Once in a Lifetime Gorilla Trekking Experience in Rwanda

Going on a Rwanda gorilla Trekking? Read this article. You will discover information on the gorillas of Rwanda, Go on amazing experiences tracking golden monkeys and mountain gorillas.

Watching the wild in their natural habitat is the most pleasing thing to experience. African safaris are famous for the Big Five and other species of wild animals in the jungles. What Africa is also famous for are the mountain gorillas, or as called Gorilla Berengei Berengei. Across the globe, these are only found in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo. Out of these, Rwanda is one of the most loved destinations to come and see these marvellous creations of nature and accomplish rememberable gorilla tours in Rwanda, Uganda and Congo. 

About Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda

The magnificent mountain gorillas can be seen in the Volcanoes National Park of Rwanda. The place is not just to meet the primate families but also to experience the captivating natural beauty of the mountain slopes of Virunga mountains, which are beautifully covered in lush vegetation. 

This place is habituated by ten mountain gorilla groups. Every day, only eight people are allowed to trek to each gorilla group. Once you reach there, expert rangers will guide you through the deep, dense, misty forests. This fact makes it essential to pre-book well in advance for a Rwanda gorilla safari from trusting tour operators like New World Safaris Destination Management Company. At the minimum, the permit costs US $ 1500 per person per trek, and the exact amount depends on the kind of tour service you are availing. Rwanda luxury safari may cost up to US $ 3000. A part of these earnings goes to the conservation of mountain gorillas. 

The Rwanda gorilla safari trek in itself is a pleasure to the eyes yet challenging. The hike is usually strenuous, with steep rises and dense vegetation. Gorillas typically reside in areas that are difficult to locate and where food and water are abundant. 

Depending on your physical strength and stamina, it may take about two to five hours to locate the gorilla family you are chasing. But once you find them, it only gets exciting and you will be duly rewarded for your hard work by getting a sight of them foraging, sleeping, playing, and eating with their family, something just like the humans would do. The resemblance of actions with those of us humans is so uncanny that it will leave you awestruck, making your Rwanda gorilla trip a success. 

Gorilla Groups In Rwanda

There are two types of Rwanda gorillas that reside in the region. First, the ones only accessed by the researchers and scientists for the purpose of research. Among these are Beetsme and Pablo’s Shida’s, which have the highest number of gorillas. Second, a total number of ten groups are open for tourist visits. So you can book a Rwanda luxury safari or a cost-friendly Rwanda gorilla safari for any group. Let us know a little more about these gorilla families and their trek. 

Susa Gorilla Trek

Susa Gorilla Trek or Susa A Family trek as researched by Dian Fossey. They get their unique name from the river that flows near their habitat. This may be the most challenging gorilla trekking in Rwanda, as these gorillas stay high up on the mountain. But worry not; your allotted ranger would know a day in advance how to locate them. There are 28 members in Susa A Family, of which 3 are silverbacks. This group was much bigger (with about 42 members), in fact, the biggest before it got split into two. Susa Gorillas are also famous for many things besides being the largest group. It is known for its twin gorillas- Byishimo and Impano. Usually, a gorilla mother gives up one of the two twins because it is so challenging to raise them together. But their mother has taken this pain and has been taking care of both her twins. During your Rwanda gorilla trip here, you can also see the oldest gorilla in Rwanda- Poppy, born in 1976. 

Karisimbi Family Gorilla Trek

Also known as the Susa-B family, the part that was separated from Susa-A. This family, with its 15 members, is found on the slopes of the highest peak of Rwanda, Mt Karisimbi Volcano. This group is recommended for professional or serious hikers because of its height and the fact that it takes a full-day hike to reach these gorillas. So be prepared for this Rwanda gorilla safari for a tough hike and a long day. 

