Gorilla Trekking Hope Tours Africa

Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Permit

Rwanda is one of the only 3 countries in the world where you can see mountain gorillas in their natural habitat, gorilla trekking is an extra-ordinary activity and in Rwanda it can only be done in Volcanoes National Park. 

 With just over 1,006 individuals, mountain gorillas are endangered species only found in 4 national parks in the world. Mountain gorillas are the world’s largest primates weighing up to 220 kilograms.  

Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda is a well – organized safari destination where primate enthusiasts can see the gorillas in their natural habitat, and also hike to the tomb of the legendary American Primatologist, Dian Fossey. 

Gorilla trekking in Rwanda is one of the most exciting and extraordinary wildlife experiences in the world. To take part in this grand experience you need to buy a gorilla trekking permit.

A mountain gorilla trekking permit is legally required by all people who want to see the gorillas, this is a requirement to all gorilla national parks (in Rwanda, Uganda and Congo). 

The permit system allows the national park authorities to regulate exactly how many people visit any given gorilla family on any given day, also the associated gorilla permit fee makes a vital financial contribution to the conservation of these highly endangered mountain gorillas and their habitat. 

Also, 10% of the Rwanda gorilla trekking permit prices are injected in the local communities to develop infrastructure and improve livelihoods. This culture of sustainable tourism is rapidly becoming a proud and successful tradition of Rwanda Conservation.  

As of 2024, the cost of a single gorilla trekking permit in Rwanda is US$ 1,500 for visitors from outside Africa. For citizens of Rwanda and other East African countries the price is discounted to US$ 200, the gorilla permit cost for foreign residents of Rwanda, African Citizens as well as Foreign Residents in all African Countries is US$ 500.

During the low season months of November to May, a discount of 30 percent is offered on gorilla permits in Rwanda, this reduces the cost for non – African residents to US$ 1,050. However, the discount applies only to tourists who pre-book at least 2 nights in either (or one night in each) of Nyungwe Forest National Park or Akagera National Park. 

Visitor Category

Fee For Adult

Fee For Student/Child



Foreign Non-Resident in Rwanda



Rwanda Citizen



East African Citizen



African Citizen & Foreign Resident in Africa



Foreign Residents in Rwanda and other African countries – need to have a minimum of four consecutive month’s residency status or work permit in their passport or diplomatic card to qualify for the Rwandan / African Foreign Resident Status.  

East African residents – need to provide EAC ID Cards or Passports.

A tourist with one Rwandan parent and a tourist with a Rwandan spouse will be considered a Rwandan as long as Immigration and Emigration Director General confirms it.

Independent travelers on a self-organized gorilla trek in Rwanda can book their gorilla trekking permits directly online through the Rwanda Development Board Website.

However, if you are traveling with a tour operator. It is more usual to allow them to make the booking of your Rwanda Gorilla Permit. 

Gorilla permits are limited based on the number of travelers demanding them so it is important to book your permits about 3 months prior to your safari dates.  

Rwanda issues a total of 96 gorilla permits per day, this breaks down into 8 permits daily for each of 12 habituated gorilla families in Volcanoes National Park, these include the Susa, Igisha, Karisimbi, Sabinyo, Amahoro, Agashya, Kwitonda, Umubano, Hirwa, Bwenge, Ugyenda, and Muhoza families.

Should it happen that one of the mountain gorilla families designated for visitors crosses into Uganda or the Democratic Republic of Congo, then one of the families usually visited by researchers will be allocated for a tourist visit in its place.  

Gorilla permit in Rwanda covers the entrance to the park, the guided trek and a maximum of one hour with the gorillas. It excludes porter fees, tips to trackers and guides or any costs relating to transport, accommodation, meals or other safari activities.

However, for the true gorilla devotee. It is well worth visiting Kwita Izina – an annual naming ceremony for baby gorillas modeled off a Rwanda tradition of naming children.  

Conservation champions are honored with the opportunity to bestow a name upon one of the tiny bundles of primate joy, every one of which is of vital importance to the future survival of the species. 

Since 2005, 328 gorillas have been named in this way, the ceremony includes live music, dancing and essential conservation talks. A well – timed visit allows additional opportunities to speak to gorilla conservationists and park staff. The ceremony usually takes place in September to coincide with World Gorilla Day. 

The minimum age of 15 years for gorilla trekkers is strictly enforced in Rwanda and other gorilla destinations, no upper age limit is imposed on mountain gorilla trekkers. However, gorilla trekking for elders or those with limited mobility must decide for themselves whether they are up it  

Note: if you are sick with a cold, flu or other contagious illness you may be denied access. This is because the gorillas are highly endangered and susceptible to human infections, particularly respiratory ones. 

Should you cancel your gorilla safari to Rwanda or fail to turn up on the day, for whatever reason, the cost of your gorilla permit will not be refunded. 

Also, it is not permitted to sell or give your permit to somebody else, as your passport details will be checked against the gorilla permit before you go gorilla trekking. However, if you book your Rwanda gorilla trekking safari and permit through an operator, then it is possible to reschedule to another day with a minimum of 30 days’ notice. 

An exception to the above is up for people who fail to track due to unexpected movement of their allocated gorilla family will be given the choice of trying again the next day or receiving a full refund. If you track all day and fail to find the mountain gorillas, a 75% refund is due.

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