Kigali, Rwanda, September 25, 2020 – Many of us are aware that Volcanoes National Park is the number one gorilla trekking destination in the whole world, but did you know that it is now open for tourist visits? The world’s most popular home to mountain gorillas has reopened for tourists and you can get started with planning your gorilla trek.
The Volcanoes National Park of Rwanda, also known as Parc National des Volcans (in French) is situated within the Northwestern corner of the country bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Uganda. The fact that it also lies within the Virunga Massif means that it is continuous with Virunga National Park of DRC and Uganda’s Mgahinga National Park.
It was gazetted in 1925 with the aim of conserving the critically endangered Mountain gorillas, thus making it one of Africa’s oldest Protected Areas. It shelters a rich avifauna, hence the reason you cannot miss to experience what it offers to nature enthusiastic tourists.
What You Need To Know Before You Go Gorilla Trekking in the Rwandan Volcanoes
The global health crisis brought about the closure of all national parks in Rwanda. In the first week of June 2020, the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) issued a press release informing the public about the opening of all the national parks in Rwanda. The Volcanoes National Park, the favorite destination for gorilla trekking is now open and can receive visitors.
According to the Guide to Rwanda, there are a number of standard operation procedures (SOPs) that were put in place to ensure safety not only for the tourist but also for the wildlife species more so the primates.
Gorilla Trekking S.O.Ps In Volcanoes National Park
- Every tourist will be required to possess a certificate showing their clean bill of health. The certificate must have been acquired not later than 72 hours at the point of arrival in Rwanda.
- The Rwanda Development Board (RDB) has maintained an 8 maximum per group of gorilla trekkers
- Gorilla trekkers are required to carry a minimum of two surgical masks. Preferably N95 covering the nose and the mouth.
- Guests are required to carry their own sanitizers even though the national park will provide sanitizing services at the entrance of the park.
- Tourists are not allowed to use public transport means. You can only transfer to the park in a tour company vehicle
- There will not be any isolation requirements for tourists, only a verified health certification is required upon arrival
Gorilla Permit Rates For Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park
Gorilla trekking permits in for Volcanoes National Park remain at US$1500 and can be booked at the RDB offices in Kigali.
Where to Sleep Before and After Your Visit to Rwanda
Since March 2020, most of the lodges and hotels in Rwanda have been closed. Some are gradually opening. Therefore, before you include any of your favorite lodges on your itinerary, first confirm whether that particular lodge has opened up again. Also, get to know whether they have rooms available on your desired dates.
Check out our list of gorilla safari lodges for the best recommendations on where to sleep when you go for the gorilla trek in Rwanda.
Is it safe to go for a safari in Rwanda?
Yes, it is safe to go on a safari in Uganda. There are standard operational procedure guidelines that have been set to be followed by tourists. The nature of tour operation has changed and the safari vehicles take visitors at half capacity. Random tests are also made to ensure that visitors are healthy even before they leave Rwanda on a departure flight.
The neighboring country, Uganda has continued to steadily lift its lockdown and in very few weeks you will be able to explore the whole of East Africa. Most of the national parks of East Africa have been reopened for tourist visits.
Get Started with Planning Your Visit?
Gorilla Trek Rwanda is at your service to help you plan your next gorilla tour in Rwanda, Uganda, or the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The company offers great tours at very affordable prices to visitors. All tours are guided by well-trained guides who take you safely on guided tours in the whole of East Africa.
The reopening of the national parks including primate national parks gives hope to gorilla tourism. Potential travelers who had pre-booked trips are urged not to cancel trips but rather postponed and travel anytime to promote sustainable tourism in Africa.