The Journey to the Gorillas - tha basica
1) organise gorilla permit thru ORTPN website (but they dont reply) easier to call them from abroad OR ask a trval agent to get the permit for you...at presetn there is a long wait couple of weeks so plan ahead
2) currentlyUS$375 but it is expected to increase to US$500
3) again you need private transport to VNP easily done via many vans and $WD get a travel agent AFRICA JACANA tours give good prices ask for billy and visit the website.....no regrets
4) stay in Ruhengeri the Kinig and Mountain Gorilla Guesthouse which are near the park are very expensive unless it is part of a larger group package from your home
5) read tha BRADT guide they give you a good idea of the Gorilla groups and where thay are ; how many you see amd how high and strenuous they are
6)sabinyo is near; gently sloping terrain and near the VNP....see Bradt for more adventurous treks
7) ths vnp guides are well informed and experieinced
8)like thruout Rwanda there are proper western and very clean toilets at the VNP headqurters
9) guranteed once in lifetime experience even if you are a BUDGET traveller....budget it in and detour if you are near....good links to Uganda and TanzaniaRelated to:
- National/State Park
Meet the SABINYO gorilla gorillas!!!!!!
ther are 8 groups in all; 5 are open to touist visits and 3 are for research only. In fact the dian Fossey memorial and centre is a good day tipr if you have time to spare...all usually have one chief the Silverback with many wives and siblings! they live up to 45 years and can go 30days without water! there are about 250 gorillas in the VNP. Luckily the Sabinyo group is closeby and close knit and are most use to human contact....as such they put on a show for us. Additonally the matriach had just given birth and the 5day nameless infant was awaiting new foster human sponsors. This is an incentive to aid conservation.
The leader is Ruhondo and with 10 in his group. He is huge and looks like a steroid pumped weight lifter.
Their mannerisms and especilly that of the mom and newborn are exactly those of HUMANs...darwin was right!Related to:
- National/State Park
On the way up to the Gorillas
Once at your destination for your chosen group there are usually 8-10 persons in each tour. You get to spend 1hour maximum with the gorillas and its more than enough time. Depending on the group it varies from start to finish and depends on the gorilla location.....
.Each group has a front team to locate the gorillas and cut foliage. They relay back via walkie-talkies to the guide who then leads you to the gorillas. You are supposed to be more than 7metres away but in reality its as close as 1metre sometimes.
The tour is guarded by escort army personnel to fend off agressive gorillas & GUERILLAS........always check the allafrica news website before you travel anywhere in africa for latest tensions
The trek thru the farmsteads is a highlight on its own!!!!!!!!!!Related to:
- Arts and Culture
The catholic church
A pleasant orange brick structure the sits on the foothills overlooking ruhengeri it is an easy and pleasnt walk. There isn't mcuh else to do around the place. On my way iwas acccompanied by teen youths who told me about their life and school. The mission school is very popular and here like around rwanda Boarding Schools are the norm, it seems it provides a point of socialization as lots of these children have no extended or adult family...These youths are onl interested in practicing english and are hassle free and Not intimidating in the least....be kind...they have been thru lots and still find the time to SMILE
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