Rwanda is one of the few countries with mountain gorillas and one can never talk about tourism in Rwanda without mentioning gorilla trekking. So first thing when a tourist wants to visit Rwanda the mountain gorillas come first because it’s a niche tourism product around the world. Gorillas are one of the endangered animals in Rwanda. Gorillas are in hundreds in Rwanda and thanks to American naturalist Diana Fossey who worked tirelessly to save them she made them known to the tourists and the government of Rwanda. That’s why they are the main tourism product in Rwanda today.
The government of Rwanda took the opportunity to protect these animals in volcanoes national park in the Virunga mountain ranges found on the borders of Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo which are all found in the northern part of the country, one has to pay 750 us dollars to see these wonderful creatures. The park is well gazetted and with exquisite accommodation accessible like; Hotel Des Mille Collines, Kigali Serena Hotel, Hotel Chez Lando, Grand Legacy Hotel and many more in Kigali. One can opt to stay near the national park with many hotels of choice depending on your budget and these include; Mountain Gorilla View Lodge, Le Bambou Gorilla Lodge, Kinigi Guest House and for high end travelers consider Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge, Mountain Gorilla Nest (Jack Hanna House) and Volcanoes Virunga Lodge, these can give a visitor the finest and fancy life while taking a gorilla safari. They offer a wide range of services it’s upon your budget that you take one of them.
It is not only being few gorillas in the world that make viewing mountain gorillas so special but the unique character and the way they live that make them very interesting animals. That is why a naturalist Dian Fossey made them her family. They are one of human’s closest living relatives. Before one comes to view mountain gorillas in Rwanda he/she should put in mind that one is not going to easily spot a mountain gorilla like in a zoo but he/she is going for a jungle trek. You will have to reach the national park by 7:00 am in the morning. Get in to a group of eight people then get ready for a thrill of an excursion. You will have to move around the forested mountains to see the gorillas and you will be led by a well experienced gorilla patron. You will be following the footprints of gorillas as you move with your carved walking sticks around the tropical forests until you track them down. This is a very adventurous activity which takes around 3-8 hours to find the gorillas. So one is supposed to dress like a jungle man. Gorillas normally walk in a group of around 6-10 individuals led by the silver back the male gorilla and they are very shy animals. You are supposed to be careful when you reach them. You should keep a self-distance of about 22 feet away from the gorilla although this is at times difficult as the gorillas will come towards you to play. You should also keep your voices low and no flash cameras. Then you will take picture of them feed, and play around the young ones. Note that you will be given only one hour to interact with these habituated gorillas
It is really an awesome moment beyond all superlatives! As it is an emotional and a lifetime experience to interact with these primates. Thousands of tourist fly to Rwanda to view these incredible beasts. If you have not taken a gorilla safari you better book a gorilla permit and come to Rwanda to watch them before they get extinct.