Long Gorilla Safari Rwanda, Long Gorilla Safaris in Rwanda, Long Gorilla tour Rwanda, Long Gorilla tours Rwanda
One day in a life time of a Rwanda Gorilla
An ordinary day in the life of a mountain gorilla starts at sunrise, around 6 am. They wake up and begin looking for food which covers a great part of the morning. In general, a gorilla spends about 30% of the day feeding, 30% travelling and 40% resting. In contrast to many primates, the gorilla lives mainly on the ground. They travel not more than a kilometer per day within their home range of about 20 square kilometres.
The afternoons are mainly spent with resting and playing. This last activity is very important in the social life, especially for young gorillas, as it determines their integration into the group. They hug each other, bite, and hit or wrestle till one is pulled down on the ground.
At the end of the day, just before dusk, the great apes start constructing a nest where they will spend their night. Every single gorilla has its own nest, except for the infants who sleep next to their mothers. Nests are built on the ground or in trees and are carefully constructed by branches of bushes and other plants
Gorillas are vegetarians, though occasionally they may eat ants and other insects. Their daily meal consists of roots, leaves, stems and pith of herbs, vines and shrub, and some fruits. During certain months of the year bamboo shoots supply a major part in their diet as well. A male adult can even eat up to 20 kg per day! Because the gorillas receive a large quantity of water from its diet, they rarely have to drink.
Rwanda Gorilla trekking safari permit price
Rwanda increased their gorilla permit price last year from $500 to $750. Our offices are always open to advise you on the price of gorilla permits. Bwindi Gorilla permits for Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park costs USD 600 per person per trek and USD350 for discounted rates as announced by Uganda Wildlife Authority for the months of April,May and November.
Refunds / Cancellation Guidelines for Rwanda Gorilla trekking safari permits
The Rwanda Development Board (RDB) charges the $100 when the date for gorilla trekking earlier specified is altered.
Visitors on Rwanda gorilla safari receive 50% refund if the show the illness signs. As the gorilla trekking rules, the visitors are not allowed to track gorillas of they are declared not fit by the Warden in Charge. This applies to those guests who have travelled all the way to the park.
Rwanda Gorilla trekking Permit booking info
To track gorilla in Rwanda, one requires a gorilla trekking permit and these gorilla permits in Rwanda are solely issued by Rwanda Tourism Office (ORTPN). The gorilla permit in Rwanda costs $750 per person for the foreign nonresidents, $375 for the resident foreigners and then 30,000 Frw for the Rwandan Citizens.
Gorilla trekking safari permits in Rwanda are usually on high demand and are given out on first come first serve with the determining factor being payment. Therefore, it is advisable to book a gorilla permit far in advance to avoid disappointment.
A traveller intending to do a gorilla safari in Rwanda can purchase the gorilla permit directly through Rwanda Tourism Office or indirectly through a tour agent.
When the permit is booked and the money for the permit is paid, the date specified can hardly change. The move to alter the tracking date comes along with cancellation fee which is $100 for every permit whose date has to change.
The direct gorilla permit booking through Rwanda Tourism Office involves inquiring about availability on the dates that you intend to track on. If the permit is available on the preferred date, you go ahead and book and if it is not available, you might be advised on the nearby alternative like a date close to the specified one. You then request for a tentative hold as you work on the money transfer which is supposed to take about three (3) days and Rwanda Tourism Board requires can only hold the booking for 7 days waiting for the transfer to go through. Do not forget to e-mail the copy of the money transfer form immediately after transferring the money as an assurance that you have indeed wired the money. Also importantly to note is that the money should be sent with transfer charges otherwise the amount will arrive on Rwanda Development Board account less and then the permit fail to be booked.
However, it can be noted that at times the procedures of the government structures become challenging prompting the Rwanda gorilla safari undertakers to book through tour agents. The Rwandan tour operators tend to secure gorilla permits at a small commission that range from $20 – $60 for each permit. Wild Gorilla Safaris does not charge the Rwanda gorilla permit booking if other items like transportation are booked through it. .
