Frequently Asked Questions.
Yes, very possible, you can trek as many times as you wish, depending on your budget but once in a day.
You can obtain a gorilla permit through booking with a local tour operator who will purchase the permits for you and reserve them for you as part of your package.
The gorilla permits can be transferred in case the communication was made early, this also depends on the ability to be able to resale the permit. However in some cases, the tour operator may fail to resale the permit, due to failure to find a person ready to buy. Sometimes it is resold at a reduced price. But it is not refundable.
You need good hiking boats, shoe getters, a rain coat/jacket, sun glasses, gloves, long sleeved shirt and trousers, a hut.
Kigali is roughly two hours and a half drive from Musanze.
The age limit of gorilla trekking is 15 years. Below 15 years you’re not allowed to trek, and above 15 years you’re allowed to trek the gorillas.
There 10 gorilla group available at the park, with some being easy to access in case you have difficulty in mobility ask for the easy group, some are at medium hike and some far away for those intending to love hiking as part of the experience.
You need not to worry; you will have a ranger guide who will help you through the entire trekking. For the last past years, there has not been any case of gorilla attacks, you will be as close to them as you may not imagine. Do not be surprise when they give you a touch.
Just pack what you feel is enough for you, some clothes, long sleeved shirts, and trousers, sun glasses, garden gloves, good hiking boots, packed lunch, a hut and a rain jacket. The getters to protect your shoes are also very important.
There are numerous FOREX facilities in towns. You will receive a much better rate than compared to a bank. Kigali Airport also has a FOREX on the premises. U.S. currency is the easiest to exchange and you will receive the best rates on $100 & $50 bills compared to smaller notes. US bills should not be older than 2006. Travelers check-ques or another type of check not accepted at all. US bills should not be older than 2006).
Throughout the year the activity is ongoing, and every day there is someone trekking. Just plan according to yourself, when you wish to travel. However from June to September the demand for the permits is too high, being a holiday season.
Gorillas stick to a mainly vegetarian diet, feeding on stems, bamboo shoots and fruits. Western lowland gorillas, however, also have an appetite for termites and ants, and break open termite nests to eat the larvae.
Number of lodges do exist around the park, ranging from luxury lodges to mid ranges lodges to budget lodges that can suit you. You need not to worry about where to sleep, so longs as you have the money.
The currency used to pay the gorilla permits is US dollars, however you can make an exchange and convert to dollars in case you’re having a foreign currency.
For one to be able to get the gorilla permits which are a confirmation of trekking to allocated gorilla group, you have to book through a local tour operator, 3 to 5 month in advance because of the high demand of the gorilla permits.
For Rwanda trekking, the gorilla permits are sold by the Rwanda Tour Board and fro Uganda the gorilla permits are sold by Uganda Wildlife Authority.
Online bookings are available but very hectic and several times unsuccessful. Rwanda Eco Company and Safaris, can obtain for you a gorilla permit for your successful trekking in both countries.
The best means to access the parks is through a tour operator, who will arrange everything for you at your left with no stress to hustle looking for means; they will take you and bring you back safely. However public means do exist, but they will drop you at a point, and you will have to look for other means to reach the park, as you will head for the trekking. The good thing with tour operator, after dropping you at the start up point for the trekking, they wait for you until the end of the trek and drop you back to your hotel, they make all arrangements at the park to see that you have a wonderful trek.
Yes, in large towns and popular tourist areas such as Kigali, Nairobi, Stone Town, Kampalaetc. There are sufficient ATM`s. Before travel you need to contact your bank to authorize your credit card to work in East Africa. Most banks put fraud warning for transaction especially in East African. Also, be caution when using ATM`s and not exceed withdraw limit per day, it make be difficult for time you need cash next time.
Only 8 people are allowed per the gorilla group per day. You can no go beyond the maximum group limit, but you can be less the number.
The gorilla trekking start at 0730 hours with a briefing, before heading for the real trek. The guide will start by welcoming you and later brief you about all the relevant rules and regulation governing gorilla trekking.
Gorilla trekking depend on the movement of the gorilla on that day, however the trekking ranges from 2 – 6 hours depending on how close the gorillas are. The trekking can however also depends on the mobility of the group your attached too, if your all good at working, it means you will allocated the gorillas, and return early.
Gorilla permits are nonrefundable, due to the facts that they are on high demand worldwide. However for Ugandan Permits, your agent can help to try to resale them at a lower price.
Besides gorilla trekking, you can decide to visit the Akagera National Park for big game safari or visit Nyungwe National Park for hiking safaris, chimpanzee trekking, nature walk, canopy walk, bird watching, cultural tour, visit lake Kivu for boat trip, go fishing or go for golden monkey trekking, you can as well do numerous hikes around Volcanoes National Park or take Kigali city tour.
Lots of activity can be done after the gorilla trekking, you can go for a boat ride or canoe ride at Lake Kivu, go for village tour to explore the local culture, take a bicycle safari, head for a bird watching activity, or go for various hike a round to explore the area.
It is an adventurous activity that involves hiking and walk to the jungle forest in search of the gorillas so as to be able to see them.
The gorilla permits cost $600 in Uganda and $1500 in Rwanda per person per day.
It is always advisable to book at least 3 month early to avoid your travel plan from being disrupted due to no availability or your trip post pond to another date.
Internet is available at our most lodges, however you can connect to the internet cable, or buy a local sim card that will help you to connect. Internet is available everywhere in the café.
The food that is served in lodges, restaurants, hotels and camps is usually well prepared and safe to eat. The luxury properties serve superb cuisine that is of a very high standard. We would, however, recommend that you drink bottled water only, peel your fruit and avoid street food.