Gorilla trekking in Rwanda is an amazing, intimate encounter with magnificent animals in their natural habitat.

Rwanda is one of just a handful of countries in the world where it is possible to see silverback mountain gorillas and their family groups in their natural environment.

This makes gorilla trekking in Rwanda the top of any list of things to do in the country, alongside more traditional big game safaris and exploring the culture in towns and cities big and small.

Local tour guides will take you on a trip into the Rainforest to track one of twelve gorilla families living in the Rwanda Volcanoes National Park.

Each gorilla troop consists of at least one silverback, along with several females and youngsters. This is your chance to see them interacting with one another in a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

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Our Gorilla Safaris in Rwanda for 2022

We offer a hand-picked selection of safaris in Rwanda that incorporate gorilla trekking as part of the itinerary.

The tours listed below include gorilla trekking, but also allow our guests to enjoy other thrilling safari experiences that shouldn’t be missed.

What Does Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda Involve?

Gorilla trekking isn’t like your average Rwanda safari, where you might take a game drive of two or three hours before settling beside a waterhole with a drink from a bar. Instead, you will be walking for several hours (at a comfortable pace) along mountain paths and through sometimes thick foliage.

You therefore need to have a basic level of fitness. You’ll also be walking at altitudes of around 2500 meters, which puts additional strain on the body’s ability to take in oxygen. In dry weather, it can take you and your ranger-led team multiple hours to reach a particular family group, although encounters are known to occur after just 30 minutes in rare circumstances. Animals tend to occupy lower altitudes during the rains.

Where to Go Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda

Gorilla trekking in Rwanda is based in Volcanoes National Park, which sits on the country’s border with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). It runs continuously with national parks in the DRC. Between them this area – the Virunga Mountains – is home to roughly half the entire population of mountain gorillas left on the planet. The remainder inhabit the southwest of Uganda.

There are close to 500 individual animals in total in the Virungas, split into ten family groups which have been habituated to the presence of humans. Gorilla trekking in Rwanda will have you enter the territory of one of these ten groups, with all the sights, sounds and smells of the wild that come with it.

Rwanda-map-where too for gorilla trekking

The Gorilla Trekking Experience

The staff at Volcanoes National Park have become consummate professionals and are proud of their work protecting the park’s gentle giants. You’ll set off at a given time in the early morning or early afternoon with a ranger in groups of around eight people.

You’ll then have around an hour to watch the group from a short distance of around seven meters. This is deemed to be the point at which the mountain gorillas feel safe in the company of humans, and also stops these highly endangered creatures from the risk of human diseases including both coronavirus and the common cold.


Gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park offers a portering service. They will carry any day pack you may want to take on the hike, leaving your hands free for the path and any photography you may want to take. Porters cost around $10, and help contribute money to local communities, reducing the temptation to poach wildlife.

gorilla-trekking-in-Rwanda where to go

When to Go Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda

Although gorilla trekking in Rwanda is offered throughout the year, most people decide to visit during one of Rwanda’s two dry seasons. These last from December through to February and again from June until mid-September. Their start and end times vary slightly with each year, meaning the middle months of these periods provide the best chance of dry weather.

As we’ve already mentioned, planning a Rwanda gorilla trekking trip during the dry season will see you walking further distances, since the gorillas spend much of their time at higher altitudes. Because they are the most popular months of the year, tours can sell out months ahead of time – if you’ve got your heart set on gorilla trekking in Rwanda in the coming year, it’s best to book as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

The alternative is to visit during Rwanda’s rainy seasons. They peak from April to May and again in November. You may not have to hike quite so far at these times of year, although trekking can be more difficult because of the wet conditions on the mountain paths.


