Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Safaris with Explore Rwanda Tours: Dian Fossey, a primatologist, began researching mountain gorillas in Central Africa in 1967, and her findings shed light on the predicament of this delicate and graceful endangered species. Her legacy lives on as these magnificent primates captivate the hearts and imaginations of people all across the world.
Explore Rwanda Tours is happy to provide its Rwandan clients with the opportunity to observe mountain gorillas in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park as well as other primates such as chimps in their native habitats, such as Nyungwe and Cyamudongo forests, a life-changing adventure-travel experience that will be remembered for a lifetime.
Gorillas are Africa’s only remaining large apes, and their numbers are dwindling due to poaching, trophy hunting, and habitat loss. Only around 880 of these beautiful animals exist in the wild.
Considering very few gorillas living on the earth, each loss brings this treasured species closer to extinction. Conservation measures in recent years, including vigorous anti-poaching operations and diligent monitoring, have resulted in a gradual rise in the population of wild mountain gorillas.
Even primate treks, which are intended to enhance species knowledge and conservation, are made available to the public under highly tight rules that are constantly implemented. However, more work has to be done before the world can feel confident about the future of these primates.
Mountain gorillas, one of the world’s most treasured creatures, may now wander their native surroundings largely unharmed. With little space to feed and prosper, gorillas have sought refuge in protected areas in Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Rangers labor diligently as sentinels, always on the lookout for anybody attempting to hurt or capture a gorilla. Because of the high level of security around these African primates, few people get the opportunity to observe them in their natural habitat. Those that do, however, recognize that the experience is considerably more than a casual safari pastime; it is a unique privilege.
Your senses are heightened as your guide informs you that your party is approaching a family of spectacular, solitary mountain gorillas. The tiniest ruffle of leaves draws your attention to the deep greenery just ahead.
Following your guide’s meticulous directions, you take a quiet step forward and kneel down. Deep green foliage frames a bizarre and completely mesmerizing scene: a big silverback male sits peacefully, maintaining watch over his gorilla family. He seems distracted, but your gut tells you he is quietly attentive.
Two females and numerous youngsters groom and eat delicious bamboo stalks near the dominating giant. A little newborn is just inches above them, fighting to hang onto a branch. You smile profoundly at his ungainly agility and drive.
You sit in awe of the gorillas for the next 60 minutes, filming every moment with your camera. The monkeys’ human-like mannerisms and deep interactions cement their position in your heart and thoughts.
Whenever your guide signals that it is time to leave the gorillas, it feels like you are abandoning members of your own family. For our tourists, mountain gorilla treks are both informative and sad, but they are always the ultimate holiday experience in Rwanda’s mountain woods.
To have a good encounter with Rwanda’s mountain gorillas, travelers must adhere to precisely specified standards. Visitors doing gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park must be at least 15 years old and in great physical condition. The health need is not just to satisfy the trek’s demands, but also to keep the gorillas from getting the flu, colds, or other infectious illnesses that may be transmitted from people to primates.
When you are near the gorillas, your guide will instruct you to keep at least seven meters (22 feet) away from the family. This restriction guarantees that the gorillas do not feel threatened and that any diseases they carry are not transmitted to visitors.
The Rwandan Development Board, which is in charge of the mountain gorillas’ conservation, has imposed a daily maximum of 96 permits for people who want to go on excursions to observe them. We recommend that you prepare well ahead, since this is the most popular activity among tourists to Rwanda and the permits go extremely quickly.
If you choose to do mountain gorilla trekking on your nature trip, your Explore Rwanda tour planner will arrange for the permit, which is included in the price of your personalized Rwanda safari package.
We recommend that you wear long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, a waterproof jacket, and heavy-duty footwear suitable for muddy, hilly, and difficult terrain while on your gorilla trip in Volcanoes National Park. You should also include thick gloves and a walking stick.
Those who want to hire a porter to aid with photography equipment and give assistance when needed on the trails should also carry some cash. On the day of your journey, you will be placed to a group of people with comparable fitness levels and ages.
Guests aged 45 and above are often assigned to groups that stay around the foot of the mountains, whilst younger, more athletic guests are assigned to groups that tackle more difficult treks to higher heights. Your group is allocated to one of ten gorilla families.
If you are familiar with the mountain gorilla families in Volcanoes National Park, you can request a group that is specifically designed for that family of primates. Before you begin your journey to visit the gorillas, you will be instructed on correct trekking and mountain gorilla etiquette to ensure that you have the best possible experience. You should plan to return to base by early evening.
While Rwanda’s mountain gorillas offer a tranquil experience in the wilderness, many tourists prefer a high-paced primate activity to finish off their adventure holiday. Fortunately, Rwanda is home to other smaller species that will keep you entertained with their antics and constant activity in the treetops, including the rare and endangered golden monkey, a subspecies of the more widespread Sykes’ or blue monkeys.
These monkeys travel freely at higher elevations, and their most distinguishing characteristic is their dark golden-orange eyes, which are framed by short, soft grey hair, a black stripe down the nose, and white-grey whiskers around the lips.
The primates’ amazing coloration continues with longer fur on the face that is mottled orange and black, as well as a tuft of black fur on top of their heads. The nape of the neck, arms, and legs are coated in black hair, while the back is covered with golden-orange fur that matches the eyes and runs down the majority of the tail, with the exception of a black tip.
Golden monkeys’ personalities are as bright as their outfits. They spend the majority of their time scampering across the forest canopy, only pausing to munch on something sensitive or simply gazing down at people watching them from below.
Golden monkey trekking in Volcanoes National Park is easy to incorporate into your wilderness vacation because the Rwandan government does not limit the number of visitors per day. However, because the monkeys are uncommon and endangered, we recommend that you take the same care as if you were walking with mountain gorillas.
Guests are separated into groups of eight or fewer, with each group allocated to one of the habituated golden monkey armies. Each unit includes 80 to 100 soldiers, with the first generally stationed near the base of Mount Sabyinyo.
Photographers should expect to be patient with golden monkeys since the dense foliage and their fast movements make photographing them difficult; you will seldom be able to picture a golden monkey on the forest floor.
In summary; Rwanda is home to a variety of other primates that you may see during your activities, but organizing hikes expressly for mountain gorillas and golden monkeys gives you the best opportunity of seeing these two rare and endangered species.