Volcanoes National Park sits on the north-western province of Rwanda in a small town known as Musanze. This park is the oldest national park in the African continent and it covers 160 km² of rainforest and home to the Rwandan section of the Virungas Mountains, five volcanoes, and shelter endangered Mountain Gorillas.
The Virungas, which tower over Rwanda, Uganda and the DRC presents a variety of climbing and trekking options. Volcanoes national park runs a very smooth gorilla trekking operation. The treks are well organized and structured.
What is Mountain gorilla trekking?
Mountain gorilla trekking is a field exercise that involves traveling into the gorilla habitat, exploring the forest, walking in the footprints and following all leads of fresh Mountain gorilla presence until you reach their exact location. Mountain gorillas live in a group of several individuals with a dominant adult.
Rwanda Gorilla trekking
Tracking endangered mountain gorillas through the mysterious intimacy of the rain forest, home for over 200 species of a variety of colorful birds, reptiles, amphibians, insects among other creatures and chattering of the rare golden monkey is one unforgettable truly unique experiences and make a complete Rwanda safari package. You’ll find thick moors with endemic giant lobelia and groundsel.
The massif Virungas Mountains is home to around half of the world’s precious mountain gorillas. It is one of the three other only habitats for Mountain gorillas on the planet and the only possible destinations for Mountain gorilla trekking expeditions in Rwanda.
Below you’ll find some guidelines for how to behave around gorillas are meant to ensure both your safety and that of the gorillas.
Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Guidelines
Gorillas are susceptible to human infections since their DNA is a 98% match with human DNA and their immunity is not as strong as ours so even a common cold, can be dangerous to the gorilla. Some of these are
Gorilla trekking guidelines in Rwanda include:
- Do not go gorilla trekking, if you have a cold, flu, or any other contagious infection.
- Only one group of tourists can visit the mountain gorillas each day and you can only spend an hour with them.
- Keep a distance of 7m from the gorillas, and if the gorillas try to get close, try to move further away.
- Keep your voices low and try not to make sudden movements while around the gorillas.
- Do not eat or drink when you are with the gorillas
Hiking, canoeing, mountain biking, and village experiences offer something for everyone to enjoy. The park is the top tourist destination in Rwanda – a small country located in East Africa and surrounded by Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Rwanda’s capital city is Kigali, which is accessible via the Kigali International Airport.
Photo credit: youngrobv / Flickr
Tourism in Volcanoes National Park
Tourism in Volcanoes National Park is well established. The gorilla tracking experiences and hotels operate smoothly and the people are friendly, appreciating the value of tourism to their economy and their area. There are a number of accommodation near Volcanoes National Park in both Uganda and Rwanda where you can stay for the duration of your gorilla safari.
Those in Ruhengeri and Kinigi generally fall into the lower budget categories while the more expensive can be found closer to the park.
The rainforests are at a higher altitude and temperatures are generally lowest in the African region. The tropical sun cause evaporation of vapor and rain forming. In Volcanoes National Park, it rains at any time regardless of the season.
The park has extensive bamboo forests and some of the last remaining Afro-montane forest habitat on the planet. a spectacular array of rare and endangered animals and plants.
Want to learn more about other sustainable destinations? Check our other Sustainable.
Photo credit: Andries3 / Flickr