priceless hour on holiday in rwanda

gorillaWatching a mountain gorilla from only metres away is a priceless real life Rwanda holiday experience.  In the forest and in the company of these majestic creatures, Intrepid’s Dara Leonard enjoyed a precious hour that will last a lifetime…

“Within ten minutes of leaving the national park office we were engulfed by the forest.  The guard at the front of the group hacked away at the bush and undergrowth while we followed closely behind, eagerly looking for tell-tale signs that the gorillas were nearby.  After about an hour our guides spotted an area where the gorillas had slept the previous night, so we knew we were close.  A few steps further and our small party of eight quickly stopped – peering through the brush we could see a female gorilla.  After a lot of hushed ooohing and aaaghhing and frantically taking our first photos, suddenly a 6 foot Silverback appeared and walked right in front of us, followed by the rest of his family!

Silently we kept our distance and watched as the gorillas found a spot to hang out and rest.  For the whole hour that we were allowed to spend with the group, I was completely overwhelmed and mesmerised by these amazing animals.  The babies and adolescents were playing in the trees above us, while the Silverback was being groomed by the women in the group.  I didn’t know where to focus the camera next since they were all so close and all so fascinating.

After our precious hour we walked back down the mountain to join up with the rest of our Intrepid group. We shared our tales and our photos, and while we agreed that the pictures were fantastic, we concurred that nothing can quite describe the incredible feeling of seeing these endangered mountain gorillas up close and personal!”

Tour Rwanda with Intrepid on trips like these great small group holidays:
Gorillas, Chimps and Game Parks – 16 days ex Nairobi
Gorillas to Vic Falls – 39 days Holiday Nairobi to Livingstone

About the author

Sue Elliot - Like many of us, Sue contracted a serious travel bug at an early age. She's visited over 90 countries in search of a cure, but her wanderlust just seems to get worse. Thankfully at Intrepid Travel she's amongst people who understand the affliction and since 1998 Sue has enjoyed being our blog and newsletter editor. Here you'll find helpful travel advice and inspiring tales from Sue and other Intrepid travellers.

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Wow this is very interesting reading about gorilla trekking in Rwanda

Hi Annelies,
Our ‘Gorillas, Chimps and Game Parks’ trip (code YOG) includes the Kibale Forest National Park in Uganda to see chimpanzees. To visit the mountain gorillas we base ourselves at Ruthengeri in Rwanda and trek into the dense forest to appreciate these remarkable creatures in one of their last remaining sanctuaries. Both of these parks are excellent for viewing these amazing animals in their natural habitat, but these parks are subject to change, as we monitor the local situation to ensure it’s safe for our groups to travel in the region.
In regards to when to travel, the wettest months are March to May and November and the temperature remains warm year-round, so good times to travel are generally January and February or also June to October.
Happy travels,
Sue, Intrepid Express editor'

Hi people @Intrepid,
I am interested in a trip to Rwanda and/or Uganda to see the Gorillas and chimpanzees. Can you tell me which park/country you can recommend? And I would like to know what time of the year is best to travel there? I am lucky enough to travel anytime of the year….Thanks.

Hi Rose,
How exciting that you are planning a trip to Rwanda and we’re happy to answer your queries…

As for the rainy season, this shouldn’t significantly affect your trip and gorilla trek. You will need to be prepared to get muddy and hot (it is very humid) while trekking and you will need to take rain gear as it is pretty definite there will be rain during some part of the tour – usually of the monsoonal variety (ie really heavy for an hour or so a day).

In regards to the diarrhoea query – lots of people experience this when away from home, but normally travellers on our Africa trips don’t encounter any significant problems. One of the great things about our Intrepid Overland trips is that all meals are included while camping and the group are responsible for the cooking, so hygiene levels are high and we can ensure food is stored appropriately etc. If your son is prone to stomach upsets, we recommend being extremely vigilant with personal hygiene, such as washing hands with soap thoroughly and often, especially after handling money and of course bathroom stops. He should also watch what he is eating – no ice in drinks and avoiding street food or anything that has been peeled or washed in local water. You need to make sure to replace all water lost due to the diarrhoea and keep to a light and simple starchy diet.
Happy travels,
Sue – Intrepid Express Editor

HI We are planning on doing this trip in May. I’m worried as it is there rainy season. What do you think? Also My Son always gets diarrhea every where we go on a holiday. Did any one that you know of get diarrhea ? Rose

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