Face to face with our ancestors

Diann Fossey once wrote 'so high up that you shiver more than you sweat' in the great, old volcanoes that tower 15,000 feet and are covered with rich green rainforest - this is the Virungas. Situated in the far northwest of Rwanda, the Parc des Volcans (Volcanoes National Park) protects the steep slopes of this beautiful mountain range and more importantly, its residents. This national park of international significance is home of the rare mountain gorilla and a rich mosaic of montane ecosystems which embrace evergreen and bamboo forest, open grassland, swamp and heath.

Mountain gorilla trekking is the highlight here and your gorilla safari can entail anything from a 1 to 6 hour trek through the forest, led by experienced trackers who have spent their lives living in or close to the forest. Weave through overhanging vines, moss covered trees and spot golden monkeys along the way, buffalo, bush duiker and a huge diversity of birdlife. As you stumble upon the familiar shape (or sound first if you're lucky) of the mountain gorilla, your fatigue fades away and you watch in awe the gentle giant gorillas as they go about their daily life in their remaining habitat. The allocated one hour passes by so quickly and as you descend the mountains, you'll be reminiscing about the gorillas playing, resting, raising their young, feeding or even fighting!

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