Trekking to see mountain gorillas is one of those ‘must do’ things in Africa, if not the world. A gorilla trekking holiday with Imaginative Traveller is an experience that will be indelibly etched in anyone’s minds. Coming face to face with endangered gorillas in their own environment is a real privilege.
Gorilla trekking is highly controlled with only 56 trekking permits available each day. Unlike most other companies, Imaginative Traveller pre-purchase gorilla permits from the authorities to ensure that we are able to offer them for each departure. Many companies do not pre-purchase permits so clients have to wait in Kigali to see if permits become available. On an Imaginative Traveller gorilla safari you pay for the permit when you pay the deposit, thus your gorilla permit is guaranteed.
Imaginative Traveller offer mountain gorilla trekking in Rwanda‘s Parc National des Volcans as part of an East African safari holiday or even a longer overland South Africa to Rwanda expedition. This 13,000 hectare national park protects the Rwandan sector of the Virunga Mountains and include a range of six extinct and three active volcanoes that straddle the border with Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In this park, there are seven different gorilla families – Group 13, Sabinyo, Amahoro, Umubano, Susa, Kwitonda and the Hirwa group.
The trackers will have already located the gorilla family by the time you start your trek, so your actual time of walking can usually be predicted when you set off although this may take anything between 40 minutes and five hours. The trek can be strenuous on slippery paths and may reach altitudes of almost 3000m thus a very good level of fitness is recommended. Once a trekking group encounters one of the gorilla families, only one hour is granted in the presence of the great apes before trekkers must leave the family. All this may seem like hard work, but the end result is one you are sure to cherish forever, as to stand so close to these gentle giants is indeed an emotional experience. Please note, as these are wild animals sightings cannot be guaranteed.
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