How safe is Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda?
Wondering, how safe is Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda? Rwanda is safe for gorilla trekking for tourists from all over the world. For over 20 years now, there are no rebel attacks in the Volcanoes National Park with a lot of security within the park. Rwanda as a country is generally safe with traveler safety guaranteed. When it comes to gorilla trekking in Rwanda many tourists ask about the safety of tourists which is understandable. This is because during gorilla trekking, tourists visit the Volcanoes National Park which was over 20 years ago a battle ground for rebels and poachers and mountain gorillas are also giants that many may perceive to be dangerous.
However, all those fears should not be of any concern for any tourist as these are in the past. The park is very much safe guarded and the safety of the trekkers is priority. Gorilla trekking is surely the most expensive tourist activity in Rwanda with each permit sold at $1,500 which makes it a high source of foreign exchange. Since it is a key activity for Rwanda tourism, the authorities do all that it takes to ensure the safety of those tourists who come to trek the gorillas.
The park employs armed rangers to protect the tourists from any harm either from poachers or wild animals. There are also security groups that protect the park and ensure everything is safe. With all these safety efforts, Rwanda is very safe for gorilla trekking for any travelers.
Mountain gorilla habituation is the process of getting mountain gorillas familiar to the presence of human beings. This takes about 2 years making sure the gorillas are surely safe to visit and cannot cause any harm to humans. However, just like any other wild animal tourists have to still be cautious and follow the rules especially keeping the 7 meters distance and not touching the gorillas.
The people of Rwanda are friendly and open to welcoming all foreign visitors into their country. Rwanda is considered one of the safest countries in the world and therefore the peace in the country can guarantee tourists that gorilla trekking in Rwanda is safe. Today there are almost no cases of poaching in Rwanda which makes it very safe for tourists to visit any park in the country.
Rwanda gorilla trekking rules and regulations
For all tourists on Rwanda gorilla tours, here are the rules and regulations to follow for each trek;
- Clean your hands before heading out to the forest. This is done to ensure that no infections are carried into the gorilla habitat since hands can touch so many surfaces during the trek.
- Keep your voice low as much as possible as you go trekking and even after seeing the gorillas. High pitched sound could easily bother the gorillas and make them uncomfortable.
- Keep close to your group at all times.
- Keep a distance of about 7 meters from the gorillas. Do this at all times and keep away from the gorillas as they may not be aware of keeping this 7 meter distance.
- Do not eat or smoke during a Rwanda gorilla trek
- Flash photography is not allowed. Carry a no flash camera or turn the flash off when taking pictures or recording videos of the mountain gorillas.
- A maximum of 1 hour is spent in the presence of the mountain gorillas and all tourists should respect this.
- Do not litter or leave any rubbish in the gorilla habitat. Take back whatever you come with into the forest.
- Any persons who are ill or suffering from contagious diseases including flu and colds are not allowed to trek gorillas.
Still wondering how safe is gorilla trekking in Rwanda? It is surely safe to have a gorilla tour in Rwanda for tourists coming in from any country. The beautiful land of a thousand hills also offers several other activities like Rwanda wildlife tours, cultural tours, bird watching, chimpanzee trekking, canopy walk and other primate tracking tours.
Volcanoes National Park borders other gorilla habitats like Mgahinga Gorilla National Park of Uganda and Virunga National Park of Congo. These too offer treks with Uganda gorilla safari tours and Congo gorilla safaris respectively at cheaper permit costs than Rwanda.