Awe-inspiring, entertaining and slightly daunting due to their size, the mountain gorilla is surely Rwanda’s most treasured national treasure.
It’s said that Rwanda’s Mountain Gorillas were first discovered around 1902. Since then, largely due to the research and conservation efforts of American primatologist Dian Fossey, they have achieved the celebrity status they deserve.
Though war, poaching, deforestation and agriculture threatened the mountain gorilla (Gorilla beringei beringei) almost to extinction, conservation efforts have somewhat restored their population which now hovers around 880. Protected by armed rangers within the hills and dense forest of Rwanda, these gigantic apes remain critically endangered.
Gorilla tourism has done much to boost conservation funding and shine a spotlight on the plight of these primates. However, humans still pose a considerable threat to the gorilla. For that reason, the park issues only eight gorilla permits per group per day and visitors are limited to spending a maximum of one hour in the company of the troop.
Once your gorilla trekking is over for the day,we urge you to linger a while longer in the park as there is still much more to see. Situated within the Virunga Volcano Conservation region, the Volcanoes National Park (PNV) spans 160km2. Over 90 species of bird call the PNV home, and if you’re lucky, you may spot another critically endangered species: the Gold Monkey. Elephant, antelope, spotted hyenas and buffalos can also be found in PNV.
Accommodation in Volcanoes National Park ranges from luxury lodges to homely cottages. And although we’ll make sure you’re always comfortable and well fed, it won’t really matter where you lay your head. Because we know that the main reason you came here was to be with the magnificent Mountain Gorillas.