I was born in a small seaside Italian town and migrated to Australia with my family in 1986. After a trivial yet cataclysmic ‘a-ha’ moment in 2004, I left behind all that was familiar, safe and warm and embarked on a 6 year stint as an overland tour guide. My travels...
Written on: May 17, 2013
I visited in February 2011
If it’s mountain gorillas you want to see, then the Volcanoes Park in Rwanda is where you need to be! I’ll try and keep this brief...even though that’s not usually my forte.
We based ourselves in Ruhengeri (sleeping in a converted convent which was rather sombre) and headed out to the park at first light. Apparently many moons ago one had to hike for hours on end to find a gorilla family in the forest, but nowadays the heavily protected beasts are constantly tracked so we were actually driven to within a short half hour hike to their chill-out spot. WEAR LONG PANTS, I beg you, the thorns are brutal beyond words!
Anyway, seen as though the gorillas are so protected, you’ll only be allowed to trek in small groups, which is rather perfect. The guide will give you a long list of do’s and don’ts which you must adhere to, if only ONE person does the wrong thing then everyone gets packed away and sent back, which would be a bummer so feel free to be mother goose and make sure everyone behaves for your sake at least. From the moment you spot the first gorilla you have exactly 60 minutes’ time up there, no matter how far or close they are. Matter not...the moment you spot your first mound of black fur the adrenalin starts pumping and time tends to almost stand still after that.
Amazing, incredible and an absolute honour, especially if this is a lifelong dream of yours!
Now get this: a member of my pack started whinging after ten minutes that ‘the gorillas don’t do anything...’ as if he was expecting them to tap dance for him or something. Seriously, dude, what the hell?? Admire in awe and keep your mouth shut!
So...I swear the gorilla must’ve heard him because all of a sudden he came charging towards him and tried to grab his backpack!! WHOOOOOAW I didn’t know whether to laugh or pee my pants or do both! The whole thing lasted a millisecond, the gorilla retreated back to his group as if nothing happened and my ‘comrade’ kept his mouth shut the rest of the way back. Check out the photo of the big fella charging, I’m bummed I didn’t have enough nerves of steel to keep shooting!
Expect to be awed by these magical beasts and even though I concede this is not the cheapest thing you could do in Africa, I assure you that the last thing you will remember afterwards is how much it cost. Funds are being wisely spent on the protection of the animals and their habitats so do yourself and the gorillas a favour and go see them at Volcanoes when you come to Rwanda.
Over and Out.
Written on: Jan 29, 2016
| Visited: Nov 2015.
I was fortunate to have the possibility to visit the park at the end of 2015. It was a totally amazing experience.
At first I was really impressed by the country of Rwanda. So different from what I expected. A well-organized country that still had managed to keep the origin.
We stayed at hotel in Musanze and the hotel helped with arranging transportation to th...
We craft Uganda safari itineraries around you…. We specialize in tailor-making safaris that suit your time frame, needs, interest, budget constraints as well as your style and pace.
Whether your interest is in a Mountain Gorilla Safari, wildlife safaris or bird w...
Written on: Jan 15, 2016
| Visited: Jan 2016.
Volcanoes National Park has 8 habituated groups of gorillas available for daily tracking and up to 8 visitors are allowed per day, for one hour only. Gorilla treks can be over and done with in less than 3 hours or, in adverse circumstances, take 8 or more hours. The guides are well-trained, fluent in English and it's best to make use of the blue uniformed porters, ...
Written on: Dec 22, 2015
| Visited: Nov 2015.
This is a really nice place to go. Theo have 12 different gorilla families in the mountains and we visited the amazing Sabyinyo group. Our guide was very good and knowledgeable. Usually they recommend a distance of at least 7 meters to the gorillas but this time the gorilla silver back came up to us very close as you can see on my profile pictures. The weather was ...
Written on: Nov 17, 2015
| Visited: Jul 2013.
For a number of years now we've wanted to see the silver back gorilla. It's KAE that allowed us to realize this dream. Our guide was extraordinarily kind and patient. His knowledge of the fauna helped us discover some remarkable animals that others wouldn't have had seen.
As for the mountain gorilla, to see these animals get up close to us is a rare and moving ex...
Written on: Jul 24, 2014
| Visited: Jun 2014.
Nothing can prepare you for your first sighting of a silverback gorilla. He is HUGE! He could easily rip you limb from limb and you immediately respect and admire this docile creature and wish man were more like his primate cousin.
The trek was tough, and there were leeches and mosquitoes to deal with, but I would do it again in a second, even with the increased p...
Written on: Mar 15, 2014
| Visited: Apr 2012.
The existence of gorillas in Africa's rain forests has been known for centuries not only in Africa but the whole world. 2000 years back,early records were taken by the sailors that landed from the North African province as they tried to capture some apes in the western lowland and the eastern lowland. in the early 1900, the other specie of the mountain gorillas was...
I am the low-budget backpacker. Regardless of my income level, this is the style of travel I most prefer because it gives me the greatest cultural immersion and the biggest opportunity to meet locals and get a real sense of what life is like in a totally foreign coun...
Written on: Jan 24, 2014
| Visited: Apr 2013.
Deciding the gorilla trekking was just too expensive for mid-twenties budgets, my travel partner and I decided to do a volcano hike. We chose Bisoke based on our guidebooks review and the tour operator's recommendation. It's the second-easiest hike, but don't let that deceive you because man, is it challenging! The total hike takes about six hours and climbs in ele...