Rwanda primates: The most famous destination in Rwanda, Volcanoes National Park has become synonymous with mountain gorilla tracking safaris and no visit to the country would be complete without visiting these majestic primates.
Volcanoes National Park also has a historic connection with gorilla conservation. It was the base for the ground-breaking work of primatologist Dian Fossey which started in the late 1960s and is evocatively portrayed in the book and film Gorillas in the Mist.
Volcanoes National Park is the Rwandan section of the great volcanic massif called the Virunga Mountains that straddles the borders of Rwanda, Uganda and the DRC. The massif covers a huge area of over 8,000km², encompassing six active and three extinct volcanoes. Gorillas, of course, pay no heed to borders and are known to cross between the countries, although most habituated groups are to be found in Volcanoes National Park. The massif is home to around half of the world’s precious mountain gorillas – some 400 of them – making Rwanda probably the best place in Africa for a tracking safari.
Easily accessible from Rwanda’s capital Kigali, located only 80kms away, the Volcanoes National Park offers several comfortable lodges set in the foothills of the range. Gorilla trekking permits must be arranged before arrival, and potential trekkers should be aware not only of the rigours of hiking through mountainous rainforest but the strict conservation rules governing this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
This remarkable 8-day adventure in Rwanda offers the opportunity to explore this land of a thousand hills with incredible wildlife encounters. You’ll track chimpanzees and also Canopy Walkway at Nyungwe Forest National Park. You will also visit the Volcanoes National Park in search of endangered mountain gorillas with expert local rangers. You’ll also have an opportunity to explore Kigali and its colorful markets.