Volcanoes National Park
With its population of over 300 mountain gorillas, Volcanoes National Park draws thousands of visitors each year eager to see these gentle giants in their natural habitat. With twenty family groups in the park, visitors are able to meet members of ten groups, while the other ten are kept away from tourists so as to be studied.
Also within the park is the final resting place of gorilla researcher and anti-poaching activist, Dian Fossey, a woman whose work raised awareness of the plight of gorillas and ultimately led to her murder.
Gorilla tracking is another extremely popular tourist activity in this area; however, the trip is advised only for fit adults, since the bamboo forest in which the gorillas live is high up in the mountains. Standing face to face with a wild mountain gorilla is something you will never forget. The gorillas may seem terrifying, but they are in fact very friendly creatures that even try to interact with their human visitors. You may even witness a gorilla greeting your tour guide by touching him. The young gorillas may show off a bit and show you their chest-beat display, while a female gorilla might walk up to you and stare into the lens of your camera for a while before, satisfied, wandering off again. This is truly an unforgettable, once in a life-time experience!
Upon visiting the Volcanoes National Park you may wish to go trekking up and along the volcanoes. This is a highly popular activity that awards you with magnificent views of the surrounding peaks and valleys, a surprising change of vegetation and a glimpse of the famous mountain gorillas.
There are various trekking possibilities
Trek up to the top of either Bisoke or Karisimbi on a two-day excursion, during which you will meet the mountain gorillas.
Go on an easy two and a half hours walk to a group of crater lakes, during which you will observe the amazing bird life and meet the golden monkeys.
Visit Fossey’s grave (1-3 hours long walk, depending on how fit you are and how often you wish to stop to enjoy the beautiful scenery).
Ascend Mount Visoke up to its crater (a two hour walk).