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Are you planning to visit Africa to see mountain gorillas in their natural habitat and you want to know the reasons why you should trek gorillas in Rwanda? Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda is a renowned unique gorilla trekking destination in Africa. It is part of the only homes of the mountain gorillas in the world that make up the Virunga area. Volcanoes National park has about 13 gorilla trekking families that meander an area of about 160 sq km. This area includes five mountains where mountain gorillas love to spend some time on the slopes or bottom.
You can opt to hike any of the five mountains that make up Volcanoes National Park. These include Karisimbi Mountain, Bisoke Mountain, Gahinga Mountain, Muhavura Mountain, and Sabyinyo Mountain. The varying vegetation zones on these mountains provide great scenery not easily seen on land.in some seasons the mountain gorillas also hike to the slopes to locate food, especially bamboo which is their favorite meal.
Golden monkeys trekking is unique to Volcanoes National park in Rwanda. Here you can locate the grave of the gorilla heroin Diane Fossey who dedicated her life to the service of mountain gorillas.
The abundant birdlife here attracts more birders to do gorilla trekking alongside spotting a number of birds including Albertine endemics. Volcanoes National park is a natural magnet for anyone interested in wildlife activities in Rwanda inclusive of gorilla trekking.
Highlights of What Makes Rwanda A Best place to see Gorillas In Africa
- Gorilla Trekking in Volcanoes National Park
- Golden Monkey trekking in Volcanoes National Park
- Hiking Mountains in Volcanoes National Park
- Birding in Volcanoes National Park
- Hiking to the Dian Fossey Trek In Volcanoes National park
The top reasons why you should trek gorillas in Rwanda;
Rwanda’s main tourism selling point is gorilla trekking which only happens in Volcanoes National park. So far 13 gorilla trekking families have been habituated and opened for tourism in Rwanda.
Some of the gorilla trekking families in Volcanoes National Park include the Sabyinyo gorilla family, the Susa Gorilla family, Group 13 gorilla family, the Amahoro gorilla family, Karisimbi gorilla Family, Umubano Gorilla Family to mention but a few
You must possess a Rwanda gorilla trekking permit currently costing $1500 per person to be allowed to do gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park. Only one hour is allowed with the mountain gorillas when you locate them. This is to allow them time to proceed with personal life activities like feeding and grooming to mention but a few.
Golden monkey Trekking In Volcanoes National Park
The fun of following the golden monkeys after gorilla trekking is only left to the Virunga area in the world. Volcanoes National Park is one of the habitats of this endangered monkey specie in the world.
During golden monkey trekking, you follow these semi-habituated troupes of monkeys. They are more active than mountain gorillas. They keep you on your toes almost through the adventure.
They are physically larger than other monkeys that inhabit this forest. Their golden brown fur covers almost half the body and it’s from this that they acquire this name.
While trekking to see the golden monkeys you may get to spot other primates like black and white colobus, L’Hoest’s, vervet monkeys, grey-cheeked mangabey, red-tailed monkeys, blue monkeys, olive baboons the list is endless. Volcanoes National Park is a primate haven in Rwanda.
Mountain Climbing In Volcanoes National Park After Gorilla Trekking
What Makes Rwanda A Best place to see Gorillas In Africa. The hike may last a day on a return adventure. Volcanoes National Park area includes 5 volcanoes including Mountain Muhabura, Mountain Karisimbi, Mountain Bisoke, Mountain Gahinga, and Mountain Sabyinyo.
You go through different vegetation zones according to an altitude between 2400m to 2500m Neoboutania, 2500m to 3200m Arundinaria, and 3200m to 3600m Hagenia- Hypericum. These are also feeding grounds for the primates that live in this park. If you wish to take great canopy photography of the Volcanoes forest this is the best time to use to
Birding in Volcanoes National Park During Gorilla trekking
During gorilla trekking, you have a double opportunity to spot a number of birds inclusive of Albertine endemics. Volcanoes National park gives safe haven to the abundant birdlife of Rwanda. The list of Rwanda birds living here so far is composed of more than 90 bird species of which 13 species are endemic.
You may get the chance to identify birds like Shelley’s Crimson wings, handsome Francolin, Rwenzori Turaco, Arche’s Robin chat, and others. Volcanoes National park is the top Rwanda birding destination.
