Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Safari Complete Guide 2023-2024

Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Safari Complete Guide 2020-2022

A Rwanda Gorilla trekking safari requires prior booking for permits and having updated information on the Gorilla trekking destination and tour.

Here is your complete guide for your Rwanda Gorilla trekking safari to allow you get all your inquiries answered and access complete information before booking your  much needed Rwanda gorilla tracking safari.

Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Safari

Mountain gorillas ( Gorilla Berengei Berengei) are only located in Uganda, Rwanda and DRC.

In Rwanda, these “gentle giants” can only be seen in the Volcanoes National Park (Parc Nationale Des Volcans)    Groups of 8 people each are allowed to trek these endangered apes one group at a time spending one hour with them.

The Susa group comprised of two gorilla families (Susa A and Susa B) are the biggest and best group to track with 41 individual gorillas!

A Rwanda gorilla trekking permit costs US $ 1500 per person per trek and part of your permit fees goes directly to conserving the mountain gorillas.

The Rwanda Tourism Board issues out only 86 gorilla permits daily hence it’s important to plan your trip earlier.

Some of the Rwanda gorilla families include Susa group with 41 gorilla members, Sabyinyo gorilla family with 8 gorillas, Amahoro gorilla family with 17 members, Kwitonda gorilla family with 18, Umubano gorilla family with 11 and Hirwa gorilla family with 13 individual gorillas.

What Do i expect on a Rwanda Gorilla trekking safari?

Here are a few highlight for your experience as you Visit Rwanda.  You have to wake up early morning, meaning that we must find you accommodation closer to the park entrance. Your African gorilla guide will be briefing you at 7 am about safety precautions as well as the etiquette.  There are over 80 gorilla tracking guides provided by the Rwanda Development Board, well trained and speaking English and French. Together with other members of the group, you proceed to the forest and start the hike which may be tiring depending on your physical strength. Remember they are called mountain gorillas so an element of hiking is a must. The adventure takes anything from 30 minutes to a couple of hours. The English-speaking forest guides are amazingly good, and will lead you to the specific ‘habituated’ mountain gorilla group, which certainly will be acquitted to human presence.

A mature silver back male gorilla may weigh as much as 200kg, or even 3 times the overall weight of an average man, however the anxiety normally disappears once you set eyes on the group. Normally the gorilla group will be scattered over a small area of thick vegetation. They will carry on with their interactions and even feed without any concern of their human visitors although they will be observing you with interest. Rarely one, normally a playful youngster, will boldly approach you with inquisitiveness, at times coming really close that you will need to move away. (You are not allowed to move less than 7 meters close to them; this is to safe guard the gorillas from contagious human diseases.)  The climate in Musanze ( 1,700m above sea level) is mostly cold. Please carry along warm clothing.

Cost of A Gorilla Permit in Rwanda.

ORDINARY PERMIT: USD $1500 per person for all trekking visitors to Rwanda.

Special luxury private Gorilla safari experiences costs US$ 15,000 with a minimum number of 1 person and a maximum of 9 people in the group. Briefing for gorilla trekking for this package is usually done from your luxury accommodation and the starting time of the gorilla trek can be flexible done an extra hour after the normal start time for a gorilla trekking safari in Volcanoes national park.
The behind the scenes gorilla trip for 3 days costs US$ 30,000 for 3 persons.

For professional photography as well as filming the mountain gorillas, you part with US$ 5000 for 3 days consecutively. If you are a large crew of 8 people, you will pay US $ 12,000

Getting There From Kigali To Volcanoes National Park Rwanda

Time by road: 2 h 18 min without traffic.

Distance: 109 km

Gorilla Tracking groups in Rwanda, Where To See The Gorillas Of Rwanda

In Rwanda, you may only track gorillas within Volcanoes National park, a section of the bigger Virunga mountains. Approximately 480 mountain gorillas live in the Virunga complex and reside on the altitude range of 2,300 to 4,500 meters in the southern area of Virunga National Park (in the DRC), as well as the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, and some in Uganda’s Mgahinga National Park.


There are plenty of options ranging from budget, to mid-range and then luxury. The choice of your accommodation will determine the nature of your Gorilla safari. We quote all the 3 options to cater for all classes of clients.

What Else To Do After Rwanda Gorilla Tours?

Rwanda safari destinations include Nyungwe Forest National Park, Lake Kivu and Akagera National Park.
Nyungwe Forest National park: considered to be among the oldest forest in Africa, with 12 primate species, 300 bird species and about 7 mammal species. The major activity here is the chimpanzee tracking plus birding , canopy walkway and hiking trails.
Akagera National park:  will offer you a true wildlife experience, see the elephants, lion, buffalo, topi, zebra, antelope, monkeys, bushback, impala and so much more. Over 500 bird species here.
Gishwati Mukura National park is one of the recent parks in Rwanda. It becomes the 3rd park, famous for primates and birdwatching in Rwanda.

The Ellen DeGeneres Campus of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund in Kinigi Rwanda  opened in 2022 and is located near Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, home to the mountain gorillas. The Ellen Campus serves as a gateway to conservation for local community members, tourists, scientists and students from around the world The campus houses laboratories, classrooms, student accommodations and other facilities for supporting conservation and science, making it a hub for research and discovery in the region.

Other Safari Destinations

You can take on an extension African safari in either Uganda or Tanzania in addition to your Rwanda gorilla trekking safari. Visit Queen Elizabeth national park, Lake Mburo national park , Murchison falls national park, Kibale national park for chimpanzee tracking, Summit the 5,109m asl Margherita peak, Ngorongoro crater, Serengeti National Park, Lake Manyara and so much more.

Rwanda Gorillas are divided into 2; those for study or research purposes which are strictly accessed by scientists plus researchers only. Among these are Beetsme and Pablo’s Shida’s which have the highest number of gorillas.
There are also ten (10) habituated gorilla families that are for tourism purposes, so these are available for trekkers to visit. At most 8 people may visit each of the gorilla groups every day and you may spend at most one hour. Among these gorilla groups are the: Ugenda, Umubano, Susa group, Karinsimbi, Sabinyo, Hirwa, Amahoro, Bwengye, Group 13 (the Agasha group) and the Kwitonda.

Rwanda just like Uganda has only Mountain gorillas unlike DR congo which has the Eastern lowland gorillas in Kahuzi-biega national park.


There are quite a number of mountain gorilla related activities, the famous one being the Kwita Izina ceremony of naming gorillas, it is an annual event majorly held in September where various celebrities are invited to this occasion. Booking your gorilla adventure during this time would be a chance to participate in this event.  A number of gorilla conservationists exist in Rwanda. From The Dian Fossey Foundation to The International Gorilla Conservation Project and so much more.

For more information on our Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Safari Complete Guide 2023-2024; reach out to our specialist travel advisors here;

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