Rwanda is dubbed the Land of a Thousand Hills for a reason. This landlocked country lies suitably in Eastern and Central Africa and it is dominated by scenic rolling hills that make it a true land of a thousand hills.
Besides, it features several most stunning water Lakes, rain forests and savanna grasslands that all reward travelers with breathtaking views while on safari in Africa. Despite its small size, Rwanda is one of a few stunning destinations that offer you a great opportunity to strike your imaginations with a group of mountain gorillas while in their natural habitat. The others include Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). In the remarkable Rwanda, these unique apes are tracked only in Volcanoes National Park northwest. For starters, you may wonder why this landlocked country has become an exceptional destination for gorilla treks regardless of the fact that there are other destinations with the same creatures. Not to worry anymore, there are a number of factors that make Rwanda such a special gorilla destination and they include among others;
First, unlike Bwindi National Park and Mgahinga National Park, the Rwanda Volcanoes National Park is reachable just within 2 to 3 hours’ drive from Kigali airport. This makes it the most accessible gorilla destination compared to Uganda’s Bwindi or Mgahinga National Park where you need about 8 to 10 hours to drive from Kampala or Entebbe Airport. This alone makes Rwanda an exceptional gorilla destination the fact that, you can even have a 1 day gorilla trek in Volcanoes National Park which isn’t a case with Bwindi, Mgahinga National Park or even the Virunga National Park where you will need more days to have a complete trip. Volcanoes National Park is about 120 kilometers off Kigali International Airport which is a shorter distance. Bwindi National Park on the other hand is about 450-580 kilometers off Kigali capital.
Looking at the cost of gorilla permits, in order for you to trek gorillas in Rwanda, you need $1500 to secure a permit which is relatively higher than the cost of permits in Uganda and even the DR Congo. Rwanda increased the cost of its gorilla permits from $750 to currently $1500 per person mainly targeting the high end tourists. And it is of no doubt that this magical country has become a luxury safari destination. Like other destinations, permits in Rwanda can be obtained through a trust worthy, recognized and registered tour operator or through a reservation at Rwanda Development Board (RDB).
Volcanoes National Park’s vegetation isn’t that very thick compared to that of Bwindi National Park and this makes it a little bit easier for trekkers to take pictures of these creatures without much interruption while in their natural habitat. Regardless of its strenuous hikes, at end of day, you get the best of these primates’ pictures. Equally, its altitude isn’t high like that of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. On gorilla trek, visitors are assigned to gorilla family based on their physical wellness.
Besides trekking mountain gorillas, Rwanda also features also arranges for the Kwita Izina event an event that is conducted once every year. This is a special event of its own where the newly born gorillas are given names. It attracts different categories of people- locally regionally and even beyond. It was initiated in 2005 and currently, it is catching the attention of most conservationists, nature lovers, primate lovers and other stake holders.
In conclusion, Rwanda is a special gorilla destination of its own. There are a number of factors that make this magical landlocked country an exceptional gorilla destination but the most important one is the fact that it is a home to rare mountain gorillas that thrive within only 3 countries-Rwanda, Uganda and the DR Congo.