All-inclusive Gorilla Trekking Staying At Singita Kwitonda Lodge
All-inclusive Gorilla Trekking Staying At Singita Kwitonda Lodge. Gorilla Trekking 101 – what you need to know for this once-in-a-lifetime encounter.
Anyone who takes the plunge and travels to Rwanda to see the mountain gorillas in their natural habitat will come away altered. Meeting these incredible animals in one of the few remaining habitats they have left has a profound effect on visitors, and ultimately on conservation efforts in East Africa.
The Rwandan lodge and villa offered by Singita are located on the outskirts of Volcanoes National Park and provide a tranquil home base for visitors to the park. Here, visitors may enjoy easy access to this rare and beautiful scenery while enjoying a personalized, cozy, and rejuvenating stay.
It’s worth it to organize this vacation carefully, with the help of an expert, in advance so that you may make the most of it and enjoy every minute to the fullest. We answer some of the most common inquiries and provide some tips for your consideration.
Gorilla Trekking at Singita Kwitonda Lodge
How much does a trekking permit cost?
In Rwanda, gorilla-trekking permits cost US$1,500 per day per person (non-refundable). There are only 96 permits available each day, so it’s best to get yours ahead of time to avoid disappointment. Your permit fee will help fund long-term conservation efforts to ensure the survival of mountain gorillas, protect irreplaceable ecosystems, and foster growth in the communities that surround Volcanoes National Park.
What gear do I need to bring?
Walking sticks, hiking boots, water-resistant pants (gators), and jackets, gloves, and backpacks are all available for rent in our Gear Room at Singita Kwitonda Lodge on the day of the hike. A comfort kit (including a buff, hand sanitizer, sunblock, and a sweat towel) and day-of supplies (snacks, packed lunch, water bottle) are also provided. Guests are encouraged to bring their own hiking footwear because our selection is limited. Remember to bring along a pair of sturdy footwear with high traction, as the ground is typically slick and muddy.
How do I prepare just ahead of the trek?
The day before your walk, the Singita Conservationist at Singita Volcanoes Park will brief you on all you’ll need to know. Our hike briefings are held in the Conservation Room at Singita Kwitonda Lodge. This conversational discussion goes into the nuts and bolts of the conservation effort and helps guests understand why it’s important.
The Conservationist will brief you on the logistics of your hike, from the day’s schedule to any necessary safety procedures. They may also fill you in on the several gorilla clans that make these jungles their home. At last, they’ll lead you into the Gear Room and help you try on the many pieces of gear that are at your disposal. Enjoy dinner in the lodge while your luggage is brought to your room.
What will the day itself hold?
A light continental breakfast and a cup of freshly brewed Rwandan coffee will be waiting for you when you arrive at the main lodge at 6 a.m. on the morning of your journey. The staff at the lodge is on hand and ready to help with everything you might require.
You’ll be on your way to Volcanoes National Park’s trekking headquarters (about a 10-minute drive from the resort) by 6:45 in the morning. After arriving, you can relax with a cup of coffee while your Driver Guide makes reservations with the gorilla families (they’ll choose the best family for your needs, but there are no guarantees).
The next step is for guests to join their tour group and their Volcanoes National Park Guide for a comprehensive orientation. At 8 a.m., transport will leave for the trailheads, with trips taking anything from 15 minutes to an hour depending on which gorilla family visitors are seeing. At the trailhead, guests can request a porter to help them with luggage and navigation through the rough terrain. The porters can only be paid in cash (a minimum of US$10).
How long will we trek for?
It can take anywhere from 30 minutes to three or four hours of hiking to reach the gorilla family, and you’ll gain an elevation of 2,500 to four thousand meters along the way. As you get closer to the park’s border, the landscape changes from farming to dense bush. The length of your journey may also increase if you are placed with a family that frequently relocates.
Once you find the family of gorillas you’re looking for, you’ll have an hour to relax and watch these incredible creatures. There will be trackers there to help facilitate communication and guide excursions up the mountain in search of individual families. After your allotted time has passed, you will return to your porter, eat lunch, and take in the sights before beginning your descent.
You might get back to the lodge between 12 and 5 in the afternoon. The rest of the day is yours to do as you please, from relaxing in your private heated pool while taking in the sights, sounds, and smells of the surrounding landscape to reflecting in your room while gazing out at Mount Sabyinyo in the distance and enjoying an in-room treatment. We advise you not to schedule a hike on the day of your departure, as the timing is unpredictable and the experience is best appreciated without haste.
Gorilla trekking in Rwanda: epic & moving adventure!
What are some of the important rules when trekking?
Sightings are consistent, although weather can affect how well you can see them; however, the expedition will go rain or shine. There are many regulations in place for gorilla trekking to protect the mountain gorillas’ environment and reduce the amount of human interaction with them.
The maximum number of visitors per trekking group is eight, and the maximum time of a viewing is one hour, in order to minimize the impact on the 14 completely habituated mountain gorilla families.
The minimum age to trek is 15 for the protection of the gorillas, as younger youngsters are more susceptible to infection. If a visitor is showing symptoms of a cold, flu, or other respiratory disease, they will not be admitted and will receive a full refund for their permit. For everyone’s safety around the gorillas, we also request that you wear a facemask. The Park is a no-smoking and no-spitting zone.
Trekking can be a physically demanding sport depending on the terrain, thus those with health issues that prevent them from doing so should consult a doctor before setting off on their journey. However, at a fee of US$200, stretchers are available for guests who are unable to walk.
Join us in the rainforests of Rwanda
To learn more about this remarkable experience, and for help planning your next unforgettable Singita adventure, please contact our expert team