport or diplomatic card to qualify for the Rwandan / East African Foreign resident status.

A Diplomat who has a Residence visa can be allowed to use the applicable rates for resident his spouse and legally accepted children even if the spouse and legally accepted children do not have the resident visas (reside outside of Rwanda).

East African residents need to provide EAC ID Cards or Passports.

A tourist with one Rwandan parent and a tourist with a Rwandan spouse will be considered as Rwandan as long as Immigration and Emigration Director General confirms it.

Restrictions

The minimum age for Gorilla tracking is 15 years.

You may be denied access to the Park if you are sick with a cold, flu or other contagious illness.

Processing Time

A Tourist Permit will be automatically issued by this system upon completion of the process application.

Application Process

The application process is as easy as picking an available slot in the product of your choice, filling mandatory forms, uploading requisite supporting documentation and paying the applicable fees.

Applications are made with full details of the client (names and passport email and phone number) at the time of payment.

Bookings and Reservations are done on a first come first served basis.

Mountain Gorilla tracking can be booked in Advance

Rwandan nationals are expected to pay full amount at the time of booking

There are Several guidelines That RDB kindly requests all visitors adhere by:

  • To minimize possible transmission of human diseases, visitors are Asked to Maintain a distance of 7 meters (about 22 feet) from the gorillas. If you are sick with a cold, flu or --other contagious illness, please do not visit the gorillas.
  • Viewing time is limited to one hour.
  • Maximum of 8 visitors per group.
  • Spitting in the park is strictly prohibited.
  • Should you need to cough, cover your mouth and turn away from the gorillas.
  • When with the gorillas, keep your voice low.
  • Try not to make rapid movements that may frighten the gorillas.
  • If a gorilla should load or vocalize at you, do not be alarmed, stand still, look away from the gorilla and follow your guide's directions.
  • Do not litter.
  • Tracking can be done by persons of age 15 and above.

Refunds

Visitors who fail to track gorillas (VNP) the whole day as a result of the Gorilla group's movement shall be given another chance or receive full refund on their permit. However, those who would have tracked the whole day and failed to make contact with a gorilla family for one reason or another will be refunded 75% of the tracking fee.

No Refund is made in case of late arrivals or flight delay, absence or cancellation of trip for any other reason.

Practicalities

Getting There:

From Kigali, you need to get to Muzanze. Muzanze is 90 minute drive from Rwanda's capital city, Kigali. You can either hire a private care or take a public minibus taxi. From there, you need to get to Kinigi, where the trip begins. Vehicles can be hired for this purpose in Musanze town.

On the day of you are scheduled to trek, you must present yourself for briefing at the RDB Tourism & Conservation offices situated at the prefecture offices in Kinigi at 7:00 AM.

Language:

RDB Tourism & Conservation currently has English and French speaking trained guides as well as a team of 80 trained gorilla trackers many of whom speak French or English.

Climate:

The climate in Musanze is changeable and you can generally expect both sun and rainfall during the day. At 1,700m above sea level, the city is generally quite cold, particularly in the evening, so warm clothing is advised.

What to wear:

Recommended clothing is long trousers and shirts when in the forest to avoid nettle stings. Steady walking shoes or hiking boots are essential. Raingear is useful.

What else to bring:

Bring a water bottle and a small snack although eating, drinking and smoking near the gorillas is forbidden. Don’t forget your camera!

Taking photos:

Photographs are permitted, although you may not use flash.

Porters:

Porters are available to help you carry your daypack for a small charge.

Fitness:

Mountain gorillas live at high altitude and this may cause difficulties for some visitors. You should walk slowly and drink plenty of water. No one should feel deterred from making this trip.

 
 

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