Mountain Gorilla Trekking Experience in Rwanda 2021
Mountain Gorilla Trekking Experience in Rwanda 2021: Rwanda is known to be one of the top wildlife destinations in East Africa and is famous for being home to the endangered mountain gorillas that live in Volcanoes National Park within the virunga conservation area.
Thousands of people have often flocked Rwanda to experience these unique and rare animals enjoying their company and learning more about them. However with the COVID19 pandemic, a lot of things have changed and needless to say, though thousands upon thousands would want to visit these gorillas and enjoy their company, they are worried about their experience. How will it be, with the COVID19 sops, has anything changed with the permits and many other things.
- Booking the Permit
Your mountain gorilla trekking experience in Rwanda 2021 will have to begin three months or at least one month before the actually day of the trekking experience. Three months or one month before you embark on your trekking experience you will have to book a mountain gorilla trekking permit; this is to secure your trekking spot – You know since mountain gorilla trekking is highly competitive, it’s safe to book your spot in advance to avoid any disappointments. Also the numbers of people that are visiting the gorillas are being grouped in a way to allow effective social distancing, and you want to be grouped in time to eliminate possibilities of missing out.
Mountain gorilla trekking permits are the legal documents that allow you to access Volcanoes National Park and to trek the Virunga region in search for the mountain gorillas. Mountain gorilla permits in Rwanda cost 1500 USD per person per mountain gorilla trekking experience.
To book a mountain gorilla trekking permit you will need to either do it directly through the Rwanda development Board portal or you can use a tour operator, who can book for you the permit and further more organise for you, your whole safari.
- Additional Arrangements
When you have booked your mountain gorilla trekking permit, you will go ahead and make the necessary arrangements to be in Rwanda on the proposed day of your mountain gorilla trekking experience. Again if you are using a tour operator, they will take care of all these arrangements for you. These arrangements include logistics, accommodation, meals and other things you will need to make your experience a success.
- COVID19 Test
As the day of the trekking approaches you will need to prepare to be in Rwanda at least one day earlier before the actually trekking experience. Since it’s the Covid19 era you will need to also take a Covid19 test at least 48 hours before you travel to Rwanda and if the test is negative you will be cleared to travel to Rwanda.
- In Rwanda
You will then travel to Rwanda and on arrival in Rwanda you will be met by your tour operator or you will take a cab whatever you have planned earlier. You will leave Kigali City and travel to the Northern Province where Volcanoes National Park is found.
- Volcanoes National Park
You will spend a night at Volcanoes National Park and very early the next morning you will be up early, get your trekking gear on and then you will head out for your trekking experience after a short briefing at the park headquarters about the whole trekking experience.
- Mountain gorilla trekking
Since you are trekking during the covid19 era, you will have to observe the Covid19 SOPs are directed by WHO and the Rwandan government. You will need to have your face mask with you, hand sanitizer and you will have to observe a social distance as you trek.
The virunga trails in Rwanda are quite easy to trek, they are not as steep as the others in the region and the trekking routes in Volcanoes are more defined; so the trekking into the forest to find the mountain gorillas will not be that tiring for you.
Trekking up the mountain will take you about one to two hours and by then you will have found the mountain gorillas. You will spend one hour with the mountain gorillas, observing them and enjoying their presence. During this one hour you will be required to observe the covid19 sops and the mountain gorillas trekking rules (rules are shared in this article below).
After the one hour with the mountain gorillas you will then trek back to the park headquarters where you will receive your mountain gorilla trekking certificates and then you will continue will the rest of your safari and planned; and that will be the end of your mountain gorilla experience.
On your mountain gorilla trekking experience you will visit either one of the 10 habituated gorillas families that lives in Volcanoes National Park, these gorilla families are:- Hirwa, Susa, Karisimbi, Sabyinyo, Amahoro, Umubano, Agasha, Kwitonda, Bwenge, Ugenda.
- Mountain gorillas trekking rules
Some of the mountain gorilla rules you will have to observe as you meet the mountain gorillas are:- maintain a 7 metre distance between you and the mountain gorillas, avoiding eye contact with the mountain gorillas, not feeding the gorillas, maintain voices at a lower pitch to not disrupt the peace and quiet of the gorillas, not using flash photography, not smoking or drinking in front of the gorillas and many other rules. All these rules are communicated at the briefing before you enter the forest and the trekking ranger will continually remind you of the different rules if need be.