17 May Gorilla Trekking Tours in Rwanda, Uganda & Congo
Gorilla trekking is the highlight of any safaris in Rwanda and they are found in Volcanoes National Park and in the neighboring countries, Uganda in Bwindi Forest and DRC Congo in Virunga National Park. There are over 10 gorilla families which are open to tourists to be visited to tourists on a daily basis in Rwanda. Gorilla permits to view these endangered species are given out by the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) and tour companies can also help you out to purchase a gorilla permit.
My visit to Volcanoes was one of the highlights of my life. We visited in late December 2016 and had unbelievable hour with gorillas. The volcanoes national park does an excellent job of providing information for the tourists and guides are extremely well trained and informed. It costs quite of a lot money $1500, but the money is used to conserve the gorilla families in their natural habitat, even the inhabitants of the villages close to the park are being involved in this conservation program which, to me seems the key to success.
We had an early morning breakfast at La Palme hotel where we had booked for two nights. Our guide Emma picked us at 6:30 am and drove for about 20 minutes to the briefing point in Kinigi. We had free cup of coffee on arrival and free entertainment by the Rwandan cultural group. Later we were allocated groups and briefed before driving to the starting points of the allocated groups. Part of the road was paved and rest was purely “African massage” as described by guide Emma to mean unpaved bump roads.
On arrival, we started our simple hike to where the mountain gorillas were. It took less than 2 hours to encounter these fascinating apes. The hike was intense but absolutely beautiful. There are no words to describe seeing the mountain gorillas at such close distance. Once we arrived at the group, the hour went by so fast but every minute was fantastic.
Although you are told to keep a distance and not touch them, they come so close to you which is amazing. They played, fought and sat around, the silver back went running through the forest a couple of times and it was a sight within his group. It was amazing to see them interact with each other; we took enough photos and videos for memories of our trip in Rwanda.
The staff and rangers here love their work, happy to guide you with in-depth knowledge of the flora and fauna have a great connection to wildlife and understanding of the trails. Plenty of armed rangers and porters to help you for whatever activity you plan to do here to the summit where Golden Monkey trek, Dian Fossey hike and Mt Bisoke.
There are tourist activities that can be enjoyed apart from the mountain gorilla trekking, some of these include; visit to the pygmies, golden monkey tracking, guided nature walks, volcano climbing, game viewing, as well as bird watching.
Recommendation for everybody out there to see the remaining population of the mountain gorilla s in the world, for anyone going to Africa, make the trip to see the gorillas in either Rwanda, Uganda and DRC Congo.