Best time to go gorilla trekking Rwanda

Best time to go gorilla trekking Rwanda – When to visit Rwanda

The best time to go gorilla trekking Rwanda safaris is the dry season though it is possible to it any time of the year. The dry season come in 2 phases each year: the long dry months running from June, July, August, September and shorter dry months from December, January, February.

Best time to go gorilla trekking Rwanda

Rwanda lies a stride Equator and like other destinations in this location, it enjoys the best weather and climatic conditions. Visiting mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park during the dry season allows you enjoy clear view of these large apes due to clear vegetation, dry floor making it easier to walk.

The wet season also occurs in Rwanda and it is another season some tourists prefer for gorilla trekking in Rwanda. In Volcanoes National Park, there are 2 phases of wetter or rainy seasons- short running from October to November; longest rains start from March, April, May. It is still possible to organize a gorilla safari during this period though there are some challenges like heavy rains that make the floor muddy and steep slopes slippery.

Overall, Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park records tropical/equatorial like climate. It is often not easy to predict the weather patterns and rains can fall at any time of the day. While this happens, it does for a short time and still there is opportunity to proceed with guided gorilla tracking.

Best time to go gorilla trekking Rwanda- Additional ideas

Gorilla groups to track in Rwanda –Volcanoes National Park

Here is the list of already habituated gorilla families to explore in Rwanda; Sabyinyo, Kwitonda gorilla family, Agashya, Umubano, Susa A, Susa B (Karisimbi), Ugenda, Amahoro group, and Hirwa, etc. Trekking these gorilla groups is perfect when you know the best time to go gorilla trekking Rwanda.

How much is a gorilla permit for Rwanda (Best time to go gorilla trekking Rwanda)

A valid Rwanda gorilla permit is needed for you to engage in a trek to see Rwanda gorillas. One valid permit is issued to only persons above 15 years and each costs USD 1500 per person. The permit and the entire gorilla trip should be booked early preferably between 2 and 6 months. The ground tour operator can assist you throughout the process.

What to carry for Rwanda gorilla trekking trip?

Once you have understood when best to visit Rwanda for gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park, next think of what to pack. The essentials that shouldn’t miss: first aid kit, sunglasses, insect repellent, long sleeved shirt, cameras, binoculars, gardening gloves, a pair of socks, a sweater, a rain jacket, daypack, etc.

Volcanoes National Park – Best time to go gorilla trekking Rwanda

Volcanoes National Park is a compact park perched right in the North-western Rwanda, 2-3 hours’ drive from Kigali. This is the only place in Rwanda where mountain gorillas live and a total of about 30% of 1063 individuals in the world are inhabited here.

Volcanoes National Park extends 160sq.kms and it was gazetted in 1925. This makes it not only one of the smallest parks but also the oldest in Africa. Despite its size, the park is naturally endowed with unique attractions such as mountain gorillas, golden monkeys, birds of Albertine rift endemic species plus other species.

Where to stay on gorilla trekking safari

The available safari lodges to consider for your night include Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge, Bisate Lodge, Muhabura Hotel, La Palme Hotel, Le Bambou, Villa Gorilla Lodge, Mountain Gorilla View Lodge/Hotel, Kinigi Guesthouse, Muhabura Hotel, Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge, Bisate Lodge, Five Volcanoes Boutique Lodge and others.

Other activities to do 

Bird watching or birding

Bird watching in Volcanoes National Park Rwanda allows you sight birds such as the Ruwenzori nightjars, Dusky crimsonwing, Doherty’s bush-shrike, Archer’s robin chat, Scarlet-tufted sunbird, Red-faced woodland warblers, Handsome francolins, Grauer’s swamp warblers, Brown necked parrots, Lagden’s shrikes, palm nut vultures, Kivu ground thrush, white collared olive back, strange weavers, grey backed fiscal, and others.

Golden monkey tracking

Trekking golden monkeys is the other exciting experience that awaits you on a safari in Rwanda. On a guided golden monkey trek, expect to spend time in the jungles in search for a habituated troop of golden monkeys. These primates survive around the bamboo forest.

Hike to the Dian Fossey tomb

A trek with an expert to the Dian Fossey tomb isn’t a mere walk. It is a rewarding experience involving you exploring more about Dian Fossey. The trek also brings you inspirational stories of Dian Fossey –the renowned scientist and conservationist. She spent more than 18 years studying about gorillas in the Virunga region. Your walk includes navigating up to Karisoke Research which is found between Mount Bisoke and Karisimbi.

Volcano Hiking

Volcano hiking opportunities in Volcanoes National Park include conquering the summits of the Bisoke, Karisimbi and Muhabura. The Karisimbi Volcano trek involves conquering the highest peak of all the Virunga Volcanoes.

Mt. Karisimbi stands at elevation of 4507m and you may require at least 2 days to have a too and fro trek. Muhabura volcano stands at elevation of 4127m and Mount Bisoke/Visoke is at an altitude of 3711m.

Iby’Iwacu cultural experience

Adjacent to Volcanoes National Park, there is Iby’Iwacu village where tourists can enjoy the unique dances and music performances as the locals perform before them. You will also get enriched with the distinct cultures, traditions and daily practices of locals. The cultural experience or visit can be done before or after trekking mountain gorillas.

Chimpanzee tracking

Chimpanzee tracking is a unique primate adventure that also awaits you on Rwanda tour. This takes you to premier destinations including Nyungwe Forest National Park where 500 chimpanzees exist together with additional 12 primate species. A chimp trek here involves a search for already habituated troop of chimpanzee community.