Recorded as members of the great Ape family – the Mountain Gorillas thrive only in the Africa safari holiday destinations of Uganda Rwanda and Congo on global scale and due to their critically endangered conservation status; they have incredibly gained much attention world over almost surpassing the traditional wildlife safaris in Africa.
Following the horrific genocide times, the destination Rwanda embarked on rigorous conservation initiatives and later adopted gorilla tourism as a key strategy to Mountain Gorilla conservation. These efforts have in turn positioned Rwanda as a key destination for gorilla tracking experience prompting word travelers to take up gorilla safaris to Rwanda.
The habitat of Mountain Gorillas in Rwanda is Volcanoes National Park with more than ten (10) habituated gorilla families for research and tourism. Gorilla permits in Rwanda are solely sold by the Rwanda Development Board at a tune of $1500 per permit but the local tour operators can as well assist with the permit booking. The Rwandan gorilla permit is apparently the most expensive in the region but of course coming with short drive connection from Kigali and easy to trek possibilities. The Uganda gorilla trekking safari permit costs $600 while Congo gorilla trekking safari permit costs $400.
The Rwanda gorilla trekking safari experience involves a legendary trek through the alpine forests on the slopes of the great Virunga massif surrounded by amazing scenery, lush flora and amazing bird sights and sounds. The duration is unpredictable but an estimate of 2 – 8 hours is always given. On many occasions, the gorilla trekking in Rwanda lasts about 4 – 5 hours inclusive of one hour of actual gorilla viewing.
The gathering and briefing for gorilla tracking in Rwanda is carried out at Kinigi park headquarters of Volcanoes National Park. The activity is conducted by the park rangers who also guide through the forest.
For travelers interested in Africa photographic safari tours, Volcanoes National Park features short vegetation that makes visibility of Mountain Gorillas better and hence good photo shoots.