The last wild mountain gorillas on Earth inhabit the Virunga Mountains straddling Rwanda
, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. To see them first-hand is one of our world’s most unique wildlife encounters, but you will have to work hard for your reward, trekking deep into the forest. The excitement builds steadily throughout the hike, because you never quite know where the gorilla troop will be. That first glimpse of dark fur through the lush green canopy will be forever etched into your memory.
Primatologists such as Dian Fossey have spent decades studying the gorilla, learning about their habits and family groups in a bid to ensure their survival. Tourist trekking permits are issued in tiny numbers — Rwanda has just 96 each day — so it is a true privilege to be alongside the scientists.
There are three different ways to enjoy a gorilla encounter. You can trek with a small group, request a private guide for your own family or group of friends, or enjoy a longer habituation experience with a gorilla family as they become accustomed to the presence of people. Whichever you choose, you will no doubt be mesmerised by the human-like qualities of these incredible mammals, enchanted by the time that you spend amongst them.