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Volcanoes National Park
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Gorilla Trekking and Wildlife Game Drives in Rwanda and Burundi
Ranked #1 of 12 things to do in Ruhengeri
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 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.
Level Contributor
63 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed November 17, 2012

After a short hike, we spent one hour in the company of 12 mountain gorillas. We were closer to them than to any other wildlife in Africa, and they seemed completely unconcerned that 12 of us were there. Definitely worth the $500 each for permits(although the permits have now increased in price!)

Visited August 2012
Thank TorontoAlan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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913 reviews from our community

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St. John, Virgin Islands
Level Contributor
119 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 103 helpful votes
“Rwanda is spectacular!”
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.

Visited October 2012
Thank sstj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nairobi, Kenya
Level Contributor
82 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
“Awesome experience”
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

Visited October 2012
Thank smwelu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
14 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Tough hike but soooo worth the effort - and a few tips...”
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!!!

Visited October 2012
5 Thank dupv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
13 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Amazing experience!”
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!

Visited September 2012
Thank Schempers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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