Hiking to the Dian Fossey Trek In Volcanoes National park After Gorilla trekking
Dian Fossey gave birth to the current details of gorilla trekking in Africa through her research. After realizing how humans were heartless about the existence of the mountain gorillas that were on the verge of extinction by the 1980s, she started the habituation process. In 1967 she set up the Karisoke Research Center in Rwanda where she staged her work.
Including humans in the lives of the mountain gorillas at least for a small part of the day reduced the animosity between the two homosapiens. By allowing humans to have some limited time with the mountain gorillas, filmmakers were enticed to create something out of her efforts. The film “Gorillas in the Mist” was part of Dian Fossey’s research and writings.
Not all went as she desired because by in 1985, Dian Fossey met her death by unknown people. Her love for the mountain gorillas followed her to the grave as she was buried amongst the gorillas which was her wish. Part of her work still exists and an institution was set up in her memory.
Whenever you choose a visit to the Dian Fossey grave contribute greatly to conserving the endangered mountain gorillas. As of now, the number of mountain gorillas are rising every census currently over 1000 gorillas from 250 mountain gorillas by the 1980s but more is still needed.
Kigali City Tour Before Or After Gorilla Trekking In Volcanoes National park
Reasons why you should trek gorillas in Rwanda. You cannot go gorilla trekking in Rwanda without passing through Kigali city in case you arrive at Kigali Airport. Taking a city tour in Kigali you get a glance into the commercial life of Rwandese. The incredible views of the green surroundings are refreshing.
Kigali city is one of the cleanest and most organized cities in Africa with very strict rules especially concerning eco-city. Dumping garbage carelessly in the city is punishable by law which is a rare thing in most African cities.
To remind locals and visitors about where Rwanda is coming from, genocide memorials are in place as a representation of 100 days of ignorance in 1994. Some of the memorials include the Kigali genocide memorial, St Families church, and Gisozi Genocide Memorial. Some names of victims of the Rwanda genocide are scribed on the walls with horrific stories about what transpired.
Visit the ethnological museum of Rwanda, the shopping centers and so much more.
How Much Is Rwanda Gorilla Trekking and Golden Monkey permits
To go gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park you need a permit. Each Rwanda permit costs $1500 per person per trek. You must check for availability from Rwanda Development Board and purchase the permit as soon as possible because they are few yet highly demanded.
Rwanda so far has about 13 gorilla families open for public booking. Only 8 permits per family are released but you must be 15 years and above to participate. For conservation reasons, a limited number is opened for tourist booking so as to reduce mass tourism and all its issues. Mountain gorillas are basically vegetarian and if many people are admitted into the forest at ago they may trample their food.
Golden monkeys permit in Rwanda cost $ 100 per person per trek per day.
What Is The Best Time To Do Gorilla Trekking In Volcanoes National Park
Reasons why you should trek gorillas in Rwanda? All year round gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National park is open. Carry the right gorilla trekking gear because Rwanda’s temperatures are low.
June to September and December to mid-January are less humid and friendlier to activities like gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National park. Although the forest is thick, some sunray penetrates this time to dry some water off the ground.
The rainy seasons that is March to May and November have rivers overflowing, ground soft and soggy, slippery slopes and so much more. This however doesn’t stop gorilla trekking but you need to pack a raincoat and tracking boots to walk through this.
What Accommodations To Book For gorilla Trekking In Volcanoes National Park
A wide range of accommodation plans are available for you to book in Volcanoes National Park. These range from Upmarket, Midrange, or Budget accommodations. Some are located close to the park but you can spend the night in Kigali City too.
A few of these accommodations in Volcanoes National park include Da Vinci Gorilla Lodge, Hotel Mille Collines, Gorilla Volcanoes Hotel , Virunga Volcanoes Lodge, Le Bambou Gorilla Village, Best View Hotel, Mountain Gorilla View Lodge, Kinigi Guest House, Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge,.
Packing list For Gorilla Trekking Safari In Volcanoes National Park
- Safari Hat to wear when in the wilderness and protect your hair from flying insects in the jungle.
- Flash-less camera to keep memories of your experience in the jungle.
- Sweater or fleece to keep warm because it gets cold in the jungle
- Pajamas to wear when going to sleep.
- A pair of Binoculars for observing far-ranging attractions.
- Tracking boots to protect your feet from rough surfaces in the jungle.
- Rain Coat or Poncho just in case it rains while you are searching for the gorillas.
- A Mask to wear when in front of the mountain gorillas
- Long-sleeved shirt and convertible trousers
- Insect repellant
- First Aid box with some medication in case you get injured.