- To minimize possible transmission of human diseases, visitors are asked to maintain a distance of 7m (about 22 feet) from the gorillas. If you are sick with a cold, flu or other contagious illness, please do not visit the gorillas.
- Viewing time is limited to one hour.
- Maximum 8 visitors per group.
- Spitting in the park is strictly prohibited.
- Should you need to cough, cover your mouth and turn away from the gorillas.
- When with the gorillas, keep your voice low.
- Try not to make rapid movements that may frighten the gorillas.
- If a gorilla should charge or vocalize at you, do not be alarmed, stand still, look away from the gorilla and follow your guide’s directions.
- Do not litter.
To enhance your enjoyment:
- The security of our visitors is our highest priority. There is no need for concern about personal security.
- The climate in Musanze is changeable and you can generally expect both sun and rainfall during the day.
- Musanze, at 1,700m above sea level, is generally quite cold, particularly in the evening, so warm clothing is advised.
- Recommended clothing is long trousers and shirts when in the forest to avoid nettle stings.
- Steady walking shoes or hiking boots are essential. You may find raingear useful.
- Bring a water bottle and a small snack although eating, drinking and smoking near the gorillas is forbidden.
- Photographs are permitted, although you may not use flash.
- Porters are available to help you carry your daypack for a small charge.
- Mountain gorillas live at high altitude and this may cause difficulties for some visitors. You should walk slowly and drink plenty of water. No one should feel deterred from making this trip.
There are seven gorilla families available for tourists with 8 tourists allowed per group:
- Susa—the largest group with 41 gorillas. This family is the hardest to trek as it tends to range high into the mountains but RDB Tourism & Conservation trackers will know well in advance where the group is located. The group is also well- known for having rare 5 year old twins named Byishimo and Impano.
- Sabyinyo—Sabyinyo is an easily accessible group led by the powerful silverback Guhonda. There are fewer members within this family than in the other groups however they are equally impressive as a family.?
- Amahoro—led by the calm and easy going Ubumwe, Amahoro is made up of 17 members and means “peaceful”. To reach Amahoro one must endure a fairly steep climb however the climb is well worth it once in contact with this tranquil group.
- Group 13—when first habituated this group had only 13 members hence its name. Now the group has approximately 25 members, a very positive sign for conservation and the efforts put forward by RDB Tourism & Conservation to protect the gorillas’ habitat.
- Kwitonda—this 18-member group is led by Kwitonda which means “humble one” and has two silverbacks and one blackback. Having migrated from DRC, this group tends to range far making it a moderately difficult trek.
- Umubano—a family of 11, Umubano were originally Amahoro members but broke off after the dominant silverback was challenged by Charles, now the leader of Umubano. When a young silverback challenges the dominant silverback he must steal some females from the existing group in order to form his own family; thus Umubano was formed.
- Hirwa—this group emerged recently and was formed from different existing families, namely from Group 13 and Sabyinyo. Eventually more gorillas joined. Come witness this family continue to grow