Extending to Rwanda, DRC and Uganda the amazing Virunga Volcanoes are some the most wonderful sights here in East Africa. Several years ago, Dian Fossey a researcher wrote that “You are really high up that you shiver even more than you actually sweat!” The rough range of 8 peaks stands really high to 15,000 feet in a number of areas, and five of these peaks are inside Rwanda. The foothills of each is covered with thick rainforest, that give way to the beautiful montane grassland and moving on higher you will find the alpine moorland.
A 3 day gorilla Trekking safari in Rwanda through this verdant forest will give you the opportunity to come face to face with the peaceful Mountain Gorillas which you will see chewing on bamboo shoots; it is certainly one of the amazing spectacles on planet earth you will ever see. Volcanoes National Park has a number of habituated Gorilla families living within its forests, each as attractively chaotic and offering a very memorable experience as the rest of them. However what you should note is that the time for tracking each of these groups varies from one group to another. Down the foothills of the Virungas, you will have an opportunity to see the rare Golden Monkeys, a great profusion of clored birds, in addition to elephants plus some buffaloes.
this national park covers a total expanse of 160 square km and it holds Rwanda safari section of the Virunga Mountains, including 6 extinct plus 3 active volcanoes which overlap the national borders of Uganda with Rwanda as well as the Democratic Republic of Congo. The fascinating Volcanoes Park is a section of the nearby 433 square kilometer Trans border conservation area which in addition includes the Virunga National Park in Rwanda, plus the Mgahinga National Park found in Uganda in addition to the plus the Democratic Republic of Congo’s section of the Virunga ranges. Today, these three national parks are managed disjointedly.
Birds in Parc National des Volcans, Rwanda
This National Park has a total of 180 species of bird species including the Grauer’s rush warbler, 16 Albertine Rift endemic including francolin, Rwenzori batis, Archer’s ground robin, collared apalis, Rwenzori double collared sunbird, dusky crimson-wing, red-faced woodland warbler and the Rwenzori turaco.
Mountain Gorilla Tracking in Parc National des Volcans, Rwanda
This fascinating activity remains the most well-likes in the park, with about 40 gorilla permits issued each day, a maximum of 8 people are allowed each of the five 5 habituated gorilla groups. Visitors can also visit the habituated groups of endemic golden monkeys living in this park.
Hiking within Parc National des Volcans
Today visitors can enjoy Hikes within this park. Hiking the Karisimbi is a two day expedition; guides are offered by ORTPN although climbers are required to have the appropriating hiking gadgets and clothing. Also there is a shorter alternative climb to Mount Visoke up to its beautiful crater lake at 3711 meters; this climb takes about 2 hours. In addition 2 to 3 hour walks ate available to the nearby crater lakes. During these walks you will be able to see some of the wonderful birds in this park.
Uganda and Rwanda are the best places to go gorilla tours in Africa. Gorilla tourism is very important to these two countries and they do their best to maintain a safe environment so that their tourism industries can flourish.
Rwanda is one of the safest countries on the African continent, and because gorilla tourism is so important to the economy of the nation, safety is paramount. There is always a guide and armed escort for anyone who ventures into the volcanoes national park to ensure the welfare of visitors in the park, and it applies in every other national park in Rwanda.
There is a set of rules and guidelines to follow when you go gorilla trekking in Rwanda. For safety purposes the gorillas that are tracked and visited have been habituated to tolerate human presence.
When you finally find the gorillas, it is advised that you do not make sudden movements which they could easily interpret as a threat. You are advised to speak softly, and not to use the flash on your camera as you take photographs it will startle them.
If ever a gorilla begins to charge towards you, do not run, simply crouch down in a submissive manner, and the gorilla will stop and retreat.
Are there guerillas in Rwanda’s Volcanoes national park?
Of the three countries where you can track gorillas in Africa, two are safe from guerillas. Rwanda and Uganda are safe for gorilla trekking; there are no guerillas in the forests or in the mountains. Democratic Republic of Congo on the other hand is not quite as safe. There have been attacks on rangers in the parks and there is political and civil unrest in the country. Some governments such as the US and UK strongly advice against gorilla trekking in DRC, but Uganda and Rwanda are considered safe.
Both Rwanda and Uganda have experienced violence and political instability in the past but they have managed to rebuild and restore peace and stability with much emphasis on safety and security for both locals and foreigners. Tourism being an important part of the economies of these two countries is one of the sectors where safety and security is emphasized.
We can therefore confidently say that it is safe to go gorilla trekking in the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda. So go ahead and plan your Rwanda Safari trip and add gorilla trekking on your list of activities to do. It is perfectly safe and fun.