Mountain gorillas are pretty special creatures and if you are looking for an adventure then you can head to East Africa this year for a gorilla trek which will give you access to these amazing animals.
It is a very sad fact that there are just under 900 mountain gorillas left in the wild, thankfully however they are in good hands and conservationists are active in helping to increase the population. In order to help with the conservation and for a truly awesome travel experience you can get up close and personal with the gorillas, and East Africa is the place to do it. Throughout Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo you’ll find gorilla trek tours, and Rwanda is somewhere that I’d totally recommend.
Rwanda gorilla trekking tours are best done in the peak seasons between June and September or December through February, as this is the dry season which makes trekking that bit easier. Gorilla safaris are an amazing way to see these beasts and here is a brief guide as to what you can expect in Rwanda.
What You Can Expect to See
Tours range greatly in terms of how many days you trek for, whether or not you remain in Rwanda or cross the border into Uganda, and also when it comes to what animals you can expect to see. Volcanoes national park is where you’ll find the animals and you can expect to see both Silverback and Blackback gorillas, you may also see some Golden Monkeys and Chimpanzees if you take a longer trek.
Where You’ll Be Traveling
Most travelers head to the hub airport of Kigali in the central region of Rwanda before making the 2 hour drive north west up to Volcanoes National Park, where the trek will begin. You will then begin your quest into the heart of the park and right up to the border, hot on the trail of the mountain gorillas, Much of the length and difficulty of the trek will depend on how the gorillas move, and you can expect to be out and about for around 7-9 hours per day, trekking anywhere up to 3 or 4 kilometers.
Intensity of the Trek
The trek itself is relatively slow and cautious, which makes it perfectly doable for the large majority of people. As long as you consider yourself healthy and you are generally quite active then you’ll be fine to make the trek, but there will not be any intense mountain climbs or overly long treks which should worry you.
In order to track gorillas in their natural habitat like this you need to first obtain a permit, which in Rwanda costs $1500. This may seem high but we must consider the meager number of wild gorillas which there are still left, this money contributes towards their protection. Tour prices can range per day between $150- $700, depending on the size of the group, the company you use and the length of the tour.
Within the price you will be covered for food, accommodation in some of the incredible hotels and guesthouses throughout this region, on top of this you’ll get a guide, drinking water, meals and many will also offer a memorable canopy walk where you can enjoy spectacular views of this beautiful region in Rwanda. .
Reasons You Shouldn’t Miss Out
Contrary to what you may have in mind, these tours give you the opportunity to get very close to groups of gorillas and you will be able to gaze upon these beasts as they go about their day, without the need for binoculars or anything like that. Beyond getting truly up close and personal, these treks give you a slice of the wild, a truly incredible chance to stay in a remote location which is no doubt vastly different from how you normally spend your vacations.
If you’ve seen gorillas in zoos before and think that’s all then think again, there is absolutely nothing like capturing these incredible animals in their natural environment.