In a remote corner of northwestern Rwanda you’ll find the Virunga Mountains in Volcanoes National Park. These mountains are part of a chain of eight volcanoes located in the East African Rift Valley. Surrounding the ice-capped mountains is a tropical tangle of ancient forests, active volcanoes, savannah, swamps and wetlands. It is here, in this landscape as old as time itself, that you will find the last of the world’s endangered mountain gorillas.
A combination of poaching, civil war and habitat destruction has brought these beautiful animals to the edge of extinction. As our closest living relatives, coming face to face with them is a powerful and humbling experience.
You’ll trek through the mountains alongside a trained guide until you reach the habituated gorilla families that tolerate the presence of humans. Permits are limited so that only a small number of people are visiting the gorillas at any one time. Your time with them will be restricted to one hour. The money Rwanda makes from tourist trekking is funneled back into conservation efforts to protect these remaining families. It’s an expensive trip to make, but by all accounts one that has a lasting impact that few other African experiences can match.