Volcanoes national park which protects the Rwandan section of the Virungas is the most popular and reliable destination for those looking for gorilla trekking. The Musanze town (former Ruhengeri) is also a base point for cross-border gorilla tracking – you can easily go gorilla trekking from PNV to Virunga National Park and Mgahinga National Park.
Volcanoes National Park harbours at least half of the estimated 480 mountain gorillas that live in the Virunga Region. Currently there are ten gorilla groups that have been habituated for gorilla visits. Each of these gorilla groups can be visited by eight tourists making a total of 80 gorilla permits to be available every day. Every morning trackers assemble at the park headquarters to get assigned to the different gorilla groups.
How to Book Gorilla Permits for Rwanda
Rwanda gorilla permits are sold at US$1500 per person and per trek. If you are looking at multiple treks, you are free to book multiple gorilla permits for different dates.
The gorilla permits can be booked directly from the Rwanda Development Board or through a local tour operator. It is advised to book your gorilla permit early enough given that they are sold on first come, first serve basis. If you are prepared to risk non-availability you can pitch up at the Volcanoes National Park at Kinigi the day before you want to track and buy a gorilla permit there.
Where to Stay in Volcanoes National Park
There are lots of places where to stay in Volcanoes National Park. From upmarket to budget options, lots of choices are available. Here are the most popular accommodation options for tourists
Kinigi Guest House – Budget style accommodation
Virunga Lodge – a luxurious lodge boasting one one of the most stunning locations in Africa. Located on a hilltop overlooking the twin lakes f Burera and Ruhondo.
Hotel Gorillas Musanze
Centre Pastoral Notre Dame de Fatima
Apart from the gorillas, there is plenty to see in Rwanda, a scenic and welcoming country.
- Go for golden monkey tracking
- Day hikes to Dian Fossey’s Grave
- Hiking to the summit levels of several volcanoes; Bisoke and Karisimbi.
- You can also visit the tropical port on the shore of Lake Kivu, a stunning place with beaches.