Mountain Gorilla Trekking
A gorilla visit can entail 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, and 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.
Mountain gorilla trekking permits
All permits to visit the mountain gorillas and Golden Monkeys are booked through local tour operators in Kigali.
Fees for mountain gorilla permits
This is inclusive of park entry fees. It is advisable to organize your own transportation to take you up to the park boundaries.
For Foreign visitors: USD 750
For EAC Nationals: USD 300: EAC Foreign Residents: USD 450
For EAC Children & Students: USD 225: EAC Foreign Residents Children & Students: USD 225
For Rwandan Citizens: RWF 30,000
For Rwandan Children & Students: RWF 30,000
On the day you are scheduled to trek, report at 0700hrs for briefing at the ORTPN offices in Musanze. The ORTPN team of trackers and anti-poachers speak French or English.
- 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.
In the Volcano National Park there are now fully habituated Golden Monkeys and they are accessible to tourists.
For Foreign visitors: USD 100
For EAC Nationals: USD 60: EAC Foreign Residents: USD 80
For EAC Children & Students: USD 45: EAC Foreign Residents Children & Students: USD 45
For Rwandan Citizens: RWF 4000
For Rwandan Children & Students: RWF 2000