Gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park is Rwanda’s biggest tourism draw. Here’s what you need to know for Rwanda gorilla trekking, including a packing list of what to take.
Each year Rwanda draws thousands of visitors to Volcanoes National Park to see the gorillas at home in the mountains. The park is home to half of the world’s wild gorilla population. It is also where legendary primatologist Dian Fossey spent 20 years studying these gorillas. For the lucky few who are fortunate to snag one of the tracking permits dispersed by the Rwandan government each a day, a Rwanda gorilla trekking experience will certainly leave an impression.
There are nine habituated families of mountain gorillas in the Rwandan sector of the Virunga Volcanoes tracked for visitor interaction. Each gorilla family offers something unique and completely different, making no two gorilla treks the same.
Rwanda gorilla trekking through Volcanoes National Park varies depending upon the gorillas’ movements. Most days, several groups may be found within a two-hour trek. However, the wet season sends gorillas to lower elevations for feeding, reducing trekking times to as little as 20 minutes. Rangers group trekkers together based on fitness level. Only eight visitors are allowed per group, so the trek is intimate. Once found, travelers spend an hour with the gorillas. The experience of seeing the gorillas up close and personal in Volcanoes National Park is both surreal and exhilarating. Rwanda gorilla trekking is truly one of the most memorable experiences you will ever have in your lifetime.
Recommended Packing List for Rwanda Gorilla Trekking
We have recommended Rwanda gorilla trekking packing lists for both men and women. You can find them both on our Amazon Storefront, designed to make packing easier with some of our favorite items we use ourselves. Disclaimer: Some of the links below are affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, Ker & Downey earns a small commission when you click through and make a purchase.
- Long trousers and long-sleeve shirts when in the forest to avoid nettle stings
- Sturdy walking shoes or hiking boots and hiking socks are essential in the wet forest.
- Rain gear
- A hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen
- Insect repellent with DEET. We like these towelettes which are very easy to pack.
- Water bottle and a small snack, but please note that eating, drinking, and smoking near the gorillas is forbidden.
- Camera with fully charged battery
- A small hiking backpack. This one folds up to pack easily and is water resistant.
Porters are available to help carry your day pack for a small fee. We strongly encourage you to make use of this service, not only because it will make your Rwanda gorilla trekking experience more enjoyable, but because hiring a porter directly supports the local community.