Mountain gorilla trekking is a highlight activity of all Africa safaris and most travelers have frequently how best they can ensure a memorable gorilla safari experience. Mountain gorillas are critically endangered species residing in only four national parks of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and Mgahinga gorilla national park in uganda, volcanoes national park in rwanda and Virunga national park in Democratic Republic of Congo. below are the frequently asked questions about gorilla trekking and their respective answers.
What’s the best time for trekking?
Gorilla tracking in Rwanda is a year round activity hence travelling to Rwanda is good all year. Nevertheless the best time to visit Rwanda for a gorilla trek would be considered to be during the short dry season from mid-December to early February or during the long dry season months of June to September. These periods offer the easiest hiking conditions and the lowest malaria risk. Though Rwanda having a tropical climate means it can rain any time of the year also during the dry seasons. The rainy seasons don’t get to cold, and it rains for short periods of time.
Which international airlines fly to Rwanda?
From Europe, major carriers with in Rwanda are: Turkish Air, Brussels Airlines & KLM, which fly to and from Kanombe international airport. The major African Airlines with in Rwanda include: Air Rwanda – the country’s national carrier, Egypt Air, Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Airways, Air Tanzania and South African Airways. From the Middle East and South East Asia is Emirates or Qatar Air. We can book your air tickets for you or you can book them your self.
When to book for a Rwanda gorilla permit?
Your gorilla permit should be booked early enough before your safari to Rwanda. You can buy through the Rwanda Tourism Board, or can book your tour with any travel agency or with us at gorilla trek Africa. Always make sure you receive a scan copy of your gorilla Permits.
What is the dressing code?
When travelling to Rwanda to trek gorillas, we recommend packing the following;
Pack at least 2 long sleeved shirts, 3 short sleeved t-shirts, 2 –3 pairs of light weight slacks/trousers – that can dry quickly, 1 pair of shorts, 1 sweater or sweatshirt, A waterproof and windproof jacket, 1 skirt (for women), Gloves – gardening type, long stocks (wear them over your trousers as protection against the ants and other insects), a hat will be good too, Hiking boots are a must to carry since it gets slippery during the trek and it gets very muddy too. A rain Jacket is necessary too as the weather is unpredictable. Make sure to have a light backpack with packed lunch and drinking water. A camera is a must to pack, carry extra batteries. A pair of binoculars may come in handy as the forest has several other primates and birds. Also you may need to hire a porter depending on how much language you have carried for the trek and the porter will assist you carry them, or you may need someone to assist you, encourage you during the trek.
How do you deal with tipping?
During your Rwanda gorilla trekking Safari, you will meet different people along the way who may in one way be helpful or not. Among these is your tour guide, porters at the forest, security guards, park rangers, waiters and waitresses among so many others. Porters are optional to have for your trek but if you take one, tip between $10 – $5 depending on work done. Tipping usually depends on individual satisfaction and helps out the locals as financial support. These locals use this money to earn an honest leaving other than poaching and hunting down the gorillas, but maintain and protect them for travelers to come watch them.
Do the drivers/ guides speak English?
Yes, all guides our guides do speak English. If the travelers doesn’t speak English, then we can always get them a guide speaking your language as requested. Fell free to always inform us about your language preferences and we shall handle it accordingly.
Is it difficult to trek?
Trekking Rwanda gorillas involves hiking on rough terrain of the thick rainforest though for Rwanda trek you have a choice to pick on an easier trek or a hard one depending on your ability. The trek requires determination and passion to endure the hike. Even elderly people have been able to successfully trek have met the gorillas. You can hire a porter to carry for you your backpack and any other luggage you may have carried along and also assist you in difficult areas. The park rangers will encourage you to make it as easy as possible for you to track and also photograph the Mountain Gorillas. At Gorilla Trek Africa, we have had numerous clients in their 70’s succeed in reaching their target Mountain Gorilla groups. But many people return very exhausted, muddy and sore if they are not used to vigorous hiking. Altitude sickness is not usually a problem, nor is insects though your advised to put on long stocks and wear . You will need a pair of gloves and clothing that protects your arms and legs from thorns and nettles. Good balance is helpful in Gorilla trekking as trails may be slippery.
what are other attractions in Rwanda
Rwanda is a beautiful, green, country, also called the land of a Thousand Hills. The genocide of 1994 is powerfully memorialized in a museum in Kigali and at other sites around the country. This is a beautiful experience worth going for, plus touring the Kigali city, the national museum in Butare. While doing gorilla tracking in Rwanda, travelers can add it with trekking chimps in Nyugwe forest, Wildlife tour in Akagera national park, visit Lake Kivu, tour Golden Monkeys as well as hike to Karisoke where Diane Fossey conducted her pioneering research.
NOTE For any successful gorilla safari, every traveler should Purchase a permit in advance so as pick a group of your choice as well as secure your place to do the trek.
You will be assigned to a group and guide. Also, consider hiring a local person as a porter to assistant, with your language.
If you have the choice, visit the largest group available to you to maximize the photo opportunities and the different behaviors you will see.
Prepare for the possibility of rain at any time of year, this call you to have a raincoat for your trek.
Wear long sleeves and slacks and bring glove to protect against thistles nettles and thorns.
Wear durable hiking shoes, you will be off trail in rough terrain.
Expect you might have a long hike. Be in the best physical shape you can be.
Understand your camera very well; Cameras with built-in video are very good. Telephoto ability helps.
Consider traveling with a companion or friend with whom you will share the lifelong memory of the encounter.
Listen to the advice of your guide. Trust that he or she really wants you to get great photos and have the best possible experience.