What to park for a Gorilla trekking safari in Rwanda
You might need to carry the following in order to have a convenient gorilla trek;
- Hiking boots
Gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park needs hiking therefore tourists need to have some light boots to enable them pass through the forest. Firm shoes are suitable for steep muddy slopes.
- Garden Gloves
As you hike in the forest looking out for the gorillas you will need to hold on the plants, soil and the gloves will protect you from the germs.
- Rain Jacket
Volcanoes National Park is in the Virunga Mountains and therefore it rains some times, tourists carry jackets in case it may rain.
- Long sleeved shirts/Brouse
Tourists are advised to put on long sleeves because there are always thorns in the forest and insects therefore the sleeves can save you.
- Energy giving snacks and drinking water
Since gorilla tracking takes 2 to 8 hours tourists needs to carry snacks and a lot of water so that they may get energy to track the gorillas. Enough drinking water is also necessary to carry along with you.
- Cameras and Extra Batteries
You need the cameras because you will take photos of these gorillas together with other primates. However carry zoom lens which do not scare away gorillas.
- Hat and Sun glasses
You will carry these because sometimes the forest is too hot and tourists may need them
- Pair of Binoculars
These will help you have clear views of the forest, wildlife attractions and also animals like the buffaloes, lions, leopards and so many others.
- Walking sticks
These can be hired at the park and can help you walk through the forest and support you through the challenging landscapes.
- Potters for your trek
The potters are community members and thus by taking them, you are contributing to community development.
- Put on ear plugs for those who feel uncomfortable with the jungle sounds
- Insect repellant
Rwanda Gorilla trekking safari rules and regulations
Before leaving for Gorilla trekking in Rwanda
In Rwanda a maximum of 8 tourists may visit a group of habituated mountain gorillas in a day. This is done to ensure minimal behavioral disturbance to the gorillas and the risk of their exposure to human-borne diseases.
- Make sure that you wash your hands before your tracking exercise
On the way to the gorillas:
- Keep your voices low. You will also be able to observe the great bird life and other wildlife in the forest.
- DO NOT litter rubbish in the park. Whatever you bring into the forest should be carried back out with you.
- You will be taken to where the guides observed the gorillas the day before. From there you will follow the gorilla’s trail to find them. Look out for the gorilla’s nesting sites along the way!
- The guides will inform you to get ready when you approach the mountain gorillas,
When you are with the gorillas:
- A 7 meter (21 feet) distance should be observed at all times from the gorillas. The further back you are, the more relaxed the group will be.
- You must stay in tight group when you are near the gorillas.
- Keep your voices low at all times. However, it is okay to ask the guide questions.
- Do not smoke, drink or eat when you are near the gorillas. Probably eating or drinking inevitably will increase the risk of food/drink morsels/droplets falling, which could increase the risk of transmission of diseases.
- Sometimes the gorillas change. Follow the guides example (crouch down slowly, do not look the gorillas directly in the eyes and wait for the animals to pass). Do not attempt to run away because that will increase the risk.
- Flash photography is not permitted! When taking pictures move slowly and carefully.
- Do not touch the gorillas. They are wild animals.
- The maximum time you can spend with the gorillas is one hour. However, if the gorillas become agitated or nervous, the guide will finish the visit early.
- After the visit keep your voices down until you are 200 meters away from the gorillas.
General health rules: Remember that mountain gorillas are very susceptible to human diseases. The following rules are ways to minimize the risk your visit might poses to them:
- Respect the limits imposed on the number of visitors allowed to visit the gorillas each day. This minimizes the risk of disease transmission and stress to the group.
- If you are feeling ill, or you are carrying a contagious disease, volunteer to stay behind. An alternate visit will be arranged for you, or you will be refunded your money.
- If you feel the urge to cough or sneeze when you are near the gorillas, please turn your head away and cover your nose and mouth in order to minimize the spread of bacteria or viruses.
- Always stay 7 meters (21 feet) away from the gorillas. This is to protect them from catching human diseases.
- Do not litter rubbish (e.g. food wrappers) in the park; foreign items can harbour diseases or other contaminants.
- If you need to go to the toilet while in the forest, please ask the guide to dig you a hole with his panga. Make sure the hole is 30 cm deep and fill it in when you are finished.