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Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Tour - 2 Days Gorilla tour

Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Tour - 2 Days Gorilla tour Cost

Gorillas and Wildlfe Safaris Hall of Fame Trip Advisor RecommendedOur inclusive 2-Day Rwanda Gorilla Tour with gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National is for those with limited time for the full tour. We start/end the 2-day gorilla trek safari from Kigali (airport or your hotel), spend the night closer to the gorillas in Volcanoes National Park, and then do the gorilla trekking on the second day. After the gorilla trekking you will have lunch and return back to Kigali. Plan on arriving Kigali at about 5 pm after your gorilla trek. Enjoy and see the remaining population of the highly endangered mountain gorillas in their wild, on the shortest gorilla tour ever! This is the best gorilla tour option for those wi limited time on holiday.

Gorilla Tour Price for 2 days Rwanda Gorilla Tour: 2 persons - USD1998 per person staying at Muhavura Hotel; USD2055 per person staying at Le Bambou Gorilla Lodge and USD2135 per person staying at Five Volcanoes Lodge. 

1 person - USD3065 staying at Muhavura Hotel; USD3120 staying at Le Bambou Gorilla Lodge and USD3195  staying at Five Volcanoes Lodge. 

Overview
Itinerary
Accommodation
Inclusions
Overview

Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Tour - 2 Days Gorilla tour

This is a 2 day Rwanda gorilla trekking tour which starts and ends in Kigali, Rwanda. One gorilla permit for Parc Nationale des Volcanoes is included in the cost.

Having a chance to see some of the last remaining 880 mountain gorillas in the world is a wonderful experience. It offers you an opportunity to track gorillas in Parc Nationale des Volcanoes in Rwanda.

  • Day 1: Volcanoes National Park
  • Day 2: Gorilla Trekking in Volcanoes National Park, transfer back to Kigali, end of gorilla trekking tour

Detailed Itinerary for Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Tour - 2 Days Gorilla tour

Day 1: Volcanoes National Park 

Airport transfer with private vehicle and guide. Transfer to Volcanoes National Park with private vehicle and driver.

Your guide will take you on a tour of the new and vibrant capital city of Kigali. The new prosperity features a number of thriving markets and features the mountain terrain famous in Rwanda. A sober contrast to its recent history.

For survivors and others whose families were murdered in Rwanda´s genocide 1994, the Memorial sites and centres 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.

Ranging in altitude from 2,400km to 4,507 the Volcanoes National Park (French: Parc National des Volcans) is dominated by the setting of volcanoes after which it is named. Best known to the outside world as the place where for almost 20yrs the American primatologist Dian Fossey under took her pioneering studies of mountain gorilla behaviour.

Day hikes to see the gorilla families can be strenuous on tracks climbing through the forest, and time is very limited once contact is made with the gorilla families. It is a rare and memorable experience to visit with these giant cousins of man.

Our accommodation is ideally positioned for those who want to watch animals in their habitat, specifically the endangered Rwanda mountain gorillas that still roam these areas. Share in the cuisine of Rwanda, which is served with the hospitality for which we all return to African countries.

Accommodation options available (all on full board basis)

Up-market: Mountain Gorillas View Lodge

Moderate: Le Bambou Gorilla Lodge | La Palme Hotel

Low Budget: Kinigi Guest House.

Day 2: Gorilla Trekking in Parc National des Volcans

Have breakfast and go to ORTPN offices for briefing after that set off in the forest for gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park.

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 colourful 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 marvellous 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 enthusiasm of your coming 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.

After the gorilla trek, we depart Volcanoes National Park and drive back to Kigali and transfer at airport for your flight.

Itinerary

Day 1: Start from Volcanoes National Park for your gorilla trek

Airport transfer with private vehicle and guide. Transfer to Volcanoes National Park with private vehicle and driver.

Your guide will take you on a tour of the new and vibrant capital city of Kigali. The new prosperity features a number of thriving markets and features the mountain terrain famous in Rwanda. A sober contrast to its recent history.

For survivors and others whose families were murdered in Rwanda´s genocide 1994, the Memorial sites and centres 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.

Ranging in altitude from 2,400km to 4,507 the Volcanoes National Park (French: Parc National des Volcans) is dominated by the setting of volcanoes after which it is named. Best known to the outside world as the place where for almost 20yrs the American primatologist Dian Fossey under took her pioneering studies of mountain gorilla behaviour.

Day hikes to see the gorilla families can be strenuous on tracks climbing through the forest, and time is very limited once contact is made with the gorilla families. It is a rare and memorable experience to visit with these giant cousins of man.

Our accommodation is ideally positioned for those who want to watch animals in their habitat, specifically the endangered Rwanda mountain gorillas that still roam these areas. Share in the cuisine of Rwanda, which is served with the hospitality for which we all return to African countries.

