Gorillas are one of the majestic animals in the world one can ever meet. Due to the fact these animals are so intelligent in the way they live their lives. Although some people look at them as beasts that can endanger human life, this is not the case they are wonderful animals are peaceful and herbivorous animals that cannot feed on human flesh.

The mountain gorillas are so wonderful to meet as they bring one close to nature in such a way one can easily fall in love with way they lead their lives and you can feel so petty for the people who destroy their homes. Gorillas live in very organized family, for example you can never find a gorilla on its own in the jungle. Each and every gorilla has a family it is attached to and in the family it might be a father, a mother, a child in the family or a relative to the silver back.

These gorillas are found in the small country of Africa called Rwanda located in the eastern part of the continent. This country has embarked on conserving these gorillas which has given opportunities to the people who would love to see the gorillas in their environment. People have not disappointed to the chance give to them as many people throughout the year visit this country for gorilla trekking safaris.

Rwanda has seven habituated gorilla families that can be watched by the tourists. These gorillas are found in volcanoes national park on Virunga ranges that is share by Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. This Virunga region holds 480 gorillas half of the world’s mountain gorilla population (480) and the part that is found in Rwanda of the Virunga has 320 mountain gorillas. This makes Rwanda to having a third of the world’s mountain gorilla population.

Virunga Mountains where Gorillas Live

Mountain gorilla trekking experience is incredible as one does not need to travel for long distances to see the gorillas and the gorillas in Rwanda are seen clearly and easily as the volcanoes national park forests are not so thick. Visitors strictly spend one hour with gorillas as they watch them move around, feed, play and at times the young gorillas come near the visitors with an intention of playing. The visitors are also able to take wonderful pictures and videos in the jungle.

Mountain gorillas are one of four the subspecies of gorillas and the other being the western lowland gorillas, eastern lowland gorillas and the cross river gorillas. All gorillas are primates and classified as apes due to their well developed brains, digits on the endings of the limbs and also do not have a tail at the back. The other apes are mankind, orangutans, gibbons and chimpanzees and this means that gorillas are also among the closest cousins of mankind. These gorillas are called the mountain gorillas due to the nature of their habitats. The mountain gorillas live in forested mountain ranges of Virunga and Bwindi Forests in the east central African region. The three countries with the mountain gorillas are Rwanda, Uganda and DR.Congo.

Silverback Gorilla in the Jungle

There are less than 900 mountain gorillas left in the world today. Uganda has the biggest percentage of gorillas almost inhabiting a half of the total population and the rest of the countries share the rest. Mountain gorillas are regarded as endangered species of animals by the international union of conservation for nature (IUCN) and this means they will get extinct in the forthcoming generation if conservation efforts are not made. The decrease in the population of mountain gorillas is due to habitat loss where by the local people are settling in areas where the gorillas stay.

Diseases are also a major factor for the decreases as very many helpless gorillas die of epidemics. For instance in the early 2000s, hundreds of gorillas died due to the outbreak of Ebola in Congo and some parts of southwestern Uganda. The Ebola was transmitted to the gorillas by the local people who were infected since the gorillas have almost the same immunity as mankind. Other causes of fall of gorilla population are civil wars that are occurring in the forests of Congo and also poaching of the gorillas for bush meat.

However, measures have been put in place to conserve and protect the gorillas from getting extinct as protected areas have been put in place like Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga Gorilla Park in Uganda, in Rwanda there is volcanoes national park and Congo Virunga national parks. Also different organization plus the governments of the three countries have come up to protect the mountain gorillas. One way of protecting and conserving the gorillas is visiting them in their protected areas since it creates awareness of how important gorillas are to people as they bring joy and excitement in their lives and also the some money paid to see the gorillas is injected in the gorilla conservation work.

