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“Rwanda is spectacular!”

Volcanoes National Park
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Gorilla Trekking Day Tour from Kigali
Ranked #1 of 12 things to do in Ruhengeri
Certificate of Excellence
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Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: The "Parc National de Volcans" (or PNV as it's known by locals) lies along the Virunga Mountains, with 8 ancient volcanoes, which are shared by Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Just a short two hour drive from Rwanda's capital of Kigali, the park is a central location for exploring some distinctly Rwandan experiences. While a visit to the mountain gorillas is often at the top of visitor, the dramatic landscape also offers thrilling hiking and visits to the fascinating golden monkeys.
Reviewed November 12, 2012

Gorilla & other tours from the Park are very well organized & well done. The beauty of the country side is a lovely surprise...volcanoes, mountains, lakes, farmlands, waterfalls. But best of all is how clean this African country is!
Be sure & see the Genocide Museum in Kigali.

Thank sstj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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800 - 804 of 1,021 reviews

Reviewed November 5, 2012

Went to visit the Ugenda family group of gorillas. The guides were really good, went at the pace we could comfortably, the group we also had was great.

Be ready to trek really steep before you get to the forest, so if you're not sure about your fitness be prepared to get challenged.

The 7 meter rule, not sure if this is followed, as we were just a few inches from the gorillas. Despite our getting so close, the guides were there to ensure we don't get too close.

Ensure your camera has no flash when you take pics, one tourist either didn't know how to set the flash off each time she took pics or was just being careless, this was very annoying as you could see the gorillas getting agitated. Make sure you carry those gloves and gaiters if you can, though some lodges lend them to guests, we didn't get this information so was a waste of money buying gaiters, and not using them after is such a waste.

Definitely an experience to treasure in one's lifetime, for the adventure tourist

Thank smwelu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 2, 2012

I am in my thirties and in quite good physical shape but still found this hike to be challenging. From where the car was parked it took almost four hours of uphill hiking. The slopes can be quite steep and slippery and coming from a place that's only about 115 meters (375 feet) above sea level the altitude definitely tooks its toll on us. When we reached the group we were at about 3300 meters (10,000 feet) above sea level and I was feeling it. We also hiked through a sea of stinging nettle during the last part so if you're doing this trek you might want to consider wearing plastic pants over your hiking pants or high gaiters and definitely wear gardening gloves.
Once we got there the experience was magical. We saw about 25 individuals including the 3 month-old twins and a couple of silverbacks. The young ones are very curious so be prepared for them to get very close to you (one bumped me out of the way).
On our second day we let them know that we did a pretty tough hike so they put us in a group that visited the Hirwa group which is a walk in the park compared to the Susa hike but just as amazing and wonderful.
No matter what, be sure to bring food as you don't how long your hike is likely to be until you get there. We were back at around 4:30pm on the first day to Susa and 12:30 when we tracked Hirwa.
Last but not least, hire a porter even if you think you are in good shape, you will not regret it! Not only do they carry your stuff making the trek easier but from what we were told, some of them are ex-poachers so you help support them.
Hope this helps!
P.S. Permits now cost $750.00 US per person per day and make sure you book them months ahead of time if you're going during the high or mid-season as they get sold out really fast!!!

5  Thank dupv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 30, 2012

It was one of the most awesome places I've visited! Even though I thought sending only one hour with the Gorillas would be too short, in retrospect I realise why this is the case. The gorillas need to be without visitors to be just be Gorillas. This is an experience I wish everyone in this world could have before they die! Enjoy!

Thank Schempers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 25, 2012

Getting here was a long-time dream come try and it did not disappoint. You meet at the park station around 7:00am (they serve coffee and tea) as they put on a local drum and dance performance. After you are put in groups of 8 and together with 2 guides and a host of trackers you head off to the forest. Depending on your group it can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 or 4 hours to find the group of gorillas you have been selected to visit. We were lucky and our group spent 10 minutes walking through a field before climbing a stone wall right into a group of 26 (mostly young) gorillas playing! You get 1 hour once you find them which either goes by fast or slow depending upon how excited or nervous you are standing so close to them.

It is actually harder than it looks to get a good photo due to the overhead darkness and/ or the movement of the gorillas.

Don't think about the cost for the gorillas permit. It is a once-in-a-lifetime experience you don't want to miss - especially if you are anywhere in the area.

Tip: everyone wonders about what to wear. The local guides put on water-proof pants and some wore gloves. Most of my group wore gaiters while I just pulled my socks up over my pants. I had no problems at all. If it looks like rain you should wear a proper jacket. You are not allowed to bring anything into the park with you except for a camera. You will hire a porter to carry your day pack to the area just before finding the gorillas. The fee is minimal.

Thank DRNJ1960
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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