Following Dian Fossey’s gorillas in the mist experience in Rwanda, this tour covers a visit to the mountain gorillas at the base of mount Muhabura, trek the golden monkeys, and a visit to the Karisoke research Centre on the slopes of mount Karisimbi and Bisoke. This trip will take you through the town of Kigali for city tour. Visit the genocide memorial the final resting place for over 250,000 victims who were killed during the Genocide, visit Rwanda national museum and proceed your journey to the park.
In Rwanda Volcanoes National Park, gorilla trekking tours are the main pull factor; other activities like golden monkey trekking, hike to Dian Fossey Tomb, bird watching are equally fascinating. Scaling or Climbing Karisimbi, Climbing Bisoke, Climbing Muhabura are activities that you can participate in. Mountain gorillas are critically endangered, which makes the life-changing experience of visiting them in their natural habitat even more extraordinary and precious. A short briefing is made by the park warden about gorilla tracking; the guide leads you to the gorilla tracking point trail and start searching for the endangered primates in the forest. This may take between 1 to 8 hours depending on the location and movement of these apes in their natural world.
Looking straight in the eyes of a silver back, experiencing a close encounter with a tranquil mountain gorilla is a gratifying experience that will remain memorable, neither is a hike through the moist fertile undergrowth, frequently dense with mist. However the challenges you go through while hiking will all be forgotten when you set eyes for the first time on the Rwanda gorillas and the impression of affiliation is very overpowering. Habituated gorilla group can be visited by a maximum of 8 people in a day and the minimum age for visiting the gorillas is 16 years and this is the standard limit. It applies in Uganda and Rwanda and it is strongly enforced in all the national parks. However there is a maximum age for gorilla seeing in Rwanda which is 16 and above. It is such a great privilege to come face to face with our distant cousins in Volcanoes National Park.
The gorilla trekking procedure in Rwanda is slightly different to that in Uganda. In Uganda, you purchase gorilla permit for a given gorilla family and then trek to that family, but in Rwanda the permit is not specific to a family and the gorilla group you are allocated is dependent on several factors. The actual cost of a Rwanda gorilla permit is 750 per person per trek. Gorilla trekking safaris in this national park are one of the thrilling magical experiences one can never miss on her trip to Africa.
Trekking the golden monkey through the bamboo forests they live in, is another unique experience. You assemble at the park headquarters just like gorilla tracking. After the briefing you will move into the forest together with your guide to look for these primates. The golden monkey is an endangered species. Once spotted Watching them you will realize how aptly named playground equipment such as monkey bars and jungle gyms are. Seeing these endangered animals in their natural habitat is worth an extra day in the area. There’s only one tour per day for the monkeys and one overlapping tour for gorillas, so you can’t visit both the big and small primates in the same day.
Thanks to Dian Fossey, a researcher who was buried at her research centre alongside these mountain gorillas to which she dedicated her life. She was an American Zoologist who committed her life to carry out a study and research about the mountain gorillas and she headed campaigns against gorilla poaching. Her major aim was to conserve these mountain gorillas that were being killed by poachers. But she was later killed and buried on one of the mountain ranges in the Volcanoes. The trail heading to her tomb and Karisoke Research Centre is a beautiful one yet challenging as you get to learn about someone who left a legacy for gorilla conservation, visit the gardens and other number of gorilla tombs that were buried next to her. After you return back to you lodge or depart for your next destination.