Gorilla Permits in Rwanda are a bit expensive compared to other gorilla trekking permits in Uganda and Congo and these permits you to access gorillas in their natural habitat.
Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda is one of the biggest tourism activities that tourists engage in any of their safaris. Exploring Volcanoes National Park for a chance to spend one hour with the endangered Mountain Gorillas is such a memorable experience that you wouldn’t want to miss when you’re in Rwanda.
There are 10 gorilla families currently in Volcanoes National Park, and on a day 10 people are permitted to visit one of the 10 families for an hour.
In this mountain gorilla trekking adventure you will trek for more than an hour depending on how far your start point is from the gorilla family you are visiting. When you get to the gorilla family you will have an interaction with the family (taking pictures and videos) for an hour and then be back on the trekking out of the forested volcanoes mountain.
However for you to have this memorable experience you will need a mountain gorilla trekking permit.
A gorilla trekking permit is a legal document or license that allows you to access and interact with the endangered primates in their natural habitat.
The permit is issued to the Rwanda Development Board which is the wildlife governing body in Rwanda.
A gorilla permit is valid for one day thus the date indicated on the permit for the trekking activity, past that date the permit is expired and not useable.
So it’s for your own benefit to make sure that you go for the gorilla trekking experience on the indicated date, also the permit is not transferable and can only be used by the person to whom it is issued.
In cases where you fall ill on the day of the trekking activity, you will not be allowed to trek because of the human relation with gorillas, illness can easily be passed on to the gorillas. So, in this case, you will be refunded 50% of your gorilla permit fees.
That said if you abide by all the provided guidelines you will surely have an amazing trekking and fulfilling experience.
Of the three countries with mountain gorillas, Rwanda has the most expensive gorilla permits because of the luxurious nature of the tourism industry. As of 2019 gorilla permits in Rwanda cost 1500 USD each compared to DRC and Uganda’s 400 USD and 600 USD respectively.
The gorilla permits in Rwanda have costs that are fixed and are not negotiable and are determined by Rwanda Development Board.
If you wish to go gorilla trekking in Rwanda you will need to book your gorilla trekking permit in advance about 3 months in advance and when you are booking you can use either:-
- The Online portal by visiting the Rwanda development Board website and following the Gorilla permit booking portal, all the guidelines will be there and if you need help you can call the numbers on the website or email RDB, on the email provided on the RDB website.
- Using a tour operator, Tour operators make the procedure much easier for you, because they are on the ground; so you can contact one and they will get you the permit. As a tour operator, we are well able to purchase the gorilla permits in Rwanda for you when you book a safari with us.
Each of the gorilla permits in Rwanda gives:-
- One hour interaction with a gorilla family; which hour is used according to the tourist’s preference including taking videos and photos of the primates.
- Primates rangers and trackers; for any mountain gorilla trekking adventure to be a success, you will need both a Gorilla tracker and a Gorilla ranger.
A Gorilla ranger is responsible of taking you for the trekking adventure and to where the gorilla family you are visiting is.
The ranger has to work with the tracker to know exactly where the gorilla family is at a particular moment.
A Gorilla tracker is the one who keeps tracking the gorilla family’s movements in order to give accurate directions to the ranger where the gorilla family is thus where the entire trekking group will be going.
The gorilla tracker is normally going ahead of the ranger and the trekking group.
Both the Ranger and the tracker have guns that they use to scare away wild creatures.
- In most cases, if you have paid for a trekking permit, you will not need to pay park entrances fees, which means the permit gives you access to the primates Park.
Though the gorilla permits in Rwanda give you all the above, the permit doesn’t include:-
- Tips you wish to give to any of the park staff
- Porter fees; porters help you carry some of belonging on the trek
- Trekking stick if you wish to have one
- Your snack and drink for the trek
- Any other expense on your trek and safari
To acquire your permit you will need to present an official legal document (eg Passport) that indicates your respective names and nationality plus the money to pay for the permit.
Though the gorilla permit in Rwanda permit costs 1500 USD for anyone wishing to go gorilla trekking at Volcanoes National Park (non-residents and non-nationals, east African residents and citizens, Rwanda residents and citizens), the following discounts are available for these categories
- 15% discount for persons staying in Rwanda pre and post meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions in Rwanda.
- 30% discount for persons visiting other Rwanda National Parks for 3 days or more.
If you wish to have a private Gorilla trekking experience with an exclusive tour guide, you will pay 1,500 USD.
Rwanda Development Board doesn’t allow people who are ill, to interface with the gorillas, so if you happen to be ill on the day of trekking, you will not be allowed to trek and RDB, will refund you 50% of your originally pay.