East Africa’s hilly and mountainous paradise, Rwanda, is a haven for travelers that are avid to primates and wildlife lovers. The country earned the nickname “Land of a Thousand Hills” due its mountainous landscape and its renowned Volcanoes National Park home to mountain gorillas and golden monkeys. This park is the most visited park in Rwanda, home to 3 extinct and 6 active volcanoes, and you will experience the best tracking safari to see mountain gorillas.
Volcanoes National Park borders both Virunga National Park in the Congo and the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda. When it comes to wildlife, Rwanda wins again, with 13 species of primates including the world’s famous mountain gorillas, chimpanzees and the rare golden monkeys. Her wildlife cast also includes a wide range of antelopes, zebras, buffaloes, giraffes, hippos, lions, leopards, spotted hyenas, golden cats, and forest hogs.
Enjoy the best luxury gorilla photo safari in Rwanda takes you to volcanoes National Park which protects the steep slopes of the Rwandan section of the Virunga Mountains, a range of 6 extinct and three active volcanoes. A dense green and misty realm offers immeasurably ancient forest, massive stands of bamboo and crisp Afro-alpine moorlands dominated by giant Lobelia and scenario plants. The park offers 50km of walking trails, tours of lakes and caves and a fascinating selection of mountain climbs.
Of the approximate one thousand gorillas that remain on earth, 200 live in the Volcanoes National Park. And so heavily protected are these shy and gentle creatures that only 80 tourists per day are allowed into their natural home. The Virunga Mountains in Uganda, Rwanda, and Congo are home to the world’s population of mountain gorillas. Some of the gorilla families have been habituated to human presence, and it is possible to visit them in their natural habitat within the forest.
Take a short drive to the Park Headquarters and meet with local guides and trackers who present an orientation about gorilla tracking ethics. Spend two days in the Volcanoes National Park visiting mountain gorillas and the other visiting the Golden monkeys. The search, with experienced trackers leading the way, can take up to 8 hours although the gorillas are usually found after 2 to 8 hours. Once the gorillas are spotted the encounter is a most profound natural history experience. The 1 hour is utilized by the taking photo shots of the mountain gorilla as you watch and observe there social behaviors. You can spend the two overnight at Bisate Eco-Lodge.
The next you can go for the Golden monkey experience in Volcanoes National Park. Like the mountain gorillas, the golden monkeys are habituated and are used to the presence of the humans. This is a guided hike with trackers and guides and is about 3 hours long returning in time for lunch at the lodge.
After tracking the golden monkeys, there is also an optional village visit at IbyI’wacu Cultural village which is a great place to get a cultural insight into Rwandan life. The local people will teach you the hunting and gathering ways of the old times, how they used to live in the ancient forests, what they ate, hunted, gathered, the medicine they found in the forest and much more, overnight at Bisate Eco-Lodge.
Bisate Eco-lodge is located in the natural amphitheatre of an eroded volcanic cone. Bisate is within easy driving distance of Park Headquarters, from where gorilla treks depart daily. Its vision of reforestation and rehabilitation means that each guest is invited to participate in our biodiversity conservation efforts, as well as engage and meet the local community – in addition to learning about and making a far-reaching positive impact on an iconic Critically Endangered species: the mountain gorilla.
Other recommended luxury gorilla accommodation you can opt to stay in during your gorilla safari include the Mountain Gorilla View Lodge located in Kinigi in northern Rwanda and on the edge of the Volcanoes National Park, home to the endangered Mountain Gorillas. The lodge is located on the foothills of the Mount Karisimbi, one of the volcanic mountains that make up the Virunga Massif. The lodge is about 10 minutes’ drive to the main entrance of the Volcanoes National Park where gorilla trekking starts. Mountain Gorilla View Lodge is an Eco-lodge with 30 spacious chalets. To ensure the least disruption of the surrounding environment, the Eco-lodge was constructed with locally available material.
Sabyinyo Silver back Lodge is another luxury gorilla accommodation located in Musanze district close to the volcanoes national park headquarters excellently located for gorilla safaris in Rwanda as it’s quite near the Kinigi head offices. Sabyinyo lodge is situated at the foothill of the Virunga ranges comprising of a wonderful view of the Volcanoes rolling hills and the surrounding countryside.
Virunga Volcano Lodge is also a luxury accommodation set on the crown of a high hill overlooking the five Virunga Volcanoes and has almost 360-degree views of the surrounding area. A patchwork of farmland and the beautiful volcanic Lakes Ruhondo and Bulera lie below, ringed by the volcanoes and far hills. Volcanoes Virunga Lodge is built in the local style from wood and stone and has a tranquil atmosphere. In the evenings, you can relax around a log fire and tell stories about the day’s adventures in the jungle, tracking gorillas or golden monkeys.
Mountain Gorilla View Lodge also a luxury gorilla accommodation located in Kinigi in northern Rwanda and on the edge of the Volcanoes National Park, home to the endangered Mountain Gorillas. The lodge is located on the foothills of the Mount Karisimbi, one of the volcanic mountains that make up the Virunga Massif. The lodge is about 10 minutes’ drive to the main entrance of the Volcanoes National Park where gorilla trekking starts.
Mountain Gorilla View Lodge is an Eco – lodge with 30 spacious chalets. To ensure the least disruption of the surrounding environment, the Eco-lodge was constructed with locally available material. Every chalet comes with a sitting area with a fireplace and has a tea/coffee making machine. The Eco-lodge supports the surrounding rural community by purchasing farm-fresh produce that is served in the lodge’s restaurant.
Jack Hanna Cottages is located northern Rwanda’s Musanze district nestled in a forest of Eucalyptus trees. The lodge offers a family sized magnificent accommodation at the Jack Hannah’s cottages with beautiful views of Rwanda’s hills and slopes of the Volcanoes national park. Jack Hanna Cottage, a luxurious private guesthouse at the foot of the Virunga Volcano Range. The cottage feels like a true home away from home, ideal for trekking out to meet rare Mountain Gorillas in theirs.