Volcanoes national park situated in Northwest Rwanda is one of the places where you can trek the endangered mountain gorillas, the park is located in Rwanda at the Virunga range volcanoes with 10 habituated mountain gorilla families that can be visited by tourists
Only eight people are allowed to trek a family of mountain gorillas in a day, gorillas share 95% of their DNA with humans making them close relatives like Bonobos and chimpanzees. Each mountain gorilla has its nose print unique to an individual like humans have thumb prints unique to each of them
Mountain gorillas live on high elevations of tropical and sub tropical forests, they have long and thick fur which helps then to adapt to cold conditions of the rain forests. Gorillas live in social groups dominated by a silverback that dictates all the group activities and also protects the family from any form of danger.
Umubano gorilla family
Umubano mountain gorilla family broke away from Amahoro gorilla family when two silverbacks Ubumbwe and Charles couldn’t get along and therefore decided to part ways. The word Umubano is derived from a local Kinyarwanda word meaning “living together”. Umubano mountain gorilla family lives in the sane territory with Amahoro gorilla family.
The group is composed of 13 individuals with 2 silverbacks, 3 adult females, six infants and a sub adult. The two groups of Umubano and Amahoro gorilla family are always seen interacting together but with no fights. Trekking Umubano gorilla family takes about 30 minutes to 3 hours depending on their previous day location.
Umubano is not the only gorilla family you can visit in Volcanoes national park, there are also other 9 groups that can be trekked by visitors. Group allocation will depend on age, strength and many other things considered.
Other activities in volcanoes national park
Volcanoes national park is also home to four of the Virunga massif volcanoes that is mount Sabinyo, mount Gahinga, mount Karasimbi and mount Bisoke. Mountain gorillas inhabit the slopes of this mountains and apart from trekking mountain gorillas one can also do volcanic climbing with each mountain giving its on superb views at the top.
Volcanoes national park boasts with 178 species of birds some of which are endemic to the Virunga area, some of the examples of birds include; collared apalis, Ruwenzori Turacco, handsome francolin, red faced woodland warbler, Archers ground robin and strange weaver bird to mention a few.
Gorilla trekking permits
Gorilla permits can only be given to people of 15 years and above, the cost of each permit is $1500 per person and only eight people are allowed to trek one mountain gorilla family in a day. Gorilla trekking is an exciting lifetime experience as you get to spend an hour in the presence of mountain gorillas and observe them doing their day to day activities.
Best time to visit
Volcanoes national park can be visited all year round but the best time of the year is during the long dry season of June to September and short dry season of December to February.Tags: Travel Information