Mountain Gorilla Tracking

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The Highlight of Your Tour

For many travelers, the tracking of gorillas ranks among one of the most exhilarating highlights of their trip to Africa.

Mountain Gorillas are one of the world’s most endangered species of apes. It is estimated that there are currently less than 900 individuals left throughout the world. Nearly half of these can be found in Uganda, but significant populations can also be found in Democratic Republic of Congo and the Parc National de Volcans in Rwanda.

 

Out of the 15 gorilla groups in Rwanda, 10 are habituated to humans and so can be visited by tourists. All gorilla groups are accessed from the same location and, unlike Uganda, you cannot reserve a specific group in advance.

On the morning of the tracking, park rangers will select people for different gorilla groups according to preference, age, and fitness level. For this reason we advise older people, or those wanting only a light hike, to track in Rwanda. Gorilla permits in Rwanda cost US$1.500,-.

 
 

Gorilla Groups in Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda:

Group Name Total Members Silverbacks Infants
Susa 33 2 13
Sabyinyo 13 2 1
Amahoro 18 2 5
Agashya 23 1 8
Umubano 13 2 3
Kwitonda 23 4 6
Hirwa 17 1 4
Karisimbi 16 2 3
Ugenda 11 2 2
Bwenge 11 1 3

 

Ask your guide about the chance to see the famous gorilla group that Dian Fosey spent her career studying.

There are some important rules that you should always keep in mind while tracking the gorillas...

While searching for the gorillas

  • A maximum of 8 visitors may visit a family/group of habituated gorillas per day.
  • To avoid exposing our furry friends to strange germs, wash your hands before you head out for the tracking.
  • Do not leave garbage in the park.
  • Aalways keep your voices low. This will ensure that you will be able to observe the beautiful birds and other wildlife in the forest.
  • Tip: Your group of trackers will be heading to the stop where the guides left the gorillas the day before. From the nesting spot you will track them to their current location. This can take anywhere from 15 minutes to 2 hours.
  • Tip: As you approach the gorillas, the guides will signal when to get your cameras ready.
 
 

While among the gorillas

 

  • It is okay to ask the guide questions, but keep your voices low. 
  • Do not eat or drink while you are near the gorillas.
  • Sometimes the gorillas charge. Follow the guide’s example by crouching down slowly, and do not look into the gorillas in the eyes. Wait for the gorilla to pass you by and do not attempt to run away (as this can increase the risk of attack).
  • Flash photography is not permitted; when taking pictures, move slowly and carefully.
  • Do not touch the gorillas. Keep in mind that though they may look warm and cuddly, they are still wild animals. Keep a distance of at least 7 meters (21 feet) from the gorillas at all times.
  • The maximum time visitors are allowed to spend with the gorillas is exactly one hour and the rangers are quite strict about this.

“The more you learn about the dignity of the gorilla, the more you want to avoid people.” - Dian Fossey

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