Mountain Gorillas in Rwanda

Are Mountain Gorillas on your Africa Dream List? They were on ours years ago. We went to Rwanda to see them.
Gorillas are found in Rwanda, Uganda and eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

Maybe timing is everything, but it's never too late to try and see gorillas in their rainforest home.

Mountain Gorillas are endangered, and if tourists go to see them and help bolster local economies, the people who live near them will have more of an incentive to help save them.

We went several years ago. It was just after Diane Fossey died, but before the civil war, so the country was peaceful and the gorilla families we visited were well habituated to visitors.


Volcanos National Park Rwanda

We flew to Kigali and drove to Ruhengeri.... so the very first morning we were up very early and at the gates of the Parc National des Volcans to sign in, pay our fees and be assigned a gorilla family to track.



Read rules to observe mountain gorillas Rwanda



Back then, groups of six were allowed to visit the gorillas. We had to read two pages of gorilla etiquette so we would know now to act.... including don't stare at gorillas... hard to remember, when you see gorillas, you WANT to stare, they're so amazing! And of course another rule was don't touch the gorillas.



The hikes to find gorillas wherever you go looking for them are through rain forest.

Of course, you have to REACH the rain forest first..... habitat loss is one of the biggest threats to mountain gorillas.

You'll see in one of our photos that farmers have cleared the land and cultivation goes right up to the edge of the small protected area of rain forest that remains.


It was weird.... stepping across that boundary that first day... the path was suddenly thick with vegetation... much of it stinging nettle which seemed to sting through our clothing... and it was steep. The hike was difficult, and it seemed like we must be miles from civilization... not just a few yards! WE had good luck and found our first gorilla group in about an hour.


Farms up to the border of Volcanos National Park Hike the rainforest to find gorillas


As we approached the gorillas, our guides made comforting "gorilla noises" to reassure them that friends were approaching. They either ignored us, or casually watched us back. Near the end of our hour with them, the silverback, Ndume, decided to move up the mountain, and as he did, HE touched US! Click here for the full story on our close encounter with a silverback gorilla.


Silverback Mountain Gorilla Rwanda




The second day, our hike was longer but easier. We visited a larger family of mountain gorillas with lots of babies. As the adults ate and rested, the baby gorillas played. It's very hard to look at those young ones and not think that we're very closely related, and we need to give them all the help and protection we can.


Baby Mountain Gorilla Volcanos NP Rwanda Baby Mountain Gorillas playing


After we watched the baby gorillas for about a half hour, our guides instructed us to crawl through a hole in the vegetation. We weren't too sure about this... was it safe? Well, it WAS, but this family's silverback was lounging on the other side.... watching us crawl through. Maybe we're anthropomorphizing here, but we thought it was much to his amusement!


Crawling through rainforest in Rwanda to find gorillas Silverback mountain gorilla waits for us


No matter which country you visit to find Mountain Gorilla, be prepared for a strenuous hike, heat, maybe rain, bugs.... and oh yea... those stinging nettles and tangly vines.... but just know that when you find those gorillas, it's definitely worth it. It'll be an experience you'll never forget, whether one touches you on the shoulder or not.


Read Mountain Gorilla Facts from Tropical Rainforest Animals.com If you'd like to read an amusing story about travels with a toy gorilla see our tale about Travels With the Monkey... I mean, with the Gorilla.

Happy travels... even if you don't travel the world... just remember that life is a journey... embrace and enjoy it!   Judy and Mark

Africa Dream List  African Tented Camps
Custom Tour Planning List  OUR Silverback Gorilla
Malaria Pills?  Do I need SHOTS?  Is the Water Safe?
Timbuktu and Dogon Country
Pepto-Bismol
Go from Mountain Gorillas to MouseToursTravels Home Page

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Did it help with your travel planning and preparation? Eager to leave on that next vacation? Please leave your tips or comments in the box below.

Ready For A New Adventure?
How about a website of your own...
... work for yourself ... or...
Exercise your brain in retirement.
Follow Your Passion
Who knows where it will take you?
(Look around at where it's taken us!)
Click below to start your own journey
First Day Of The Rest Of Your Life

Already have a website or blog with WordPress? Make it better!
bizXpress

Search

Search MouseToursTravels
Travel questions or destination info?
Find our answers faster...


Related Searches


Translate

We want you to feel comfortable out in the world and on our pages - so surf away in your own language...


Timely Tips

Summer Vacation
Travel is fun in the Northern summer... but don't neglect the Southern Hemisphere at this time of year.
Yes, it's winter in South Africa, but that's their dry season. It's a good time to travel there.
Lions stop traffic in Kruger NP South Africa

Sometimes you need to watch rain patterns instead of just seasons to figure the best time to travel...

Whether you're taking a road trip close to home or traveling abroad...
whether it's summer or winter in your part of the world...
the way you pack can make it all more pleasurable.

Check out all our Packing Lists and Tips.

Here's one of our favorite places for great travel clothes and supplies to help with your packing...
Magellan's - America's Leading Source of Travel Supplies

Need travel ideas?
Things to See in Europe
Africa Calls!
Travel In America

Don't just dream about it...
Start making plans!

Custom Tour Planning List
International Travel Planning Tips
Foreign Is Fun - Not Scary!
Get Your Passports and Visas


Find, Compare & Book It!

We always say shop and compare at several sources. Here are some of our favorites...

25+ Million Users Trust TripAdvisor With Their Travel Plans. Shouldn't You?


Cheap airfare, hotels, car rentals, vacations and cruises at Expedia.com!
Expedia.com

All the best hotel sites in one place right here. Hotels Combined...
HotelsCombined logo


We are not travel agents, but we're affiliated with these and other great companies.
Check 'em all out!


Follow Your Passion!

Travel Is Our Passion
What's Yours?

We have lots of fun traveling... and we've had lots of fun creating this website. It earns us money too! No get-rich quick scheme here.... just honest pages about our travels. Is this something you've ever wanted to try?

Are you passionate or knowledgeable about something? An expert even?

Cars ...or... cooking?
Boats ...or... business?
Plants ...or... parenting?
Anything!

Turn it into a web business. Click on the SBI TV icon below and learn how a new life could be yours...

Learn how to build your own profitable web site like we did

Look at it... Think about it...
Why NOT you?

If you're like me, you like to talk to a real person and get answers to your questions... We get that!

Your Questions Answered Here.

Honest answers... honestly ...Promise!


Two Ways To Like Us!
Like Our Site Top Left
Like Our Fanpage Below
Thank You!