Rwanda Gorilla Safaris

Tracking Mountain Gorillas in the Virunga Mountains is an outstanding wildlife experience, unquestionably one of Africa's safari highlights

A quarter of a century after the genocide and civil war, Rwanda is a country transformed into one of the safest and progressive on the continent

While Mountain Gorillas are definitely the top draw here, they are not the sole attraction

Volcanoes National Park in north west Rwanda is home to the largest population of Mountain Gorillas on the planet and has gained an international reputation for being the place to see them. With ten habituated groups the likelihood of encountering a family is extremely high and the very act of purchasing your permit irrefutably aids the chances of survival for this critically endagered iconic Great Ape.

Many visitors to Rwanda choose to only visit for the Gorillas - treating it as an add-on to a Serengeti or Kenyan safari, which is certainly possible given Rwanda's excellent infrastructure and air links, the Gorilla habitat is a two hour drive from the international airport. However, Rwanda is a fascinating country, a rising star on the safari scene with allure beyond the Gorillas.

In the east Akagera, containing Rwanda's only savannah, along with central Africa's largest protected wetlands, is emphatically worth visiting. Amongst Africa's prettiest savannah reserves with swamp-fringed lakes, vast plains and rolling hills, it is also an ongoing conservation triumph with the recent reintroduction of lion and Black Rhino (2015 & 2017 respectively). With an estimated population of 12,000 large mammals and 482 bird species recorded, a comfy lakeshore tented camp, all an easy couple of hour's drive from Kigali - Akagera deserves a detour. 

Nyungwe Forest in the deep south is more of a mission to get to but for those that make the effort the rewards are arguably even greater. Nyungwe is simply magnificent. The largest remaining tract of montane rainforest in eastern Africa is home to nearly a quarter of all primate species in Africa, including Chimpanzees. The 130km network of paths and a suspended canopy walk allow unfettered access deep in to the forest and the Chimps can generally be tracked at short notice.  

There was no way that I could explain to dogs, friends or parents my compelling need to return to Africa to launch a long-term study of the gorillas. Some may call it destiny and others may call it dismaying. I call it the sudden turn of events in my life fortuitous”

- Dian Fossey

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BEST TIME TO GO TO RWANDA

There are two annual rainy seasons, the major one lasts from June to September and the lesser rains from mid-September to mid-December

If Gorilla trekking is your primary objective this can be undertaken at any time of year and because the Gorilla's live in a rainforest (as the Chimps do in Nyungwe) it can, by definition, rain at any time - although that said it is likely to be much less slippery underfoot in the dry season.

Should you be planning to visit Rwanda in combination with another wildlife area in the region we'd suggest talking through the permutations of this with us.    

TALK TO US ABOUT GORILLA TREKKING

SAMPLE TRIP

GREAT APES IN RWANDA

Highlights:

SEE AFRICA'S GREAT APES IN THEIR NATURAL MONTANE HABITAT - TREK IN TO THE VIRUNGA MOUNTAINS

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THE MORE YOU LEARN ABOUT THE DIGNITY OF THE GORILLA, THE MORE YOU WANT TO AVOID PEOPLE.”

- DIAN FOSSEY

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RWANDA'S HIGHLIGHTS

Parc Nationale des Volcans

Roughly half of the world wild population of Mountain Gorillas are resident on the Rwandan slopes

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RWANDA'S HIGHLIGHTS

KIGALI

Rwanda's attractive capital spread across several hills and valleys

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Our experienced travellers include:

Rod Tether
Rod Tether
Olly Williams
Olly Williams
Andrea Hulme
Andrea Hulme

It takes genuine local knowledge to craft trips that go beyond the ordinary.

All of us at Natural High have over 20 years’ experience in the countries we offer. We’ve lived there, worked there and arranged countless one-off journeys for clients. We live to travel – and love to share our tips on what’s really worth doing. For expert advice (and a traveller’s tale or two), speak to one of our team. They’ll be happy to let you in on their travel secrets, and help you plan a tailor-made trip that’s truly unforgettable.

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