The Volcanoes National Park is located in a small village called Musanze previously well-known as Ruhengeri, which is very accessible by public transport from Gisenyi or Kigali or from the airport. The drive to Rwanda Volcanoes Park takes about 2-3 hrs and hence one can do gorilla tracking on the same day and drive back to Kigali after the trek. You will be required to arrive at the headquarters of ORTPN in Kinigi, at the park entrance, by 7:00 am, therefore, if you hope to trek gorillas for one day, you have to wake up very early for your journey so that you are on time. However, there isn’t any public transport from Musanze to the headquarters of the park at Kinigi.
Being the most sought after safari adventure in Africa, gorilla trekking is a sensitive activity which when not controlled and managed strictly, may negatively impact on the lives of the mountain gorillas. In a bid to regulate the activity, the governments of Congo, Rwanda and Uganda (the only countries with mountain gorillas) decided to make permits which are more expensive than any other wildlife permit in order to limit the number of visitors and create sustainability of the activity.
The gorilla permit costs $400 in Congo (DRC), $1500 in Rwanda and $700 in Uganda. These gorilla permits help in limiting the number of people trekking the gorillas in order to limit stress on these apes and on their habitat, that may result in their change of behaviour or even death. There is only a maximum of 8 permits per gorilla group sold each day to make sure the gorillas are not overwhelmed by the human presence. In order to make the gorilla trekking safaris sustainable, respective governments and wildlife organizations came up with a set of guidelines trekkers have to follow in order to remain harmonious with the gorillas.
As you stare into the eyes of a mountain gorilla you’ll likely feel a connection, one unlike you’ve ever experienced before. A connection of peering into the eyes of an exotic creature that looks and acts quite a bit like we humans do. Tracking this ape is itself a great contribution towards its sustainability since the money paid is invested in its conservation that includes purchasing the drugs and paying the doctors that often treat them. This is in addition to the gorilla doctors’ project that is much concerned with managing the health of these great apes. Nature Adventure Uganda provides more information on the guidelines to be followed for tracking gorillas in Rwanda. Visit our website for more as you do a quick booking to get those everlasting gorilla memories.