Visiting the mountain gorillas is much more than conservation, gorilla trekking experience comes with discovery, excitement and enjoyment. When one visits the gorillas in their natural environment he/she will see unique characteristics that cannot be found in any other animals that is the way they take care of their young ones, family organization and also their ability to use tools like tree branches to gather food and also for shelter. During the gorilla trekking experience, the visitor is able to take very beautiful photos of the gorillas if you are lucky enough you can also take a selfie with a gorilla! It is really an interesting moment to visit the mountain gorillas in their nature habitat. One can book a 15 day tour in Rwanda and Uganda to allow you track the gorillas twice in both Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda and Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda. The same tour exposes you to all the hidden treasures of the 2 destinations such as Kidepo valley, Kibale Forest, Murchison Falls and Queen Elizabeth National Parks among others, see the African Big 5 animals as well as the chimpanzees.

View of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park Uganda

There are very many online tour operators that you can contact to book yourself a gorilla trekking safari and have fun with the mountain gorillas in their natural environment before their extinction. A gorilla permit goes from 600 us dollars in Uganda, Rwanda 750 us dollars and DR. Congo 400 us dollars.

There are very many people out there who would like to see the gorillas in their natural environment. I guess you have seen gorilla caged in the zoo and they are normally two or three in the cage. All I can tell you is that these gorillas do not interact as they are supposed to.

Gorillas are nomadic animals which move from one place to the other looking for feeding areas in the jungles and are social animals which enjoy company of very many gorillas that is around 8-10 gorillas in the group. In the jungle is where they feel more comfortable as they independently do their own things other than being restricted like the way they are kept in the zoos.

The life span of a gorilla is normally 45 year in their natural habitat but a gorilla in captivity only spends 35 years on earth according to by the World Wildlife fund (WWF). This means that gorillas have more life when they are in the jungle where they feed on more organic and nutritious foods of the wild fruits, tree shoots, stems, leaves, flowers, vines and the small vertebrates.

In the jungle is where these gorillas normally express their natural intelligence in the way they lead their lives. This is why they are among the closest cousins of man. Due to their intelligence, many people have traveled to their natural habitats to see the gorillas.

There are many kinds of gorillas in the world from the western and eastern lowland gorillas, the cross river gorillas to the mountain gorillas. Gorillas are found in ten African countries; that is, the countries in the western, the central and eastern parts of Africa.

But for our case we shall enlighten you on the mountain gorillas that are found in Uganda, Rwanda and The Democratic Republic of Congo. Here we find over 20 habituated gorilla families available for tourism purposes, mountain gorilla trekking is one of the main foreign exchange earner for those countries.

Rwanda has seven habituated gorilla families found in volcanoes national park in the Virunga region which is straddles Rwanda, Uganda and the DR.Congo and Uganda has ten habituated gorilla families in Bwindi impenetrable national park in the southwestern part of the country and one habituated family at Mgahinga national park in the Virunga region. A 5 day African gorilla safari can combine Bwindi and Volcanoes National parks with 2 gorilla treks in both gorilla destinations.

The only way to see these amazing animals is by taking a gorilla safari that are normally organized by various tour companies and these have affordable tour packages and this can be proofed by going to the internet.

The other way to trek the gorillas, one may get in the Rwanda and Uganda, hire a car in Uganda and take a gorilla tour safari on your own. In other words, it is a self drive gorilla safari.. This is the most adventurous experience one can ever encounter.

Gorilla tours are truly awesome as one get in touch with nature and one of man’s closest cousins in their natural environment.

Tours to see the mountain gorillas in Africa have become one of the leading and most adventurous activity in the world. Thousands of visitors to Africa visit Volcanoes National Park Rwanda to take part in the daily gorilla tours to see these gentle giants in their natural habitat.

mount-karisimbi-view-rwanda
Mountain Karisimbi View in Rwanda

While on your gorilla tour in Rwanda, never miss adventurous trek to the peak of mountain Karisimbi, requiring on 2 days and 1 night camping in the mountains.

About Mountain Karisimbi in Rwanda

Mount Karisimbi is the highest of the eight volcanoes in the magnificent Virunga Mountains. It has a huge dome, now dormant, that dominates the range, more in girth than in height.

