PLANNING FOR GORILLA SAFARI IN RWANDA
PLANNING FOR RWANDA GORILLA TOUR- HOW TO PLAN FOR GORILLA TRACKING- STEPS FOLLOWED TO BOOK A GORILLA SAFARI- GUIDELINES FOR A SUCCESSFUL GORILLA TREKKING SAFARI
Rwanda is among the most visited countries for gorilla trekking - Rwanda is the most visited country for mountain gorilla tracking- safari. It should be noted that encountering mountain gorillas in their nature habitat can not be forgotten and life time event which every body should experience before death.
Being a life time event, gorilla trekking needs advance preparation and stages followed for the successful safari- being an expensive trip, no visitor would like to be disappointed after spending money, that is why African Jungle adventures has come up with the guideline for a successful gorilla trekking safari in Rwanda:
Think of a safari in Rwanda: of course, Rwanda is famous for Gorilla safaris and when you think of traveling to Rwanda, consider mountain gorillas as your chief tourist attraction. You can develop a thought to visit gorillas when laying on your bed, relaxing or when taking a soft drink at your veranda or after watching a documentary film about gorillas or after listening or watching an advert emphasizing gorilla trekking or after reading about gorillas from the books or online.
Develop a proposal: you can be having breakfast, lunch or dinner with your family members or taking a drink with friends during your refreshing time. Then introduce your plan to them and allow them to give their suggestions- i bet, most of them will support your proposal.
How many and with whom shall you move with: before you select the members to move with, read about the requirements and costs for the safari. Note that only visitors above the age of 15 years are allowed to trek gorillas- this is because, gorilla trekking involves moving long distance while searching for the gent giants, you need to go through forest/ bushes, cross rivers, climb hills making the whole process strenuous however, the thrill of meeting gorillas is memorable and worth undertaking. Secondary, gorillas do not need noise which can be made by young ones during an encounter- the noise can upset gorillas forcing them turn harmful to the visitors.
Decide when to visit: it is better to go gorilla trekking during your holiday, retirement stage, winter season or during your free time. Being all year round activity, gorilla trekking is better in dry season- this is when gorillas move actively in their natural habitat. More so, moving through a dry forest is much easier than a wet one. In rainy season, gorillas go in hiding and some times come out of their nests rarely and if found, they look unattractive and their photos/ films looks not exciting.
Consult local tour operators: at this stage contact a reliable tour company to help you give more travel tips, book for you permits, prepare safari vehicles to transport you, organise your itinerary and book your accommodation. Note that advance gorilla permit booking is recommended because of their high demand throughout the year and each gorilla permit is sold $ 750 for foreign residents and US$ 450 for foreign residents but leaving in Kigali. You can easily access local operators on line through emails or give them a phone call among other means.
Pay the deposit: you can decide to pay online by visa card, master card or wire the money to the travel agency. Deposit is used to secure gorilla permits and accommodation among others - it also gives assurance that the trip is confirmed (commitment fee). Balance can be paid two weeks prior to the arrival time or clients can decide to pay full amount to a void extra bank charges. For clients fearing to carry cash on arrival, are advised to pay full amount at once. In most cases, visitors are advised to pay 50% deposit to the total safari company.
Apply for Rwanda visa: Rwanda visa can be applied online for those planning to fly into Kigali International Airport however, visitors hoping to enter Rwanda through boarders can buy visas at the boarder entrance point. It should be noted that some countries are exempted from Rwanda visas and they include all East African Countries like Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Burundi - other Rwanda visa free countries are United states of America, United King dome, Democratic Republic of Congo, Hong Kong, Philippines, Mauritius, Singapore among other.
Book flights: After obtaining Rwanda visa, then book flights to Rwanda according to your itinerary- Flights to Rwanda can be booked online or physical - The recommended flights to Rwanda include Rwandair, Qater Airways, Kenya Airways, Ethiopian Airways and so on.
Orgnise your personal requirements: Now that you have booked your visa and flights, then put together your requirements like long sleeved shirts, short sleeved t-shirts
pairs of light weight slacks/trousers, pair of shorts, sweater or sweatshirt, A waterproof and windproof jacket, skirt (women), Gloves, Strong waterproof walking boots, Pair of sports sandals like Tevas, Hat-wide brim or with a visor for sun protection, Sleepwear, Underwear, Lightweight wool socks, Swimsuit
Miscellaneous:Sunscreen, Sunglasses with neck strap, Insect repellent with DEET,
Small day pack, Flashlight, Binoculars, Extra batteries, Camera and extra lenses, Film particularly fast film for the gorillas, Personal toiletries, Prescription medicines, Kleenex tissues, Small notebook, First Aid Kit including rehydration sachets, anti-diarrhea medicine, aspirin, cold medication, antiseptic cream, band-aids, motion sickness pills, lip balm, eye drops and personal medication among others.
Set off for Rwanda safari: Get a flight to Kigali International Airport where you will find your safari guide/ driver. Arrival in Rwanda, visit some places in Kigali depending on schedule before transferring to Volcanoes national park. The journey is amazing since it will take you through the rolling hills of Rwanda with a clear view of the mighty virunga ranges.
Track mountain Gorillas: The day of life time event!! Gorilla trekking
Breakfast and head to the park headquarters with packed lunch & water for the briefing about the dos and don’ts while with the gorillas, and then proceed to track the gorillas. Time taken searching for these Gentle giants ranges between 2-6hours depending on the movement of gorillas family.
Departure: You will fly out from Kigali international Airport back home.