About Rwanda. When it comes to visiting Africa, Rwanda the land of a thousand hills cannot miss out on the bucket list of top destinations to visit for Safaris in the African continent, this amazing African destination is geographically located in the Eastern part of the African continent typically sharing borders with Tanzania in the East, Uganda the pearl of Africa in the North, Burundi in the south and Democratic Republic of Congo in the West.
Rwanda is popularly known and liked by different tourists from different countries of the World; this is brought about by its key major attracting factors which include different unique attractions, exciting places to go, ease of accessibility, welcoming locals, available good service providers, stable financial status, stable security and more.
All visitors to Rwanda from different countries of the World access it by air transport means arriving at Kigali international airport which is a few kilometres from Kigali city. But to be issued entry permission to Uganda you must present three required documents at the customs which include a valid passport, entry visa and valid yellow fever vaccination card.
Although there are several attracting factors which attract more tourists from different countries of the World, Rwanda is most popularly known for the shy endangered Mountain Gorillas and Golden monkeys in Volcanoes National Park with the most popular and mostly done activities being Mountain Gorilla trekking and Golden Monkey tracking.
What’s Gorilla trekking? This is an exciting activity done in Rwanda by different tourists and it involves moving in a group of about eight people following the well permanently established trails heading to the jungle in search of the shy endangered ground-dwelling herbivores Mountain Gorillas with the interest of meeting them for interaction, behavioural experience and witnessing their natural appearance.
Where to go for Gorillas? While in Rwanda the land of a thousand hills for the rarely seen shy endangered ground-dwelling herbivores Mountain Gorillas, Volcanoes National Park is the only destination to go for these apes and really experience them.
Volcanoes National Park which is Rwanda’s must-visit is geographically located in the North Eastern part of Rwanda along Rwanda’s border with the Democratic Republic of Congo, this amazing destination is listed among the top five gorilla-hosting destinations in the African continent. Travelling from Kigali by road, it takes about 2-3 hours the drive from Kigali up to the Kinigi Park offices in the Musanze district.
It’s among the three destinations which make up the Virunga Massif with Mgahinga Gorilla National Park of Uganda and Virunga National Park of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Volcanoes National Park is home to five of the eight Virunga mountain volcanoes including Mountain Bisoke, Mountain Karisimbi, Gahinga, Muhabura and Mountain Sabyinyo, the first conservationist who raised the campaign towards conserving Gorilla lives “Dian Fossey” was buried in the suburbs of this Park after being killed by the rebel attackers who invaded the Park.
Besides Mountain Gorillas, this Park is also known for habiting other wildlife species including primates like Golden monkeys, Colobus monkeys, Red tailed monkeys, Vervet, Mangabey, baboons and more, reptiles like snakes, geckos, chameleons plus different bird species including endemic species and non-endemic species.
Mountain Gorilla trekking is usually started in the morning after a briefing conducted at the Park offices in Kinigi or starting point to highlight trekkers on how to behave while in the jungle and in presence of these shy endangered Mountain Gorillas.
After the briefing and group allocation, park ranger guides and armed officers are assigned to different groups and the journey to the Jungle is started searching for these apes in the Jungles and after locating them you are allowed to be in their presence for only one hour while seeing them playing, feeding, laughing plus taking photos and videos of them.
After a one-hour session next step is vacating the place back to the Park offices for the Gorilla trekking certificate award such that a room is created for apes to continue with their day-to-day activities, it’s advised that you come along with your packed food when heading for a Gorilla trek to eat while in the Jungle since usually, lunchtime reaches when Gorilla trekkers are still in the Jungles.
Gorilla trekking in Rwanda requires a permit such that you are granted permission for the activity and this permit costs $1500 USD per person which is usually booked in advance before your trekking dates.
Besides Mountain Gorilla trekking in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, you can also do Golden monkey tracking which involves meeting with the species of the Old World monkey family in Jungles, it costs $100 USD per person. Other activities to do include Volcanoes hiking, Dian Fossey hike at $75 USD per person and Iby’wacu cultural experience.