Mountain gorillas are the second closest relative to man after the chimp which shares almost 98% of human DNA make up. They are considered as endangered species by the world heritage site.Only about 900 mountain gorillas still exists in the forest of East and Central Africa shared by three countries that’s Rwanda in( volcanoes national park), in Uganda they are hosted in two national parks that’s (Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga gorilla national park)and the Democratic republic of Congo they are tracked in the( Virunga national park).
Tracking is regarded as the number one safari activities to each of these countries which hosts these giant apes, a huge number of travelers whole over the world jet into one of these countries to spend at least one or two days in the wild with these few endangered mountain gorillas. Rwanda is known as the best gorilla safari destination in the world, housing almost half of these remaining apes.
Tracking and photography in the volcanoes national park is a bit easier than in the thick impenetrable national park and the Virunga National Park in Congo, the park has some of the easy to find gorilla families whereby within 1-6 hours you may find a gorilla family and by 1pm you are back at the lodge for lunch and get ready for another activity, although this is not a guarantee since they are wild animals, they are very difficult to predict. Its proximity also makes it the best for those who don’t want to travel for long hours. It’s just about 2-3 hours’ drive from Kigali Rwanda’s capital and largest city, so one day gorilla safari to Rwanda is very possible in that, one has to drive very early in the morning by 4.00am and arrive at Kiningi park headquarters in time for breakfast and then after get into touch with other trekkers for a short briefing about gorilla tracking before 7:30am.
After the briefing, set to the forest for gorilla tracking, after tracking drive back to Kigali or at the airport for your nest destination. A one day gorilla tracking is impossible in Uganda and Congo since it’s involves along drive to the park making it difficult to drive and track in one day, this makes Rwanda a best gorilla safari destination.
Credit should be given to Dian Fossey an American primatologist for the effort she put in the habituation of mountain gorilla, she first conducted her research Centre in Congo but due to insecurity she went to the volcanoes national park where she conducted her research in the Karisoke research center where she studied the behaviors of mountain gorillas that they can be familiar to human and they can be tracked safely without any harm caused to human for over 18 years, without her effort with the help of the government, ranger guides who 24/7 monitor these ages, and the local community especially those near the park, mountain gorillas could not he heard than it is today.
On the day of tracking you have to report to the park headquarters to get briefed about gorilla etiquette set by the conservationists – ie. the dos and don’ts while with these giants. After the briefing you will get allocated to a ranger guide, who will lead you through the all gorilla tracking process.
Each gorilla group is allocated to only eight members who are allowed to stay with the family for only one hour. And tracking time is unpredictable it can go from 1-8 hours depending on the gorilla family trekked and also on where they last spent their night from. Come we take you were you have not yet reached.
The one hour spent with these giants is considered memorable as you will be able to know more about the gorillas, how they behave, socialize, and also learn their feeding habits among others and you will take as many photos as you can (although flash cameras are not allowed). Gorilla tracking is one of the most expensive safari activities but known as the most done activity. The whole process is memorable, those who have got the chance to meet these endangered apes in their natural setting can testify to this.