Karisimbi means White shell in Kinyaruanda, which refers to its often white-capped summit. Interestingly, this cap results not from snow but from hail and sleet which accumulate in the higher elevations from its frequent storms.

Mountain Karisimbi is situated in Volcanoes national Park which is also known as the Parc National Des Volcans, located in northern Rwanda, less than 2 hour drive from Kanombe International Airport.

Mountain Karisimbi stand at an elevation of about 4507m above sea level. The mountain is situated along the border between Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Rwanda on the western branch of the Eat African Rift valley.

Climbing Mountain Karisimbi is a strenuous and it requires a minimum of 2 days hike. The climb starts early in the morning taking 6 hours and involves navigating through the Bisoke side before reaching the first stopping place at an altitude of 3,700 metres for overnight camping before finishing off the journey the next day.

The hike to the summit of Mountain Karisimbi rewards the view of several bird species, monkeys and some times mountain gorillas to lucky visitors. As you climb Mountain Karisimbi, be a ware of rain which can come at any time due to the altitude. Therefore, it is advisable to move with rain Jackets.

Some level of fitness is needed to climb mountain Karisoke and it is wise to hire porters to help you carry your day pack and hiking equipment. No prior climbing experience required.

You need 4-5 day safari package in Rwanda to combine gorilla tracking and mountain Karisimbi climbing and the itinerary can be as below in brief;

Proposed Itinerary for Gorilla Tour and Mt. Karisimbi Hiking in Rwanda

Day 1: Kigali city tour, lunch, Transfer to Volcanoes National Park

Day 2: Gorilla Tracking, afternoon relaxation

Day 3: Start Mt. Karisimbi hiking, overnight camping in the mountains

Day 4: Reach the summit, descend to the base, relax at your lodge or drive back to Kigali where the tour ends.

Other Tour Activities around Virunga Region

Your visit to Virunga region not only rewards you with mountain gorilla tracking but also other interesting tour activities such as golden monkey tracking, community tours around the Virungas in Rwanda, Uganda and DR Congo, forest hiking, visiting the tombs of Dian Fossey, Mt. Bisoke hiking, Trekking the active volcanoes of Nyiragongo and Nyamurangira in DR Congo and many others.

MAJOR TOURIST ACTIVITIES IN RWANDA

The things to do in Rwanda are not many, but so unique. The country is long passed its war torn days and now is one of the safest countries to visit in Africa. I was blown away when I first arrived in the country because it didn’t feel like Africa at all, it felt like Germany. Unlike other Eastern Africa countries there is strict law and order, there isn’t any garbage on the streets, and lawns are manicured to impossible perfection.

The country is extremely small and there is one thing that everyone knows you can do in Rwanda, gorilla trekking. I would implore you to get to know the people of the nation as they have been through very tumultuous times and have risen above that to create a very unique place in Africa.

Kigali city tour

Kigali is the capital city of Rwanda, very unique and very clean, strategically located in the heart of Rwanda; Kigali is a gorgeous city with great weather. In Kigali, you can visit Gisozi Genocide memorial museum to know more about the 1994 unrest in Rwanda. If you come to Africa and fail to reach Kigali, you have really missed a lot. Other genocide memorial museums around Kigali include Nyamata and Ntarama churches, located 30 - 35km from Kigali city.

Gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park

Gorilla trekking is the climax of all safaris in Rwanda – visiting Rwanda with out reaching mountain Gorillas in Volcanoes National Park is a big mistake. A very unique experience when you can get inches away from Gorillas is something that you can’t put a price on. The largest groups of gorillas are in Uganda but you can also have a great experience in Rwanda. Volcanoes National Park hosts ten habituated Gorilla groups which are set for tourism. These include Susa, Group 13, Hirwa, Ugenda, Karisimbi, Sabyinyo, Umubano and others. Every gorilla group is tracked once by 8 people maximum per day. This aims at reducing human impact on the gorilla habitat.

