When we talk of mountain gorillas, Rwanda becomes on the first list as its privileged to be among the three countries in the world where these endangered species live, the other two are Uganda and Democratic republic of Congo. Rwanda is located in central Africa and its regarded as one of the smallest country not only in Africa but also in the whole world, it covers an area of about 26,338km2 and its population density is among the highest in the sub-Saharan Africa about 13 million people live in Rwanda. It’s just recovering from major ethnic conflict of the mid-1990s where over 1 million people were killed within 90 days. Whatever the case may be, this small country is among the most visited countries in the world, very many visitors whole over the world jet in to come and see the natural wonders that inhabit the country more so the rarely seen mountain gorillas.
Gorilla tracking is one of the most interesting adventurous activities done on earth, meeting these giants deep in the forest of the Volcanoes national park is regarded as a moment in life very difficult to forget. Rwanda houses almost a half of these remaining mountain gorillas in the wild over 400 individuals out of 900 remaining mountain gorillas live in the volcanoes national park. Trekking gorillas is the major highlight to any traveler to this African country forcing many people to leave their beautiful homes and offices to come and spend at least 1-2 days in the wild with these giant apes. Tracking begins very early in the morning after reporting at the park headquarters before 7:00qm to receive short briefings about the dos and don’ts while with these giants. After you will follow the ranger guide to the tropical rain forest to begin the gorilla tracking activities, tracking time is unpredictable as it can from a half to full day so a reasonable degree of fitness is called for. Once you meet these giants you are only allowed to stay with them for one hour while studying as well as observing their behaviors.
Not only mountain gorillas that can be seen the rain forest of Volcanoes National Park, but also you can still meet other primate species like the golden monkey which are also known as endangered, black and white colobus monkey, red tailed monkey among others, many species of birds, tree species and various species of butterflies all these species makes the park more attractive to visit. Volcanoes national park is located in the north-western part of Rwanda in Ruhengeri Musanze district. It’s about 2-3 hours’ drive from Kigali Rwanda’s capital and largest city up to Kinigi headquarters. Permits are obtained at the Rwanda Tourism Board Offices (ORTPN) found in Kigali or Ruhengeri (close to the PNV) and they cost US$1500 per person per tracking and this includes the park entry fee plus the ranger guides. Gorilla tracking Permits are at a very high demand and you are recommended to book your permit prior to your safari dates at least 3-5 month to avoid regret. You are also advised to book a gorilla permit through a tour operator or a company organizing your safari as they have access to these permits than booking it individually.