Before you even make a trip to Rwanda for gorilla trekking, make sure to first book for a gorilla permit. The same way you can never be allowed to board a plane without an air ticket, you will never be allowed to track one of the World’s most treasured animals without a permit.

It is very compulsory to have a gorilla permit because it acts as a pass to enjoying the World’s most exciting adventure and is always issued by Rwanda Development Board. Firstly, there are currently 10 habituated gorilla families within Volcanoes National Park, thus only 80 permits are issued per day (with only 8 persons allowed to track a family per day).

How to book for gorilla permits

Rwanda’s gorilla permits can be acquired directly from the Rwanda Development Board or indirectly through tour operators. When it comes to the latter, you can use tour companies within Rwanda or Uganda. Due to the high demand for the adventure, all intending gorilla trekkers are advised to book at least 3-4 months in advance to avoid last minute disappointments or to be able to plan earlier. This high demand/competition is intensified during the high season from December to February and June to September, thus is it advisable to book 6 months earlier than in the other seasons.

When it comes to booking through Rwanda Development Board (ORTPN), you can reach the offices in Kigali or near Volcanoes National Park, call Reservations on +252 57 65 14 or send an email to

Alternatively, you don’t have to go through the hustles and cumbersome procedures of acquiring gorilla permits yet you can actually use the services of tour operators. However, due to the large number of fraudsters, you will have to use a reliable company who will book for your entire safari and all you will need to do is to pay on time and then travel for your life changing adventure.

Whichever method you use, you will be required to present your passport details with your full names, country from which the passport was issued and passport number  when writing out the gorilla permits.

Cost of Gorilla Permits

Gorilla permits in Rwanda cost only $1500 per person for all categories of tourists (foreigners and Rwandan Citizens alike).

This gorilla permit will guarantee you only one hour with the gorilla family but tracking time lasts from between 30 minutes and several hours depending on the location and daily movement of these primates. Therefore, tourists are required to arrive at Kinigi Park Headquarters at 7:00am for pre-tracking briefing.

It is understandable that you will have paid a lot of money for gorilla trekking but it is worthwhile and involves a number of rules that include; maximum of 8 persons are allowed to spend time with a gorilla family per day, avoid making noise when tracking them, wash your hands before venturing into the jungles, don’t track these primates if you are sick with cough, flue or tuberculosis, maintain a distance of 7 meters when you encounter the gorilla group, don’t eat or drink in the presence of these creatures and avoid direct eye contact with them because they interpret it as confrontation. Not only that, tourists below the age of 15 years are not allowed to track the mountain gorillas.

Volcanoes National Park is located in north-western Rwanda, at around 2-3 hours’ drive from Kigali City/International Airport and is notably popular for being a haven to Rwanda’s only mountain gorilla population. It is also part of the great Virunga Conservation Region that also comprises of Uganda’s Mgahinga National Park and Virunga National Park of the Democratic Republic of Congo.