Primate trekking safaris in volcanoes national park Rwanda
Primate trekking safaris are the most done activities tourists do on their visit to Volcanoes national park Rwanda. The primate safaris in Rwanda are done in volcanoes national park for this is the only place that harbors mountain gorillas and golden monkeys in the whole country. Volcanoes national park is found in the northwestern part of the country and is part of the Virunga conservation area together with Virunga national park of DR Congo and Mgahinga national park of Uganda.
After doing primate trekking that is gorilla or golden monkey trekking, there are a number of activities you can do and these include nature walks, birding, cultural visits, and volcano hiking among others. You can organize your primate safari in volcanoes national park Rwanda with Africa Adventure Vacations to have a perfect safari.
Primates in volcanoes national park Rwanda
Mountain gorillas are the primate species that have made volcanoes national park famous. These mountain gorillas do live in families and as of today the park is home to over 20 gorilla families but only 10 are fully habituated and open for trekking at any day of the year.
You can see any of the mountain gorilla families and spend 1 hour with it by just purchasing a gorilla permit from the Rwanda Development Board. The permit that allows you to be around mountain gorillas in their natural habitats does cost $1500 per person per trek.
The 10 fully habituated mountain gorillas in volcanoes national park do include Agashya, Amahoro, Susa, Sabyinyo, Karisimbi, Kwitonda, Bwenge, Umubano, Ugenda, and Hirwa gorilla family. These mountain gorillas do live on the slopes of different Virunga mountains like Agashya gorilla family on Mount Muhabura, Sabyinyo gorilla family on Mount Sabyinyo, Hirwa gorilla family, and Ugenda gorilla family on Mount Gahinga, and Susa gorilla family on Mount Karisimbi.
Gorilla trekking in volcanoes national park
Mountain gorilla trekking in volcanoes national park begins with trekkers waking up very early in the morning and meeting their driver guides who transfer them to Kinigi park headquarters. Here they will meet the rangers who will take them through the rules and regulations of the gorilla trekking activity before going to the starting point where they will meet ranger guides to lead them into the jungle.
In groups not exceeding 8, the armed ranger guides will lead through different trekking trails and you will be able to spot some of the park animals like the buffaloes, bushbucks, elephants, giant forest hogs, duikers, monkey species, and different birds. On meeting the mountain gorillas, you will get an opportunity to be around them for 1 hour and in this time, you will be able to learn about their habits watch them do daily activities, and take photos.
Golden monkeys are the second species of primates that tourists do love to encounter in volcanoes national park. The golden monkeys are endangered species only found in the Virunga conservation area that is the volcanoes national park in Rwanda and Mgahinga national park in Uganda. These golden monkeys do mainly feed on the bamboo shoots and that’s the reason as to why they have found their home in the bamboo type of vegetation on the slopes of Virunga volcanoes.
Golden monkey trekking
Trekking endangered golden monkeys is another primate activity you can do in volcanoes national park and this is easier compared to trekking mountain gorillas because these monkeys don’t move far to the top of mountains like mountain gorillas. Just like mountain gorilla trekking, the activity starts with participating in the briefing which is done at the Kinigi park headquarters. It’s from the briefing where the trekkers get to know about the rules and regulations of the trekking activity and then the grouping of trekkers follows.
The trekkers are later led by the armed ranger guides into the jungle and these take them through different trekking trails and protect them from dangerous wild animals. On the way before and after meeting the golden monkeys, the trekkers are likely to see different park animals like the duikers, giant forest hogs, buffaloes, elephants, bushbucks, monkeys, and several bird species.
When the golden monkey family assigned is located, the trekkers are given 1 hour to be around them and this will enable the trekkers to learn about their habits, take photos, and watch them do daily activities like playing, hunting, breastfeeding coupling, and much more.
How much is primate trekking safaris in volcanoes national park Rwanda?
Trekking mountain gorillas in volcanoes national park does cost $1500 a single permit per person per trek and these permits are sold to persons above the age of 15 years. To trek golden monkeys, you pay $100 per person per trek and you must be aged 12 years and above. The permits are issued out by the Rwanda Development Board and can be booked by yourself or any trusted local tour operator at no extra cost.
What is the best time to go primate trekking safaris in volcanoes national park Rwanda?
Tourists can have a primate safari in volcanoes national park Rwanda at any time of the year just that there are some months that are better than the rest and these are the dry months. The drier months occur in June to October and December to February and they are characterized by little and some days no rainfall. It’s in the dry months that the trekking trails are dry, roads are passable and the vegetation is short giving a good view of the primates and other park animals.
Tourists can as well trek the mountain gorillas and golden monkeys in volcanoes national park in the rainy season that occurs in March to May and October to November but there is plenty of rainfall during these days. The rain does make the trekking trails slippery and muddy and this reduces the speed of trekkers, the roads to the park are impassable and the vegetation is thick and tall and this gives unclear views of the park primates.
What to pack for primate trekking safaris in volcanoes national park Rwanda?
Tourists intending to trek mountain gorillas or golden monkeys in volcanoes national park can pack waterproof hiking shoes, a pair of binoculars, a pair of gaiters, a camera and extra batteries, insect repellents, rain jacket, backpack, stocks, gardening gloves, long-sleeved clothes, a hat, sunscreen, reusable drinking water bottle, energy-giving snacks, face mask, and sanitizer.
Accommodation on a primate safari in volcanoes national park
There are several accommodation facilities in and around volcanoes national park Rwanda where tourists can stay depending on their budget. These accommodation facilities do range from budget to mid-range to luxury options and they are spread in the area around the park. They include Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge, Da Vinci Gorilla Lodge, One $ Only Gorilla’s Nest Lodge, Singita Kwitonda Lodge, Virunga Lodge, Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel, Ruzizi Tented Camp, Le Bambou Gorilla Lodge, Mountain Gorilla View Lodge, Gorilla Volcanoes Hotel, Villa Gorilla, and Bisate Lodge among others.