Musanze formally known as Ruhengeri is a city in north western Rwanda, it is approximately 94 km North west of Kigali the capital and largest city in Rwanda. Volcanoes national park is also approximately 12 kms from the city of Musanze. Most tourists visit this park for Gorilla tracking, golden monkey tracking and mountain hiking. Musanze town is also 25kms away from Kyanika border which is the main entry from Uganda to Rwanda by road, it also connects to the town of Goma in eastern Democratic republic of Congo. Musanze town is located just a few kilometers from the gorilla national parks of Bwindi and Mgahinga, its 1 hour and 30 minutes from Musanze to mgahinga gorilla national park and 2 hours from Musanze to the southern sectors of Bwindi forest national park that is Rushaga and Nkuringo.
Safari Vacations and Travel Services Ltd specializes in gorilla and wildlife safaris in Rwanda and Uganda, this means if you are in Musanze, our professional driver will pick you up from your residence in Musanze, drive you to Bwindi or Mgahinga National Parks for Gorilla Tracking in Uganda.
The main reason as to why tourists cross from Musanze Rwanda to do gorilla tracking in Uganda is the difference in gorilla permit prices in Uganda and Rwanda. In Uganda the price of a gorilla permit is $700 per person per trek, in Rwanda the price is $1500 per person per trek, this makes it cheaper and affordable to track the gorillas in Uganda. You will save $800 on each permit bought on the Uganda side, Again Uganda has more than 20 habituated gorilla families compared to Rwanda which has only ten habituated gorilla families, this gives Uganda more gorilla permits sold every day than Rwanda. remember only 8 people are allowed to track a particular gorilla family every day and because there is high demand for gorilla permits especially during the high season in the months of June, July, August, December, January and February. This high demand sometimes makes it difficult to get gorilla permits in Rwanda and hence force people to cross to Uganda since Uganda has more habituated gorilla families.
Crossing the border of Chanika is not difficult, you will need the following;
The best time to visit these parks is during the drier months of June-September and the December to February, this is when the trails in the parks are less slippery and even the vegetation is not very tall hence allowing better viewing and photography. However, gorilla tracking takes place throughout the year and its an added advantage to budget travelers who would like to visit during the wet seasons as they get discounts on accommodations due to low occupancy in the lodges around the parks.