Over time, Rwanda has been said to be the best place for gorilla trekking in Africa. YES, the small land of a thousand hills offers lifetime gorilla safaris experiences worth the cost and energy. Rwanda is one of the three countries where travelers trek and spend time with the endangered mountain gorillas in their natural habitats. Other places to see gorillas include Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Whereas trekking in each destination is unique in its own kind, Rwanda gorilla safaris seem more exceptional. We normally receive inquiries from potential travelers asking what makes Rwanda a best place for gorilla trekking. In this article we bring you details why you should visit Rwanda for your African gorilla safari. These include:
Ease of access
Ease of access to Volcanoes National Park is one of the reasons why Rwanda is a best place for gorilla trekking. The park covers Rwanda’s share of the Virunga Conservation Area bordered by Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda and Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The drive time from Kigali International Airport to Volcanoes National Park is roughly 3 hours compared to 8-10 hours drive time from Entebbe International Airport to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park/Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda. Rwanda is therefore the best gorilla tour destination for short time travelers especially for those who have come for meetings, conferences and incentives. The short distance between the airport and gorilla park saves travelers long hours of driving
High number of mountain gorillas
Volcanoes National Park is home to the highest number of mountain gorillas in the Virunga Conservation Area. Over 400 mountain gorillas are estimated to be living in this bamboo forest. Rwanda Development Board has habituated 10 gorilla families to ease trekking in Volcanoes National Park. These gorilla groups in VNP are Hirwa, Karisimbi, Sabinyo, Susa A, Amahoro, Agashya, Umubano, Titus, Kwitonda, Bwenge and Ugenda among others. Each gorilla family is visited by eight people who stay with the gorillas for an hour. Altogether, Rwanda has 80 gorilla permits available each day and the allocation is on first come first serve basis. Rwanda Development Board together with the African Parks is responsible for gorilla trekking and conservation in Volcanoes National park.
Gorilla trekking add-ons
In addition to mountain gorilla trekking, Rwanda offers a lot of interesting things to see and do. These include golden monkey trekking, mountain climbing (Bisoke & Karisimbi), bird watching, nature walks, visiting Musanze caves and Gorilla Guardian Village among others. More so, go for game viewing experience in Akagera National Park located in Eastern Rwanda. The park is home to the big five game and many other animals which include Elephants, Lions, Leopards, Buffalos, Rhinos, Giraffes, Zebras, Waterbucks, Warthogs, Topis, Oribis, Roan Antelope, Bushbucks, Wildebeests and hyenas among others. Also, go chimpanzee trekking and canopy walk in Nyungwe Forest National Park located in southwestern Rwanda.
Ease of trekking
Travelers who have visited more than one gorilla park confirm that trekking in Volcanoes National is much easier compared to other destinations especially Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. Volcanoes Park comprise of bamboo forests easy to walk through. Also, gorillas in Volcanoes National park live in low altitude areas, which make it easy to access them.
Luxury tours & services
If you are a luxury traveler, Rwanda is the best place for you. In addition to its high gorilla permit prices at $1500 each, Rwanda has a variety of luxury hotels and lodges, which offer luxury food and sleeping services to travelers. Luxury lodges in Rwanda include Bisate Lodge, Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge, Mountain Gorilla View Lodge, Virunga Lodge, Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel, Mountain Gorilla Nest Lodge, Tiloreza Eco Lodge and Kigali Serena Hotel among others. The combination of expensive permits and luxury lodges make Rwanda safari packages luxury but worth the price.
Peace and security
Rwanda is ranked one of the safe and secure places to visit in Africa. Having experienced the terrible 1994 genocide in which millions of innocent lives were lost, Rwanda has now stabilized and it’s the safest places to visit and stay. The government headed by HE Paul Kagame has restored peace and unity between the Hutu and Tsusi making the whole country comfortable for visitors. The locals agreed to “NEVER AGAIN” and this has stayed up to present. Also, there has not been any rebel attacks recorded in Volcanoes National park, which guarantee travelers safety on their treks to meet the endangered gorillas. Rwanda Tourism Police does day and night patrols to ensure safety of travelers and the endangered mountain gorillas.
How to book Rwanda gorilla safaris?
You can book a Rwanda gorilla safari directly with Rwanda Development Board a government body responsible for tourism and conservation in Rwanda. Alternatively, you can book through any trusted tour agent in Rwanda. Africa Adventure Safaris a is one of the reliable travel agents in Rwanda offering customized gorilla trekking safaris to Volcanoes National Park and other wildlife experiences in Rwanda.
In general, Rwanda is the best place for gorilla trekking in Africa.