Awe-inspiring gorilla trekking safaris spark a ravaged country's spirited comeback
Word of Mouth"We love Rwanda!" raves Fodorite tinydancer. "We loved the people, and we loved the beauty of the country, and we loved our hotel, and we loved the gorillas! . . . We were not expecting it to be so drop dead gorgeous. Mountains, valleys, rivers, terraced fields, neat villages, lots of people on the roads, very green, plush, and colorful."
Why Go NowIn sum: Gorilla trekking. A third of the planet’s remaining mountain gorillas reside in the tiny country’s northwest corner, much of which is protected by Volcanoes National Park. Here, guided hikes through thick bamboo forests afford intrepid travelers a very up-close and intimate look at the endangered primates. This safari-focused tourism, which is particularly affordable and eco-friendly, is leading Rwanda’s spirited comeback from the genocide that scarred the country nearly two decades ago.
Where to StayIn late 2012, Rwanda will welcome its first five-star hotel, Kigali Marriott, located just 20 minutes from the Kigali International Airport. The 18 rooms at Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge, located in the foothills of Virungas, in Volcanoes National Park, put guests within easy reach of gorilla lair.
When to GoJune through September, for the long dry season.
Plan Your TripVisit Rwanda Tourism for more information.
Photo: Courtesy Rwanda Tourism
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I went to both Rwanda & Uganda in 2007 & 2010 to see the gorillas. Did 5 treks in Uganda & 2 treks in Rwanda. The Rwanda treks are easier but the Uganda treks give you more of the "African experience" The 2 suggested tour groups will be way over price. They will probably contract with an African outfitter anyway. I never saw an A & K or Micato safari vehicle. It is an experience of a lifetime.
I would like to plan a gorilla trekking independently. Can't seem to figure i out though. I have read alot of different things on the forums. Any easy suggetions or the cheapest way to go?
Having the opportunity to go chimpanzee tracking in NNP and learn about what goes into habituating chimps, walking along trails in dense rainforest, and meeting local women who have started selling handicrafts were just some of the highlights that I will mention in my features. I was also very pleased with the photographic subject matter that I acquired.
Where to Stay -- If you are looking for a luxury off-the-beaten track place to stay in Rwanda, visit the Nyungwe Forest Lodge, which is at the edge of the Nyungwe National Park in the southern part of the country. Travel writer Rebecca Ford recently visited the Lodge and did the following useful review: http://suite101.com/article/nyungwe-forest-lodge---luxury-hotel-in-rwanda-a407330
Why Go Now -- Yes, Rwanda is known for its "Gorillas in the Mist," but it is also worth visiting Nyungwe National Park in the south. The Park is renowned for its chimp tracking, 280+ species of birds, 150+ species of orchids, the only canopy walk in East Africa, a network of great hiking trails, and community tourism in local villages.
Travel writer Stuart Forster was recently in Nyungwe and wrote this useful blog posting : http://natgeotraveller.co.uk/blog/rwanda-on-the-trail-of-chimpanzees/
Insider tip: A&K and Micato are great tour operators, but you should also consider the Rwandan operators who are listed on the website of the Rwanda Tours and Travel Association: http://rttarwanda.org/members.php
Most of them now organize tours that include Nyungwe.
Plan Your Trip -- As of July 2012, the Rwanda Tourism website was still under construction. There's also NyungwePark.com, which contains a lot of information and a Nyungwe Facebook page at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Nyungwe-National-Park-Fans-Rwanda/327232577364149
There's also a Nyungwe channel on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/NyungwePark1/feed
And lastly, the Nyungwe Twitter feed could be helpful: @NyungwePark
It is surprising that the country like this is the leading in Gorillas Tracking Safaris. The Surrounding countries like Uganda and Congo protect Gorillas too but Rwanda beat them all because Gorillas here they are easily accessible if anyone of you plan to visit Gorillas in Rwanda let me know by visiting us on www.rwandasafaris,com or Email us on firstname.lastname@example.org to get a knowledgable local give who will help you know much about Rwanda.