Sabyinyo Gorilla Group Safari

Very different from the difficult trek of Karisimbi is the next trek of the Sabyinyo Gorilla group. The word sabyingo means ‘an old man’s teeth, but the name is derived from Sabyinyo volcano. The group is found near the border of the park, making it simple and easy to reach. This family is headed by a strong silverback Guhonda. He is famous for his massive size and being the biggest Silverback of all the gorilla groups you can find in any Rwanda gorilla trip. The group is only made up of 8 members but is equally impressive compared to other larger groups. 

Amahoro Gorilla Tours

Next comes the most peaceful family of gorillas, and that is how they get their family name, ‘Amahoro’. There are 17 members in the group, including one Silverback, two blackbacks, five adult females, two sub-adult males, two juveniles and five babies. Ubumwe, the leader, a silverback is a calm and easy-going primate who has lost his group members to another group because of his calmness. You must hike on a steep hill to find this group, but seeing this wonderful group will be worth it. 

Umubano Gorilla Safari Group

Umubano is the group to which Ubumwe lost his group members from Amahoro. It is led by Charles, a young silverback gorilla. They have a fascinating story behind them. Charles, when he grew up, challenged Ubumwe for leadership; they had fought for months. Finally, Charles, along with a few females, left the Amahoro and formed a new group Umubano and has been getting a lot of respect from his group members. Both Charles and Ubumwe have been seen interacting with each other, but not in a hostile manner. This gorilla trekking in Rwanda can be exciting to watch Charles and his group. 

Agasha Gorilla Trek

Another group with a great story. The group was first led by a gorilla named Nyakarima. Challenged by Agashya for a fight that resulted in Agashya taking away, the whole group left Nyakarima shocked. The new group took far off from the existing habitat up to the volcano for safety and to ensure that Nyakarima could never find them. Led by Agashya, this group grew in number from 13 to 25 by taking away some from other groups and bringing in some solitary gorillas. Now this group has one Silverback, twelve adult females; two sub-adult females; three juveniles and seven babies. Agashya keeps his whole group protected by taking them to the top of the volcano at the first sign of danger. Therefore, this is one of the groups for gorilla tours in Rwanda that is difficult to track. 

Kwitonda Family Gorilla Adventure

Kwitonda family of 18 members gets its name from its leader, a silverback. The group also has two more silverbacks and one blackback. This group stays far off into the wild, which makes it difficult to track them. It is considered one of the most challenging treks leading to a gorilla family. 

Hirwa Group Trekking

Hirwa group was formed in 2006, when a few members from two other groups- Group 13 and Sabyinyo group, decided to leave their primary group and join together to create a new and small group. Some outsider gorillas also joined this group to make this group of nine members: one Silverback, three adult females, two sub-adult females and three babies. Hirwa is the newest group, but its members have shown strength, and the leader guards its family. 

Bwenge Gorillas In The Mist Trek

Bwenge Gorillas are mainly seen on the Slopes of Karisoke Volcano. This group has 11 members, with one Silverback, Bwenge, who leads the group with strength. When he left his family, he formed this group, and a few female gorillas from other groups joined him. The group didn’t have a perfect start and faced some hard times when they lost six infants in the family. But the group has stayed strong and close. The path leading to their location is not easy; it’s an ascent of almost 3 hours and is sometimes muddy and pretty steep, making it moreover challenging to complete. 

Ugenda Family Gorilla Adventure

You can find this group in Rwanda’s Karisimbi area. This one is also a small group of eleven members with two silverbacks. Ugenda means ‘being on the move and aptly suits them because the family is constantly moving from one place to another. This habit makes them difficult to track and involves many searching for the safari. 

When is the best time to see Gorillas in Rwanda?

When you plan a gorilla tour in Rwanda, you should visit during the right season. The best time to see gorillas in Rwanda is during the long and dry season, which is in the month of June to September. This time is suitable for hiking are the trails are less muddy and slippery. There are fewer chances of rain, which means lesser cancellations of trek midway. Since the time is best suited for all travellers, there are chances you may not get last minute booking. Hence, booking your Rwanda luxury safari well in advance is advisable. There is yet another period, from the month of December to February, which is befitting for gorilla trekking in Rwanda. During this duration, there is a lesser rush as compared to the summer dry season.