Gorilla Watching in Volcanoes National Park
What’s cooler than scouting for mountain gorillas in their natural habitat? Nothing if you ask us! Just plan a trip to Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda to catch a glimpse of these gentle creatures.
The Volcanoes National Park covers almost 40 million acres of lush wilderness and it’s also Africa’s oldest national park. The park’s grounds used to be less immense but it has fortunately expanded significantly over the years.
It was only a few decades ago that gorillas were seriously threatened with extinction from poaching and habitat encroachment, and it’s partially through the conservation efforts of Dian Fossey that many are still around today. Dian studied mountain gorillas in their natural habitat for 18 years and spearheaded many campaigns against poachers. Her research improved the gorillas’ reputation considerably; instead of being thought of as dangerous wild beasts, gorillas are now known to be remarkably gentle and intelligent animals.
The easiest way to observe them in the wild is to book a gorilla tour—but be sure to arrive early! Head to the village of Musanze, and remember to arrive by 7 a.m. to get a gorilla trekking permit. They’re $1500 each, and only 93 permits in total are available each day as the park tries to keep tourist numbers down to ensure that the gorillas remain relatively undisturbed. Almost a dozen different groups of gorillas make their home in the park, so there are good chances you’ll spot some.
When is the Best Time to Go?
It’s possible to go gorilla trekking year-round, but try to visit between December-March to avoid the rainy season. To learn more about your safari options in Rwanda, click here.