Rwanda: Gorilla Tracking
The volcanic range which spans Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo is home to the critically-endangered mountain gorilla. The largest living primate, gorillas are spread across much of the equatorial African rainforest. Rwanda, far more ambitiously than the other two countries, has turned the gorilla sightings into a luxury commodity, complete with extremely high-end lodges.Tracking gorillas in Rwanda is safe and relatively accessible and is a wildly extravagant experience.
The unique opportunity to see gorillas in their natural habitat is unforgettable, some even say life changing. Encounters with gorillas as they go about their daily lives are carefully managed, with expert trackers and guides leading small groups of tourists up bamboo-covered slopes to spend a precious and awe-inspiring hour just a few feet away from the gentle creatures. Gorillas tend to live in families. The groups, or troops, consist of at least one silverback along with several females and youngsters.
At the latest count, there are approximately 1,000 mountain gorillas in the wild. The population is slowly increasing, thanks to concerted efforts between local governments, communities and NGOs. Hikes up to their various locations can last anything from 30 minutes to four or more hours, reaching an altitude of between 2,500m and 4,000m.
There are regular flights to Rwanda via Amsterdam and Brussels. Visa for the country is required, but can be obtained on arrival.