The Best Tour/Safari I've Ever Taken In short, this was the best tour/safari I've ever taken in 20+ years of traveling! We debated different tours/operators, but after completing the '10-Day Tailor-Made Holiday & Tour in Uganda –Big 5 Safari' tour, I can't image there being a better option.From the beginning when we first made contact with 'Home To Africa' to the end of the tour, everything went as smoothly as possible. Communication with the company was excellent and we didn't experience a single issue during our 10-day tour. Everyday was a new adventure and the daily events kept us busy (but we weren't overly rushed). The itinerary was well thought out as it did a good job balancing game drives, boat rides, treks, rest time, eating, shopping and driving between destinations.Our guide for the tour, Amos, was simply outstanding. His vast knowledge of African wildlife and his passion for being in the wilderness is unbeatable, and it really added to our experience in Uganda. He was flexible when needed, but he kept us in line to make sure we stayed on schedule. He kept the conversation going when appropriate, but he would also allow us to enjoy the peacefulness/quietness of the wild.The lodges which were selected for the tour were also top notch. With a mix of tents, lodges and hotels, I feel that we got to experience a nice range of accommodations in Uganda. Not to mention the meals served in these places were of excellent quality. And they provided so much food...hunger was never a concern!All-in-all, I couldn't provide a higher recommendation for this company. Simply put, everything was perfect, and we hope to use 'Home To Africa' once again in the future.Thanks for a once-in-a-lifetime experience!
joan a
joan a
Viaje al centro de la Selva Muy buena experencia con gorilas y chimpances ,muchas fotos, el trato excelente y muy seguroMuy agradecido a Lili la guia nativa con un perfecto castellano y a Derek el conductor que estuvieron a tope con nosotros muy amables y atentos en todo momento haciendo del viaje una gran aventura ,gracias
Amazing time in Uganda! I spent 8 days on tour through Uganda with my wonderful guide, driver, and in the meantime friend, Karim. He is a very safe and cautious driver and explains very patiently everything about the country, the animals, the culture and so on and he answered all of my questions. I really enjoyed to travel with him.The booking process with Home to Africa was super friendly and they were very flexible with accommodating many wishes from my side. So in the end I had a tour tailored exactly to my wishes.I thank Karim and the entire company so much for this incredible time, that I could spend in beautiful Uganda!
Fantastic Tour! The communication while booking the tour was great. The team is very responsive and also flexible regarding the tour planning. We even planned an extra stop in Kampala, which was no problem at all. The tour was fantastic! We had an excellent guide Peter, who was very kind and made a lot of effort to show us the country. We booked the budget accomodations which were still very much above our expectations. During the safaris, we saw the Big 5. Also the Chimp and Gorilla trekking was successful. The vehicle was a land cruiser - great for the long rides. Highly recommend this tour agency!
Gorazd D
Gorazd D
We had a great time Iztok M wrote perfectly in previous review. It was great experience and we had a great time. Thanks to Home of Africa and our guide Benon. He was great! We saw lions, leopard, hippos, elephants, gorillas and much more. Thank you again
Iztok M
Iztok M
Great trip We had "5-Day Pearl of Africa Chimps and Gorilla Trekking Safari" tour and it was very well organised and with a good "off season" price. The choice of the lodges was very good and more than we expected from a budget offer. Our driver/guide Benon was kind, planned everything perfectly, listened to our wishes and he was a good resource of many information about Uganda. He also managed one critical situation very good: There was a truck stucked sideways on our way to Bwindi and he payed some local guys to dig the hill for like 2 hours so we could drive around that truck. All the daily experiences were amazing with gorillas to be the best of all. It was such a good experience to see those endangered animals just living their lives, eating, playing. It was magical. Thanks again to Home of Africa for such a good vacation.
Carol P
Carol P
Perfectly organized splendid experience in the Beautiful National Parks of Uganda I did 7-Day tour and Vacation in Uganda with Gorilla Trekking with Home to Africa. It was just me and my delightful competent guide/driver Karim. Seeing Chimps and Gorillas so close in their natural habitat was the obvious highlight, but the boat ride in the channel between the lakes in Queen Elizabeth National Park was very enjoyable, especially seeing elephants wading into the water. I loved the safari drives in Queen Elizabeth and Lake Mburo National Park. Lake Mburo was like I had read a strategic stop between Bwindi and Entebbe, AND it really had a lot of animals. One thing about safaris is that with every additional drive and every additional place, you see something new or in a different way. Also, the Eagles Nest Lodge had the most incredible views. A perfect place to sip wine and reflect on all you experiences.I chose budget accommodations and the cabins were all pleasant, hot water, comfy beds and beautiful surroundings. The food was pretty good and they all had a bar of some sort.My experience was so much better because of Karim. He was a perfect handler. He spoke very clear English and had a funny sense of humor. He made sure I knew what was expected and what I should wear and have with me. He made sure I did not forget anything anywhere. He advocated for me. His driving skills kept me calm and he was great company; a curious intelligent person. If I saw a rare bird, Karim did not rest until that bird was identified. In addition, he also did not rest until I was safely out of Uganda. It was clear that with Home to Africa I was important and in good hands. I always felt my safety, comfort and quality of experience were top priority.
Holly R
Holly R
Uganda at its best Our experience with Home to Africa was exceptional. Hedmond in the front office was easy to work with, responding to all our questions and supplying us with numerous suggestions and solutions for our 12 day safari .Our personal guide and driver, Derrick, was excellent. He gave us a wealth of information on the culture, sights, and animals of Uganda. Derrick speaks 7 languages and was able to converse with everyone we encountered. He went above and beyond to make this our very best vacation.Each day was a new experience: visiting national parks, walking in the bush, and taking river boat rides or night game drives.If you intend to visit Uganda, this is the company to contact.
Ayala and Yizhar
Ayala and Yizhar
Very well organized trip with an excellent guide We had a 8 day safari trip of bird watching and primates. It was very well organized. Our guide-driver, Amos, was amazing: fluent in English, highly intelligent, knowledgeable, kind and patient, He took care of everything and was just fun to hang out with. The amount and beauty of the species we encountered went beyond our expectations - a new wonder every day. We saw many of the Albertine Rift endemic birds and unique mammals (chimps, gorillas, lion etc.) with the help of excellent local guides. The activities were varied: game drive, hiking and boat ride. Communication with Hedmond, the sales manger was very good and everything went as planned. The service at the lodges was also very good. We highly recommend this company and guide.
Gertrude R
Gertrude R
Expérience inoubliable, un voyage de rêve Nous venons d'effectuer un circuit inoubliable de 12 jours dans tout l'Ouganda incluant des treks pour aller voir les chimpanzés et gorilles. Tout était parfaitement organisé, et notre guide Vianney, parlant un excellent français et toujours à notre écoute et disponible, a su nous faire découvrir une diversité de la faune et de la nature incroyable. Un grand merci à lui. Nous tenons à préciser que tous les lodges étaient magnifiques, dans un cadre somptueux, et le personnel d'une grande gentillesse.

