The unique opportunity to see gorillas in their natural habitat is unforgettable, some even say life changing. Encounters with gorillas as they go about their daily lives are carefully managed, with expert trackers and guides leading small groups of tourists up bamboo-covered slopes to spend a precious and awe-inspiring hour just a few feet away from the gentle creatures. Tracking gorillas in Rwanda is safe and relatively accessible.
COST OF A GORILLA PERMIT
Gorilla trekking permits are a must to have for every trekker intending to trek mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park. Visitors can obtain their gorilla trekking permits at $1500 per person through a recognized, reliable and trustworthy tour operator listed on this website.
A group of eight individuals per day are able to visit each group of gorillas in Rwanda for about one hour. This means that there are 80 gorilla permits available in Rwanda on a single day. A tourist below the age of 15yrs is not allowed to visit the gorillas. Tourists to Rwanda who are older than fifteen and want to visit gorilla trekking permits should go through the process of securing a Rwanda Development Board Gorilla Trekking permit.
Gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park is only conducted in habituated gorilla families, each of which offers trekkers a unique experience. Every habituated gorilla family is assigned to visitors to trek in a group of 8 visitors each day. The habituated groups that have been set for gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park include; The Amahoro group, The Sabinyo Group, Agashya Group, The Susa Group, The Karisimbi Group, The Kwitonda Group, The Hirwa Group, The Bwenge Group, The Ugende Group.
Please note: It is important to book your gorilla permit or gorilla tour at least 2 months in advance. If you are planning to travel in the peak season (June, July and August), we recommend that you do the booking at least 5 to 6 months before the trip so that you don’t go through the stress of asking different tour companies if they have availability.
VISA AND IMMIGRATION
All people wishing to enter Rwanda must possess a valid passport or other internationally recognized travel documents, which, in principle, contains a visa corresponding to his/her purpose of entry into Rwanda obtained in advance from the nearest Rwandan embassy abroad. At the point of entry, a 15 days temporary permit is granted. Persons living far from Rwandan Embassies or diplomatic mission can apply for entry facility at www.migration.gov.rw.
- Visitors (Tourist) Visa
- For whom: All persons visiting Rwanda whether for business or leisure
- Validity and Duration: 30 or 90 days from the date of entry.
Rwanda visa cost: USD 50 for a single entry and USD 70 for a multiple entry. Visa validity: 30 or 90 days from the date of entry.
Now that you have your gorilla permit, the next is how to get to the Gorilla destination and back. A gorilla visit to Volcanoes National Park starts by you landing at Kigali International Airport and then drive to northwestern Rwanda to the park about 2-3 hours.
Small Vehicles can be hired at $50 to $60 per day, a medium 4×4 goes for $80 to $100 per day whereas comfortable Extended Land cruisers range between $200 to $250 per day.
These prices do not include fuel for the car and the driver. In many cases, the price may include a driver/guide, but it’s advisable to talk to the operator before making payment. Maintenance, certification and insurance of the vehicle is the responsibility of the owner or tour operator.
After securing your gorilla permit, the next step in costing your gorilla tour is to look at some accommodation options. Because gorilla tourism is a significant tourist attraction in Rwanda. For every kind of traveller, from Mid-range to luxury, there’s are viable options to choose from at every trailhead. Let’s look at what options you have per person, per night, inclusive of meals.
Volcanoes National Park comprises of many accommodation options ranging from luxury to budget. They include Mount Gorilla View Lodge/Bisate Lodge/Virunga Lodge/Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge, Five Volcanoes, and Da Vinci Gorilla Lodge.
- Budget gorilla safari accommodation $ 200 – 300
- Mid-range gorilla safari accommodation $400 – $600
- Luxury gorilla safari accommodation $ 700 – $1500
It’s also vital to consider seasonal offers when planning your accommodation; it may considerably hike or lower the price of a gorilla tour. For example, during the peak seasons (June, July, August, September, December and February), accommodation prices usually go up because there are no rains and most tourists chose to travel during this time.
