Gorilla Tracking Rwanda In Volcanoes National Park
Gorilla tracking Rwanda is the main and popular tourism activity to do in Rwanda. Mountain gorillas are only found in the virunga conservation area, which is Uganda, Rwanda and DR Congo, thus the only place on the planet to see mountain gorillas in the wild. There are about 480 mountain gorilla population distributed in Volcanoes national park Rwanda, Bwindi Impenetrable National park, Mgahinga gorilla national park in Uganda, and Virunga national park in DR Congo.
Gorilla tracking Rwanda
This is what happens when you are up to track the mountain gorilla in Rwanda. You are expected to be at the park headquarters in kinigi with your gorilla tracking Rwanda permit, passport, dressed well for the tracking, with your snack, mineral water and a walking stick. Permits will be verified and at that time you will be served with a cup of coffee or tea and entertained by the traditional dancers, then you will be briefed by the park official and be given the tips and guidelines on how to behave during the tracking and while before the gorillas.
You will then be put in groups of 8 to visit a particular gorilla family and afterwards you will be driven to the starting point, every group is given a park guide and two well trained scouts for security backup. These gorilla families are very unpredictable as you may not know how far or close they are, thus Gorilla tracking can take a varied length of time depending on the group that is tracking, the general location of the gorilla family, the terrain, weather and a few other factors. Sometimes the tracking will take as short as 30 minutes, other times it will take as long as 7 hours. This makes gorilla tracking Rwanda experience unpredictable, adventurous and exciting. For those with physical limitations, porters are available to help you through the tracking.
You will the hike through the forest, climb steep slopes of the volcanoes, look out for the plant roots, branches or a walking stick to help you pull yourself the steep paths. The trek is not easy but worth it, you get to forget how hard the trek was the moment you get face to face with the gorillas.
A moment with the gorillas
Eventually after the hard trek, here you are with the gorillas, the feeling is indescribable, standing close to the mountain gorillas is way out of those world, to some it brings tears in the eyes, as it a very unique and amazing experience. You have one full hour with the gorillas looking at them closely, watching them eat, and go about their lives, caring for the young ones just a humans do, it’s incredible. Before the gorillas you are advised to keep still, calm and quiet in order not to startle them into attacking or running away, you are advised to avoid making eye contact with the gorillas, they can mistake it for a call to attack. In case you look the gorilla in the eye and it begins to charge or get intimidated, don’t run, stay calm and lower your head as a sign of submission, the gorilla will know you are not up for the fight. Take as many photographs as you can for memory but ensure the flash lights and camera sounds are turned off, lest you irritate the gorillas. The one hour will feel like a minute but you will have to leave the gorillas anyway and head back to the park headquarter and to the lodge.
Best Time for gorilla tracking Rwanda
Gorilla tracking Rwanda can be done all year round. Although tracking gorillas Rwanda in the dry season of June – September and December – February can be the best option. Tracking in the wet season of October, November, April & May is quite challenging as its usually muddy, slippery making it a Cost of Gorilla tracking Rwanda safari
Distance to gorilla tracking Rwanda: The distance to volcanoes national park where gorilla tracking Rwanda takes place is about 3 hours from Kigali and distance of 109 km. It’s possible for one to spend just a day for tracking, that means one has to do an early morning drive to ruhengeri to be in time for briefing and tracking.