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Home arrow Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Information

Rwanda Gorilla Trekking

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A gorilla visit can entail anything from a 1 to 4-hour trek through the forest, led by experienced trackers who have spent their entire lives living in or close to the forest. Your trek will be enchanting as you weave through overhanging vines, moss-covered Hagenia trees and giant Lobelias that thrive in the tropical climate. You may spot golden monkeys or see buffalo, bush duiker and a wide variety of bird life. But the high point, of course, one of the greatest wildlife experiences on earth, will be spending an hour with the gentle giant gorillas as they go about their daily life, feeding, playing, resting, raising their young. At the end of your visit you will understand what kept conservationist Dian Fossey living in this same forest for 18 years protecting these wonderful animals.


Useful information for visitors: 

Mountain gorilla trekking permits: 
All permits to visit the mountain gorillas and Golden Monkeys can booked through Karibu Rwanda offices

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Fees for mountain gorilla permits:
With effect from 1st June 2012, the fee for gorilla visits costs US$750 per person for non-nationals,  US$50 for Rwandan citizens. This is inclusive of park entry fees. It is advisable to organize your own transportation to take you up to the park boundaries. 

On the day of you are scheduled to trek, you must present yourself for briefing at the ORTPN offices situated at the prefecture offices in Musanze at 7:00 AM. ORTPN currently has a team of 80 trackers and anti-poachers, many of whom speak French or English. 

Gorilla Guidelines: 
To minimize possible transmission of human diseases, visitors are asked to maintain a distance of 7m (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 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 charge or vocalize at you, do not be alarmed, stand still, look away from the gorilla and follow your guide’s directions.
Do not litter.

To enhance your enjoyment: 
The security of our visitors is our highest priorities. There is no need for concern about personal security.
The climate in Musanze is changeable and you can generally expect both sun and rainfall during the day. 
Musanze, at 1,700m above sea level, is generally quite cold, particularly in the evening, so warm clothing is advised. 
Recommended clothing is long trousers and shirts when in the forest to avoid nettle stings. 
Study walking shoes or hiking boots are essential. You may find raingear useful.
Bring a water bottle and a small snack although eating, drinking and smoking near the gorillas is forbidden. 
Photography is permitted, although you may not use flash 
Porters are available to help you carry your daypack for a small charge. 
Mountain gorillas live at high altitude and this may cause difficulties for some visitors. You should pace yourself, walk slowly and drink plenty of water. No one should feel deterred from making this trip. 

Gorilla Families

There are seven gorilla families available for tourists with 8 tourists allowed per group:     

· Susa—the largest group with 41 gorillas. This family is the hardest to trek as it tends to range high into the mountains but RDB Tourism & Conservation trackers will know well in advance where the group is located. The group is also well-known for having rare 5 year old twins named Byishimo and Impano.

· Sabyinyo—Sabyinyo is an easily accessible group led by the powerful silverback Guhonda. There are fewer members within this family than in the other groups however they are equally impressive as a family.


· Amahoro—led by the calm and easy going Ubumwe, Amahoro is made up of 17 members and means “peaceful”. To reach Amahoro one must endure a fairly steep climb however the climb is well worth it once in contact with this tranquil group.


· Group 13—when first habituated this group had only 13 members hence its name. Now the group has approximately 25 members, a very positive sign for conservation and the efforts put forward by RDB Tourism & Conservation to protect the gorillas’ habitat.


· Kwitonda—this 18-member group is led by Kwitonda which means “humble one” and has two silverbacks and one blackback. Having migrated from DRC, this group tends to range far making it a moderately difficult trek.


· Umubano—a family of 11, Umubano were originally Amahoro members but broke off after the dominant silverback was challenged by Charles, now the leader of Umubano. When a young silverback challenges the dominant silverback he must steal some females from the existing group in order to form his own family; thus Umubano was formed.


· Hirwa—this group emerged recently and was formed from different existing families, namely from Group 13 and Sabyinyo. Eventually more gorillas joined. Come witness this family continue to grow.

 

 
 
 

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