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Volcanoes National Park reviews

11 reviews

“This is when I fell in love with merino wool socks! They really do wick away the water and keep your feet warm for hours of swampy, muddy hiking!” - FrugallyFickle Traveler

Climb a volcano and you may just stumble on a gorilla or two!

FrugallyFickle Traveler
Views: 730 Visited: Apr 2013 Reviewed: Jan 24, 2014

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 elevation from 8,000 to 11,000 feet, with the trail following natural volcanic paths up the mountain. We went in April and it was quite muddy despite it being unseasonably dry. In fact, there were times I was worried I was going to lose a shoe in the cakey, sticky mud we'd sink into! Additionally, the plants aren't the friendliest either. They have nettles bordering the trail which you very easily bump into and instinctively grab onto when you slip, which leaves a pins and needle feeling on the part of your body that touched it for up to an hour after.

Why would I recommend this, you ask? Because it's the most gratifying feeling to be able to make it to the top and look below into the water-filled crater, peering over the the DRC just on the other side. We were beyond lucky enough to also spot two gorillas on our decent back to the base, one pregnant female making herself visible to our group as she climbed into a tree to continue munching on leaves. Fortunately for us, the gorillas don't pay attention to who paid the permit to see them and who didn't. We were one lucky group!

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