RWANDA MOUNTAIN GORILLAS IN VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK (PARC NATIONAL DES VOLCANS-PNV)
The home of the Rwandan mountain gorillas is the volcanoes National park in kinigi, close to the border with DRC.
These unique creatures have greatly continued to attract many gorilla trekking tourists to the country. The revenues have helped in improving the lives of the local people living around the national parks. Rwanda is well known for mountain gorillas. These are the endangered species found only in the border areas between Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic republic of Congo. These species have greatly generated much revenue to the respective countries hence helping out the local people.
The Rwandan government initiated a tourism sharing scheme; where by 5 % of the annual income from the national parks is also distributed to the local communities. This has greatly help in the construction of roads, bridges, bee keeping projects, water and sanitation, small and medium enterprises, and the hand crafts projects. All these are carried out by the local people.
There are however many NGOs that have been involved in the implementation of community initiatives. The government works hard to ensure that the decisions on which the projects get funded are made locally. This helps the local people to benefit and also increase the number of tourists that come for safaris to Rwanda.
Also transparency is ensured by regular follow ups by the presentation of the financial reports annually and this is mostly done the responsible people as well as the local community representatives. Many of the projects also incorporate a strong theme of sustainability and this is so good for the mountain gorillas since it helps in the conservation and the preservation of the endangered species hence increasing the number of tourists who come for gorilla trekking safaris.
The highlights and facts about Rwanda gorillas
For many travelers, the tracking of gorillas ranks among one of the most exhilarating highlights of their trip to Africa.
Gorilla trekking has been a darling tourist activity for many years In Rwanda.
Mountain Gorillas are one of the world’s most endangered species of apes. It is estimated that there are currently less than 900 individuals left throughout the world. Nearly half of these can be found in Uganda, but significant populations can also be found in Democratic Republic of Congo and the Parc National de Volcans in Rwanda.
Out of the 15 gorilla groups in Rwanda, 10 are habituated to humans and so can be visited by tourists. All gorilla groups are accessed from the same location and, unlike Uganda; you cannot reserve a specific group in advance.
On the morning of the tracking, park rangers will select people for different gorilla groups according to preference, age, and fitness level. For this reason we advise older people, or those wanting only a light hike, to track in Rwanda. Gorilla permits in Rwanda cost US$750,-.
A SUMARY OF GORILLA GROUPS IN VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK, RWANDA:
Ask your guide about the chance to see the famous gorilla group that Dian Fossey spent her career studying.
THERE ARE SOME IMPORTANT RULES AND REGULATIONS THAT YOU SHOULD ALWAYS ABIDE BY DURING GORILLA TRACKING
While searching for the gorillas
- A maximum of 8 visitors is allowed to visit a family/group of habituated gorillas per day.
- To avoid exposing our furry friends to strange germs, wash your hands thoroughly with before you proceed for the tracking.
- Ensure you do not leave garbage or any pollutant in the park.
- Always keep your voices low. This will enable you to observe the beautiful birds and other wildlife in the forest.
Note 1: Your group of trackers will be heading to the stop where the guides left the gorillas the day before. From the nesting spot you will track them to their current location. This can take anywhere from 15 minutes to 2 hours.
Note 2: As you approach the gorillas, the guides will signal when to get your cameras ready for a photo session.
AMIDST THE GORILLAS!!!!
- You can ask as many questions as possible to your guides, but try to minimize the tone of your voice not to scare away the gorillas.
- Do not eat or drink while you are near the gorillas
- Sometimes the gorillas charge. Follow the guide’s example by crouching down slowly, and do not look into the gorillas in the eyes. Wait for the gorilla to pass you by and do not attempt to run away (as this can increase the risk of attack).
- Flash photography is not permitted; when taking pictures, move slowly and carefully.
- Do not touch the gorillas. Keep in mind that though they may look warm and cuddly, they are still wild animals. Keep a distance of at least 7 meters (21 feet) from the gorillas at all time
- The maximum time visitors are allowed to spend with the gorillas is exactly one hour and the rangers may be quite strict about this.