If you have not imagined how special it is to seeing mountain gorillas in the mist it is the high time you to plan and book a luxury gorilla safari in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park. This experience is breathtaking, heart-pounding and a memory for a lifetime.
If you can afford it, go here. Its money well spent, and the money helps to protect the gorillas. They also use a bit to help the local community so people don’t turn to poach for making a living. “Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda is very expensive but rewards you with a fantastic experience. Currently, a permit to see the gorillas costs US$1500 excluding ground-transport, air tickets and accommodations.
Though it is extremely expensive, gorilla trekking in Rwanda is excellently set-up and is a fantastic experience! After enjoying some tea and coffee and meeting other visitors in the lovely reception garden, you are put into a gorilla trekking group with up to seven others and two park guides. The guides take the time to gather their group, make personal introductions, and describe what’s ahead. The four gorilla trekking guides that I had the privilege of trekking under were all really great. Most guides have over 15 years experience in guiding at the park and they have great stories about their encounters will gorillas.
We visited the famous Amahoro Group, which is usually the furthest and most difficult group to trek, but it’s also the one with the most history and members. I had heard horror stories about how difficult this trek is, so I came a little nervous but determined. In the end, while it is definitely not an easy trek, it’s not going to leave you super exhausted if you’re in good shape. The trek guides attended to us very well, and offered us frequent rest breaks along the way.
In fact, we loved the long hike to the Amahoro Group so much though it did not change my plan to see a different group the next day and followed the Susa Group. This was partly because there are so many gorillas in that group, partly because the types of people who head for the Susa Group are so cool, and partly because I discovered that the long hike up Mount Karisimbi is an especially beautiful and varied one!
We went through 3-4 different kinds of terrain before we got to the Susa Group. As well, the group was in a noticeably different location and behaved quite differently the second day (probably, in part, because it was especially sunny that day).
On that note, don’t forget to reapply your sunscreen. Gaiters and (gardening) gloves are very helpful, and water is a must. Our porters were great! They sensitively helped us on the steeper parts of the hike and were a dear soul. If you like adventurous gorilla trekking go, for the Susa Group!