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I and my 4 friends had a wonderful moment in Rwanda with African Jungle Adventures Limited! We booked a 5 day Rwanda gorilla tour package going to Nyungwe National Park for primates / birds and Volcanoes National Park for mountain gorilla tracking. We also visited some genocide memorial museums in Rwanda like Bisesero, Gisozi in Kigali and Murambi technical school along the highway from Nyungwe National Park to Kigali city. Baker was our tour guide and he made our safari experience unforgettable!!

Our gorilla trip started on 15th to 19th of April, 2015. Our flight from South Africa delayed and we arrived in Kigali a bit late at 11:20am, Baker our tour driver from African Jungle Adventures was already at Kigali International Airport waiting for us. He warmly greeted and welcomed us to this part of the world. Because we were a bit late for our drive to Nyungwe National Park, he got for us packed lunch in Kigali, then we set off in our comfortable 4×4 Land cruiser to Nyungwe National Park. We never wanted to drive late at night. This is about 5hours drive. We had brief stops at Nyanza King’s Palace and Murambi genocide memorial museum! We were so shocked with what we saw at Murambi genocide site, this was a technical school where many people gathered during the genocide, they were expecting to be safe in this school yet it was a trick to get them all killed. The Army with guns and machete came and massacred all children and adults who sought security in this area. We had to shade tears on what we saw (see photo below). Workers of this place / destination guides are genocide survivors and narrated to us all that happened before, during and after the genocide around Murambi.

rwanda-victimsYou can see blood on the walls of classes. people massacred included children, students, youths and old people and were all buried in mass graves. The top of mass graves were turned into volley ball pitch by French Soldiers and started playing volley ball from there as a way to hide evidence!! Genocide survivors reported. After the genocide, mass graves were dug and bodies preserved in classes for all people allover the world to witness what happened in Rwanda. My dear, it was terrible!!
We had to continue with our journey to Nyungwe Forest, the staff of Nyungwe Forest Lodge was already waiting for us, we arrived by 7:25pm, welcomed us, we had dinner and overnight. The lodge is very amazing, its the best lodge around Nyungwe National Park.

The next day we started early at 4:30am, we had breakfast and continued for Chimpanzee tracking adventure in Nyungwe Forest. The walk in the forest was quiet adventurous, the jungle grounds were so slippery, I went on falling down and all am friends were laughing at me! Chimps in Nyungwe forest are so fast and you must be also fast to see them. I have ever been in Kibale National park in Uganda and found chimps in big numbers. Kibale offers great views than Nyungwe forest. We returned to the lodge, relaxed as we waited for lunch.

I and my boy friend stayed behind for massage, we took a guided walk in the tea plantations and nearby communities. the other friends went for canopy walk adventure. The other activities you can do around Nyungwe National Park include bird watching with over 300 species, guided forest walk with different forest trails, not forgetting colobus monkey tracking. It was reported that Nyungwe National Park has about 13 primate species. This marks the end of our day 2 of our safari in Rwanda.

The next day we had a longer drive to Volcanoes National Park Rwanda, a home to some of the world's remaining population of mountain gorillas. We checked-in Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge on the edges of Volcanoes National Park. We had a relaxed evening, dinner and overnight.

On Day 4, we start our day with mountain gorilla tracking. We had breakfast at Sabyinyo lodge, then we assembled at the park headquarters (with our packed water and scacks) at Kinigi for a briefing about gorilla trekking experience in Parc National des Volcans as well as group allocation. The park has 10 habituated gorilla groups, some are close, some are far. Because we had to return to Kigali after gorilla tracking, our tour guide requested the park warden to assign us to a nearby gorilla group so that we return early and drive back to Kigali. The drive to Kigali is between 90 and 120 minutes drive.

virungagorillasWe are assigned to Sabyinyo group and the trek was quiet easy. We had fun with the gorillas, we took fantastic photos and video. This was the highlight of our safari in Rwanda. After 1 hour with the gorillas, we had to descend to the base, boarded our vehicle, we returned to the lodge for lunch and hit the road back to Kigali. We were awarded certificated to surviving the trek. This is a must do when you visit Africa. On my next vacation, I will combine gorilla trekking in Rwanda and Uganda, its such amazing experience.

Tips to successfully enjoy a gorilla trek in Rwanda

Start with heavy breakfast because the trek is strenuous.

Carry enough water and snacks in your day pack

Hiring a porter is highly recommended. He will assist carry your day pack, pull and push you when you get stuck during the trek. Also this is direct creation of employment to local people, thus, reducing the problem of poaching.

Proper body protection wear is so important. Recommended are long sleeved shirts / blouse, long pants, hat, garden gloves, hiking boots up to ankle level and insect repellent.

Above all, you must follow instructions from the guide during the trek and when with gorillas.

gorilla-bwindi-impenetrable-forestMany tourists take gorilla trekking as safari to make the long dreamt experience with the bristly giant beasts yet this excursion is more than that. Gorilla trekking particularly in the moist Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is an interesting experience that gets you closer to the unknown wilderness where your expectations and hopes are kept high for almost a whole day knowing what time you will meet the mountain gorillas.

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest being a natural forest with both montane and lowland forest is shockingly a meeting point for people and the believed human precursors the Mountain Gorillas. They are believed to be human ancestors / precursors because they share 98% of the human characteristics. Not only do you get to meet the primate kingdom owner additionally different subjects like the olive baboons, vervet monkeys, grey checked mangabey, blue monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys all living in harmony. This forest additionally allows the existence of bird territory where by it hosts over 348 species of birds. You can clearly see different bird species on your gorilla trekking trip. In the event that you were searching for a specific bird during your birding safari in Uganda, you are liable to freely achieve your goal from this bio diversity rich forest which was even recognized by the African Bird Club as the richest African birding destination.

Before organizing your meeting with the gorillas, you need to book a gorilla permits which allow you to enter the national park and be part of the gorillas’ day life. Even id you have a fortune and the 8 gorilla permits for a specific gorilla group are sold out, you are not permitted to meet the gorillas. You must have a gorilla permit that allows you participate in gorilla trekking.

Regardless of the possibility that you have paid for your gorilla permit and you develop an infectious illness you may be refunded in case you report for the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) before hand with evidence. There is a definite no meeting for you with the mountain gorillas. Various tourists, dream about this great experience particularly those that have had an opportunity to watch the movie “gorillas in the mist”. At the point when this opportunity strikes, you may have a lot of anxiety and excitement.

Gorilla safaris normally have pre tour advice where by you must be fit to trek the edges and get down the valley additionally the hand capped can track gorillas with the help of a sedan chair. When you take the normal trek, you need to get extra support from a walking stick or contract a porter for assistance in case you cannot carry on.

Like any one heading for a special meeting, gorilla trekking has special clothes that you must wear to get comfortable. Long trouser, garden gloves, a rain coat, long sleeved shirt, sun screen jerry, insert repellent, energy bite make your safari more interesting. The gorilla trekking rules also have to be keenly followed by all trekker in light of the fact that mountain gorillas just like people get agitated despite there renown serene behavior.

On meeting the gorilla group, the dominant silverback normally keeps in the hiding to look at your intensions of visit. At last when he is agreeable with your interaction with his enviously guarded family, he emerges to meet you and shows all aerobatic styles to show his majesty. In the event that you show that you are terrified, he may notice and keep teasing you. You must cooperate in and take as many photos as you can for remembrance without touching any member of his family.