Rwanda is becoming Africa’s best mountain gorilla trekking unique and magical experience for Volcanoes National Park in the north west of Rwanda the prime gorilla territory. The national park is a haven for 12 habituated mountain gorilla families, ideal for close encounters and wonderful photo moments with these gentle giants.
Gorilla tracking adventure in Rwanda will take you through Africa’s most pristine afro – montane forests, and in so doing you will likely to come across some of the wonderful species such as golden monkeys, colorful Rwenzori turaco and prehistoric three-horned chameleons. But eventually, all your efforts will be rewarded as you come face to face with your first mountain gorilla silver back and his family in the mystic depths of their lush stronghold in the Virunga.
Described by many as a life changing experience, this is certainly one of Africa’s bucket-list experiences. But perhaps gorilla trekking safaris have become an experience that powers up a lifeline for the preservation and conservation of the last remaining mountain gorillas in Africa now estimated at less than 880 individuals worldwide.
Gorilla trekking is one of the most remarkable wildlife experiences known people who have had a chance to visit the mountain gorillas. Whilst some travelers may be slightly surprised at the gorilla tracking fees of between $600 of Uganda and $750 of Rwanda per permit, the reality is that this money actually goes directly into the anti-poaching movement and to date, the results show that the gorilla numbers are steadily increasing. The treks are worth every penny and more. In fact, we would always recommend that one treks twice, as the first time around, one can hardly believe what you are seeing, and most people are desperately trying to film the one hour experience on camera and video, with the end result being that one misses so much. This is why, the second time around, one can simply stop and relax and watch and witness your extraordinary group.
The walks can take anything from around two hours to around four or five hours – depending upon which group you have and where they are. In Rwanda, you have bamboo forest and should your gorillas move to a clearing, then the photography tends to be easier. You cannot use a flash when taking images of gorillas. On my last experience, the guide spoke to us of when he worked with Dian Fossey and he communicated with the gorillas in a language that they understood. He made comforting, reassuring noises that put them at rest and you watched as they interacted with one another, enjoying the huge bond that existed between the mothers and their babies.
The gorilla experience is all year with the exception of April, May and November which is the rainy months in East Africa. Having said that, you are in rain forests and therefore, it doesn’t make a huge amount of difference except that, it is easier to trek in the dry season.