When to go
Rwandan weather has two seasons: high and low. The former is from June to October, with another dry spell from December to January. The latter is the wet season, and it lasts from mid-January to May. The low season would make a cheaper trip, the rain does make trekking harder because the forests are slippery and wet. The high season is the time to go.
In order to protect the nature in the park, there is a limited amount of permits that can be issued to visit the park. In fact, there are less than 100 permits given a day. This is why planning ahead is crucial and why you should apply for a permit the second you can — no less than five months before your flight.
It’s safer than you think
You don’t go trekking with gorillas on your own. You need a trained guide for that. The park’s guides carry a weapon and radio, and the gorillas are peaceful beings. According to a New York Times article, no trekkers have ever been hurt by a gorilla. Those 300-400 pounds primates can be seen playfighting, socializing, and frolicking on the ground. The trained guides know how to read gorilla interactions and body language and make sure all is in order and no one is getting charged by anyone.
It’s a good workout
Some hike paths are easier than others, but trekking still involves a great deal of physical activity. The Volcanoes National Park treks wind up mountainous areas and not all of them are properly paved. The national park is also located about 8,500 feet above sea level, so the air there is pretty thin, which makes any kind of physical activity harder than it normally is.