The Rwandan Gorilla habituation experience makes every Africa adventure safari lover to get a thrilling moment of all time, you can only trek these primates in Volcanoes National Park within the wider part of Virunga Mountains. Within Rwanda, over 400 mountain gorillas inhabit this (Virunga) complex and live at altitudes which range from 2,300-4,500 m ranging within the southern part of the Virunga National Park in the DR Congo, the Volcanoes National Park northern Rwanda and also a few uses the Mgahinga National Park in the southwestern parts of Uganda. The habituation exercise in the park notonly helped to protect the mountain gorillas but also improved the tracking activity in the thick forest of Volcanoes. Currently, most visitors to Rwanda opt to stretch their safaris to Ruhengeri region where the park is found inorder to enjoy a wonderful package of numerous tour activities.
Rwanda’s gorilla families are grouped into two which are purposely for research and for studying; these groups can only be accessed by researchers or scientists namely; Pablo’s Shida’s and Beetsme, these groups are listed to have the largest number of individuals. The other 10 groups are habituated in Rwanda and are basically for tourism purposes, here is where the trekkers go and visit and the maximum number of 8 people are assigned to a particular group of gorillas per day per hour.
This habituation experience takes you in a thrilling moment which makes your safari adventurous and memorable; you are rewarded with a fabulous one hour moment with the endangered primates in their very own natural habitat not only to view them play and forage around, but to also quench you’re thirsty.
After the early morning briefing at the park headquarters, you follow the group of 8 people that you are assigned to, led by the good trained guides and the two scouts where one scout leads the group and the other follows right behind the group. After walking through the several trails, you will finally reach the gorilla family you are assigned to. At this moment you are only advised to be calm while with the apes, make the dominant male (silverback) feel comfortable to head his family. And no unnecessary movements needed.
Be within the wild and stay with the group and always converge yourself with your other group members, get a moment and take nice shots of pictures, with a good soundless camera and take the flash out too. If you have a good battery life on your camera you are safe since you cannot count the beautiful things you will miss out in just one hour when your battery is dying low.
The time you will stay around will make the endangered primates comfortable with you and later you will also get yourself immersed in the daily routines of the world’s largest primates; as you will watch them swinging on tree branches, you listen to them playing around as they forage the quick vegetations around them in their own comfortable zones of the rain forests. These pure vegetarians (Gorillas) take some good time on the ground in the early morning to eat as much as possible so that the feeding sustains their massive and powerful bodies throughout the night.
That trekking struggle which is clammy, damp and sweaty, that gave you this beautiful moment of truth, you will know that you have never felt so alive. This experience will always resound in your head, the videos and pictures taken will make the safari memorable.