Pick up from you hotel in Kigali at 4.30am and drive to Volcanoes National Park in the north of Rwanda. The trip is a 2 to 2 and half hours ‘drive. You shall arrive at the park office in Kinigi by 7am on time for the allocation of the gorilla groups. Volcanoes National Park is home to a third of the mountain gorilla population, and about 12 groups of mountain gorillas have been habituated for the gorilla trekking experience. You will be briefed by the park guides about the gorilla trekking experience including the do’s and don’ts while in the park and when with the gorillas.
After the briefing you shall transfer to the start of the trek at the edge of the park, and it is here you shall find porters that you hire at $10 to carry your daypack (highly advised to hire one) and free trekking sticks. Enjoy the breathtaking views of the sprawling Virunga Mountains as you set off on the hike into the volcanoes to find the gorillas.
The time taken to find the gorillas varies from 1 to 3 hours, but can be less than an hour or more than 3 hours depending on the initial location of your assigned gorilla family and its movements. Note that there are advance park trackers who go into the park early in the morning to establish the location of where the different gorilla families nested for the night. The trackers then send this information to your park guides who then try to establish the shortest route to the gorillas. So before the start of the trek the guides have an idea of the location of various groups. However note that the gorillas move constant and so they may move further or close and so prepare for any situation.
You will spend on hour with the gorillas. You will trek back to the starting point to find your driver and leave for Kigali.
What to carry for the Gorilla Trek
Plot 3A Kenneth Dale