Rwanda's Mountain Gorillas.
Forget King Kong. He was a surly, steroid-shooting figment of Hollywood’s imagination, designed to keep the box office busy. Want to get up-close-and-personal with the real thing? If so, come with us on a thoroughly doable gorilla trekking adventure on the magnificent slopes of Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda. We promise a life-changing experience.
This is a four-day sample itinerary. Remember that R. Crusoe can create a Rwanda gorilla trekking journey of any length to meet your exact specifications.
Day 1: Kigali, Volcanoes National Park Region, Rwanda
• Fly to Kigali.
• Tour Kigali including the Genocide Memorial and the Muslim Quarter.
• Drive to Volcanoes National Park area, and check in to your lodge.
Overnight in Volcanoes National Park vicinity
Day 2: Volcanoes National Park
• Drive to the park to trek to the mountain gorillas.
• Return to your lodge for time at leisure.
Overnight in Ruhengeri
Day 3: Volcanoes National Park Region, Kigali
• Second gorilla trek, if you have opted for this. Other options (most at additional cost): golden monkey trek in Volcanoes National Park, Gisenyi on Lake Kivu, climb Bisoke or Muhavura volcanoes, or visit Dian Fossey's grave site. Or leisure time in and around the lodge.
• Drive to Kigali.
Overnight in Kigali
Day 4: Kigali
• Fly out of Kigali to your next destination.
Per person sharing room from $3,100 for this four-day sample itinerary.
Gorilla trekking permit per person $1,500.
For more information, to book, or to speak to an R. Crusoe & Son tour specialist, please call us at 800-585-8555.
Meet Gorilla gorilla berengei.
The mountain gorilla is the world’s most endangered ape, found today only in small portions of protected montane forests in northwest Rwanda, southwest Uganda, and eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
Hidden high among the forested volcanoes of East Africa, the mountain gorilla was unknown to science until 1902, when a German explorer first encountered two gorillas—and promptly killed them. Since then, deforestation and poaching endangered the mountain gorilla, which seemed destined to be lost to the world.
Today, thanks to the incredible work of American zoologist Dian Fossey, nearly half of the world’s 700 remaining mountain gorillas live in the Virunga Mountains of central Africa, at the intersection of Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Though gorillas can climb trees, they live most of their lives on the ground in communities of up to 30 individuals. These troops organize themselves based on fascinating social structures. Troops are led by one dominant, older adult male, often called a silverback because of the swath of silver hair that adorns his otherwise dark fur. Troops also include several other young males, some females, and their offspring. The leader organizes troop activities like eating, nesting in leaves, and moving about the group’s home turf.
Less dominant gorillas who challenge the silverback are in for an impressive show of physical power. He may stand upright, throw things, make aggressive charges, and pound his huge chest while barking out powerful hoots or unleashing a worrisome roar. Despite these displays and the alphas’ physical power, gorillas are generally calm and nonaggressive unless they are disturbed.
Female gorillas give birth to one infant after a pregnancy of nearly nine months. Newborns are tiny, weighing four pounds or so. They cling to their mothers’ fur and ride on their mothers’ backs from the age of four months through the first two or three years of their lives.
Mountain gorillas have longer hair and shorter arms than their lowland cousins; they also tend to be a bit larger than other gorillas. Regardless, their resemblance to us humans is clear. As a New York Times reporter wrote after his trek, “Any anthropomorphism must be forgiven; it is impossible not to be struck by the humanoid nature of these neighbors on the evolutionary chain. While observing so much of African wildlife—warthogs, elephants, giraffes—one marvels at their prehistoric form and questions our placement in the same biological class. With the mountain gorillas of Rwanda, which share 98 percent of our DNA, we are looking into a mirror, and they are looking impassively back.”
With the help of dedicated wildlife rangers, comprehensive monitoring, and community education programs, the endangered gorilla population in the Virungas experienced a nearly 20 percent increase in the early 2000s. Gorillas that inhabit Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, just north of the Volcanoes National Park, are faring slightly better.
Call Us to Start Planning Your Private, Custom Journey
(M-F 9-5 CST)