It is hard to predict the length or the degree of difficulty of the actual hike from the road to the Gorillas because the Gorillas move around. Some think the fee for the Gorilla Permit is high but the money goes to preserving the habitat as well as the Gorillas themselves. Part of the money goes to local communities to give the locals a sense of the ongoing economic value of the Gorillas. There are trackers who regularly report the location of each Gorilla family group as well as twenty-four hour armed guards for each Gorilla group.
Each Gorilla group is visited by a maximum of eight tourists, for one hour, per day. The group we visited had been lounging and observing the people who were observing them until the guide announced that the one hour visit was over. Upon this announcement the Gorillas all got up and departed.
There are also stories, probably true, of Gorillas deactivating snares set by hunters and poachers. One story was of a Gorilla intervening to keep a human from stepping into a snare.
Overall it was an incredible experience and money well spent to make the trip and support the preservation of the Gorillas as well as contribute to the economy of this beautiful but crowded country.
One additional memorable observation was that Rwanda is the cleanest place I have ever seen, setting the bar very high for the rest of the world. Plastic bags are not allowed in the country and one day of each month is designated for community service which includes picking up litter (if any can be found.)
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