BEST Gorilla Trekking Rwanda Safaris to Volcanoes National Park
Take a tour to Iby’iwacu village, preferably in the evening where the villagers have convinced a group of ex-poachers to denounce their former lifestyle and embrace sustainable tourism, and as a result a traditional dance group has been created to perform for visitors during a cultural village tour. Commonly referred to as “Intore”, or The Heroes”, this historical type of celebration is based on the victory dance of the Rwandan kings.
Apart from seeing the traditional dances and drumming performances, you can step into the traditional shelter of the local king, watch an authentic medicine man preparing his herbal concoctions or try your hand to participate in a local game of the traditional shooting bows and arrows. Sometimes there’s lively music and dance festivals from the ancient traditions of Rwanda. It is without doubt Africa’s most dynamic and infamous musical traditions, the Ballet of Rwanda which is commonly danced by the Intore, but at one time it was performed exclusively for the royal court.
Gorilla Trekking in Volcanoes NP
Head out in the jungles to search for the magical gorillas, living in their respective 12 families that have made the Virunga Mountains their permanent home. Discover this scenic jungle, where the fallen gorilla heroine Dian Fossey carried out her ground-breaking gorilla studies, passing through the slopes covered with lush rainforest and bamboo plantations. Volcanoes is home to no less than five exciting volcanoes, you will delve deep into the park’s dense, misty forests, accompanied by a professional, well knowledgeable ranger guide.
The trekking typically last for two to five hours until you find your allocated gorilla family, after which you are given an opportunity to spend some one hour to quietly observe these charismatic creatures. An encounter with these magnificent primates in their natural home is like no other. Savour every minute as you gaze at them while playing, foraging, teasing each other, feeding or slumbering in an uncanny resemblance to human beings.
Hike up to Dian Fossey's Grave
Hike to this research center and get to know clearly the story behind life and death of a famous gorilla researcher Dian Fossey. The Karisoke research base was established by this gorilla heroine herself and it can be accessed by a 3 to 4-hour hike through the picturesque stretches of lush forest. The former headquarters are set at a scenic altitude of 3 000 meters (about 9 000 feet) and is set between the steep slopes of 2 Virunga volcanoes, namely Mount Bisoke and Karisimbi. Spend some time reflecting on the future of these endangered primates in the abandoned graveyard where Fossey’s favorite gorillas were laid to rest adjacent to her own grave.
Golden Monkey Trekking
Discover the elusive, playful and inquisitive nature of the striking golden monkeys, beautiful little creatures located only in the high-altitude dense forests of Volcanoes National Park. Spend the morning traversing the lush vegetation at the base of Mount Sabyinyo to meet one of the two habituated troops of golden monkeys; one of them comprising up to more than 80 members. You are given up to an hour watching and admiring their frolics as they leap among the slender shoots of bamboo or summer sault among the dense foliage on the forest floor. A trek to meet face to face with golden monkeys is without doubt one of the most leisurely activities in Volcanoes National Park. The magnificent primates stay at the bottom of the mountain range in the bamboo plantation where the terrain is relatively flat and quite easy to hike.
Accommodation/Where to stay
No lodging facility is set within the national park and overnight camping is not allowed. However, many lodging options are situated outside the park, in the nearby Kinigi and Ruhengeri towns. Variety of accommodation options that cater for any kind of budgets are located around the park, many of which focus on setting and interesting scenery. The most dramatic lodges are set onto the hillside with striking vistas to the Virunga volcanoes as well as twin lakes - Ruhondo and Bulera. While other facilities offer settings with close proximity to the park as well as enviable views, great African cuisine and cosy accommodation. The choices are just endless!
Joining group tours to Volcanoes National Park
The best time to visit Volcanoes Park as a group is during dry months - June through to late September where maximum temperatures range between 25”C & 27”C during the day and fall to 13.5”C and 15C during night times. It is highly recommended to park some warm clothing regardless of the season, because weather in the mountains can be cold especially in the evenings and unexpected rains can happen anytime. There is a shorter dry season that runs from Mid - December to late February. This is also a favorable season for traveling to Volcanoes National park.
Joining a group for Rwanda safaris
Whether small or big, known or unknown joining a group tour to Rwanda is another great way of exploring even the least known but interesting destination. With a company of fellow Travellers, even the scariest places become seemingly familiar. As a group, you can explore the Dian Fossey grave on the outskirts of Volcanoes national park, engage in enticing cultural performances in numerous cultural centers scattered across the country including the Ibyiwachu cultural center, ethnographic museum in Nyanza, presidential museum palace in Kigali and engage in more safari activities. as a group, you can also engage in hiking adventure to one of Rwanda’s highest mountains, mount Karisimbi or Mount Bisoke. An adventure safari in Rwanda is absolutely life changing when engaged in as a group.