To go gorilla tracking, you must have a gorilla permit, obtained in advance because their demand is very high throughout the year. Each gorilla permit in Rwanda costs US dollar 750 for foreign non residents, US dollars 450 for foreign residents living in East Africa excluding Rwanda, US dollars 375 for foreigners living in Rwanda, US dollars 300 for East African residents (Ugandans, Kenyans, Tanzanians, Burundians and 30.000 Rwanda Francs for Rwandans.

Gorilla in the Jungle

Chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe National Park

Chimp trekking is the second thought for activity after mountain gorilla trekking in Rwanda. Rwanda’s chimpanzees are found in Nyungwe forest national Park. The park is known for its rich biodiversity and being the most endemic species- rich area in all of Africa. Other primates include the Grey-cheeked mangabeys, blue monkeys, ververts, golden monkeys, baboons, Red tailed monkey, L’Hoest’s monkeys among others. Here we currently have only 2 habituated Chimps groups and tracking activity starts early at 5am from the park headquarters. Each Chimpanzee tracking permit costs US dollars 90, booked through tour operators or Park offices directly.

Forest and Canopy walk

Also takes place in Nyungwe National Park, with about 4 trails where you can take a guided walk in the forest. Each trail takes different duration. We also have adventurous canopy where one gets a fantastic view of the forest and birds.

Game drives

Rwanda is famous for protecting a variety of wild animals and birds – Akagera national Park is situated in Eastern region of Rwanda. Boat cruise on Lake Ihema leaves a lot to be desired.

Lake Kivu

Part of the Great Rift Valley, Lake Kivu is the border between Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo. A great relaxing region where tourists are safe to visit and swim (ask locals where) and it’s also extremely picturesque. Make sure that you try to visit cities like Kibuye, Goma and Gisenye near the DR Congo border. On Kivu Lake, we have a boat ride to the hot springs, or to the coffee Island.

Butare or Huye

This is the cultural hub for the country and was once the most important city before 1965. Here you will find a great national museum that will show the great history of Rwanda and also it’s entrance into the modern world. Visit the nearby Nyabisindu (Nayanza) where you can find the impressive royal palace of Rwanda’s fuedal monarchy.

Dian Fossey’s grave yard

The American researcher Dian Fossey set up a research center high in the Virunga volcanic mountains midway between Karisimbi and Bisoke, naming it the Karisoke Research centre. Now all that remains are some foundation stones and signs detailing what were there. She is buried there next to her beloved mountain gorilla digit. A guide leads the strenuous 3-4 hours hike. You will need at least good 6hours to do the round trip, allowing time to explore.

Dina Fossey Grave Yard

Gisenyi is a bustling market town on the edge of Lake Kivu and not far from the border of the Democratic Republic of Congo (worth a wander to if you have a spare half hour to see the bustle of truckers and coaches sorting out visas to cross into or from Goma). There are hot springs just out of town and also the major brewery that brews the local Primus beer and has a license to brew Guinness. You can visit on weekdays by prior arrangement.

Golden monkey tracking in Volcanoes National Park

These elusive cheeky creatures hang out quite low down in the park, so are a good warm up for the gorillas. At $ 100 a permit they are also considerably cheaper. You will get a guide to accompany you and tell you facts about their habitat and habits.

Rwanda National Ballet

Watch a performance of the Rwanda National Ballet, famous for its traditional dancing and singing.

Virunga Volcanoes

Climb the Virunga Volcanoes between Ruhengeri and Gisenyi. Nyiragongo in the Democratic Republic of Congo is the most commonly climbed volcano from Gisenyi. The Parc National des Volcans region is composed of volcanic mountains, of which two, Nyamuragira and Nyiragongo, across the frontier in the Democratic Republic of Congo, are still active. These are best trekked rather than climbed, and are still for the intrepid. In Rwanda we have Mout Bishoke hiked in one day, and Karisimbi that requires two days.