However, during the low season, when the tropical rains are heavy, prices for gorilla safari lodges lowered to attract more travellers.
Rough Guide to Cost OF PACKAGED TOUR
For the best Rwanda Gorilla trekking tour experience, we suggest the 3 days Rwanda gorilla tour. The lowest cost for this gorilla trekking tour is USD1850 per person if you are 4 person sharing rooms, USD1960 per person if you are 3 person sharing rooms, USD2100 per person if you are 2 person sharing rooms, or USD2500 if you are 1 person going on the gorilla trek alone. If you are staying at midrange lodges like Le Bambou Gorilla Lodge, Da Vinci Gorilla Lodge, the cost of your gorilla trekking tour is USD2000 per person if you are 4 person sharing rooms, USD2070 per person if you are 3 person sharing rooms, USD2237 per person if you are 2 person sharing rooms, or USD2700 if you are 1 person going on the gorilla trek alone.
What is the Cost of Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Tour in Mid-luxury lodges?
And if you are staying in mid-luxury lodges like Five Volcanoes Lodge, Mountain Gorilla View Lodge the cost of your gorilla tour is USD2107 per person if you are 4 people sharing two rooms, USD2150 per person if you are 3 people sharing a triple room, USD2290 per person if you are 2 persons sharing a double/twin room, or USD2820 if you are 1 person going on the gorilla trek alone
How much is a Luxury Rwanda Gorilla Tracking tour?
Luxury lodges for Rwanda Gorilla Trekking include Virunga Lodge, Silverback Sabinyo Gorilla Lodge among others. If you will be staying at these luxury lodges, the cost of your gorilla trekking tour is USD3370 per person if you are 4 person sharing rooms, USD3400 per person if you are 3 person sharing triple rooms, USD3580 per person if you are 2 person sharing rooms
What is the cost of a 2 Days Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Tour?
If you are planning only two days gorilla trekking tour, the prices for your gorilla trekking is as follows:
The cheapest Rwanda gorilla trek tour when you stay at Kinigi Guesthouse is USD2100 if you are 1 person on tour. USD1850 per person if you are 2 persons sharing room, USD1775 if you are 3 people sharing a room and if you will be 4 persons sharing 2 rooms – USD1736 per person
If you are staying at Le Bambou Gorilla Lodge: 1 person on tour – USD2300; 2 persons sharing room – USD1940 per person, 3 persons sharing room – USD1840 per person, 4 persons sharing 2 rooms – USD1790 per person.
If you are staying at Mountain Gorilla View Lodge or Five Volcanoes Lodge: 1 person on tour – USD2380; 2 persons sharing room – USD1950 per person, 3 persons sharing room – USD1920 per person, 4 persons sharing 2 rooms – USD1860 per person.
The best way to organize your Gorilla trek – seeing mountain Gorillas in the wild and get the best prices however remains, contacting a local tour operator who is on the ground and has the local knowledge to organize a smooth and memorable Gorilla trekking experience for you.
COST OF PORTER
In order to have the best possible gorilla watching experience, you will be presented with an opportunity to hire porters to help with your luggage and extra equipment. Gorilla tracking involves going through steep slope and sometimes muddy terrain as you look for a Gorilla group. Porters have experience and knowledge of the terrain and can help you carry your luggage, snacks, cameras and other heavy gear you wish to carry along. Using porters during gorilla tours is one good way of giving back to the local community and ensuring that they benefit from mountain gorilla conservation efforts.
Many of the park guides and porters are former poachers and the opportunity to earn something as porters and guides keeps them away from hurting the gorillas. You will not only be helping the porters, but also their families and the nearby communities at large. A Porter costs between 10-20USD. Tipping the guides and wardens is optional but a wise decision that can enhance your experience. They could go the extra mile, give you a special treat and show/share with your things that weren’t planned – especially if you are a second day tracker.
COST OF TIPS
Tips are an appreciation of good service rendered to you by your safari guide, gorilla trekking guide, waiters and porters. It’s not a must that you have to do this. However, as a responsible tour company, we recommend that you put some small funds aside for tipping.