I have always wanted to trek to see the gorillas, but I never imagined it could be so good. For me, this is almost a life-changing experience. I felt a connection with the silverback that is beyond description. Especially when he was only 2 feet away from me. The tracking is great-mainly through beautiful country although you cross a bit of farmland to get to the forest.
Please employ a porter-it will be good for you and enhance your trip but more importantly, it provides income for the locals.
Our Rwanda tour was arranged by International Tours and Travel, based in Harare. They were excellent. Their prices were very competitive, and the communications and service, allowing for the vagaries of Internet access in Rwanda were very good.
I was a little concerned because there was a query in one of the forums about this organization-as to whether they were reliable et cetera and there were no answers in the forum to this question. As you can tell whoever I had nothing at all to worry about.
The hour we spent with the gorillas is one I will never forget for as long as I live. It still doesn’t even feel real a couple of months on. We just walked between a couple of trees and there was a glade just full of gorillas! Everywhere you looked there was a gorilla, and there were some that we couldn’t see but could hear crunching away at their lunch. I would have said that we saw about thirty-five gorillas on our trek which included the whole family demographic from silverback male, to babies with mothers to young ones playing in the bushes. The silverback even beat his chest while we were there, a sound guaranteed to make your heart miss a beat or two and your stomach does an interesting twist!
To anyone who is thinking of doing this, just go for it! And remember to love every second, because that hour sure flies fast! Not only do you get some wonderful photos, and the experience of a lifetime, but you also get a full-body workout and a patented African Massage on the drive there and back (you’ll see what I mean when you go).
Our guides were incredible and had real respect for the animals; I had been to other places on my travels where the guides seemed to be quite happy to antagonize the wildlife for photo opportunities, and however, this certainly wasn’t the case in this instance. Their knowledge and love for the gorillas were evident and heartwarming to see.