Rwanda is a small land locked country making part of the East African community. The country is emerging up as one of the leading tourist destination in Africa. Among the places to visit in Rwanda include Volcanoes National Park, Nyungwe Forest and Akagera wildlife park as well as culture and genocide museums. The magnificent Volcanoes National Park Rwanda is the leading tourist destination in East Africa due to presence of the endangered mountain gorillas. Gorilla tracking is the most popular tourist attraction into the country.travel tips

It's important to remember that what may be acceptable behaviour, dress and language in your own country, may not be appropriate in another. Please keep this in mind while travelling.
Below are the top responsible travel tips for Rwanda
1. Be considerate of Rwanda’s customs, traditions, religion and culture.

2. Descent dressing is highly recommended. In other words, visitors to Rwanda are advised to dress modestly and respectfully- Clothes which cover body parts are highly recommended especially in worshiping places.

3. Ask permission, remove your shoes and cover your shoulders with a jacket or wrap before entering a place of worship.

4. To protect the environment, avoid polythen bags or papers and try to avoid buying bottled water. Carry a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water instead.

5. Learn some local language and don't be afraid to use it - simple greetings and thanking will help break the ice.

6. Shop for locally made products like crafts and wooded materials. In doing so, you are supporting local artisans helps keep traditional crafts alive.

7. Avoid supporting businesses that exploit or abuse endangered animals and birds.

8. Always seek permission before taking photos of people, businesses, and buildings among others. Without people consent, please do not take photos.

9. When on community visits or home stays, refrain from giving gifts or money to locals. However, if you are visiting orphanages, please give to the needy.

10. Respect Rwanda’s recent history. Try to avoid discussing politics, ethnicity or genocide because some Rwandans would not like to remind about their past bad experience.

11. Always follow instructions when trekking primates like Gorillas, chimpanzees, golden monkeys, colobus monkeys among others.

12. Always listen to your safari guides’ advise and try to ask where you have not understood.

13. Try to keep time set to start any activity. Gorilla trekking and chimpanzee trekking starts in the morning at around 8am among others.

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.

The mountain gorilla Populations can be found in Uganda—Bwindi impenetrable and Mgahinga national parks, Rwanda-volcanoes national park and the Democratic Republic of Congo in Virunga national park. The number of mountain gorillas is estimated to be around 780 however, their exact number is not known because they inhabit some of the most dense and remote rainforests in Africa. Significant populations still exist, including in isolated forests of Bwindi.

Mountain gorillas can be distinguished from other gorilla subspecies by their slightly larger size; their fur is thicker and longer. They also have more pronounced bony crests on the top and back of their skulls, giving their heads a more conical shape. Large numbers have not protected the mountain gorilla from decline. Because of poaching and disease, the gorilla’s numbers have declined by more than 60% over the last 20 to 25 years. Even if all of the threats to mountain gorillas were removed, scientists calculate that the population would require some 75 years recovering.

It is the mountain Gorilla that occurs in volcanoes national park and is found here at the highest densities so far recorded for the species. In the area of Karisimbi and Sabinyo Gorillas live in groups ranging in size from 10 to 25 individuals, usually with one silverback, maybe 5-7 adult females and then a collection of sub-adults, babies and sometimes subordinate males. Movements within the home range depend on seasonal utilization of key food types. Staple foods for example include leaves, shoots and plant material, but the seasonal availability of fruit is crucial in the diet and influences group foraging movements. Born at 2kg (4.5lbs), female mountain Gorillas will grow to around 220 lbs in weight, while the much larger males might reach 195 kg (430 lbs) and stand (6 ft) in height.

Gorilla tracking in Rwanda

Mountain Gorillas can be observed in volcanoes national park through tracking habituated groups using the impressive skills of our expert local trackers. As a result of the work done by gorilla researcher Diany Fossey , a number of habituated groups can be tracked and observed in the area around Volcanoes. There are 10 habituated groups including Sabyinyo Group, Agashya Group, Amahoro Group, Umubano Group, Susa Group, Karisimbi Group, Hirwa Group, Kwitonda Group, Bwenge Group and Ugende Group. 9 of these groups are usually accessed by our guests while the 10th is used primarily for research purposes. A wide variety of budget gorilla tours available starting from 1 day gorilla trek from Kigali to as many as you want depending on your budget and time. Tracking expeditions start as early as 8am through the thick undergrowth and including the time spent with a gorilla group, excursions can last between 2 to 5 hours.

