Where to see gorillas in Rwanda
Rwanda is a much smaller country than Uganda, so lends itself better to a short trip in combination with a safari or beach stay elsewhere in East Africa.
The Volcanoes National Park is only two hours drive on tarmac road from Kigali and the International airport. For one visit to the gorillas, you will need a minimum of two nights stay, and three nights would be ideal.
Rwanda has more than twice the number of habituated mountain gorilla groups than Uganda and so permits are generally more easily available and less expensive.
Rwanda gorilla groups
There are currently seven main groups that can be tracked in Rwanda; the Susa, Sabinyo, Amahoro, Umubano, Hirwa, Kwitonda and Group Thirteen.
The groups vary in number from around 9 to 39 individuals and all currently have at least one silverback male. Of the seven groups, there are a couple that tend to be found on the saddle between Mount Sabyinyo and Mount Gahinga which is around a two hour walk from the park entrance.
Whilst it is not possible to book a permit for a specific group, your chances of having a shorter walk are higher than in Uganda. Nothing is guaranteed though and you may find yourself tracking a group such as the Susa, first studied by Diane Fossey and often found on the slopes of Mount Visoke, a five hour hike away.