No matter how long or complex your Tanzanian holiday is, taking a few days out to see the Mountain Gorillas in Rwanda is always a possibility and a definite highlight! Note that if you wish to make this side trip, you will need to book as early as possible, because depending on the time that you wish to come, the gorilla tracking permits can be difficult to obtain. Only 8 people per day, per gorilla group are allowed to track and sit with the gorillas for one magical hour.
The Mountain Gorillas, along with the Golden Monkeys (who are also listed on the IUCN Red List of critically endangered species) are found in the Virunga Volcanoes National Park, part of a chain of five volcanoes in northern Rwanda. Declared a park in 1925, this special site of the Virunga Mountain Range (which sits at quite a high altitude) is home to over half of the surviving 650 Mountain Gorillas in the region.
The critically endangered Mountain Gorillas are the largest living primates on earth. Numbering only about 720 individuals worldwide, this large hominid (who shares 95% of their genes with humans), are endangered due to loss of habitat, poaching, disease and war.
Safaris-R-Us is able to organise complete Mountain Gorilla/Golden Monkey packages, from flights into Kigali, accommodation, meals and tracking permits. We can also organize visits to other special sites such as the Rwandan Genocide Memorial and the ex-poachers village.
Rwanda is a landlocked country located in East-Central Africa and surrounded by Tanzania, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi. The country is mainly covered by steep hills and deep valleys with its highest point being the Karisimbi Volcano (4324m) in the Virunga Mountains. Rwanda, although known for the 1994 genocide, is a pleasant, beautiful country with amazing people, great lakes, mountains, good roads and a good standard of living. As Rwanda is quite small, all its attractions are close to each other.
Rwanda is unfortunately well-known for the terrible events that occurred in 1994. More than one million people were killed in the genocide that occurred over approx. a one month period.
Since then, reconciliation has happened but nobody will – and nobody should – forget these events. A number of memorials have been erected in the different sites where mass-murder was perpetrated. The official genocide memorial in Kigali was opened in 2004, 10 years after the end of the genocide. You will have the opportunity to visit the memorial where you can pay your respect to the numerous victims, whose names are listed on the Wall of Names.