Gorilla Tracking Rules

  • Minimum age for gorilla viewing is 15 years – this is for reasons of safety but also for possible disease transmission, with children under this age more prone to infection.
  • Maximum proximity to gorillas is 7 metres (22 feet). It is not permitted to approach more closely and we typically view the animals at 10-15m (32-50 feet).
  • Maximum viewing duration of any group is 1 hour per day. Each group is only visited once per day, but if guests would like to spend more than an hour with gorillas on a particular day and time allows it is possible to track a different group following the first encounter.
  • Maximum number of guests per gorilla tracking excursion is 6.
  • Guests that display cold, flu or other respiratory tract symptoms will not be allowed to track gorillas.
  • No food is permitted on gorilla tracking excursions, nor is smoking allowed. Hand washing facilities are provided at the starting point prior to gorilla tracking.
  • While gorilla sightings and encounters are very reliable, viewing is dependent on variables such as weather and tracking conditions.

Among the credible tour companies through which you can book a gorilla safari of your budget include Lets Go Tours Rwanda Ltd, Gorilla Trek Africa, Experience Uganda Safaris, Gorilla Expeditions Limited, Go Gorilla Trekking and Volcanoes Safaris among others.

Mountain gorillas are known to be one of the wild animals that are endangered and decreases in numbers in many forests or mountains in Africa particularly in Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda. Since they are endangered it is of great importance to make sure that humans could not contribute to some diseases that might affect their life. If you are into great desire of visiting these gentle giants then you must be ready with the things that are prohibited and with the rules that are needed to be followed.

If you want to experience mountain gorilla trekking in Africa, we can be the leading providers of tour packages that will surely suit the needs of our every visitor. Services regarding gorilla trekking packages are offered and organized to avoid more hassle on the part of every visitor. And accommodation can be included that is near the gorilla parks, that is to say; Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, Virunga national Park in DR Congo, Mgahinga National Park and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda. Gorilla permits before doing gorilla trekking must also be secured through your travel agent. Gorilla permits for foreign non-residents in Uganda cost US dollars 600 each. However, there are promotional permits of US dollars 350 in April, May and November. In Rwanda, a gorilla permit costs US dollars 750 each.

Gorilla trekking is one of the most popular things to do once you are in Africa particularly at Rwanda and Uganda. It becomes popular for there are many people who demand to experience seeing wild animals such as these giant gentles known as gorillas. Visitors will be engaged in exciting journey wherein they have to follow the guide in tracking the movement of the gorillas in the forest. It might be hard to track gorillas in the forest so it is important to trust the guide and follow as much as possible in order to avoid certain problems.

Trekking Gorillas might take you longer or might spend most of the time so you must be prepared more importantly physically. You must bring enough food and water for snacks. These might be included with the instructions provided prior heading to the headquarters wherein dos and don’ts are as well enumerated.

Once the gorillas are already tracked, you will now have time to observe them but remember not to come too close with them. You can already enjoy watching them or taking some videos and pictures but camera flash must be off. Do not leave anything on the area once you planned to take the journey back home. Rules must really be followed. And there are options with regards to gorilla trekking depending on the preferences of the visitors most especially their availability. Through these wild selections you are provided with chance on which gorilla trekking is the best for you.

Though you are required to spend money, time and effort still it will worth it all once you already experience how it feels like to go gorilla trekking. Aside from the experience that you will gain from this experience, you will also be provided with the chance to be aware about these endangered wild animals named as gorillas. The experience (Gorilla trekking) can as well be considered as one of a lifetime moment that will be treasured and remembered through the rest of the years. Many dream to see real gorillas but only few are granted so it would be an edge among others if you are able to experience mountain gorilla trekking in Africa.