1 Day Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda

An insight into our 1 day gorilla trekking in Rwanda. It is not every day that you can get up close and personal with the mountain gorillas in their natural habitat, and there are few places you can see them. Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park is one of the captivating places where tours are done to these primates’ natural habitats.

Our 1 Day Gorilla Trekking Tour in Rwanda gives primate lovers (limited by time) the chance to experience the endangered mountain gorillas and other rich forest life in Volcanoes National Park in a day. You are possibly in the land of a thousand Hills for business or a Conference and wish to spare some time off your busy schedule to visit the Giant Apes in their natural habitat. This short gorilla tour is perfect for you and is only possible in Rwanda.

The 160-square-kilometer Volcanoes National Park is located on the Northwestern side of the country. It is about two and a half to three hours drive from Kigali City. Enjoy a scenic drive from Africa’s cleanest City, and explore the natural beauty while heading to one of Africa’s best gorilla trekking locations.

Volcanoes National Park is a true gem and the only place we can find the endangered mountain gorillas in Rwanda. Be prepared to take a short road trip to this Protected Area to visit these elusive creatures.

Highlights of the 1 day Gorilla Trekking Tour in Rwanda
  • A 4:30 am +/- Hotel pick-up
  • Two a half to three-hour Scenic drive from Kigali to Volcanoes National Park
  • 1 to 6-hour search for the mountain gorillas (on foot).
  • One hour with a habituated gorilla family.
  • Lots of birds and other primates en route to the mountain gorillas.
1 Day Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda Overview

At 4:30 am (or earlier), meet at the Hotel lobby or your agreed place of residence. Have a short briefing from your safari guide on the place you are heading, the drive time, and what to expect during the 1-day Gorilla Trekking adventure in Rwanda.

Transfer to the Park

Transfer to Volcanoes National Park, 116 kilometers from Kigali City where gorilla trekking tours are done all year round. Take in views of the stunning landscape- rolling hills, verdant forests, and open areas. As you connect to the Northern Province of Rwanda, you will be amazed by the drive and sight of locals rushing for their different hustles. Women tending to gardens, men riding bicycles, school-going children trying to beat the traffic.


Enjoy a cup of coffee (or your breakfast since you left the Hotel quite early) and morning entertainment before being briefed on the guidelines of the activity you are about to embark on. Every gorilla trekking adventure in Volcanoes National Park is preceded by a brief introductory talk about gorilla trekking as an activity, the rules and regulations to be followed (while searching for or spending time with the habituated gorilla family), and what to look forward to. Visitor passports and permits are also checked to be sure they match. This is followed by hiring porters (which is optional) and grabbing a walking stick to support the trek in the jungle.

The briefing

Volcanoes National Park has a total of 12 habituated gorilla families which are distributed across different locations in its 160-square-kilometer area. Some of these families are considered difficult to trek while others are easier to trek and some moderate to trek. Allocation of visitors to any of these families is based on age, physical abilities, and personal interest. However, it is worth noting that it is not always a guarantee that you will trek an easy or difficult gorilla family as desired since mountain gorillas live in the wild and hence are always on the move. These families require first driving (at least 30 minutes) from the Park Headquarters at Kinigi to their starting points/trailheads at the Park borders.

The search for the Giant apes – gorilla trekking

Your one to six-hour search for the habituated gorilla family will head out several kilometers into Volcanoes National Park, a stronghold of the endangered mountain gorillas. Encounter sightings of birds, primates, butterflies, and many other extraordinary species that call this Park home.

Evidence of mountain gorillas being close includes nests of the previous night and in less than an hour, the Giant Apes are spotted. Before getting closer to them, Ranger guides will request you to be prepared by leaving your backpacks behind and getting out your camera equipment. You will have one hour to enjoy taking photos and study them as they feed, play, rest, and groom each other.

Enjoy your time with them while following the guidelines provided during the briefing. These include avoiding eye contact, not making noise while watching them, tuning away the mouth while coughing or sneezing, not eating/smoking/drinking while in their presence, and others. Relish the exceptional adventure and take as many photos as you can (with no flash). After the one hour with mountain gorillas, you can walk out of Volcanoes National Park, and then transfer to a nearby Lodge/restaurant for lunch.

Inclusions of the 1 Day Gorilla Trekking Adventure in Rwanda
  • Gorilla trekking permit/s for Volcanoes National Park.
  • Guided expedition with experienced Ranger guides.
  • Bottled water.
  • Relevant Rwandan Government taxes and levies.
  • Services of an experienced English-speaking safari driver.
  • Entrance fees for Volcanoes National Park.
  • Ranger fees.
  • Private transportation with our customized and air-conditioned safari vehicle.
The 1-day Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda exclusions
  • Overnight accommodation in Kigali or Volcanoes National Park.
  • Other meals, other than lunch.
  • Visa fees.
  • Travel/medical insurance.
  • Photographic and video equipment.
  • Porter fees.
  • Other personal expenses telephone calls, souvenir shopping, cigarettes, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.
What to pack for the 1 day Gorilla Trekking Tour in Rwanda?

While it is a short tour, 1 day of Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda requires several essentials for a memorable experience with the Giant Apes in their natural habitat. Would you like to know the things to pack for this short gorilla tour? You will need to bring your passport and the gorilla permit. Enough drinking water (at least 2 liters), and some energy-giving snacks. Sturdy hiking boots with enough ankle support. A waterproof and breathable rain jacket because the rains are quite unpredictable.

More so, long safari pants and sleeved shirts protect your arms and legs from stinging nettles or scratching vegetation. Gardening gloves. A nice camera with extra memory space. And should be well charged (or with extra batteries). Additionally, a pair of binoculars (for visitors who are also interested in birding). A wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses for sun protection.  Cotton socks, backpack (for carrying your passport, water bottle, camera equipment, binoculars, passport, and others). A basic first aid kit (with anti-diarrheal medicines, motion medicines, blister treatment, and others) Toiletries (especially hand sanitizer, wet wipes, and others).

In conclusion, Gorilla Trekking is one of the must-do adventures in Africa. But most times travelers are limited by time hence our perfectly tailor-made 1 day Gorilla Trekking Tour in Rwanda. This introduces visitors to one of the 12 habituated gorilla families in Volcanoes National Park for a face-to-face encounter with the Giant Apes in their natural habitat. Talk to your team of experts for more information on our 1 Day Gorilla Trekking Tour in Rwanda. Tell us how we can make your dream of getting up close and personal with the mountain gorillas come true.

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