Frequently Asked Questions About Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda.[/cz_title]
Trekking mountain gorillas has become more popular especially in Rwanda compared to the rest of East Africa. On several occasions, many travelers ask a lot of questions on how they can ensure a smooth encounter with mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. We have come up with some accurate answers to the questions.
The Rwanda Development Board (RDB) has double the gorilla permit cost from $750 to $1500 Per person for one hour watching gorillas in the Volcanoes national park. In the same statement the RDB has introduced a new exclusive offer for visitors looking at trekking the entire gorilla group for 15,000 U.S dollars with an exclusively personalized tour guide watching gorillas for 1 hour.
The price increase has taken effect from the date of the statement release, but will not affect those tourists who purchased their gorilla permits ahead of the new change. In addition, the RDB offered a 30% discount for visitors who plan to stay longer for 3 days or more visiting mountain gorillas and other Rwanda national park like Nyungwe forest, Akagera national park and other attractions. Conference tourists in the country are also eligible to a 15% discount if they wish to trek gorillas earlier or after their conference in Rwanda.
Yes, the park rangers are very strict in managing gorilla and human contact and they ensure that these rules are followed by the trekkers. The rules include:
- Only eight guests are allowed to view each of the habituated gorilla families at any one time.
- You should maintain a distance of at least seven meters or 23 feet from the gorillas. The gorillas will break the rules occasionally. In such cases, one should step back.
- Do not do anything that may cause the gorillas stress or exhibit any behavior that they may see as a challenge. One must respect their space, speak very quietly, and avoid unnecessary movement.
- Do not touch the gorillas or try to make contact.
- Do not use flash cameras.
- Do not eat or smoke.
The world has a total population of Mountain gorillas close to 1004 mountain gorillas that are surviving. These live in Uganda in bwindi impenetrable national park, in Volcanoes National park found in Rwanda, and in Mgahinga National park found in Uganda. The other mountain gorillas are found in Virunga National park in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This also means that in order for one to enjoy the gorillas, must visit one of these destinations.
There are sponsorship projects of conservation organizations such as Friend of the Gorillas and the International Gorilla Conservation Program. You can use these projects to adopt a gorilla in Rwanda or Uganda. Your permit fees directly supports the projection of these animals and their environment through the government.
The age limit for gorilla trekking in Rwanda and Uganda is 15 years of age and democratic republic of congo is 14 years. While it’s possible for you to have an excellent gorilla safari with your kids, sometimes its rather hard.
The best gorilla tracking experienced is in the dry seasons June-September and December-February. Generally, the East African weather is very unpredictable and it can rain at any time of the day. All gorilla-tracking parties leave around 8 AM when there is the least likelihood of heavy rain.
Lowland gorillas are another species of gorillas, which is different from mountain gorillas. There are no lowland gorillas in Uganda and Rwanda but they can be seen in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Kahuzi-Biega national park. Their retarded increment in the region can be blamed to the fact that they are widely hunted for bushmeat in unprotected areas of their range. Other places in Africa with lowland gorillas include Gabon and the Central African Republic.
You need to have a gorilla permit and then bring the Warm clothes, fleece or light wool sweater, moisture wicking undergarments, lightweight wool socks, long-sleeved shirt, strong waterproof walking boots (comfortable for going up and down steep hills), sturdy trousers, sunglasses, a torch, fast film, binoculars, sun screen, a sun hat, a breathable lightweight rain poncho or parka with a rain hat, gloves to grip vegetation (inexpensive gardening gloves work well) and a small backpack to carry water and a packed lunch. It is best to have layers of clothing as temperatures tend to change. The guides will make you a walking stick if needed.
Apart from tracking mountain gorillas, Rwanda has also got a variety of other tourist attractions. In addition to volcanoes national park, Rwanda has got Akagera National park for game viewing and Nyungwe forest national park for Chimpanzee trekking and canopy walk. Other activities do on your Rwanda safaris include boat cruises on Lake Kivu, cultural tours and bird watching. You can also to hike to Karisoke summit where Diane Fossey conducted her pioneering research, or else go tracking golden monkeys of Parc des Volcanoes. Besides the Rwanda wildlife safaris, the country has got genocide memorials around the country where travelers visit and learn about the country’s genocide history. Other attractions in Rwanda include Cultural tours, cycling, and paramotoring.