Rwanda and Gorillas

Rwan­da is a spe­cial goril­la trekking des­ti­na­tion of its own. Rwanda’s moun­tain goril­las live with­in the Virun­ga region, which is in Vol­ca­noes Nation­al Park. This is a com­pact park and forms part of the exten­sive Virun­ga Con­ser­va­tion Area. Lying in North­west­ern Rwan­da, Vol­ca­noes NP accounts for 30% of the world’s endan­gered moun­tain goril­la population.

Trav­el­ing to vis­it goril­las in Vol­ca­noes Park takes just 2–3 hours’ dri­ve from Kigali or you can trans­fer from Kabale via Katu­na border/Kisoro through Chani­ka bor­der to North­west­ern Rwan­da. It is at Vol­ca­noes Park where Dian Fos­sey did her research for 18 years, and today, the park is home to 12 habit­u­at­ed goril­la groups – Agashya/Group 13, Susa B‑Karisimbi, Hir­wa, Ama­horo, Kwiton­da, Ugen­da, Bwenge, Susa A, Umubano, Sabyinyo, Titus, Pablo, etc.

Vol­ca­noes N/P derives its name from the Virun­ga Vol­ca­noes, and five of the eight Virun­ga Mas­sifs all exist here. The park was estab­lished in 1925 mak­ing it Rwanda’s old­est park, and its land area mea­sures up to only

Goril­la per­mits to allow you to vis­it Rwan­da moun­tain goril­las are only issued to per­sons above 15 years. Each of Rwanda’s goril­la trekking per­mits can be booked at USD1500, and it is pos­si­ble to book it in advance via a reli­able tour oper­a­tor on the ground or con­tact Rwan­da Devel­op­ment Board- RDB. Trekking goril­las in Rwan­da begins at Kini­gi offices, and get­ting there takes just 2–3 hours’ dri­ve from Kigali.

On a goril­la safari tour in Rwan­da, it is also pos­si­ble to vis­it oth­er lead­ing pri­mate des­ti­na­tions. They include Nyung­we For­est Nation­al Park and Gish­wati-Muku­ra Nation­al Park- where you can enjoy chimp trekking.

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