Gorilla Tourism in Rwanda at Glance – Widely known as ‘the land of a thousand hills’, Rwanda is a land of great diversity and beauty with six volcanoes, twenty-three lakes and numerous rivers, some forming the source of the great River Nile. The extensive green vegetation and landscape are truly spectacular. Spectacular volcanoes and dense tropical forests dominate the north of the country, while gentle hills and valleys, calm lakes and turbulent rivers in both Savannah and dense tropical vegetation dominate the rest of the country.
Rwanda boasts of a wide variety of wildlife, with Parc National des Volcans, in north and is a home to the world’s largest number of endangered mountain gorillas. Numbering in the hundreds, the gorillas live in a protected area, free from poachers.
Best known for its wealth of primates, Rwanda also has one of Africa’s richest bird life with over 670 different bird species recorded. And for botanists, the attractive wildflowers of the forests and mountains are capped by more than 100 orchid species in Nyungwe alone.
The Akagera National Park in eastern Rwanda is teeming with wildlife both large and small and they include lions, Giraffe, Elephant and Hippopotamus to Hyena, Impala and Gazelle and many more. There is also a wealthy bird life at Akagera park.
Strategically positioned, Rwanda’s water bodies are ideal for water sports and fishing, particularly Lake Kivu in the west of the country and Lake Muhazi in the east. Lake Kivu offers fine-looking beaches, jutting peninsulas and an archipelago of stunning islands. in short, Rwanda, a very friendly country is a nature lover’s heaven. A good reception is complemented by comfortable hotel facilities, fine food and a rich cultural heritage.
RWANDA GORILLA TOURISM
When visiting the ‘Land of a Thousand Hills’, one should not miss out on the outstanding chance to visit Rwanda’s Parc National des Volcans (PNV) or Volcanoes National Park consisting of 125 Km2 of mountain forest and home to the six Virunga Volcanoes and the world famous mountain gorillas.
Protected within the park, the woody slopes of the mountains form suitably vivid natural scenery for what is unquestionably the most moving and memorable wildlife experience in the world: gorilla tracking. The thrilling climb to the gorilla’s natural habitat of shady bamboo forest offers incredible views in all directions, before the trackers are absorbed in the puzzling familiarity of the rain forest, alive with the calls of colorful birds and the chattering of rare golden monkey.
It is exciting to encounter a peaceful and calm mature silver back gorilla. Volcanoes National Park is managed and protected by the Rwandan Office for Tourism and National Parks (ORTPN) and one accesses from Ruhengeri town, positioned near the base of the entrance of the park. Ruhengeri has long been the pedestal point for gorilla visits and entertains a stunning backdrop of Karisimbi, Visoke, Mikeno, Sabyinyo, Gahinga and Muhabura volcanoes. Ruhengeri is also only a 45-minute drive away from Gisenyi and the stunning Lake Kivu.
Gorilla safaris can involve anything from a 1 to 4-hour trek through the forest, led by experienced trackers who have spent their entire lives living in or close to the forest. Your walk through the forest will be charming as you weave through hanging vines, moss covered Hagenia trees and gigantic Lobelias that thrive in the tropical climate of the forest. You will spot golden monkeys swinging from the bamboo, or see wild buffalo, bush duiker and a wide variety of bird life.
The Virunga ecosystem is composed of 4 major vegetation zones: bamboo (base altitude), Hagenia and Hypericum forest (2600-3300m), Sub-alpine (3300-4000m), and Afro-alpine (4000m+). not anything could be more of an opportunity than to use an hour watching the gorillas as they go about their daily routine, feeding, playing and relaxing, as you question your ancient existence and remember the wonder that kept Dian Fossey living in the forest for almost 18 years. Rwanda is a country every one should visit before he dies.