Wednesday, 14 March 2018

VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK - A HUB FOR GORILLA TREKKING IN RWANDA.


Volcanoes national park - the land of mountain gorillas in Rwanda. An unusual place for an unforgettable trip.



An exciting gorilla trek to encounter the endangered mountain gorillas in the thick forests of Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda is an experience impossible to forget in Africa. Volcanoes National Park is located in northwestern part of Rwanda bordering Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo and also Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda. It is situated in a small town known as Musanze, formally called Ruhengeri which can be easily accessed by both public and private transport from Kisoro, Gisenyi or Kigali, as well as by air. It takes only 2 hours by road from Kigali city to get to Parc National de Volcans. Therefore one can do gorilla trekking on the same day and go back to Kigali after the trek.

Volcanoes National Park offers an epic journey where thousands of visitors flock to trek these highly highly endangered primates. This is one of the activities you should not miss on a safari to Rwanda. One perfect hour with the Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park gorillas will never disappoint you, for you will just fall in love with Rwanda.
This is the place where you leave your means of transport and start walking down the Virunga jungles to participate in this life time tracking activity. One is given a walking stick with handles shaped in form of small gorillas to help manage the trek. Time proves the indispensable nature and contribution of these sticks to your trek.
It takes about half an hour to drive to reach the briefing spot from where you begin the trek that takes you up into the mountains and deep into the jungles of the Volcanoes National Park. Before you set off for gorilla trekking, you will be briefed about Gorilla rules and regulations that need to be strictly followed while looking for and during face to face encounter with the gorillas. The rules are stated to safe guard both the visitors and the gorillas. It is crucial to bear in mind that there are only 10 families of gorillas which are accessible to visitors in Volcanoes National Park.
A group of visitors with a maximum of 8 members can only visit one gorilla family at a time meaning only 80 people are permitted to track mountain gorillas each day in this park. This means that you need to make all your bookings well in advance. 
Gorilla tracking is quite unpredictable, sometimes involves covering long distances, travelling through dense vegetation and paths some of which can be muddy from the latest rain.  This makes it a little harder to move, but an encounter with these beings is well worth the strenuous walk. It is right to move along at a pace that is okay for you, drink a lot of water on the way. In this park there are also porters who can be hired at a cost of 3-5$ to carry your day pack which makes the trek a bit manageable.
The weather conditions in Volcanoes National Park vary from day to day. One moment, it can be sunny and in the next hour it can pour cats and dogs. Dry seasons vary from June to September and from December to February and these are also the peak season months.  However, gorilla tracking in volcanoes national park can be done throughout the year.
What to wear while trekking:
One is supposed to put on long trousers, long-sleeved shirts which protects you from scratches, apply insect spray to send away flies, and insects.Water resistant boots, hats, rain jackets, lunch pack with snacks or food and at least two liters of water bottle, walking stick to help you manage slippery grounds and gloves.