What to Wear Gorilla Trekking

Walking on unsurfaced and sometimes slippery paths with obstacles such as tree roots, a good pair of walking shoes or boots should be high on your list of must haves when considering what to pack. Avoid wearing a new pair your feet aren’t used to, and try and to stay away from unnatural colours such as bright whites, which stand out as ‘foreign’ in a jungle environment.

For clothing, take long-sleeved pants and shirts rather than short-sleeved tops or short pants to stop unnecessary abrasions. Some people also like a have a pair of old gardening gloves to tackle rogue thorns and nettles. During both the dry and the wet seasons waterproof gear is also a good idea, but remember you’re in the tropics where such clothing can become very stuffy and uncomfortable.

Permits for Rwanda Gorilla Trekking

To go gorilla trekking in Rwanda you will require a permit. These vital pieces of paper are limited to keep visitors small in number, and can be particularly hard to obtain during popular times of year as a result. Only 96 permits can be issued in any one day.

Permits for gorilla trekking in Rwanda currently sit at $1500 per person per trek. Stay for a minimum of three days in either Akagera National Park or Nyungwe Forest National Park and you’ll be entitled to a 30% discount.

However, you shouldn’t complain at these fees. They allow the country’s wildlife authorities to secure the future of these animals by mounting a 24 hour guard over them. It also means your guide will know precisely where a group is located when you’re trekking. Obtaining a permit is usually one of the services provided by your tour operator.

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