Accommodation options available (all on full board basis)

Up-market: Five Volcanoes Lodge | Mountain Gorillas View Lodge

Moderate: Le Bambou Gorilla Lodge | La Palme Hotel

Low Budget: Hotel Muhavura.

Day 2: Gorilla Trekking in Parc National des Volcans

Have 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 colourful 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 marvellous 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 enthusiasm of your coming 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.

After drive back to the hotel for lunch, drive back to Kigali and transfer at airport for your flight.

Accommodation
Inclusions

Gorilla Tour Price for 2 days Rwanda Gorilla Tour:

2 persons - USD1998 per person staying at Muhavura Hotel; USD2055 per person staying at Le Bambou Gorilla Lodge and USD2135 per person staying at Five Volcanoes Lodge. 

1 person - USD3065 staying at Muhavura Hotel; USD3120 staying at Le Bambou Gorilla Lodge and USD3195  staying at Five Volcanoes Lodge. 

Included

  • Gorilla tracking permit (each is $1500) with related park fees and local trek guides
  • Accommodation for 1 night with meals (1 breakfast, 1 boxed lunch, 1 dinner)
  • Private and exclusive transport to Volcanoes National Park and back to Kigali using a 4x4 vehicle
  • Services of an English-speaking tour guide/driver
  • Visit to Kigali Genocide Memorial and Museum

Start Planning Your 2 Days Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Tour

Talk to our Rwanda Gorilla Trek Experts

Enquire about this safari and tour prices.

Talk to one of our destination experts to start planning your Rwanda gorilla trek.

THE MOUNTAIN GORILLA TREKKING EXPERIENCE

Mountain gorillas ( Gorilla Berengei Berengei) can only be found in Rwanda, Uganda, and Congo. The act of tourists visiting mountain gorillas is what is called gorilla trekking. In Rwanda, gorilla trekking can only be done in Volcanoes National Park. The park is located at least 2 hours of driving from Kigali, Rwanda's capital city, where the main international airport is also located.   Volcanoes National Park, Parc Nationale Des Volcans,  has 11 mountain gorilla groups for gorilla trekking and tourists can visit only one gorilla group each day. Every gorilla group can be visited by 8 persons per day. You can, however, book yourself a second gorilla trek on the next day. You will need a gorilla trekking permit to visit the Rwanda gorillas. Each gorilla permit for Volcanoes National Park is USD1500.  Only those aged 15 years ab above can track the mountain gorillas.

Mountain gorillas are wild animals and, as such, sightings cannot be guaranteed. However, for the last 14 years, no one has trekked the gorillas and failed to see them in Rwanda. Certainly, you won't be the one with bad luck! On the trek, once you find the gorillas, you will be allowed an hour with the gorillas and you can only go not more than 6 meters from them.  As the gorilla tracking can sometimes take a full day, you will need to go with your packed lunch and lots of drinking water when trekking to the gorillas.

Gorilla trekking timings and conditions vary tremendously as the gorillas move continuously through the rain forest. It is good to be prepared and remember the weather can change with very little warning. The terrain is often steep and through areas where there are no marked paths.

TIPS FOR THE BEST GORILLA TREKKING EXPERIENCE IN RWANDA

 Secure Gorilla Trekking permits early

Gorilla Trekking is the most popular foreign tourist activity for Rwanda. This means the competition is quite high for the few gorilla permits in Rwanda and it becomes hard to secure gorilla trekking permits a few days to your Rwanda gorilla tour (although it is often possible with luck more so in the green season months of October, November, April and May).  It is best to have your gorilla trek permit fully confirmed at least 4 months in advance.

Assess your fitness levels 

There is a likelihood you could walk for 3-6 hours on a gorilla trek. Gorillas are located deep in Bwindi forest with thick undergrowth over several steep volcanic slopes. Gorilla groups keep roaming this forest looking for their favorite food. They are never stationed in the same place over days. Your gorilla trek will follow this same trend and it is quite unpredictable knowing how long or tough your gorilla trekking shall be. The longer trek is not necessarily a problem, just something to be prepared for.  A bit of moderate physical fitness is needed for gorilla trekking in Rwanda.

Guides & Porters for the gorilla trek

You will be guided through the forest on your gorilla tracking guide whom you will meet at the departure point in the morning of your trek. Your guide can help you book a porter (or two!) so that you can track without having to carry the few essential items listed below in a day pack which you should bring with you. The porters are from the local community and very used to the local conditions and can assist in pushing, pulling and supporting you during your trek to the gorillas. They are usually an additional fee, over and above your safari cost, and you should budget on approximately USD15-20 per porter per day as a fee with additional tipping being optional.

As the porters do not have tracking permits they will be stopped a short distance from the point you will be viewing the mountain Gorillas. Please remember to take whatever you may need from your bag to view the gorillas and rather leave valuables at the lodge/camp.

