Rwanda Gorilla, Dian Fossey Visit and Golden Monkey Tracking
Volcanoes National Park is a top gorilla safaris destination with a growing number of travelers coming into Rwanda to visit mountain gorillas in the wild. Other activities in the park are Golden monkey tracking, hike to the Dian Fossey grave site, tour to the twin lakes of Burera & Ruhondo, mount Karisimbi volcano hike, hike of Bisoke volcano, Cave tours in Musanze, bird watching and community ecotourism in Iby’wacu cultural village.
Gorilla trekking is an unforgettable, life-changing safari experience that can be taken in Africa’s most spectacular rain forests. Carry your gorilla permit with you as you leave your hotel that morning gorilla trekking Rwanda and make sure you have packed all the necessary gears like gloves, trekking boots, long sleeved wear, rain jackets, snacks and packed lunch, walking stick (very necessary), among others. After a quick briefing on safety measures and what to expect during the day, you will be grouped in groups of 8 people maximum and each group is assigned one gorilla family to trek. Rwanda has 10 gorilla families, hence 10 groups of 8 people each are the ones allowed to track on a particular day.
Trekking to the Dian Fossey Tomb is one of the most sought after safari activities carried out while visiting Volcanoes national park for a gorilla trip. The trek involves a 30 minutes’ drive from the park headquarters to the trail head to access the Karisoke research camp where visitors walk for 10 minutes to the park boundary. The walk from the park boundary to the research center where the Dian’s grave is, takes about an hour to 1 hour and half hours and affords good views of forest hogs, forest elephants, a variety of primates and bird species. This hike is an incredible experience physically, emotionally and intellectually.
It is so inspiring to learn about someone who was so dedicated and left a legacy that exists even today. The hike involves moving through the forests and hiking up the slopes and therefore requires some relative degree of fitness and patience. At the site you will find the house from where Dian Fossey was mysteriously murdered in 1985 but the more peaceful is the place where she was buried just next to her favourite gorilla friend, Digit and about 20 other mountain gorillas either killed by poachers or suffered death for other reasons.
Golden monkeys trekking takes place in Volcanoes national park and at the same time 7:00 just like gorillas. These rare species are also listed as endangered and Volcanoes national park currently has two habituated golden monkeys’ troops that are available for visiting by tourists in the park, both of which make about 80 members.
Golden monkeys in Rwanda live in the bamboo vegetation towards the base of the volcanoes and habituation has helped them to overcome their initial shyness to accept their daily visit by researchers and tourists.
They are very active creatures, and jump from tree to tree which is really interesting and a little difficult to photograph! The golden monkey trek is worth going for while in Volcanoes National Park and if you’re interested in wildlife, this is a rare and delightful experience not to be missed!