RWANDA MOUNTAIN GORILLAS IN VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK (PARC NATIONAL DES VOLCANS-PNV)
The facts and Highlights about the 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 SUMMARY 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.