There are few more humbling experiences than spending an hour in the company of Rwanda’s mountain gorillas. While their numbers have increased – 10 years ago they were close to extinction – there are still fewer than 500 left in the wild. Depending on the family of gorillas you are allotted, the trek up into the thick jungle of the Parc de Volcanoes can last anywhere from one hour to over six, but once you are among these creatures any fatigue dissipates and is replaced by pure awe.
In 2010, get lost took a group of readers to meet the mountain gorillas. Below is a short clip of what you can expect.
RwandAir has regular flights out of Uganda, Kenya and South Africa into Kigali, the capital. The Volcanoes National Park is a three- to four-hour drive.
This is not a cheap experience and a gorilla permit alone costs US$750. However, once you see how the money is spent and the experience it allows, you’ll want to dig even deeper.
A four-day safari including a visit to the Genocide Museum (a must) costs US$2,995 for one person, US$2,160 per person for a group of two, US$1,955 for three and US$1,850 for four.
Depending on the gorilla family you visit, the trekking can be arduous. The jungle is thick and at times difficult to penetrate, with stinging nettles that numb you for days.