You will be allowed up to one hour for viewing of the gorillas from when they are sighted by your group. This is to ensure that the wild animals are not overexposed to human presence. Whilst in their presence you will also be required to keep minimum distances from them – generally between 5-7 metres and your guides will ensure this is enforced.

What to pack on gorilla trekking in Rwanda

• Plenty of water – 1-2 litres per person
• High energy snacks in addition to your packed lunch provided by the lodge/camp
• Spare film and batteries for videos and cameras
• Gloves (gardening type are good)
• Waterproof bag to protect photographic equipment
• A hat, sunscreen, mosquito repellent and band-aids might be useful
• A lightweight waterproof jacket/poncho
• Walking sticks are made available at the start of the trek for some of the steeper and more slippery tracks and may prove to be very handy.

Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Age Limits

The age limit for gorilla trekking is 15 years and the authorities are very strict on this! With special written permission however, a 14yr old might pass.

Videos & Photography for Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda

In Rwanda, it can be difficult to capture good photos under the dark canopy of Volcanoes National Park, as the name suggests! If you are very lucky, you may encounter your gorilla family in a clearing.

Here are a few tips for photographing the gorillas in Rwanda:

  • If you’re taking photos using a standard point-and-shoot camera, then make sure your camera is fully charged.
  • Always take extra memory cards.
  • Remember that flash photography is not allowed when you are with the gorillas. Make sure you have your camera manual with you so you know how to disable the automatic flash and automatic focus light functions.
  • We recommend a good SLR camera. The best lenses are those with a wide aperture such as f2,8 which allow in max light and are best in gloomy conditions.  A 24 – 70 mm and a 70 – 200 m is a good combination. If you have space then consider a 300mm and a wide-angle but it’s a steep walk so consider hiring a porter. A 50 mm 1.4 lens is also ideal for low light shooting and something to consider as a standard lens.
  • Professional filmmakers require permission and need to purchase filming permits in advance RDB (Rwanda).
  • Keep your camera and/or phone in a waterproof bag (such as a large Ziploc bag). Cue: you’re in the rainforest.

Professional photographers, filmmakers or media should advise us at the time of booking as special procedures are required as well as costs to be incurred for photographing and filming.

CAMERA SETTINGS FOR GORILLA PHOTOGRAPHY

File format

Shooting in RAW format is the way to go. A jpeg is smaller in size because it discards a lot of information and so information cannot be retrieved if your exposure is slightly out. If you are shooting in jpeg, make sure your camera is set to the largest file size and also set your white balance according to the light conditions.

ISO and shutter speed

It can get dark in the forest – very dark. And gorillas are very dark subjects. If you have a Nikon D3x or D800 you can shoot at ISO 3200 and get away with it very well. My recommendation however is to try to keep in the range of IS0 800 to 2000 for maximum quality of image. High ISO gives a faster shutter speed but can affect quality and cause noise. Keep ISO as low as possible without getting blurred images. A rule of thumb is don’t shoot below 1/200th of a second with a 200mm lens. If you are using an 80 mm lens then you can shoot at slower speeds of say 1/80th and so on. If the gorillas are on the move you should up your shutter speed to 1/1000th of a second or more.

Metering and priority settings

A good default setting is to use centre weighted metering, aperture priority and an aperture of f5.6 or so. If there is a lot of dark gorilla in the viewfinder you will need to underexpose by up to two stops of light – 2 using your AE +/- button or you will overexpose your image. It is also a good idea to consider manual shooting if you are in fairly consistent lighting conditions. Your camera likes shooting subjects where the differences in exposure are not too extreme and its for this reason that cloudy or shady conditions are often best for shooting dark subjects like gorillas.

Focus

Single point focus is usually always best – you don’t want the camera focusing on the tree instead of the gorilla and usually you will want to lock your focus on the eyes. If you have a group of gorillas that you want to keep as much in focus as possible then focus about 1/3 into the picture. You may want to change focus to multi -point if you have lots of moving subjects but suggest single focus points will give you more control.  You will probably shoot on single shot, but may want to change your focus settings to continuous focus and rapid fire if they are on the move and playful.

SHOOTING TIPS

When you are with the gorillas there is a 7 meter buffer rule between you and animals. The reason is that their DNA is so close to ours that it is very easy for them to pick up flu and colds. Gorillas don’t know this rule and so don’t be surprised if they do approach closer (and be ready for it with a wide lens available), but if the guides ask you to move away then always do so smartly.

Your time with the gorillas is precious. Don’t shoot away wildly. Plan your shots. Close ups, wide shots, angles and framing. Think about your options. Also, don’t forget the wide shots of Make sure that you don’t spend the whole time looking through the lens. Sit and watch and consider the fact that you are watching one of the gentlest and most fascinating creatures on the planet.

As with all wildlife photography it’s about the moment. Try to catch the little moments such as when the gorillas are interacting or when the sun catches their eyes. Also, why not video your friends as soon as it's over and let them tell you about their experiences of this fantastic experience.