Rwanda Gorilla Trekking – A Charming Ape Encounter
It’s really very difficult to find a word that describes mountain gorilla tracking, looking into the eyes of these giant apes in a very close distance of about 7-10 meters in their natural habitat is a moment in life very difficult to forget. Not like other gorillas species that can be found in zoos, mountain gorillas are only found in their natural environment in the wild and they are regarded endangered species only found in the forests of an extinct volcanic region along the borders of Rwanda, Uganda and the democratic republic of Congo.
There are only 880 remaining mountain gorillas in the world, and Rwanda is regarded as the leading destination for gorilla safaris in the world and it shares almost half of these giants over 380 live in the volcanoes national park. It’s possible to book a one day gorilla safari to Rwanda, you go and track gorillas and then come back to Kigali Rwanda’s capital and its largest city, since reaching the park is just about 2-3 hours’ drive, however if you sleep in Kigali you are supposed to wake up very first and drive to the park headquarters before 8.00am to get a short briefing about the dos and don’ts while with these giants from the park wardens/ranger guides. Rwanda has over 12habituatedgorilla families (habituated means they are used to short visits by humans) 10 gorilla families are ready for tracking and the two are used for research purpose and in each group only eight members are allowed to track which means that 80 people track mountain gorillas every day. You are required to put on tracking gears like the rain jacket, sturdy pair of walking shoes/boots,
Garden gloves for protection against the stinging nettle, bottled water and sometimes packed lunch since tracking is unpredictable it can go from a half to full day in the jungle while searching for our relatives,so a reasonable degree of fitness is called for.
Mountain gorilla facts
Mountain gorillas are regarded as the second close relative of man after the chimps which shares almost 97% of human DNA make up and it’s considered the largest member of the great ape family. An adult male silverback, which age from 12 and above can weigh up to 470 pounds and reach six feet in height.
They live in family groupings which range from 6-35 members and the group consists of a dominant male called a silverback because of the grey hair which grow around its back, it leads the group and it’s the one responsible for any activity in the group including where to sleep the following night, direct the group where to feed from, defends the group against any attack together with other group members and even if meaning losing life a silverback can do in order to defend the group. Other members in a family include few subordinate males and multiple females and kids. They majorly feed on leaves, plants, and fruits aunts and rarely drink water since most of the food they consume contains too much water.
There major threats are human who practice deforestation to generate farmland leaving them homeless and also the act of poaching for trade meat and medicine. Also other wild animals like leopard also attack and kill them, and also snares set for other animals kill gorillas. Eco-tourism, however, has become an important source of revenue for the local people and a vital conservation tool, and not only to the locals but the government too has generated a lot of revenue as over 80% of travelers to Rwanda enjoy this activity, however much a gorillas permit cost usd750 still it attracts more people to go for it. Many travelers in the world can’t wait to go for this magical experience, many have left their homes and offices to come to this small but gifted African country to spend at least one or two days in the wild while watching these rare species in their natural habitat, indeed Rwanda is a must-visit country. Come we take you to wild and enjoy this magical experience with these endangered and attractive to watch species.