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“Visit to the Gorillas”

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: 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.
Readfield, Maine
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Visit to the Gorillas”
Reviewed February 6, 2014

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.)

Visited January 2014
2 Thank 04355
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
44 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Amazing experience”
Reviewed February 5, 2014

A privilege to get so close to these magnificent creatures. We had a very easy trek before encountering a large group complete with infants, adolescents and a couple of impressive silver backs. The hour with the group passed in what seemed like seconds - an amazing experience.

Visited January 2014
1 Thank mancr13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Des Moines, Iowa
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“A Must Do”
Reviewed February 4, 2014

This is such a neat way to experience gorillas in their natural environment. You will not be able to go to a zoo after this because seeing animals in their natural habitat is such an amazing experience.

Visited March 2013
Thank Angela D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Selkirk, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Truly a trek!”
Reviewed January 26, 2014

No matter how far, slippery, strenuous, the 'path' is, it well worth it when you encounter a magnificent gorilla troupe at the end. I did find it is bit disappointing (and embarrasing) that there were very few that took advantage of the young men who availed themselves to trek with you, carrying gear, helping with some more difficult terrain, etc - the small gratuity for this help was WELL worth it and I highly recomment that one takes advantage of the offer.
It is life-changing to first encounter the gorillas. They truly seem to be as interested in studying the human troupe as we are in studying the gorilla troupe - it is almost unsettling to have the silverback maintain his gaze as if to study you! The full hour in the presence of the troupe passed by too quickly but was full of memories and pictures, both actual and mental, to last a lifetime.

Visited May 2013
Thank 1953MACAOIDH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Like being a child again”
Reviewed January 26, 2014

The main trek we did was to see the gorillas though we also had a fun visit to see the Golden Monkeys who hurtle about the bamboo forest with great abandon.
The gorilla trek was more arduous and went up and down and through vegetation until we saw a large silverback just lying back relaxing. There were younger ones around and a mum/baby in the trees, all of which we saw later. The silverback decided he should move, rolled over, roared, showed his extensive teeth and raced past us leaving us somewhat stunned. We followed and had an enchanting time watching him being joined by mum and baby and two youngsters. The baby was interested in crawling off to look at us and mum would let him/her go so far and then pull him back. The silverback enjoyed a grooming session from the mum, stood up and nearly sat on the baby (sharp intake of breath from the observers) and took off again.
Then followed a near toboggan ride down newly macheted vegetation towards the bottom of the valley, stopping en route to see the biggest silverback tucked away in his nest calmly chewing on the bamboo. Just loved the whizz down the hill - felt about 4 years of age!
From listening to other people, it seems that every gorilla trek is different and rather wished could have done more as some did but it is pricey but, on the other hand, you could see it as priceless - where else would you get such delight and wonder?

Visited January 2014
Thank DerbyJay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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